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The 2016 MABBA Provincial Bodybuilding Championships was described as one of the toughest fields in years, and yet you’d never know that just a short time ago, one of these contestants couldn’t even sit up straight without the help of three physiotherapists. And yet there he was, standing in front of the cheering crowd, hitting a front double biceps pose with a smile on his face that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger look depressed by comparison. No, he didn’t win first. In fact, he finished dead last. But he accomplished something that in 2013, medical experts would have never given him a chance to do.
Rewind a bit to 2013. It’s August – a beautiful summer day in Manitoba, Canada. Imagine being in the prime of your life. You’re strong, healthy, happy – ready to take on anything. And then in a moment, imagine it’s all gone, snatched away in the blink of an eye.
That’s what happened to Shane Dyck. On August 27, 2013, a seemingly innocuous motorcycle ride changed the life of this Canadian bodybuilder forever, after he crashed headfirst into a cement planter.
“I had life-threatening injuries,” says Shane. “I was in a semi-comatose state, opening my eyes briefly to see family and friends crying by my bedside and not understanding why they were there . . . or why I was even in a hospital bed. Once I was finally awake and trying to comprehend what happened, I realized my worst nightmare had come to reality. I was paralyzed from the neck down, broke numerous bones, punctured both of my lungs, lost 5 litres of blood, lost 70 pounds of bodyweight, had my whole spine fused with 4 rods and 22 bolts running down each side of my spine, and was given less than a 1% chance to walk again.”
In fact, for a short time, the outlook was even more dire than just losing the ability to walk. The medical team was letting all of his family and friends in the emergency room because they thought that Shane could die at any moment.
It took a week for Shane to learn how to simply breathe again, forced to undergo the pain of having the breathing tube taken out just to see if he could take breaths on his own. Once he conquered that obstacle, he was forced to endure the agony of not being able to move – a once strong athlete forced to stare at the wall for hours at a time until a nurse could change his position so he could look at the other side of the same room.
“There were many nights of constant crying, deep depression and honestly wishing I didn’t live through my accident,” he says.
Progress was slow and painful. First, after weeks of lying horizontally, Shane worked his way up to 30 minutes of sitting upright. Then it was time to use a tilt wheelchair to get him out of the bed.
“I finally got the tubes removed from my body and had no attachments other than a triple-lined pick that was in my chest,” says Shane. “I had 10-minute physiotherapy sessions in my room to start off. Trying to wiggle my toes and move my fingers. I gradually moved from in-bed sessions to the rehab gym, where I met my physiotherapist, Kevin. The first couple weeks we worked on my core because I couldn’t sit straight up without the help of three people.”
Next he worked on transfers, hand movements, mobility and, finally, trying to stand on a tilt table (where in true bodybuilder fashion, he did squats – if only an eighth of the way down). Soon Shane progressed to standing using a table stand and finally took his first steps only 60 days after the accident.
“It was such an indescribable feeling taking those steps. I knew I would walk again from the beginning, but those first steps gave me so much more hope,” says Shane. “I would spend anywhere from two to seven hours a day doing physiotherapy, whether it be in my chair, in my bed, in the gym, in rehab – whatever it took, I would do it.”
After countless hours of physio in the gym and pushing himself even when he was in his hospital bed, Shane was finally released six whole months after his accident. He left the hospital under his own power with the help of two canes. But the difficulties didn’t end with merely getting out of the hospital. Being outside, Shane found he had more than just physical obstacles to overcome.
“For about a year, I rarely left my house because I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to see me with a walker or cane. I became quite depressed since my accident, but constantly pushed myself to stay positive. It made me an introvert for quite a while, and I lost sociability with regard to how to interact with people,” he says. “I still do not like going out, especially by myself, but I am slowly getting better, since it still affects me greatly. I have to deal with stability issues, neurological issues and spasticity”.
Nonetheless, Shane had one goal: to get back on stage, something he accomplished at the MABBA Provincial Bodybuilding Championships.
“Being up against completely able-bodied people is exactly what I need to keep pushing myself,” says Shane. “For now, I will still continue to go to the gym, but really focus on stretching, rolling, strengthening exercises for increased mobility and functionality. And in the future, that’ll turn to less difficulty in the gym.”
Shane has and will continue to do countless hours of physiotherapy and athletic therapy as an out-patient. He’ll be having another surgery to reconstruct his right leg in hopes of gaining more function and have a better gait pattern, and it will be another long road to recovery. MuscleTech® will be supporting Shane every step of the way – and even though his journey will never be quite finished, he has a never-say-die attitude with the determination to strive to become better in every single way, every single day.
“Three years ago, I should’ve died on my brother’s birthday”, he says. “Instead, three years later, I’m walking, going golfing with my brother, dad, grandpa and my brother’s friends. I’m going out and enjoying myself doing things I should’ve never been able to do. I have such an amazing support group, including all of you who constantly pick me up and give me words of encouragement throughout this journey of mine. I want to say thank you to everyone who has reached out to help me get to where I am today. So here’s to three years and all the great things I’m lucky enough to experience in the future!”
2 scoops NITRO-TECH®, 1/2 cup creamy rice cereal, 3 whole eggs, 1 banana
Consists of either chicken, top sirloin steak, tilapia or ground turkey, with jasmine rice or baby potatoes and asparagus or broccoli
7 oz. chicken, 1 cup white rice, 1 cup greens
| Meal 6
2 scoops NITRO-TECH, 1 tbsp. peanut butter or coconut oil
Physiotherapy to recover from a spinal cord injury
Arms and calves
Core and physiotherapy