Overcoming Injury, Achieving Goals

I asked Devin to share his inspiring story. In one year we have seen him transform and accomplish incredible things. A year ago, Devin needed a bit of a wake up call. He was spiraling down a dangerous path of partying, substance use and alcohol. He was clearly unhappy with himself and where he was in life but wasn’t sure how to make a change. Here is his story from self-destructive to inspirational.

Growing up I was always very athletic, I played soccer from the time I was 5 until the time I was 17 and played on a rep team from 12 until 17, I also played lacrosse from the age of 8 to the age of 17. When I was 12 I broke both bones in my right ankle, right on my growth plate and ended up with a plate and 4 screws on my fibula, unfortunately my ankle didn’t grow back properly, it ended up being 3″short and also very crooked.

I ended up needing reconstructive surgery on it when I was 17. So on January 4 2011 I went into surgery to stretch my leg and straighten my ankle, they put an ilizarov on my ankle for 3 months, it was suppose to fix me. Unfortunately for me the surgeon decided to try a different way of doing it for the first time, it didn’t work. Now I suffer from an ankle with 75% function and a leg that is still 3″ short.

After I graduated high school I completely stopped playing sports and all I did was party! From the age of 18 I started drinking almost every night as long as I could afford it, I also smoked a pack of cigarettes a day and occasionally did party drugs when I had the money. 3 days after Christmas 2011 I got I’m a serious car crash. I should have died, but I some how came out of it alive. On the same leg as my messed up ankle I received a shattered femur, which now as a rod attached from top to bottom, with 2 screws in my knee and 1 in my hip, I also broke 2 vertebrae in my lower back which were both 1 mm away from putting me in a wheel chair.

Unfortunately instead of being grateful for coming out alive and trying to better myself, I decided to continue to party. I drank and smoked and did lots of (embarrassing to say) cocaine. I then started working in alberta, this enabled me to continue to live a destructive lifestyle and I was treating my body like shit.

I started hiking occasionally with my sister Hailey so I could go the the epic places she kept going, but the habit of moving never stuck. Working out of town for 3 weeks a month made it difficult to say no to partying and keep with a consistent training schedule.

In January 2015 my sister Hailey knew I was desperate for a change. She helped me get a job working in town, if it wasn’t for her doing that I have no idea where I would be. The minute I came back I started running, the first week of running consisted of a lap of Houston trail, next run was 2 laps, after Dayna found out I started running and could already do 2 laps of Houston she forced me to come out with the Rlag crew and run 13km at buntzen lake, the the next day 20km on the north shore and since then I haven’t looked back. I stopped partying and drinking (other than craft beers with my friends, which apparently goes hand in hand with trail running!), I eat healthy and go the gym. I bought a rode bike as well.

Since January I have accomplished distances that people take years to train for, but because of the sometime forced motivation from my sister, I can do it. I think the mental tenacity I have developed from enduring such critical injuries has made me who I am. I am thankful to have been able to take negative experiences in my life and turn them into positive. I used to believe that I would never be able to run because my left leg is just too messed up. I have proved myself very wrong. My first race was a 13km trail race, the energy and adrenaline from the event got my hooked! I haven’t looked back!

This summer I ran 1 road half marathon with a time of 1:48, 2 very difficult 50km ultra marathons both with times of just over 8 hours. It is an incredible feeling to be able to push your body farther than you ever thought it could go. 50km is a really long way, and I never thought I would complete the distance, but a little determination, and look what you can accomplish.

Most recently I completed something extra ordinary…a 85km unsupported run in the Grand Canyon, rim to rim to rim with a time of 16:30. I went with an awesome group of people, the Run Like A Girl trail family. I remember when I reached over 50km and my body was still moving… it was pretty surreal.

I still can believe what I have pushed my body to do in such a short amount of time, but without Hailey, Dayna and Courtney I would not be where I am today.

So for anyone out there making excuse due to past injuries, or that you haven’t exercised in over 5 years or what ever excuse you are making, look at me, look what my body as been through and look at what I can do! Anything possible you just have to be willing to push yourself!

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