May 3rd, 2012
06:32 AM ET

Struck by bus, former firefighter gets back in fighting form

Editor's note: In the Human Factor, CNN profiles survivors who have overcome the odds. Confronting a life obstacle – injury, illness or other hardship – they tapped their inner strength and found resilience they didn't know they possessed. This week we meet Matt Long, who was riding a bike through New York City in December 2005 when he was hit by a bus. Long nearly died and underwent more than 40 operations. A self-described "fitness junkie," Long eventually triumphed three years later by racing in the New York City Marathon. 

I get asked quite often where I find my motivation. This past Monday, I had the pleasure of being invited to speak to the Mullica Hill Triathlon Club in Mullica Hill, New Jersey.  It’s meeting people like them that I use for my own inspiration.

The room was at full capacity - 200+ female triathletes of different abilities, all out there for the love of the sport. I can’t tell you when I've had a better audience.

Each member was racing or training for individual reasons, some finding more success than others, and some battling with their own adversity. At the same time they all had the same desire to push themselves to be better triathletes or even just healthier people.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.