My competitive start was playing basketball. That’s when the injuries and surgeries started, too. I played basketball growing up, and then played college ball at Neumann University in Philadelphia. While playing a basketball game in Rhode Island I dislocated my left ankle – they carted me off the court, popped it back into place – and I hit the court again. Little did I know these misaligned bones in my left knee started my knee troubles.
Now, I am the North American Strongman State Chairman for Pennsylvania and Delaware, and I promote around ten sanctioned contests a year – give or take. I got into strongman from my strength coach in college. I train athletes at my own gym, and I train right alongside them. In 2012, I had to get microfracture knee surgery. My doctors told me I would never return to strongman competition – but I keep going. I had 17 holes drilled into my femur, as part of the surgery. That scar tissue from the holes now serves as my cartilage in my left knee. I have spent years unable to do squats without pain. Microfracture surgery put me out of commission for nine months. I have been back since then – my first contest back was in 2013. I will not quit.
I continue to play, teach and lift. I also work part-time as a cameraman for sports videos – lifting the camera on my shoulder and bending my knees with that load on my upper body. When we go to do a music shoot – I’ll have a camera on my shoulder for 15 hours at a stretch. My wife and four kids are my life, and I am active with them, too. When they get older I want to be able to run around and play basketball with them, pain free. Play Again is helping me do that!
I heard about Play Again from two other guys at a strongman competition. Decided to give it a try. Once it kicked in after 14 days, could really tell a difference. The first thing I noticed was when I was squatting. I can’t get down to parallel before I experience shooting needle like pains in my left knee. I didn’t notice any pain. In events, I felt fine – not beat up. Didn’t feel tired. I went up to 800 pounds for 50 feet recently on yoke carries, without any pain or discomfort in my knees. I haven’t felt that since college.
My goal has shifted from surviving a contest to winning – the shooting pains in my knees have been gone for a week. I am getting back to competitive strength. I’m looking forward to this coming competition year.