The Power of a Decision: From Wishing to Doing

Cyclist riding on the roadOne of the most challenging aspects of representing people who have suffered a life changing event, in our mostly crash related practice, is encouraging them not to let their injuries define them. As a result, I am drawn to inspiring people who have overcome extreme adversity. Matt Long is one of those people. A NYC firefighter and first responder, he was horribly injured riding his bike to work in Manhattan in 2005 when a charter bus turned across his path and literally drove over him. He broke every bone in his left leg and suffered a devastating injury to his buttock. He required 40 units of blood within the first 24 hours, spent five months in the hospital and endured some 40 surgeries. Long was determined to return to cycling and competing in triathlons and the Ironman. During his recovery, he had to overcome the fear of getting back on the bike and returning to the road which he describes quite movingly. He had many personal goals and “things he wanted to do.” He describes his break through when he made a decision to move from what he “wanted to do” to what “he will do.”

That single decision, deciding what he would do, changed everything for him. Matt has gone on to compete at the highest levels despite his limitations. He completed the Ironman in 2009, Men’s Fitness in 2010 named him one of the 25 fittest men in the world and Men’s Health Magazine has named him one of their top 10 men of the year. There are many others, as well.

Matt created the I Will Foundation “helping people overcome the challenges of life altering injuries or illnesses.” Their website has an amazing list of Exemplars who overcame incredible challenges (most from cycling crashes) with Matt’s encouragement and the help of the I Will Foundation.

I encourage anyone struggling with life changing injuries or illness to visit the I Will Foundation website and consider reaching out to them. They say it best:

no longer will I wish…
no longer will I want…
from now on…
I will.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.
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