Matthew Heys shares his story with us today and what a story it has been! From training for national competitions to a devastating injury which he is now fighting his way back from with the help of his partner Julie to be able to compete again. Read on to find out more....
Training in 2015 after my injury to my toes came to a standstill and I honestly thought I was done with the sport.
I then met Julie in 2017 and once we had been seeing each other for a while she said why don't you get back into it, so in February 2018 I made my return to the sport of Strongman it was the Manimal Monsters Competition in Rotherham, I was fairing pretty well, I was in 4th place with one event to go when I decide to withdraw through risk of further injury.
To be competitive and consistent in this sport you need to know when to push on and when to hold back and if you push the risk has to be worth it, which takes some doing at times.
My next comp was Northumberland Strongest Man where I felt more match fit and I placed 4th which initially I was somewhat disheartened with, I pushed myself to the absolute limits in this comp but the events didn't really suit me. On reflection and once Julie had given me a talking to I realised that I had performed well.
Now we move to September 2018 North East’s Strongest Man where I was up against some serious talent including the three lads that placed above me at Northumberland Strongest Man only a few months before, I was a completely different beast here and I had the look in my eye and fire in my belly that I was going to perform well and did I.
3rd in the log press
2nd in the deadlift
1st in the keg toss
5th in the farmers walk
4th in the atlas stones
Which was enough to secure the win but I was tied on points with another athlete and had to settle for 2nd on count back but I was more than pleased with my efforts.
Then we move to 2019 I won Mayday mayhem at Seddons Strength and Conditioning Gym in Atherton holding off again some decent lads.
I also competed in the Arnold Qualifiers where I placed 5th I think not certain of that placing.
So my prep for the Qualifiers in 2020 was going well, I was feeling in the best shape of my life with loads of time to prep and I have no doubt I would have held my own.
I was in training for the UK North of England qualifier in March 2020 and I was feeling exceptional with my training, I was the strongest, fastest and fittest I had ever been and was excited where things were going, I felt I was in course to take it all the way to the UK Strongest Man finals next year. Unfortunately this wasn't to be the case on 13th October I was getting my early hours walking done as part of my training when disaster struck, I took a wrong turn and fell 40ft towards a river bank breaking both legs, I phoned my partner Julie who was able to help me crawl back up a different route until I got to the road side where Julie had parked our vehicle she then took me home that's when we phoned for the paramedics to come get us, I was taken to Royal Preston Hospital where they operated on me for four hours. My left ankle is pinned and plated internally and my right leg had what they call an x-fix (external fixation), it was touch and go whether they were going to remove my foot and potentially
the lower part of my leg completely as I had broken it in four places and suffered a bad dislocation as well as a compound fracture in my foot. The x-fix was in for a period of six weeks and then a cast put on my right leg, which needs to be on for a further six weeks, then it's time to rehab fully and get back in the gym and get back training properly. I do have some dumbbells at home which I'm using to keep myself active and obviously rehab exercise on my left ankle which was broken in two places and also dislocated.
Pardon the pun but make no bones about it I will be back. I will be bigger, better, faster and stronger than ever before, I will be back to claim more Strongman titles!
Julie my partner has been pivotal in all that I have done so far she has been mega and played a massive role together we are TEAM WHITE RHINO and she is my Team Captain, people say that we are a massive influential and inspirational couple.
I am now on the road back and looking for sponsorship to help/assist me on my journey, believe me it's going to one heck of ride.
Please don't hesitate to contact me for any further information. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you Matthew for telling us your story in your own words, we can't wait to see back on the Strongman Circuit and see your progress towards reacking UK's Strongest Man. If you would like to follow his progress then you can find him on Instagram @whiterhinostrongman
To tell us your story please have a look at our Strong People page for guidelines, ideas and how to submit your article.