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  1. #1
    Sinner's Swing! Buckeye's Avatar
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    10.19.16 @ 11:29 AM
    Liked 81 Times in 29 Posts

    Default Now This, My Friends, Is Grit, Guts, and Determination

    Go to about the 1:40 mark:

    Michael Arace commentary: It's how you finish, not whether you win

    Wednesday, December 26, 2007 3:09 AM

    By Michael Arace

    There are two bones in the lower leg, the tibia, commonly referred to as the shin bone, and the fibula, or calf bone. Claire Markwardt, a senior cross country runner for Berkshire High School in Burton, Ohio, shattered her tibia and snapped her fibula during the state championships in November. She crawled the last 45 feet, dragging her rubberized left leg, but she finished.

    What is analogous? Childbirth? Although I've witnessed this miracle more than a few times, I'm not qualified to use such a metaphor. One difference here is that Markwardt didn't have an epidural.

    Markwardt is my athlete of the year -- state, regional or national, either gender. This diminutive young woman has more guts than anyone who strapped on shoulder pads, or injected steroids, in the past 12 months. Check it out. Based on a recent interview with Markwardt, and on other news accounts, this is what happened to her at Scioto Downs, in the final stretch of the Division III race on Nov. 3:
    With 400 meters remaining in a 5,000-meter (3.1-mile) race, she felt a twinge in her shin. Actually, it was a crack, the first fracture of the tibia, the bigger bone in the lower leg.

    "I had a stress fracture in the seventh grade -- same bone, different spot -- and this didn't feel like that," she said. "It didn't really bother me until the last 200 meters. I thought it was muscle. That's what I was thinking -- the muscle was doing something funny."

    There was a second crack. Then a third crack, even
    louder, and Markwardt collapsed to her knees. She didn't know it, but she had three fractures in her shin bone. She crawled for a few feet, got up, took a step and there was another crack. This was her calf bone, snapping in half, audible to spectators. She collapsed a second time. She looked up, saw the finish line and started her crawl again. What else was there to do? Whine?
    "There wasn't any other reaction other than to finish," she said. "I was right there. I knew the team needed me to finish, and I was still trying to convince myself it was muscle."

    Markwardt's personal record for 3.1 miles is 20 minutes, 6 seconds. She was on pace to beat that time until her bones began snapping beneath her. With a 45-foot crawl at the end, she clocked in at 20:24, in 67th place. If she didn't shatter her tibia and fracture her fibula, she would have at least matched her PR, and she would have finished 54th, or better. But that is not the point.
    Crawl and all, she finished in fourth place on her team, and her team finished in fourth place. She clawed her way past the line, posted her time and helped her team, in her last race, in her senior year. Coaches dream of having entire rosters of Claire Markwardts.

    When she got across the finish line, a race official tried to help her up. She's still a little miffed at the guy. When pulled upright, her left leg bent at mid-shin. It was Silly Putty down there.
    Markwardt said, "My first reaction was, 'Oh, no. My sister's wedding. She's going to kill me.' "

    Her sister was married that night. Markwardt missed being a bridesmaid in the wedding party. She was at Children's Hospital, having her shin and calf bones reconstructed. A hardware store was implanted. Ten days later, she had another surgery in Cleveland, to put her left foot at the proper angle, and to pull the leg to the correct length.

    She has gained a measure of fame. The Ohio High School Athletic Association finish-line video was posted on a sports Web site, The Big Lead, and her story hit The YouTube video of her final crawl is approaching 160,000 hits. (Be forewarned, the video is not for the squeamish.) She has received cards and e-mails from all over the country. Her Facebook and MySpace accounts have been inundated by well-wishers. Last week, she got a note, and a picture, from the owner of Barbaro, the sterling Kentucky Derby winner who shattered a leg in the Preakness and, after a long struggle, was eventually euthanized.

    "I didn't expect this kind of support," she said, "but I really appreciate it."
    On one hand, she can use it. She's still on crutches, and will be for another month. Her bones aren't knitting well yet and, although that's not unexpected, it's nothing to celebrate.

    On the other hand, a part of her doesn't need much encouragement. Any young woman who crawls to finish a race with a shattered leg might be considered a little stubborn. She won't go near the wheelchair, which sits in the garage, despite her mother's protestations. She has Jan. 11 circled on her calendar; that's the next doctor's visit, and she expects lose the crutches.
    I expect that, when the time comes, she'll snap the crutches in half.

    Michael Arace is a sports reporter for The Dispatch.

  2. #2
    Pope Of Greenwich Village SuckaInA3Piece's Avatar
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    10.22.16 @ 11:41 AM
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    I hate seeing stuff like that because of the further damage that could have been done, but I do admire the guts it took to withstand the pain and cross the finish line.
    "It's always a Catch-22 situation. They hate you if you're the same, and they hate you if you're different."
    ~Eddie Van Halen~

    "The perfect woman has an IQ of 150, wants to make love until 4 in the morning, and then turns into a pizza."
    ~David Lee Roth~


  3. #3
    PM Goo with your concerns OLO's Avatar
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    10.23.16 @ 12:43 AM
    Liked 48 Times in 21 Posts


    ((Just My Two Cents))
    And thats about what its worth.

  4. #4
    Baluchitherium loveevhsince79's Avatar
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    10.23.15 @ 03:49 PM
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    Wow, that is pretty amazing that the pain did not stop her. It reminds me of seeing Tim Krumrie in the Superbowl against the 49ers when the torque of his own muscule snapped his leg and it went to putty. Yuck!

  5. #5
    Sinner's Swing! Bullwinkle's Avatar
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    06.07.15 @ 09:30 AM
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    Not bad, for a girl.

    Don't read this.



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