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Rehabbing From Trauma and Epilepsy to Become an Ultradistance Cyclist

“Going the Distance” is the story of George Thomas. In 1984, he was struck and severely injured by a drunk driver. He spent several months rehabbing from that incident, got in great shape, and was working as a ski instructor in Oregon. But in 1989 he started having seizures, which were eventually diagnosed as a result of brain scarring caused by the trauma. This can cause epilepsy as a delayed reaction. This did not respond to conventional anti-seizure drugs and they also caused severe side effects. This was his low point. He lost his driver’s license and could no longer work as a ski instructor. Fortunately, he got accepted into a clinical trial of a new drug at the time (!!). It worked great for him. No seizures, no side effects! Then he bounced back. In 1982 he had read the story of the first Race Across America, and seen the coverage of it on ABC TV. This had planted a seed. So now he decided to get in shape and give it a try. He first did it a couple of times on a relay team, but that wasn’t enough for him, so In 1996!! he attempted on his own. Most of the book is devoted to his story of that attempt. There are flashbacks during that narrative that relate the history I summarized above. An inspiring read!

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