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It’s All in the State of Your Mind

I’ve never talked about this before. Doing so now is a result of my sister Lorraine reminding of these events that happened over 50 years ago. While running high school track during my sophomore year in the spring of 1955, I pulled up with a pulled hip muscle. The coach said to take it easy, but before long, I could not stand on the right leg. The pain was unbearable.

Down to the ground I went, and the EMTs were called, and a trip to the hospital was in order. The x-ray showed a fracture of the pelvic bone caused by (of all things) the musculature being so tight or strong that the muscles splintered a part of the hip bone.

The prescribed treatment by our family doctor was to lie on my back with a board between the mattress and box spring for a month. No cast or brace was needed; just lie flat and do not move. When I inquired as to when I would be able to run again, the doctor said I may not be able to run again.  With my muscular and skeletal configuration as it was in the hip, running track again could be out of the question.

Needless to say, I was stunned by the doctor’s statement, but decided that was not going to happen. Fast-forward to the fall six months later.  It was September, and I had worked my way to the starting halfback position for the high school football team and was ready to run the first play in the first game of the season. My number was called, and 65 yards later, standing in the end zone, I felt that I could put that never-running-again theory to rest. I was fortunate to score 12 TDs and average over 100 yards a game–all in a seven-game schedule!

Again, fast-forward to age 70, almost three years ago.  Standing on our SUV bumper attempting to throw a piece of luggage up onto the luggage rack, I slipped and fell and broke my hip once again. Another ride to the hospital, three screws in the hip, and a long recovery regimen.

While in the hospital after surgery, my son-in-law Kyle Horga challenged me to be well enough in six months to walk in the Myrtle Beach Half Marathon, a distance of 13.1 miles, which at that time seemed as far away as the moon to me.

However, five months later I walked the half marathon in Myrtle Beach and have walked two additional walks since and plan to do two more this year. When you reach my age, you will reach the concrete conclusion that human achievement is based solely on the proper state of your mind.

Jack Bottinger



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