Monday, July 16, 2007

I Feel Great!

In June of 1999, a man began a coast to coast motorcycle trip with seven of his riding pals. About 50 miles into the trip it started to rain, so they began to pull over at the next overpass in order to change into their rain gear. As they pulled over, one of the other bikes lost control and skidded into this man as he was getting off his bike.

As he lie in the road, he discovered that only thing keeping his foot attached to his leg was a flap of skin, some tendons, and what was left of his jeans. As a state trooper was getting statements while they were waiting for the ambulance, he asked the man how he felt.

The man clenched his fists, lifted his arms over his head and said, "I feel great!"

Pat Croce is a legend in the Philadelphia area. He was a pioneer in the sports physical therapy industry and eventually talked the owner of the Philadelphia 76ers pro basketball team to sell the team to a group that he put together.

He is also known for his enthusiasm, dedication and positive attitude. He went from the very real possibility of losing his leg to walking under his own power less than six months after the accident, as much as on the strength of his will as on the skill of his doctors.

I read Pat's book, "I Feel Great and You Will Too!" sometime in 2000, not too long after I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. His positive attitude leaps out from the pages with only a fraction of the energy that I've witnessed on local television and radio, which I'm sure is itself only a fraction of what it is in person.

There have been many times since I've read that book that I've been ready to give up, knowing that I was probably going to die young because of my weight, my blood pressure and my diabetes. Or worse, I'd suffer a debilitating complication that would force me to be a burden to my family. It was only a matter of time.

Now, after losing 130 pounds and being the healthiest I've been in years, I look back and wonder what I was thinking. I now can begin to understand the positive attitude of Pat Croce, because I can start to feel it too. Not only do I feel great physically, but my attitude has never been better. Who would have thought it possible?

Pat Croce, that's who.

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