Ted Droski shares his story about how he managed to maintain his competitive spirit following a tragic event.
In August of last year, Ted Droski set out for work on his daughter’s birthday, looking forward to their plans to celebrate later that evening. Just three doors down from his home, Ted got out of his car to adjust something in the trunk and a horrible accident occurred, another driver struck the back of his car, leaving him pinned between the two vehicles.
The accident resulted in the amputation of his right leg, along with significant injuries to his remaining leg and lower back. His life was saved by the actions of the first responders and neighbors.
After three weeks of intensive care at a Spectrum Health hospital, Ted knew he had a tough road ahead. It was one he was determined to overcome. Recovery was difficult. It took a toll, both physically and mentally, on him and his family.
More than a year later, Ted has a prosthetic leg. Ted has incorporated a lot of walking into his routine, be it walking to work, shopping at Costco or spending time at his daughter’s cross country track meets. As a result of this level of walking, a non-healing fracture in his left leg finally began to heal. He has since been able to have his final surgery on the road to his new normal.
Despite the long recovery, doctors told Ted that his body’s ability to recover was largely because Ted was in good health prior to his accident. His commitment to fitness and recovery continues to serve him well on the road to recover.
Ted set personal milestones throughout his recovery. As a project manager for Spectrum Health, Ted loves setting milestones.
First goal: return to work.
He achieved this goal on February 1, 2016. Ted said getting back to work was a welcome experience, that felt very normal to him.
“Being back doing what I love, with people who have become my friends and have supported me was a blessing,” he expressed.
Second goal: get back to his healthy lifestyle of competing and being active.
“Since my accident, I have had to change up a lot of things I used to be able to do, for the new, different things I can do,” Ted explained.
So far, hand cycling is his favorite. It allows him to train and compete in a way that is familiar to him. Ted also sparked an interest in wheelchair sports such as tennis and basketball. Ted has recently returned to the gym and is excited to return to this daily routine, even if the details of the workouts are hugely different. The challenge is still there.
“It’s good to stay active, and get your cardio up. It’s a social outing,” he joked.
Being a part of Team Priority Health Champions for the past three years has encouraged Ted to continue pursuing his active lifestyle on a broad scale.
“To me, being a Champion means modeling a healthy and active lifestyle and helping lead my circle and community to participate in that same lifestyle,” said Ted. “Once you put your name on the list, you have a level of accountability that many people need in order to keep up healthy habits. Now, as an adaptive athlete, I can lead by example and encourage others who need motivation to get up and get moving.”
Through the Champion community, Ted has discovered new and exciting races from other Champions’ blogs from all around the state. He also believes the Champion program has helped him gain new perspectives from both novices and experts through their blog posts.
“I get a window into the mind of the experts and the reminder of the excitement and nervousness I felt at the beginning of my fitness journey,” said Ted. “The blogs are a great way to connect with other Champions and they help me feel like I am part of a team.”
There’s no stopping Ted’s love and drive for competition. Being a part of Team Priority Health Champions has encouraged him to thrive in a diverse community of people with the same goal: to live a full and healthy life.
Discover more from other Priority Health Champions’ health and wellness journeys and what they do to stay fit in the blogs below.
Injuries are always a struggle to overcome, especially when it means you have to change your exercise habits. Read about a Champion’s struggle with Plantar Fasciitis, a disorder that results in pain in the heel and bottom of the foot.
After a series of tragic events, Champion Samantha Ringler fell into a depression and stopped running. Discover more about her push to change her journey of grief.
Support and words of encouragement from other Champions have touched teammate Amanda in a positive way and helped her stay motivated.
About Team Priority Health
The Team Priority Health Champions program is a group of people all focused on getting and staying healthy while inspiring others to follow suit. This program is open to everyone who has a passion to be and stay active and healthy. Champions are a close-knit group of people across the state of Michigan who come together to compete in races and walks and share insights on how they’re living a healthy lifestyles. To learn more about the passionate people that make up the Team Priority Health community visit the website at teampriorityhealth.com.
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Members of the editorial and news staff of The Detroit News were not involved in the creation of this content.