Whenever someone asks a person why they became a chiropractor there is usually a health story associated with it. The chiropractor may have had some life threatening health issues, injuries, or maybe there were some life-threatening health problems in the chiropractor’s family. And for the person involved there was a decision to take the usual medical route with its medications, antibiotics, pills upon pills in all sorts of colors and shapes, medical tests, medical procedures, more medical tests and more medical procedures people, or for a person to begin to head in a new direction with their health and well-being, which involves making many better informed lifestyle health choices!

For me I had no specific health issues as reason for becoming a chiropractor, and I hope and pray that it continues to stay that way. While growing up I always liked to play sports and watch sports on TV. They were the days of Kurt Gowdy commentating on The Wide World of Sports, the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat; Billy Martin of the New York Yankees always getting fired from his managerial position contesting with an uncompromising George Steinbrenner; Roger Maris hitting 62 home runs in a single year, Mickey Mantle switch-hitting and sailing fly balls to the center field monuments, seeing a double-header at Yankee Stadium, munching on some peanuts and a Yankee hot dog with a coke or a beer; Bobby Richardson playing second base, Thurmon Munson’s heroics, Clete Boyer at third base, or anticipating the excitement of the New York Yankees being in the September play-offs against the Kansas City Royals with George Brett or the Baltimore Orioles with Brooks Robinson, or just the thrill of taking a day off from grade school to go to Yankee Stadium to see an afternoon play-off game.

I was fortunate enough to go to Madison Square Garden (the old Garden) and at that time see my favorite team the Boston Celtics, Bill Russell, John Havlchek, Sam Jones and KC Jones, Larry Siegfried with his two hand set-shot on a Sunday afternoon, or seeing the Celtics being down by as many as 20 points going into the 4th quarter, and having the Celtics win seeing Red Auerbach lighting up a victory cigar. There was Bill Russell blocking Wilt Chamberlain’s dunk-shots on a Sunday afternoon or watching Wilt do his classical underhand foul shooting. There was nothing like seeing Walt Frazier, Dave DeBusschere, Bill Bradley making some spinning moves on the court, or having Willis Reed coming out from the locker room hobbling onto mid-court the court with his knee bandaged and hearing the Knick fans roaring with excitement in the 7th game of a New York Knick basketball playoff game. It could be appreciating Bart Starr quarterbacking for the Green Bay Packers, watching Jimmy Taylor of the Cleveland Browns rushing hard to get five yards, seeing YA Tittle of the New York Giants throwing touchdown passes to Frank Gifford on those blustering snowy Saturday afternoon play-off games in December at Yankee Stadium. Yea, and there were college hoops all day at Madison Square Garden. They were the glory days of sports…

I was lucky to be around then. And fortunate to be down at the Belleville High School stadium in New Jersey one day where my uncle was hitting some golf shots. He handed me a golf club and asked me to hit the ball…so I grabbed the club, swung the club and hit the ball…and with my natural athletic ability just hit the golf ball…that’s how my relationship with golf began. Which lead to getting up at 4 am during the summer months, walk a few blocks to our local golf course, throw our bagged golf clubs over the fence and start striking putts on the dewed-greens at 4:30 in the morning. After warming up a bit then headed over to the 16th tee box to pop some drives into the dawn. It was still too dark to see the golf ball so you had to rely upon how the ball sounded coming off the club head. My friends and I were usually the only ones on the golf course at that time in the morning, so we’d get 18 to 27 holes in before the regular paying players, started on the 1st tee about 7 am. The only time our early am golf was curtailed was when the city park cop on his motor-tricycle would motor around the golf course and would chase us off the course… for not paying (we were kids), but it was pretty cool even when we tried to out run the motor-tricycle.

I had the pleasure of listening to Ken Venturi as a golf analyst describe PGA player’s golf-swing, how to do a chip shot or demonstrate a bunker shot. I learned how to play sport by watching it and then emulating it. It’s how I do my holistic chiropractic service. I can feel, understand what a person needs to optimize their health and well-being, and then put it into action. I only regret when about eight years not knowing too much about Ben Hogan, and not having seen him play too much golf. The British Open still remains my favorite golf event, but The Masters is a very close second, and the US Open Championship on Father’s Day weekend, and then the PGA.

Going to Scotland in the Spring of 2008 to play golf was a dream come true. You have no idea what it’s like to play golf in Scotland until you’re there! To walk those courses, fairways, hills and mounds, to use your imagination, which you are challenged to do, to create a golf shot to get closer to the hole. You don’t hit wedges from 100 yards out up in the air, but you punch and run a shot short of the green and have it hopefully roll up to the flag. You don’t win against mother nature or the winds of the the Irish seas, because it’s too unpredictable! The tourist golfers would have their flasks in their golf bags and you would think that they would only celebrate a zwig of single malted scotch after a good golf shot, but the Scots and tourists have a zwig after every golf shot…maybe that’s why it’s an experience like none other.

Becoming a chiropractor for me was a rising to the occasion like these described athletic moments and special sporting events. It was choosing an unusual life path…in this case offering people possibilities and options to explore natural, holistic, non-traditional ways of healing.