Some people are just more committed than others. Some athletes train on a schedule that would appear insane to ordinary humans. Some athletes force themselves out of bed each morning when it’s still black outside and drink a few eggs and go run a half marathon. That’s pretty dedicated. Then there’s Neil Melanson.
Melanson is a grappling coach at Xtreme Couture in Vegas; you may remember him as the guy who gave Randy Couture some sort of black belt after submitting James Toney. Melanson is not strictly a jiu jitsu guy with a clear pedigree, instead blending elements from multiple disciplines including catch wrestling and jiu jitsu. Do not misunderstand us, though: Melanson will twist and contort your body until you cry like a little girl.
Turns out that Melanson has had a bum toe for a few years, and now he doesn’t. The second toe on his left foot has repeatedly broken while rolling around on the mats, and, according to him, it “snapped” a couple of years ago. Melanson, being a big tough guy, roughly straightened it, wrapped it, and went about his business. The toe continued to bother him, as it wandered farther and farther from the alignment that most of us expect our little piggies to have, and finally it began to bother Melanson enough that he was willing to let a medical doctor person take a look at it.
The doc’s medical opinion went something like this: “The toe is all cattywampus, arthritic, and it’s going to be tough to fix. We’ll break it, glue it, and screw it and hopefully you’ll be back on the mats in a year.”
Melanson’s response went something like this: “Cut me, Mick.”
Yup, Neil Melanson had his toe amputated, because he doesn’t want to take a year off waiting for some slacker toe to heal, when the damn thing never seemed to have the heart for the long haul in the first place.
Melanson is recovering from the loss of his toe now, and reportedly in good spirits. And when we say “loss of his toe”, we refer to the fact that Neil and the boys wanted to keep it, but the doctors wouldn’t let him. Pansy liberal doctors probably didn’t want to cut the damn thing off in the first place.
We leave you with the following photographic evidence of Melanson’s mutilation, and a quote: “It’s really not a big deal to me. It’s just a toe. I guess when you love the sport and you’re committed to it, you don’t let little things like toes get in the way.”
PicProps: Brett Okamoto/ESPN
Yup, that’s dedicated.
Feel free to share your own stories of dedication below, and prepare to have them mocked.