March 19, 2013
A Time of New Opportunity for Scott Sandusky
By Candice Case

"Since the loss of my leg, I've been using the words 'time of opportunity,' as opposed to 'challenge.'"

While many thought doing seven minutes of burpees for 12.1 was grueling, imagine fighting to stay conscious for that length of time. It was exactly what Scott Sandusky did after a construction accident severed an artery in his right leg.

“Just give me seven minutes, “ he recalls about the instructions he received from the medic on August 14, 2012. “I looked around the helicopter and saw all kinds of dials and equipment, but no clocks. So I began to count … one-one thousand, two-one thousand … and I did that all the way to the hospital.”

Once at the hospital, doctors tried to repair the damage, but in order to save Sandusky’s life, they amputated his leg. He was thankful to be alive, but was anxious about the uncertainty of his future.  

As a former college basketball player, father of young children, and an owner of a successful construction business, Sandusky has always led a physically active lifestyle. When fellow CrossFitters visited him in the hospital, Sandusky had them bring him a kettlebell. 

“I didn’t know what I would do with it, but I wanted to try and do something while I was just sitting around,” Sandusky explains.  

He didn’t sit around for long. He was back at CrossFit Vitality with the wound VAC still in his leg. He worked with affiliate owner and coach, Steve Pinkerton, on regaining his balance and adjusting his movements.  

“I describe it as my pale, weak, white phase,” Sandusky jokes. “Coming back to the box was like my antidepressant. It still is on some days.”

Sandusky continues to improve his physical skills — he got his first muscle-up two weeks ago — and his outlook on life.  

When Pinkerton approached him about signing up for the Open, Sandusky found no reason for him not to do it.  

“I’m not competing for me, but for others,” Sandusky explains. “I hope people see me doing the workouts and realize there are no excuses for them not to do the Open.”

As for his goals, Sandusky doesn’t care about the scores and the results.  

“I just want to finish,” he explains.  

For 13.1, Sandusky completed 100 reps. In 13.2 , he performed 140 reps.

“My goal was 150, but I am super slow on the box step-ups. A goal of 150 and of score of 140 isn’t too bad.”

While most competitors view the Open workouts as a challenge, Sandusky offers another perspective.  

“Since the loss of my leg, I’ve been using the words ‘time of opportunity’ as opposed to ‘challenge,’” he says. 

Spoken like a true winner.