Yesterday a kindly gentleman with a warm European face came into the office for his monthly maintenance massage therapy. He walks like a man on a mission, which is surprising given that he has been retired for a number of years. Though he has been in the States for years, there is no mistaking his New Zealand accent. This amateur golfer came to our office on the recommendation of his wife, who noticed that after his hip surgery, he was having difficulty getting around and felt very sore after a few hours on the course. Indeed, this is where the story gets interesting.
This month the Winston-Salem Open comes to town, which is an annual event hosted on the grounds of the Wake Forest University Sport Complex, with such local dignitaries as Winston Salem Mayor Allen Joines, Don Flow of Flow Automotive Group and President of the Winston Salem Chamber of Commerce Gayle Anderson. Although all three above were instrumental in bringing world-class tennis to Winston Salem, what they may not have known was who was in our community.
Back when he was a spry 20-something year old not afraid of the sun, this now kindly sage was a professional athlete. Now, given his propensity for golf I would have thought that he was a professional golfer, yet this is not the case. Instead, he was a master on the tennis court. He played all the GRAND SLAMS, representing the land of the Kiwi, and he was so good that he made a showing ON CENTER COURT AT Wimbledon 4 TIMES AND PLAYED THERE FOR 10 YEARS, EVEN MAKING IT TO THE SEMI- FINALS IN DOUBLES! He does not talk much about the days when his competitive tennis spirit was at its high. I spent much of our pithy conversation listening to him marvel about the love of his life…Lili,his wife.
They have had many adventures together and he wants to make sure that his hips, knees and back will carry him on many others with her. If you have the opportunity to talk with Lew Gerard, you will realize that his laughter is infectious, and his handshake harkens back to the old days when a handshake was a bond of honor. And if you’re really lucky, you may even spot him among the crowd of new champions at the Winston-Salem Tennis Open.
Want to play like a top level athlete? Work hard, learn from the greats, and always remember that recovery and a good sports massage go a long way to ensuring that you feel great both today and 50 years down the road.
Nike Roach,MS, CPT, LMBT
6th Sense Wellness Group