During the Winter break, I had one of my former athletes come in and train with one of our adult groups. Alec just returned from completing his training to become an Army Ranger. We are very proud of Alec! When I asked him about his training and how he endured, he explained that it was very difficult at first, but over time, his body would accommodate to the imposed demands. I asked him to write up a blog post on how he was able to get it done. Here is his response:
“To the Doubtful or Uninspired athlete,
Recovering from my third Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) surgery, I found myself yet again on the first floor of TD Bank Ballpark going through the same monotonous physical therapy routine. Weeks one through three focused on building enough strength to support my weight, weeks four through eight focused on stability and learning to walk, and the rest of the recovery process remains just as boring. Worse than this mind-numbing routine was the thunderous noise coming from the second floor day after day. Upon finally asking about the roar coming from above, the only response granted was simply, “Oh yeah that’s Paul”. Six months following my third ACL surgery I met Paul for the first time where he radiated one absolute truth: Don’t make excuses, there is always a way, and the statement “I Can’t” is always a false one.
Paul beat me up during the entire winter of 2008 and again in the summer of 2009. Encompassing full body proprioceptive betterment, he made me stronger, faster, and more agile far beyond my self-expectant capacity. Each day I met with Paul I felt as though I reigned supreme on top of the world, and each day he would beat me down to nothing more than a dried up ant beneath a magnifying glass. What remains unique to Paul’s training philosophy is his ability to safely display to an athlete his or her limitless capability through rigor and recovery. I would walk out of Paul’s room feeling nothing but exhaustion but always with a smile knowing I built my pedestal on top of the world just a little higher. Each day he would show me that stating “I Can’t” was an acceptance of a nonexistent cap on potential.
As a testament to Paul’s training philosophy and his ability to build athletes, I’ll present myself as a product of his work. Within six years of working with Paul, I’ve bridged the gap between a broken high school wrestler who couldn’t walk and an Army Ranger who runs 40 miles per week. Thanks to him, I’ve won three national military competitions, trained with special forces units from around the world, and commissioned as an officer in the top ten percent of the nation. In two weeks I’ll be getting paid to jump out of planes. I can’t wait to see what I can do next”.
2LT Alec P. Schaffer
1st BN, 503rd IN REGT