What follows is an excerpt from Tom’s New book titled The 3 Pillars of Vigor: Essential Habits for Exceptional Health & Fitness.
One sunny Sunday morning during the summer of 2022, my wife Vanessa, our grandson Asher, and I mountain biked through a single-track trail in Woodbury, Minnesota. We knew the trail well. It was one of our favorites.
Vanessa always rode in front, then Asher, and then me. That way, we always knew where Asher was, and if either of them fell, I’d be able to help since I rode in the back. We never anticipated the outcome of a ride like the one that Sunday morning.
About halfway through our loop, I rode my bike up a skinny bridge, pedaling slower than I should have. The bridge quickly curved to the right, but my bike went straight. In a split second, my front tire fell from the bridge and hit the ground below. Then, time slowed down.
I was almost vertical on my bike as the tire hit the ground, and then I was catapulted from the bike, head-first into the ground. My neck absorbed all that weight, with my body almost completely upside down.
Everything went dark, and then at the next moment, I felt my neck snap and saw a flash of light. After that, I lay on my back. My hand throbbed and I had no feeling from the waist down. I knew I’d broken my neck and damaged my spinal cord significantly.
About six months later, I started writing a book. The book wasn’t, or isn’t, just about recovering from a broken neck. It’s about the mental game of life, as well as the importance of being physically prepared for the unexpected.
The more I wrote, the more I kept referring to being physically healthy, fit…vigorous. It was as if I was referring to another book I had written. Eventually, I realized I needed to set that book aside and write this one first.
In this book, I take my almost three decades of fitness experience and all the education I’ve gained along the way and simplify the story about what’s necessary to achieve lasting vigor.
One of the benefits of achieving such a physical state is that you can bounce back from major injuries much faster, as you’ll learn if you read the next book. Beyond recovering from injuries and illness, though, a vigorous body makes you better physically, mentally, professionally, and relationally.
The 3 Pillars of Vigor
This book is not for those seeking complicated rules or fad diets. Instead, it is for busy people who desire to live with exceptional health without sacrificing time and energy. The 3 Pillars of Vigor will show you:
- Why building and maintaining muscle is the most crucial factor in life-long health, fitness, longevity, and how it directly affects your career, family, community, and culture
- How taking 100% responsibility for your health can empower you to make lasting changes and experience the benefits of a vibrant, energetic life
- How the three synergistic habits, or the 3 Pillars, not only support muscle growth and maintenance but also significantly improve other aspects of your health, such as blood sugar management, cardiovascular health, hormone balance, and mental wellbeing
While some of the information may seem familiar, the unique approach of combining the 3 Pillars of Vigor and making them the foundation of your health will feel fresh, innovative, and astonishingly obvious once you grasp their true potential.
The Three Pillars of Vigor:Essential Habits for Exceptional Health & Fitness is available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats.
Have not I commanded you? Be strong, vigorous, and very courageous. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go. ~ Joshua 1:9
July 30, 2022
Vanessa took this photos about 45 minutes after I fell head first into the ground. Paramedics had just arrived.
July 31, 2022
In the ICU the morning after emergency surgery. I had a two level fusion C5-C6-C7 and diagnosed with central cord syndrome.
August 4, 2022
At the time of surgery we were prepared for me to be in the hospital 10-14 days and inpatient rehab after that. I was discharged after three days and went to the gym instead.
October 20, 2022
Just 11 weeks + 5 days post 2-level ACDF surgery and spinal cord injury, I was back on my mountain back.