Pressing Pause on the Race Season!


Apparently, I am not a ballerina. This profound realization came to me as I crawled across the living room floor while dealing with a very sharp and clarifying pain. Moments before, I was walking down my stairs, half asleep on my way to bed, and by some butterfly effect of miss position, I completely missed the last step. In fact, I was confidently stepping to a step where there was none, and all 200 plus pounds of my fame came crashing down onto my right foot. Specifically on my right toe, pointed in a downward position like the aforementioned ballerina.

I’ve always joked that I have strong bones. I grew up skateboarding and have taken hits that left me pondering if I have some mutant skeleton akin to Wolverine. Unfortunately, this time would be different. A precision blow, the likes of which I haven’t felt in a long time. The acute pain left me nauseous as I lay on the ground in the fetal position. Staying true to my competitive nature, my first thought was, ‘I’m not gonna be able to race in two weeks.’ Heartbreaking, as I had been prepping the miata to smash the TT6 records yet again.

But then hot flashes joined the nausea, and I crawled out onto my front porch, convinced I was going to vomit. I knew my system was in shock once the chills set in shortly after. Luckily, after a short shower, the shock had subsided, and with it being 11 pm already, I went to bed. Knowing I would hardly sleep but could deal with the foot in the morning.

Fracture of my right big toe in several places.
There are two distinct fractures on the right big toe with the main one splintering to the right with several more. I was lucky this thing mostly held together, or the recovery (at least back to the racecar) would have been much longer.

The Doctor or Emergency Room

The last thing I want to do is spend an evening in the ER to be referred to a specialist the next day. That comes from experience, so I opted to ride out the night in pain and see the podiatrist.

The doctor saw me at 9 am promptly. He immediately takes X-rays, and after a few minutes, I hear from the other room, ‘NICE’! It is never good when a doctor says that. The aftermath was four fractures in the right big toe in an x pattern. My Wolverine-esque, aka big bones, is why things barely held together instead of completely shattering. I would have a 6-8 week recovery period before I could start using the toe again. Effectively, pressing pause on my race season.

Highlighted version of the 'NICE!' fracture.
A highlighted version of the ‘NICE!’ fracture.

But the fun didn’t stop there for me. One would think I would take advantage of the downtime to catch up on writing and side projects. Unfortunately, I have this nasty thing called depression that kicks in when I am injured and can’t perform. I dealt with it multiple times growing up as an endurance athlete. I always find it particularly difficult when I can’t compete. This is why I have been lazy, tired, grumpy, and generally unfocused during my eight-week recovery.


Now you know where I have been. As of this writing, it has been three months since the injury. I did miss the race at Nashville Superspeedway but was able to rehab fast enough to compete at Barber in July. A lot has changed on the Miata, as I have moved it to ST6. But I will be catching you guys up on things over the next few days. The good news is I’m mostly healed, although the bone reminds me it was broken from time to time.

By Chris Simmons

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