Perspective - Zac Commans

I had won a few championships and was feeling strong in the final stages of my amateur career, eager to acquire a contract for the pro ranks. So I confidently went out for a practice session at the 2015 Freestone Amateur National in Texas full of aggression. But just before the finish line on the final lap, I misjudged the distance between two obstacles, which caused my hand to be pulled from the handlebar and my body to be sent into the air. Upon impact with the ground, I lost consciousness.

I laid there, motionless in the dirt, for roughly four and a half minutes. After being rushed to a hospital, I began to slur speech and lose motor skills. Eventually, I lost control of all bodily function, began violently shaking and stopped breathing altogether — what is medically known as a “Tonic Clonic Seizure.”

I was connected to a machine that would operate in lieu of my lungs, and rushed via helicopter to a better-equipped facility. Upon arrival, the neurologist decided to place me in a medically-induced coma. I remained that way for more than 36 hours and had no day-to-day recollection for the following three weeks.

Ultimately, a chest X-ray showed fluid in my lungs, which indicated walking pneumonia. The combination of the head trauma and severe sickness likely resulted in the seizure, though doctors were never completely certain. Regardless, I had suffered a violent concussion.

This led into an emotionally and physically painful recovery process, and forced me to do a great deal of soul searching. And during that journey, I finally learned that I didn’t need to set my benchmark for happiness on accomplishments in sports. I realized I had a foundation that was far more meaningful.

I was surrounded by individuals who loved me without condition, despite my temperamental mood swings or my inability to fully grasp the situation. The love I felt in that period remains unparalleled to this very day.

Faced with a wealth of questions and abundant free time, I decided to open my Bible for the first time in years. I had always considered myself to be of Christian faith and occasionally attended church, so I reckoned the good book might hold some answers. And over time, I found in those pages the source of the love I had been experiencing. In light of His grace, my issue with the motorcycle began to feel rather small.

My faith is now my top priority in life and I find fulfillment in that. I believe God wants us to reach the desires of our heart and glorify Him through our actions. The best way for me to do that is by using the gifts and abilities He has given me to the very best of my ability.

Now, my identity is not found in continually trying to improve and reach my goals. Rather, it is found by best serving my God and bringing glory to His mighty name.

— Zac Commans, professional motocross rider

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