As he often did (with my blanket permission) my brother Uncle Dan said, “Are you surprised? You have been abusing your body for decades – 6 years playing football, wrestling, long distance running, slalom water skiing, squash, aerobics, racquet ball, singles tennis 3 times per week, double black diamond skiing, and never stretching.” Actually, today I say that I have been a committed gym rat since 7th grade. I am one of the few people who actually love to work out.
I could not run, play tennis or much else, so in despair I met with Mike O’Hara, the owner of my gym and a long-time physical therapist. During our first session, which was my first time to meet Mike, he asked me to lay in the prone position on his table. I knew that was not going to work, did my best to comply, but let out a groan due to the additional pain it caused. Mike was startled and said, “Sorry, please get down and sit in this chair. That’s how our decade old relationship began.
He would give me several different exercises to perform on my own in the gym. Every few weeks, he would change my routine. Over time, I began to feel more flexible and stronger. But I still had pain. One day I saw Mike in the gym and said, “I believe you are an honest man, but do you really think this pain is going to go away?” To which Mike responded, “Well, it took you 6 decades to create the pain, it is not going to go away over the weekend” (Actually, he said it much nicer than that, as he always does.) More time of new routines with Mike went by and pretty regular time spent in the gym, and finally over 3 years later, I was indeed pain free. Hooray!!!
Now in my 8th decade, I am running 12 miles per week (negotiated with Mike who is not a big fan of running), 3 times per week performing a Mike gym routine, and more recently playing tennis twice per week. I am not bragging; I am just trying to give you hope. By the way, I did not say I was breaking any speed records, and a few weeks ago a woman who was speed walking on the track where I run in the winter lapped me. Pretty humbling.
Mike likes to say, “I don’t care what you call it – pain, ache, soreness, discomfort, hurt, sting, throbbing, twinge, tenderness, agony, redness, burn, or whatever, don’t ignore it.” In all my athletic endeavors over the decades, I do not recall, any coach, mentor, parent, or whomever suggesting I ignore the pain. But I did and it caught up with me eventually.
So, I do not believe in almost 300 blog posts that I have ever done a commercial, but here goes. If you live in northern Oakland, Genesee, or Livingston County, I would highly recommend making an appointment with Mike O’Hara by email at [email protected] or cell phone – 810-569-1022.
One last story: Uncle Dan and I were talking one day. He casually mentioned that he had scheduled knee surgery. As you know, we were very close, and this shocked me. To say he was in great physical condition is a huge understatement. I begged him to go see Mike and he did. Mike gave him three specific exercises for his knee issue and in three months, Uncle Dan was pain free without surgery. I am not making this up. Call Mike.