Posted by: Dennis Green | July 14, 2012

Back On The Horse – Chad’s Story

Multiple bikers down. We need the ambulance!

Seven words no race director, volunteer or participant ever wants to hear. But the Heart of America Triathlon community was shaken in September 2011 when Chad Goldsmith of Iowa City, a talented athlete whose name perennially graces the Heart of America leader board, was seriously injured in the Heart of America championship race, TriHawks.

In a conversation at the 2012 Lake Geode race, Chad tallied the damage.

“Three pins in my wrist, a nine-inch gash right here, which went all the way to the bone.” He’s pointing to a long scar on his right thigh, healed but still an angry red color.

“In all, I had seven broken bones. Two of them were vertebrae, which really worried me for awhile.”

But through perseverance and a return to training, Chad has made a full recovery, and says he feels as good today as before his accident.

“By Thanksgiving, I was physically healed and felt fine. But what I discovered was there some mental damage that took a lot longer to recover from. On the bike, I was just real nervous, whenever I got around a group, or got near an intersection. I just didn’t want to fall again.”

Chad literally needed to “climb back on the horse that threw him” to get back to one hundred percent.

“It was at the Pigman, cycling in that crowd, that I really started to feel confident again. You’re threading the needle, sometimes having to pass two people, I just realized I could do it.”

Chad says quitting triathlons never entered his mind. “In fact, we were talking about what new bike I would get while I was still in the hospital.”

Except for the scar on his leg, you would never know Chad had been injured. He’s racing just as fast as ever, and says his 2012 goal is to win his age group in the Heart of America series.

“But the guy ahead of me has one race on me (the 2011 TriHawks, where he had the accident), so I don’t know,” he says with a rueful smile.

And to close the season? It’s back to Coralville. Chad has already entered Iowa’s Best Dam Tri, which will be run on the same course he didn’t get to finish last year.

Now, that’s climbing back on the horse.

 

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