My Story

When people come to our clinic to work with us, on one of our walls they see a picture of the car I was in when I had my infamous accident. I have mixed feelings about having it up. It’s not something I particularly like to be reminded of, but the response is overwhelmingly positive. I’ve lost track of how many people have seen the picture and read the story I have alongside it and told me they’ve been inspired by it, that it gives them hope if I could overcome this, they can overcome their obstacles. And that is precisely why it is there, to encourage and inspire.

So, with that in mind, I figured I would put the same pic and the same story up here on the blog for reference.

Before I copy the story below, I want to add one thing. When we’re in the midst of struggle, when we are physically suffering, it is easy to see no point to it and simply want the pain to go away. I know I did and that is a perfectly reasonable position to take. But I want to put forth another perspective that took me years to develop. I used to view my accident as the worst night of my life. From my perspective at that time, the accident put me through intense pain 24 hours a day, it robbed me of the ability to do many of the things I loved to do. Heck, I couldn’t even hold our 3 week old son up against my chest for two months because of the pain. We went through intense physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual and financial stress that pushed us to the brink. It was a very hard road to walk. But now, rather than looking back at that night with a sense of regret and loss, I thank God for it. Why? Because without that night I would not be where I am today doing what I am doing. I would not have the privilege of meeting so many great people and having the opportunity to take them along their Egoscue journey. And that, without question, is a tremendous gift.

If you’re in chronic pain I’m not trying to tell you to feel blessed because of it. You have to find your own meaning on this journey. But I know many clients who feel that the pain is just some random affliction serving to only lessen the quality of their life and with no possible redeeming value. I don’t believe that. I think what happens to us happens as part of something greater than ourselves. Yes, if you have pain, by all means let’s figure out what the pain is saying and then let’s respond appropriately. But don’t lose heart, don’t lose faith that you WILL come out of this, stronger and better equipped to help those around you. That day is coming, and if you permit us to do so, we would love to help you walk along that path for awhile.

Honda Accordion 2-1

My name is Rick Mathes, I’m the clinic director of The Egoscue Clinic in Austin. I want to tell you why I joined the Egoscue family and what Egoscue has done for me.

It started on a drizzly December night in 1992, about 10 miles outside of Tucson, AZ, on Interstate 10, and it was all because of a piece of lumber.

A man was driving in his Ford Ranger pickup heading east. He was following another pickup truck carrying some 2x4s. One of them fell out of the bed of that truck onto the freeway and the Ford Ranger swerved to miss it. The driver swerved onto the desert median separating the two sides of the interstate, and ran into a chain link fence. He must have decided to return to town because he then attempted to get back on the freeway going the other direction. The freeway was several feet above the median and as the man drove up the shoulder his momentum carried him into the high speed lane.

That is where our cars met.

We estimated that I had about a quarter of a second from the time I saw his truck to the time I hit him square on his passenger door (what is called a “t-bone” collision). At that moment my world exploded, both figuratively and literally.

The man who caused the accident died that evening. According to the police, paramedics, accident reconstructionist and insurance investigators, I should’ve died that night, too. No one had ever seen someone survive such an accident. I essentially went from 70 mph to 0 in less than a second. The stress on my body was unimaginable.

I survived that night but my body was bruised and broken. The pain was hellish and relentless. I went through physical therapy an average of 6 days a week for over a year in an effort to get my body back. At the end of that year I was told I was as healed as I was going to get. I didn’t feel very healed. I was told I would never run or play tennis again. I refused to accept this diagnosis and spent the next several years searching for a way to reduce my pain, to somehow get my body back. I knew there was a way, there had to be. I just had to find it.

And then I found Egoscue.

When I first read “Pain Free” I knew this was what I had been looking for. I tried working from the book but wasn’t sure which routines I should do, and wasn’t sure I was doing any of the ecises correctly. So I scraped the money together to go to the clinic in Del Mar and made the 3.5 hour drive (one way) to see what this method could do for me.

Long story short, I started feeling better immediately but knew a lot of work lay ahead of me. I did my menus religiously (in the first 6 months I think I missed two days) and within a year I was running and playing tennis again! I now live pain free. Egoscue did everything I had hoped it would do for me, and more.

I know what it’s like to be in horrible, constant, grinding pain. I know what it’s like to feel like your body has betrayed you. And I know what it’s like to turn back the functional clock and get your body back. I have dedicated my life to helping people get out of pain and return to doing the things they love to do, to reclaim their lives from the grip of chronic pain. If you are willing to take responsibility and do the work, Egoscue will work for you. I look forward to partnering with you. Together, we can get this done.

The time to start is now.

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9 Comments on “My Story”

  1. PamelaAnn Says:

    Hi Rick found your blog link on the boards and just read your story.
    It says it all.
    This is just the most wondeful method.

  2. Rick Says:

    Hi Pam, welcome to our blog! Great to see you here, and thanks for the comment.

  3. […] blog, great info, great man behind it all. Read his story and check out his blog – you’ll be glad you […]

  4. […] “I’m broken” changes everything for Egoscue clients December 16, 2009 Rick Mathes, Clinic Director of Egoscue Austin, makes a great point in a recent blog post that every Egoscue […]

  5. […] } This important information comes from Rick Mathes, clinic owner and director of Egoscue […]

  6. […] } I heard it through the grapevine…thanks Rick for sharing this on your blog. Good discussion about posture, mobility, stability, tightness, […]

  7. […] Rick Mathes, my friend and fellow Egoscue-ite, gives some great insight about the article on his blog post that is well worth reading: 15 Biggest Nutritional Myths. […]

  8. […] Rick Mathes of Egoscue Austin shared this in a recent blog post: […]

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