BaseCamp alumnus Peter Berg shares how he used what he learned in BaseCamp to take him through an unfortunate and painful bike accident.
On the Monday after Mother's Day, I had a bike accident that broke eight ribs, fractured my clavicle and scapula, and knocked me unconscious for approximately ten minutes. I had a small brain bleed and was hospitalized for two weeks. There are a few things I wish to share related to Basecamp.
First, a number of doctors all came and told me that anybody else with eight broken ribs would need to be intubated, but that because I was in such good shape, I did not need to be intubated. I was told that 50% of the people with ten broken ribs die. All the doctors seemed surprised and let me know that the only reason I was doing so well was because I was in such good physical condition, including my lungs. Something I recall in my painful moments at the ER and in the ambulance just after it happened was that I was using the breathing techniques I learned in Basecamp. I watched Tim Cusick do the videos of breathing techniques and tried to practice them and use them in my cycling. What I found is that they also came in really useful, and I believe I was doing them unconsciously at first and when I was in pain after my accident. I really feel the breathing made a difference. I am now on the mend and hoping to get back on the bike as soon as possible. Basecamp and the awesome instruction certainly made a difference to me, not only to get me in shape.
By the way, I did a 63-mile ride with 6000 feet of climbing on the Saturday before my accident and completed it. The year before, I tried to follow my friends, and we attacked the hills. Only one of them completed the 63 last year, and we all did 51 instead. This year I let them go and used my power meter to work through the hills; I may not be as powerful as I want or as fast, but I accepted my limitations and worked within them using my Basecamp training as a guide. I knew what I could and could not do. I held back that temptation to attack, and I conserved my energy. I was the only one in my group to do the full 63 with approximately 6000 feet of climbing. When I finished 51 last year, I was wrecked. When I finished 63 this year, I felt a good tired and had no problems driving home the 3 hours. That’s progress! Now on to healing!