Let me introduce you to Cal Crutchlow, a British motorcyclist competing in the MotoGP series. Being tough as nails is a requirement to race in two-wheeled motorsport, but Cal is as tough as a diamond-reinforced adamantium harpoon.
Crutchlow crashed heavily in yesterday's free practice session. The force of the impact rendered him prone for a few seconds after the crash. When he eventually took his helmet off, he was bleeding heavily from the nose. Did that stop him? Hell no.
He grabbed a pushbike and cycled his way to the medical centre for his mandatory check-up. Then he got right back on his motorbike and qualified in fourth. Interviewed on the grid before the race, Crutchlow gave one of history's ballsiest answers when he was asked how he felt:
I'm fine. I've got a fracture in my leg – at the top of the tibia, just below the knee – and quite a lot of internal bleeding. I've been coughing up a lot of blood. But I'm OK.
Riding on a satellite Yamaha for the Tech3 team, Crutchlow raced to second in the pouring rain of today's French grand prix at Le Mans, passing seven-time champion Valentino Rossi and twice-champion Jorge Lorenzo in the process – both on factory Yamahas – coughing up blood and leaning on his broken leg the whole way.
He's done it before too, racing from last to sixth in last year's British grand prix despite having a badly broken ankle. And all this while carrying the weight of a massive pair of steel balls.
So next time you're thinking of skipping work through illness, think of Cal Crutchlow. The toughest melon farmer in motorsport.