by Carrie Adams
Kevin Seaman is a survivor. Tragically injured in a snowboarding accident in Killington, VT, he fought his way back and decided that as part of his healing he would run a Spartan Race. He shared his triumphant story with me of survival, of lessons learned, and his desire to return to Killington next year… Spartan style.
Throughout my entire life I have been involved with extreme sports and outdoor activities. I am heavily involved in both the wakeboard and snowboard communities. I also enjoy rock climbing, trail jogging, and many other sports that keep me outside and moving.
Unfortunately, a year and a half ago, in February, I suffered a traumatic injury while snowboarding with a few friends. We were simply riding through the woods at Killington Mtn (home of your Beast event) when my board snagged on a root under the snow and swung me, at high speed, sideways into a tree on my left side. I was not wearing a helmet at the time (A lesson hard learned, which will not be repeated) so I hit the tree at full force on my Temporal bone on my left side. I was immediately knocked unconscious and was heavily bleeding from my left ear.
Luckily, my friend which was with me was an EMT (Michelle Stabile, for whom I am extremely thankful for). She rushed to my aid and immediately had Killington ski patrol come to bring me to their ER clinic, which rushed me off to the hospital. (Thanks again to Killington, VT for having such a wonderful emergency team).
My injuries were so severe that they had to transport me to Dartmouth while in a coma. I was hospitalized at Dartmouth for about two weeks prior to being released to home care. I had been in and out of consciousness the whole time and lost all hearing and balance on my left side, which will never return. My partial facial paralysis DID heal.
Before I even left the hospital I set goals for myself, which included my first multi-sport obstacle race. During the process of relearning how to walk and function properly my doctors continually told me all of the things I wouldn’t be able to do as a result of my injuries…
I would not be able to rock climb, do gymnastic flips, or walk a balance beam…
With that motivation, I started at the gym, training on my own, in addition to my physical therapy sessions. (Against doctor’s orders of course, but my mind set was, the only person who can make me better… is ME). Eight months later I competed in my first event… and then fell in love with the challenges of the Spartan race. You have all kept me motivated to continue my rigorous training and make sure there is nothing I can’t do.
I’m proud to say that I completed the recent 2012 Tri-State event in the top 4% and plan on joining you next year for a trifecta. It will be an honor to run the Killington course, it’s kind of like sticking it to the man/Mountain. There is nothing that can’t be conquered. So to everyone who told me it couldn’t be done… the view from the top is beautiful.