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sailing to nowhere

June 5, 2013

things could be better right now…

yesterday i was out mountain biking with a couple of friends in the trails around guelph lakes. after about 45 minutes i decided to head home and parted ways. less than a minute later i was going down a grass hill when i noticed my shoe was undone.  not wanting to get a lace caught in anything i hit the brakes and was skidding on the grass.  my back tire was swinging out to the left and i was about to put my right foot down when my bike abruptly stopped and sent me flying upside down off to my left. i still remember flying in the air thinking it felt like i was sailing pretty far.  i hit the ground with my left shoulder and heard a crack.

when i got up i knew something was very wrong because my collar bone dropped off before my shoulder.  i could feel the end of my collar bone about an inch before it actually ends.  i went back to find my friends but realized they were travelling in the opposite direction and there wasn’t much they could do anyways.  so i rode about 30 minutes back to my house and then got a ride to the hospital from Chris Winter.

here you can see the shoulder on the right, my left shoulder, has a break.


Dave, Moulton and Deb met me at the hospital. Moulton broke his collar bone last year and had some useful tips for flossing teeth, getting on shirts…  i finally got in for some x-rays and right when i saw them thought ‘how the hell is that supposed to join back together.’


i am scheduled to see an orthopaedic surgeon tomorrow as this particular fracture often requires surgery. there is a chance of nonunion with such a gap.

the day before i ran 25 x 400m on the track and although it wasn’t a particularly fast workout i was quite pleased and thought i was getting over the ‘hump’ and good fitness was right around the corner.  i’m not sure what my timeline looks like from here…

it’s swollen today. lots of ligament tears



i’m still wearing the same shirt and i have to sleep in a chair, fun times. oh and type with one hand and i’m too lazy for upper case letters.

  1. Joanne Gunning permalink
    June 5, 2013 5:51 pm

    p.s. I’m from Kingston and am friends with Dylan. This is not the kind of update I wanted to read from you. Take care…this must be so upsetting.

  2. Taralynn Cluney permalink
    June 5, 2013 7:03 pm

    So sorry to hear this! Keep your spirits up and focus on recovery and you’ll come back stronger than ever. Wishing you a speedy recovery….speedy just like your running :))

  3. Derrick permalink
    June 5, 2013 7:51 pm

    I am so, so sorry to hear. This really sucks. The only positive thing to remember out of this is that you have overcome and come back from many other issues/injuries in the past and certainly will come back strong from this too, just like you have before.
    All the best. Recover quick.

  4. June 5, 2013 8:56 pm

    Reid, I just want to say that I am really sorry to hear about your accident. This past year after a car hit me on my bicycle, I have been dealing with a broken elbow and wrist along with frozen shoulder and a bone infection so I know what you are dealing with as far the pain and challenges ahead of you. Knowing the great determination that you have you will get through this ok and when you come back you will be better then ever. These things can make you stronger in the end. I used my work ethics from my running to help with my recovery and I am sure you will too. Wishing you all the best!

    • reidcoolsaet permalink*
      June 12, 2013 1:34 pm

      Rick, hope your recovery is going well.

  5. Connor permalink
    June 5, 2013 9:59 pm

    I’ve broken my collarbone twice on the same side, I know the feeling Reid! I saw you running the opposite way across from me on University bridge in Saskatoon and I tried to say hello but the cars were too loud. A helpful hint- try to keep your hurt arm the same height and relative position as the non-injured arm, as if it’s not even broken. If not it may heal in a different place and change your arm movement a bit (for running and otherwise). Take care and you’ll be back at it in a month!

  6. michael Harris permalink
    June 5, 2013 10:08 pm

    Some will say a high performance athlete like you should not be messing around with dangerous sports like mountain biking. I believe you would not be the athlete you are without experiencing a wide variety of activities. There is no sense in looking back. You could have been injured just as easily biking to grocery store and slipping off the curb funny. Good luck in your recovery.

  7. Leslie permalink
    June 5, 2013 11:19 pm

    That’s real tough going Reid. I feel for you and wish you a speedy recovery.

  8. John permalink
    June 6, 2013 12:21 am

    Hi Reid, Sorry to hear about your collar bone. I’m in a similar situation as I broke mine a couple of weeks ago in a mountain race here in the UK. I know the feeling of wearing the same shirt and typing one handed! Sleeping wise I’m a managing to sleep on my back with a pillow supporting my elbow on the injured side which is working ok. Hope you have a positive session with the orthopaedic surgeon. Keep the posts coming – typing does get easier! – as it’d be interesting to see what’s suggested in terms of planning your recovery and maintaining fitness.

  9. Ian Aseltine permalink
    June 6, 2013 7:13 am

    Keep your head up Reid. Can’t wait to see you back at it in a few months.

  10. Pete permalink
    June 6, 2013 7:23 am

    pure suckage. sorry dude but as my grandpa said “…you’d never know when you have ti really good unless you get it really bad sometimes..”

  11. Anna permalink
    June 6, 2013 7:24 am

    Ah damn, so sorry. I hope you have a speedy recovery.

  12. Joseph Camilleri permalink
    June 6, 2013 8:12 am

    I hope that you have a speedy recovery and that it heels perfectly.

  13. June 6, 2013 8:27 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery.

  14. Holly permalink
    June 6, 2013 8:48 am

    Speedy recovery Reid! Collar bone injuries are very common when riding, both my brother and husband have had breaks there.
    Try your best to be patient with yourself.

  15. June 6, 2013 8:49 am

    Hang in there Reid. Wishing you a good and speedy recovery so you can get back there and inspire us all

  16. Peter Hadzipetros permalink
    June 6, 2013 9:04 am

    Wishing you a speedy recovery. Saw my son go over the handlebars of his bike and land on his collarbone when he was five. Wasn’t nice to see – nor to help him deal with the pain those first few days.

  17. Lynn permalink
    June 6, 2013 9:20 am

    This too shall pass. Hoping for a fast recovery for you.

  18. Donna permalink
    June 6, 2013 10:09 am

    Not a nice read or visual OUCH. Speedy recovery and best wishes from Antigonish…..Eric’s Aunt Donna.

  19. Helene permalink
    June 6, 2013 10:34 am

    So sorry to hear this Reid. What a frustrating set back. If you’re going to Hamilton General to see an orthopaedic surgeon, Dr.Ristevski is absolutely fantastic. He fixed my broken arm (4 fractures from a trail run slip on ice in the Dundas Valley) and I have full range of motion again, even with my plate and 6 screws. All the best in your recovery…

  20. June 6, 2013 12:31 pm

    Very sorry to hear about this. Take good care and hope you get a fast recovery!

  21. Europe runner permalink
    June 6, 2013 4:21 pm

    Get well soon Reid ! Hopefully it can be a totally new start and the start of a new chapter of the OS & Rotterdam. The future is yours !

  22. pylorus permalink
    June 6, 2013 5:36 pm

    my coworker (physiotherapist) mentioned collarbone fractures today and said she knows a cyclist who either had a pinning that didn’t take or..just in general.. and then opted to have surgery in which plating was done. has been very satisfied ever since (and can bike again).

  23. Gary permalink
    June 6, 2013 6:47 pm

    Same shit one month ago although it was the other shoulder and mine was through stupidity. I always swap my brake levers so that they are the same as my motorcycles. I swapped them to their normal position last fall when I lent my bike to a friend. When I got on the bike for my first ride of the spring I forgot I had switched the levers, grabbed the front brake by accident and went over the bars doing in my ribs and collarbone. Plate and eight screws and a brand new downhill bike staring at me daily that I’ve never even touched. I feel your pain.

    • reidcoolsaet permalink*
      June 6, 2013 8:02 pm


  24. Meredith permalink
    June 6, 2013 7:26 pm

    So sorry to hear about this, Reid. You have been a huge inspiration to amateur runners and Canadians alike – so we hate to see you going through a rough patch. No doubt your tenacity and athleticism will have you back training again as soon as it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, take care of yourself. We’re cheering for your speedy (and full) recovery.

  25. Lynn permalink
    June 6, 2013 8:21 pm

    Oh no Reid!!! So sorry to hear this! Feel better soon and good luck with the surgeon tomorrow.

  26. Selam Y permalink
    June 6, 2013 10:53 pm

    Sorry to hear buddy. At least its not your legs. I’m sure you’ll be back soon.

  27. Shane Lavell permalink
    June 6, 2013 10:55 pm

    You can be back in two weeks if you can locate and utilize one of these Reid- Lot’s of time before Toronto…. Get well soon!

  28. Matt Carr permalink
    June 7, 2013 10:14 pm

    This is your big break! You won’t lose any fitness as you’ll be in the pool soon and have loads of time to peak. Perhaps you needed a week off and a month of easy progression to run faster than ever. Faster than any Canadian in history.

    positive thoughts your way bro. you are kink of the hill.

  29. June 8, 2013 1:25 am

    I agree with your point of view of this article. This is a good article. Very timely given us so much useful information. Thank you!

  30. Lee Bennett permalink
    June 8, 2013 5:53 pm

    Wishing you a quick recovery. Things like this never happen at a good time. Keep positive, remember, everyday your one day closer to full recovery.

  31. Mike Staples permalink
    June 9, 2013 9:46 pm

    Ouch!! my goodness that looks painful!

  32. cerkinsley permalink
    June 10, 2013 2:38 pm


  33. June 10, 2013 9:21 pm

    Get better soon, keep in good spirits, and come back strong!


  1. News Coolsaet suffers collarbone injury » Canadian Running

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