EDITOR’S NOTE: MuscleSport Magazine columnist Lee Priest has decided to stop weight training due to a debilitating injury he suffered two years ago. The legendary veteran pro bodybuilder underwent surgery and is planning a second procedure in an attempt at correcting the issue. Priest had his sights set on another competition if not for the injury and hopefully that will be the case once again soon enough. Either way, he has nothing left to prove and his legacy is a great one, indeed.
Nearly two years removed from my accident and 15 months from a surgical procedure that was supposed to help, I have made the tough decision to stop weight training for the time being. Believe me, this was the last thing that I wanted to do, but dealing with the pain and not even feeling a pump on my right side made this like beating a dead horse.
A stupid French woman crashed into me while driving, fucking up my C6 and C7 vertebrae and crushing my C7 nerve so there’s no signal going to part of my chest, back and triceps. I had some of the bone shaved away but a week later came down with a bad infection, having to be rushed back to the hospital. They had me on a litany of medications (oxycontin, codeine and valium) for five months and I was feeling like total shit. I was depressed and certainly not myself so I made the difficult – but wise – decision to enter detox. It worked and I haven’t touched any pain killers since – not even of the over-the-counter variety.
I had been training thinking and hoping that it would improve but that was not the case. So when I was in Brazil recently, Marcelo (the owner of Blackskull) recommended that I visit some top specialists and neurosurgeons there. They did some more tests and wouldn’t you figure – my nerve is still being crushed. The first surgery didn’t do shit! So now I’m waiting for a second operation that I’m going to have in Brazil.
Id rather look like a normal person than half a bodybuilder. So for now, I’m just going to do cardio and perhaps try some lifting now and then to see how it feels. But not getting a pump and feeling constant pain for two years is making me hate the gym and feel more depressed. I used to love to go but now it’s like the worst place for me – like a kid being made to go to school.
The timing of the accident couldn’t have been worse. I was planning on entering the Masters World and maybe another show. So to have this happen when doing this since the age of 12 and then you can’t, it sucks big time.