Written by Frank Lopez
Dean Rackley is into health, fitness and motorcycles.
When he isn’t building roofs for the company he owns, Fresno-based Rackley Enterprises DBA Dynamic Roofing, he is either working out, staying active outdoors or riding his motorcycle through mountain roads.
Rackley, 49, started the year out strong with Dyanamic Roofing getting multiple calls a day for jobs. But unfortunately, tragedy struck on many fronts.
In the last week of February, after finishing a two-and-a-half week job that took longer than expected, Rackley found himself home early one afternoon and decided to go for a ride on his motorcycle.
Rackley and his neighbor drove up the back way towards Table Mountain Casino.
As he was turning a corner, a car took the same turn from the opposite direction, encroaching on Rackley’s lane.
If Rackley had stayed in the lane, he would have crashed head first into the car, if he had gone to the right, he would have gone into the mountain, so he made a split-second decision and turned to the left.
As he did so, the driver of the car decided to turn left as well to get back into their own lane. Rackley tried to turn out as far as possible, but he ran out of road, hit a curb and was ejected out of his seat.
Rackley said that as he was flying through the air, everything seemed to be in slow motion right before everything went black.
He landed in a gully with water in it. The motorcycle landed on his back, breaking it in two places. Rackley also suffered a fracture at the base of his shoulders and seven broken ribs.
“I had to have back surgery, but I was going to be okay,” Rackley said. “They did tell my kids that there was a possibility that I would never walk again, or be a paraplegic. What saved my life in the course of all this was being an athlete my whole entire life.”
Rackley said he has been playing sports all his life, and had a daily fitness regimen of cardio and weight training. Doctors told him it helped his injuries from becoming even worse.
After six days in the hospital, Rackley went home to rest and recover.
A short time after the accident, Rackley was back to work, running his roofing business.
“I was in the hospital for six days, and I was on top of a roof about three weeks after the accident. I can’t take time. I’m a go getter,” Rackley said. “I’ve been back at it. I’ve already been back up on roofs, measuring and doing repairs. And I’m out at Woodward Park running.”
Rackley said that he has always had a drive to be the best that he could be, and admits that going back to work so soon after his accident could be seen as unsafe, but his drive to succeed pushes him to always keep going.
Rackley actually had a roofing company in the past, but it couldn’t survive the global economic meltdown of 2007 and his business closed in 2008. Because the housing market had collapsed, there was not a lot of home buying or renovation taking place.
In 2016, with some urging from his wife, he opened up a roofing company once again with a different mindset.
Though he still plans on remaining active, and spending time with his three children, ages ranging from 23 to 28, he still wants to focus on his work.
Instead of trying to grow the company quickly like in the first go around, he is taking his time and growing it slowly — to set it up so that he could retire but still run the company.
While the year started out strong, as the effects of the novel coronavirus raged through the country, Rackley said business started to slow down.
As more people are losing their jobs, and as economic uncertainty abounds, Rackley said that he understands why spending around $15,000 for roof work is not a top priority for many people right now.
“There is going to be times when everything seems impossible, but it only seems impossible if you make it like that,” Rackley said. “If you want it bad enough, go get it. In these times, weather the storm and be strong with what’s going on and be smart about what’s going on. But don’t give up. Don’t sit back and say ‘that’s it.’”