In 2003, while working at Metro-East Industries in East St. Louis and volunteering at Belleville East, Genin suffered the injury that could easily have cost him his life, not to mention his career as a coach and trainer.
He was hooking two train cars together when the coupler of one pinned him against the coupler of another.
The impact fractured his sacrum —the bone at the bottom of the spinal column— and separated the bottom of his pelvis.
That part hurt. But Genin said what hurt more was the aftermath.
THE MOST PAINFUL PART IS AFTER ALL THE INFLAMMATION KICKS IN. EVERY LITTLE JOLT, EVERY LITTLE MOVEMENT IS EXTREMELY PAINFUL. I HAD TO GO FROM BARELY BEING ABLE TO TAP MY FOOT ON THE GROUND ALL THE WAY UP TO FULL SPECTRUM WHERE I COULD DO ENTIRE WORKOUTS
“The most painful part is after all the inflammation kicks in. Every little jolt, every little movement is extremely painful,” he said. “I had to go from barely being able to tap my foot on the ground all the way up to full spectrum where I could do entire workouts.”
Rehab at the Athletic Therapy Center in Belleville took a year and a half. “It wasn’t an easy task,” Genin said, but he also called it “a great experience.”
“Even though that was a very bad part of my life as far as having to go through that, having to come back from it, it really opened up my mind to the possibilities as far as what you can do for meeting someone’s needs,” he said. “If it hadn’t been for going there, I don’t think I would have had the same recovery.”
Genin said the recovery he made following the accident couldn’t have happened if he hadn’t set lofty goals.
“If you’re not able to push yourself outside of what you consider normal recovery, you’ll never get there,” he said. “If you have small expectations, you’re going to meet those small expectations. If you set a grand scope, if you really shoot high, you’re going to go a lot higher.”
EVEN THOUGH THAT WAS A VERY BAD PART OF MY LIFE AS FAR AS HAVING TO GO THROUGH THAT, HAVING TO COME BACK FROM IT, IT REALLY OPENED UP MY MIND TO THE POSSIBILITIES AS FAR AS WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR MEETING SOMEONE’S NEEDS
He also gained insight during recovery that he’d later put to use running his own business.
“(Therapy) let me see how important it is to take the time and really go and look at your clientele and analyze what their needs are above and beyond what they know and above and beyond what they’re able to communicate to you,” he said.
Genin said he wouldn’t be able to offer that level of attention if it wasn’t for his accident. “It opened my eyes to a lot of different therapeutic training techniques,” he said. “I think it made me better. It made me stronger.”
IT GOES BEYOND PHYSICAL REHAB. DON’T LET PEOPLE TELL YOU HOW LITTLE YOU CAN DO…PEOPLE HOLD THEMSELVES BACK. DON’T BE DISCOURAGED. PLAN ON COMING BACK 100 PERCENT
His advice to those who have suffered serious injuries and face a difficult recovery?
“It goes beyond physical rehab. Don’t let people tell you how little you can do. Aim high. Listen to your doctors. Go through all your physical therapy,” he said. “A lot of people who don’t follow what their doctors or therapists say end up not coming back 100 percent. People hold themselves back. Don’t be discouraged. Plan on coming back 100 percent.”
Original source is from the Belleville News Democrate and can be found here.