After 5 years of High school football, 4 more in college and another 12 in the NFL, while competing in Strongman events and then boxing followed by Jiu Jitsu, Kali and other studies into the various Martial disciplines I have been fortunate enough to explore, pain management is something that I’ve learned comes with the territory.
Whether or not you are on the receiving or giving end of it, be it a smoking hook to the chin, a whipping Thai kick to the leg or a finely executed Jujigatame (armlock), and all this after running the Chuck Noll trap system for a decade, the wear and tear that a body suffers while the owner of that body acts like a human crash test dummy catches up to you, “believe you me”
I’ve been asked what the biggest differences were in my career between the first half and the second half physically speaking. When I was young, I could play a game, hang out with the boys, jump out of bed Monday morning, and go lift weights. Towards the end it became play a game, go home, fall out of bed Monday morning and limp to the couch where I’d stay all day.
I was introduced to chiropractic care my first year in the league. Steelers all-time great Tackle, Jon Kolb, took me along to visit his chiropractor during my rookie year and i continued treatment throughout my career. Them “Bonecrackers” and in my case, Dr of Chiropractic Jim Mager, kept me going. And they do to this day.
Weekly visits were the norm in the latter half of my career, even to the point that I’d get so discouraged over the newest failing part of my body that i’d mumble to Jim “You tell me,” when he would ask what was on the kibosh list of non-checking in body parts that week. Yet somehow, some way, with a crick, then a crack I’d leave feeling better than when i came into the office.
Early in my career, going to a chiropractor was frowned upon. Even to the point that doc Jim was “smuggled” into training camp to treat us on the down low. Today’s player enjoys full chiro-care and has access to massage therapists as well. And that’s a smart move. The millionaires of today’s NFL would do well to take care of the very thing that enables them to make such a great living.
Which brings me to the point of pain management. By it’s very definition, post-NFL and now 52 years of age, it’s all about managing the pain so that I can be a productive human being. To me that means managing the pain so I can still get into the ring now and again to box (as pitiful a boxer as i may be at this time). Or roll with the guys on the mat (ditto). To be able to wrestle with my boys (still the champ), and chase my girls around the house while doing the “daddy monster” thing.
Everybody sooner or later is going to run into a time when something’s outt’a whack. Chiropractic care is a great step forward in learning to manage the pain, and even eventually get rid of it. Re-alignment of the body, so that the body can heal itself as our Creator intended is way better than succumbing to non-movement and missing out on the most important things in our life.
Don’t be ruled by your pain, do something about it!