Welcome to one of our new features on our Health and Fitness blog - our Member Spotlight. Our goal of the Member Spotlight is to not only highlight the amazing things our members do and accomplish on a consistent basis, but to also call attention to the challenges and adversity that they have had to face along the way.
For our very first edition of Member Spotlight, I couldn't think of a better member to highlight than Ryan Filletti.
Ryan has been a member at the Athlete Institute (formerly ACTS) for 8 years now. As a marathon runner - he has completed 4 marathons to date - Ryan has not only qualified for the illustrious Boston Marathon, but managed a top 10% finish, out of over 30,000 runners, in a time of 3:05:13!
Unfortunately, Ryan was involved in an accident in May 2015 while out doing what he loves - going for a run. When I asked Ryan if he would like to be a part of our Member Spotlight, he said he was honoured to share his story. I believe that his story is very inspirational to others and displays the kind of dedication and perseverance that can motivate others to find a similar passion in their lives.
Please explain the accident you were involved in.
On May 28th 2015, I was out for a run in town and had stopped at a traffic light at a cross walk. When the walk symbol appeared, I proceeded to cross the street, when I was suddenly struck by a car that had sped through the intersection running a red light! I was knocked unconscious. I was then admitted to the emergency department here at Headwaters. My injuries are as follows:
6 broken ribs on my right side
A broken fibula(lower leg) that required surgery and has a plate with 6 screws in it
A broken medial malleolus( lower inside ankle) with 2 screws in it
Extensive trauma to my teeth, requiring multiple root canals and crowns, fillings etc.
A deep bite through my tongue in 2 places, one requiring sutures
A serious concussion requiring on-going therapy
Please share your recovery time/recovery process.
Currently I am just over 20 weeks out since the accident and go for physiotherapy and concussion therapy twice a week. I am currently training to recover my balance and strength. I have had and continue to have extensive dental work done. I was immobilized in a cast for 6 weeks in which I could not weight bear. I was in an air cast for an additional 2 weeks, in which I could weight bear. My wife was able to take 6 weeks off of her work to help me. Friends, family and therapists have been super supportive! Our girls have been very mature and strong throughout this as well. I continue to work through specific physiotherapy exercises both at the gym and at home. Also, I am working with a psychologist to overcome anxiety of crossing the street.
Is there anything about the Athlete Institute that has either helped or inspired you during your recovery period?
What brought me back to ACTS is the people, both members and trainers! These people have inspired me right from the beginning, 8 years ago and continue to do so with their work ethic and positive attitude! The people here are what makes this gym special, unlike any other!
What are your short-term and long-term goals?
My short term goals are to heal 100% and continue with physiotherapy and strength training. My long term goals are to get back to Marathon running and qualify for the New York City Marathon! I will be required to run a personal best qualifying time to do this! Also, I am focusing on full body fitness right now.
Any advice you may have for those coming off a serious injury/illness?
Some advice that I would offer anyone that is coming off of an injury or an illness is: You are your best resource. You might be surprised what you are capable of, even giving the most challenging of circumstances! I have a great support team in my family. You have to believe in yourself and make smart decisions. Healing, like increasing physical fitness is only achieved with smart consistent training, patience, goal setting, planning, dedication to hard work and a positive attitude. There are absolutely no exceptions to any of these rules! Trust me, I have learned these concepts! One of my most favourite quotes comes from the movie ' The Shawshank Redemption', when the character Andy Dufresne played by Tim Robbins says, "I guess it comes down to a simple choice, really. Get busy living or get busy dying."
The Athlete Institute would like to thank Ryan for sharing his story with us. We felt as though his story of perseverance and overcoming such a terrible accident could be inspiring and motivating to many. If you see Ryan at the gym, please introduce yourself and congratulate him on making his return!
If you would like to nominate someone, please email Director of Fitness Tyler Robbins.