Now that my saga in regards to writing about all the various types of headaches that are out there has finally come to a rest, I wanted to take this month, being the month of Independence, to write about someone who holds a very special place in my heart, someone who very much reminds me of my grandfather. As a patient, an amazing athlete, and a dear friend to me, it is no wonder I would like to take the time to write about him in this month’s newsletter, and brag that I have the honor of knowing him.
Many of you know Rich Busa through the Greater Framingham Running Club in Framingham, MA. Some may also know of Rich from the famous race named after him, Busa Bushwhack Trail Race, held every year in Callahan State Park, in Framingham, MA.
Rich Busa was born October 30, 1929, also the day after the stock market crashed. If you do the math that means Rich is a young 86 years old and going strong. Not only is he a decorated athlete, which we will talk more about in just a bit, but a war veteran as well. He served during the Korean War, 1951-1953. He did his basic training at Ft. Bragg, NC, followed by Jump School at Ft. Benning, GA. He volunteered to go Korea, arriving there the fall of 1952, being assigned to the Fox CO, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. There he was awarded the Silver Star during the battle of Boomerang above the 38th parallel on June 14-15 of 1953. Rich was also there doing the signing of the truce that took place August of 1953. He returned home within a few months time, and was discharged November 30th, 1953. Now, this is just a brief description of this part of Rich’s life, and as I sit here writing this, I still don’t feel it does him justice with all that he endured to this point and time in his life.
So…with that being said, we are going to fast forward to the 2000’s now, otherwise this entire newsletter, and the next 3 months of newsletters may not be enough to cover all this guy’s accomplishments. The picture at the bottom is what actually sparked me to write this article. His race report will be attached as well from February of 2016.
One morning a few months ago, Rich was waiting for me in treatment room 2, and as I walked in, he sat there with TWELVE gold medals around his neck (we later learned that were most likely not “real gold”). The gold medals have been accrued over the years, 2005-2016, at the U.S. Snowshoe 10K National Championships. In 2016 the race took place in Ogden, Utah. If you read in his last race report covering this particular race, and the challenges he has worked through since 2013. He talks about this awesome race, Stonecat Trail Marathon, which he completed November of 2013. He went on the state that it wasn’t his best race by far, but at least he didn’t finish last. Lets just back up for a second now, he would have 83 at that time I believe, and the man finished a trail marathon! I haven’t even done a trail marathon yet! Since then Rich has battled a misdiagnosed inguinal hernia, surgical repair of the hernia, a random parasite affecting his gut, and chest pain (which turned out to be nothing, thank god). These are just a few of the issues that he has over come and not let slow him down too much anyway.
Rich never seizes to amaze me when he comes into my office every month for his “tune up”. This time was a little different, I just stood there for a second and realized how lucky I am to know this man, and that he actually picked me and trusts me enough to help take care of his body through out each year, well, at least the musculoskeletal issues.
Rich and I discuss many other things in regards to training plans, dietary issues and nutrition, natural health care remedies he is constantly reading about and self educating, solutions for certain issues, and regular health care issues that he deals with as well. What amazes me is his ability to “keep moving forward”, hell, about to just “keep moving”. I live by this mantra in all aspects of my life, and here he is doing it at 86 years old! I am so inspired by him, and he is my motivation to lead a life style like his as I continue to get older. Rich comes to see me monthly to help mitigate those aches and pains that do pop up. He has done massage, he has done physical therapy (PT), and does his PT exercises daily for his neck and low back. We have been discussing the possibility of acupuncture as well at this time for a nagging health issue he is dealing with as of late.
Rich is willing to try anything to help preserve his ability to stay strong and compete as an athlete. This is just one of the many reasons I get adjusted at least once a month, massage twice a month, and acupuncture once a month. I see him at 86 going strong, and I know I started this process of taking care of my body years before he did. With that being said, I should be going this strong at 106, or at least that is the goal!