Physician – Diet

The Iron Man (The Scott Rigsby Story)

The Iron Man (The Scott Rigsby Story)

December 20
02:37 2010

The Iron Man (The Scott Rigsby Story)

The rising sun is slowly beginning to peak over the horizon. The perception
of another morning is upon us, but the feel is quite different from any other
day. The Ironman World Championship, has that kind of effect on nature, though,
or at least it seems to. The omniscient night sky becomes an omnipotent
painting. The air smells a bit different. The wind seems to sway with a
confident ease, while thousands of individuals speckle the forgoing night,
performing their pre-race rituals. Some stretch; others converse to ease the
tension; several meditatively remain alone, while only one man straps on two
prosthetic legs.

A young Scott Rigsby had just finished his first semester at college. Not the
easiest time in a young man’s life, but nothing compared to what he was about to
experience.

One hot summer day in rural Georgia, Rigsby and his friends went for a ride
in the back of his friends pick up truck. The conversation took the normal young
man twists and turns; girls, sports, weekend planing, until suddenly, an 18
wheeler careened into the side of the truck. Rigsby was tossed from the cab to
underneath the 3-ton attached trailer, dragging him more than 300 feet.

When Rigsby woke up later in the hospital, he was informed that he suffered
third degree burns, a severed right leg, and a left leg, which barely hung in
tact. From that moment on, Rigsby became a professional patient undergoing
countless doctor and hospital visits, 26 surgeries, and additional
amputations.

Since, Rigsby experienced a rigorous onslaught of pain, the doctors
prescribed him several different pain killers. Although the physical pain was
horrendous, his mental pain was much worse. Rigsby drowned out this mental
anchor of depression, fear and uncertainty through an overindulgence in
prescription drugs and alcohol.

15 years passed with Rigsby merely acting as a passenger on a downward spiral
– that is until 2005. This year, marked the dawn of a new age, when Rigsby woke
up and demanded a change. He was done feeling any sympathy for himself, done
wondering why God had place him in this situation, and he was going to make a
difference.

At that very moment, he made a pledge to break down barriers for physically
challenged athletes. This internal yawp was the catalyst for his completion of
13 triathlons, 5 road races, and world record setting for a double
below-the-knee amputee in the Full Marathon, Half Ironman, and International
Distance Triathlon. The remarkable world record accomplishments earned him a
spot on the 2006 USA Triathlon Team.

Rigsby motivation mounted. His thirst for competition, became a dire hunger
for the ultimate endurance test; The Ironman (an endurance race comprised of a
2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike, a 26.2 mile run).

The stage was set. The Coeur d’ Alene Ford Ironman in Arizona. The swim
portion went off without a hitch. Suddenly, tragedy struck again. Halfway
through the bike portion, Rigsby crashed. Although he unknowingly suffered a
cracked vertebrae, Rigsby not only finished the bike cutoff time, he muscled
through 12 miles of the marathon before succumbing to the injury.

This could not be the end.

Strapping a prosthetic on both legs, Rigsby lined up. From the outside of the
line up, no one could see a man with two prosthesis. Instead, the audience gazed
over an amalgamation of the world’s best athletes with admiration and
excitement, awaiting the start.

16 hours and 42 minutes later, hundreds of individuals remained crammed
around the finish line awaiting the arrival of a man most had heard of, but
never seen. A man who overcame the obstacles. A man whose mere presence defined
gaman (the Japanese word for enduring pain with grace and elegance). A man who
inspired the unthinkable.

One minute later, the announcer screams, “Here he comes, it’s Scott Rigsby,
he’s going to do it. Unbelievable!”.

The Iron Man had arrived.

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