Jerry's Y story began with a nasty knee injury, debilitating back pain, and osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis. An orthopedic surgeon had assessed the condition of his knee and informed him that surgery might enable him to run in cases of emergency, but even that was uncertain. His back pain was so severe that it caused him to pass out one morning back in 2007, and he his bone density loss had already resulted in several broken ribs. In short, his body was something of a mess, and even medical experts agreed his prognosis was not all that great.
But Jerry is not a "roll-over-and-die" type of guy. Determined to find relief, he joined the Y in 2007. He found a new doctor who performed arthroscopic surgery on his knee and prescribed stationary bicycle workouts to help him rehabilitate the injury. With his knee feeling better, Jerry remembered his physical therapist's recommendation to "build up his core." So that's where he started. Regular attendance in core-related classes helped Jerry find significant relief for much of his back pain and gave him the added benefit of keeping his muscles in good condition.
To address his bone density loss, he began taking calcium and vitamin D pills, and he gradually decided to try running around the cushioned indoor track to increase the density and strength of his bones. He found enough success that he decided to enter his first race in January of 2008. Jerry finished first in his age group, which motivated him to take some risks and start training outside. His knee withstood the additional outside road workouts, and he quickly discovered that he was exceptionally fast.
He hasn't looked back. Since that first race in 2008, Jerry has won first place in his age division in over 53 races, often beating the time of the winner in the age group below him. His only loss was in the 2011 Senior Games in Houston, where he partially tore an Achilles tendon about halfway through the race. In the summer of 2012, Jerry shattered the Washington State Senior Games 10k race record for his age group by an entire six minutes! Most notably, perhaps, are his back-to-back championships in the National Senior Games in the 10k road race.
"When you consider starting out with knee surgery, back pain, and osteopenia, and finishing with good times, good friends, a healthy body, and back-to-back national championships, you can't help but feel blessed and remember how many problems you can conquer with hard work, determination, and a solid support system," said Jerry.