Michael Johnson reveals anger and pain after suffering stroke

Michael Johnson reveals anger at suffering stroke
19 November 2018

In September, Michael Johnson the former 200m and 400m World record holder endured a stroke following a training session.

Johnson, a four-time Olympic gold medalist, was turning 51 in a few days leading up to the stroke.

He has since recuperated, speaking to BBC, said he is "pretty much back to normal".

A couple of hours in the wake of beginning to feel that something wasn't right, the former world record holder Johnson was never prepared to walk or even stand. He had little control of the fingers on his left hand.

"Initially, there was obviously fear, and sort of, what's my life going to be like from this point on?" said Johnson.

Amidst an unnerving time for Johnson, he was to begin recovery rapidly. Two days after suffering the stroke he began.

"Ironically, that first walk was about 200m. It took me about 15 minutes to cover that 200m. And, ordinarily, I'm sure that anyone in that situation would be disappointed. I wasn't, I was encouraged, and it's what encouraged me because with every step I could experience and feel some very tiny, very small incremental improvements.

"As a sprinter where wins and losses can be measured in hundreds and thousands of seconds, and you're dealing with tiny, tiny incremental improvements every day. I could recognise that and I got back to my room and I said to my wife, 'I'm going to make a full recovery and I'm sure of it. I'm going to make this recovery faster than anyone has ever done it before.'

"For the next few weeks, I went back into an Olympic mindset and focusing on having the best training session I can today and using it to be better and get better.

"I could regain co-ordination and balance which I had lost. I did not lose any strength. Then I was getting back to walking properly, then more dynamic exercises and then into running.

"It's been one of the most significant events of my life. It's been one of those experiences though as well, the way I've taken it any way that what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It didn't kill me and so I'm sitting here today stronger."

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