From clean eating to dirty dismounts and where it all started

 The fitness bench can be a tricky spot for athletes of all kind. The aspect of "over-training" as an elite athlete or by just simply missing a workout can lead to another skipped workout. How do you get back into your routine after a ton of hard work? I found myself in this spot after racing The Tour Of Gila in mid April. With a ton of life stuff going on during & after coming home, some much needed rest was in store. It can be difficult to get back to workouts again and still feeling a bit sluggish. All the whys start to pile up and it just became silly. Why still train, why keep up with maintence, why have a coach. These can be toxic thoughts for some but for me a mere reflection on how I got here.

It all started on June of 2012, riding my bike along the ARBT one afternoon, when I was cut off by a bum on the bike trail. I was thrown over the bars, tumbled onto my head and the result, a broken neck. Now I was as close to paralyzed as any, and left the hospital after 3 days in a wheelchair, neck brace, and an arm sling. Now most would be dreadful and depressed from such a life changing incident but for some reason I just knew id be ok. After months of physical therapy, electro therapy at home, acupuncture and countless doctor visits, id soon realize I was not seeing much progress, and had very little use of my left arms still.. Tons of atrophy and lack of movement, later it hit me. I was still very much dis-ableded and realized as usual I needed to think outside the box here and really do something different.

I started doing these little pushups at home and did them every day, that was just the start. I also just knew that nutrition had to be something to look at as well and tweaked and tweaked till it became quite ubsesive. Almost doing a raw diet I was totally plant based in search of finding the most healthy approach to recovery. I started to see little improvements in how I felt and movement in my arm. Soon after that my doctor said I could come out of the neck brace, and I was not in an arm sling anymore either. Still limited range of movement in my arm I told my doctor you know what im going to go home and do right, she said yes, ride your bike. So I went home and threw my arm over the bars and rode to Pedal Hard bike shop. Every single day after that I was glued to riding bikes literally all day as a stimulant to supplement my future health and current state. Slowly but surely my arm, diet and health was just getting better and better.

A few months later I decided to follow along on a journey and a project called No Coast 2012 created by Shawn Remy #carbdoping. This entailed riding fixed gear bikes from Portland OR Chrome Hub, to the San Francisco CA Chrome store. Im in! I can do this, with no other real responsibility at home I decided I must do it. I had no support from friends, family, or anybody really, I just knew I wanted to do it and that I could. It was soon after the trip was over did the thought of road racing come to play.

I never thought id be at this level or be an "athlete" but it took me having a serious life threating injury to do something different and get out of cruise control in life. It took me 2 years to get to a category 2 racer and on the 3rd year the unthinkable, I got to cat 1 status. Ive been pushing physical and mental barriers ever since and life has changed so much. Get out of your comfort zone, try something different and just go for it, you never know what can happen if you just try.

Link to the documentary is below. Please share and forward to a friend.


My first Cat1/Pro stage race Chico Stage Race

Darin Morgan

A blog about traveling, training, and racing bicycles as an elite cat1 pursuing more than the podium