Seven years since his pelvis and hip was shattered, Justice Richard Bernstein plans to run the Detroit marathon

After having his pelvis and hip crushed in a crash in New York, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein is overcoming the obstacles to take on a marathon he can't wait to run.

"Things can change and they can change without notice and they can change without warning," he said. 

If anyone knows this, it's Justice Bernstein.

Seven years ago, the justice - already having achieved his position on the court despite being blind - was dealt yet another tough card. It was one that he would tackle head on. He was hit by a bicyclist at New York's Central Park. 

"When he hit the park's biggest hill he couldn't control his bicycle and he veered into the pedestrian lane where I was walking and he struck me directly in the back and it was a 35 mile-an-hour impact so it was quite catastrophic," he said.

Bernstein shattered his pelvis and his hip. For 10 weeks at a New York hospital, he dealt with this. 

"An indescribable level of pain, I mean the pain, it really can't be described how intense it was," he said. 

"Life from that moment on had completely changed. It was going to be a whole new situation. And for the little things for me we're literally having to learn how to walk again, having to learn how to work through intense pain," said Bernstein.

Justice Bernstein says the fairytale of complete recoveries are for the books and movies alone. The real story goes like this.  

"You don't really recover from certain injuries. The real trick to it in terms of being able to move forward is being able to adapt. Finding a way to adapt to your new circumstance. Finding a way to adapt to your new situation and ultimately finding a way to adapt to your new life," said Bernstein.

A new life that involves moving all the time. Even when learning about his weekly load of two dozens cases at the Supreme Court, he doesn't sit still. Sitting idle sends his body into uncontrollable pain, so he walks more than 7 miles a day while memorizing his cases.

But don't mistake his pain threshold for granted - it's bringing that threshold to the edge that makes amazing things happen.  

"You reach a certain point where it just becomes so intense, it becomes so difficult that ultimately trying to move forward becomes unbearable but literally that's when miracles really do happen," he said.

"For him to overcome what he overcame with his accident and now come back to Detroit and run the international race marathon is spectacular," said Barbara Bennage at the Detroit Free Press and TCF Bank Marathon.

"I think Richard can teach us to go out and enjoy, celebrate life and just find what you want to do and find a way to do it," said Sara Reichert, a guide for Bernstein.