Richard F.

Morgan Family YMCA

Richard is what some would call a lifelong athlete. He first joined the Y as an 8-year-old when his parents determined it was important for him to learn to swim. His time at the Y gave him exposure to a world of other athletic possibilities and created a solid foundation for a future full of athletic endeavors and responsibilities.

From his All-American achievements in intercollegiate wrestling and lacrosse, Richard began a ten-year military career flying Strike fighters for the Navy. During this time, he served as the athletic officer in three different squadrons and was responsible for organizing teams in various sports to compete in the Admiral's and Captain's Cup intramural competitions.

In 2011, Richard was diagnosed with bone degeneration of the left hip joint. The condition had come on slowly over the years, resulting in constant nagging pain and hampering his ability to play handball, a favorite pastime. A year later, he underwent a total hip joint replacement. He was able to circumnavigate the standard hospital rehabilitation program by using all the different exercise machines and classes available to him at the Y.

After a few months of rehabilitation, he felt strong enough to start playing competitive handball again three times a week. As the months went by and Richard's game improved, he decided to enter the 65th U.S. National Handball Four-Wall Championship Tournament. Perhaps not too surprisingly, after four days of stiff competition, he won the finals match and took home the men's Diamond Master medal.

Richard's ability to excel in such a rigorous sport in light of his age and his recent hip replacement, serves as a true inspiration and a welcome reminder about how much becomes possible with discipline, hard work, and a winning attitude.