The Spartans once told of a boy soldier who hid a fox under his garments to lick a severe wound that, if discovered, would cause him dishonor in the community. If that boy were to be living today, he’d be in Great Britain and his name would be Tommy Hill. Both an international superstar and a legend in the world of motorcycle racing, Hill has had both his spleen and one kidney removed as the result of a motocross accident early in his career. More recently, he crashed onto his shoulder, tearing a ligament and later learning that he had officially broken his collarbone.
As legends go, Hill didn’t take a broken collarbone as an excuse to stop racing. On the contrary, when it happened, he said, “this is the worst type of break you can get on your collarbone… [but] I have to keep thinking I will be fit enough in two weeks’ time.” He would later say, “If I rest it, then it will heal itself, with the process taking effect in 8 to 10 days, so I’ll see how I get on.” Normal people have surgery and sit out their normal activities for 8 to 10 weeks. He has had almost every kind of therapy known to man as an attempt to avoid the surgical route for fear that surgery would, itself, remove his name from contention. In English terms, we call that superhuman.
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