From the May 19, 2006 issue of the Lawrence Journal-World from Lawrence, Kansas comes a story of a chiropractor, Dr. Michael Stuart, who has won the trust of some elite track and field athletes. One in particular is Justin Gatlin, who is the world’s fastest man. According to the article, Gatlin tied the world record in the 100-meter dash less than a month after getting his neck, middle back, and lower back adjusted by the chiropractor.
Dr. Stuart started caring for Gatlin, Maurice Greene, and other top notch athletes during the Kansas Relays. Director of the event, Tim Weaver is the one who facilitated Dr. Stuart’s entrance into the event. Weaver, a former track athlete, had been a patient of Stuart for over a year, stated the importance of chiropractic for these athletes by saying, “These athletes, their body is everything, and getting it to perform at a high level is everything.” He went on to stress how chiropractic helps the athletes perform, “They’ve taken their bodies to extremes and are doing things on the edge of what evolution is meant to do here in 2006. They’re constantly looking for things to keep their bodies moving, and this is another way to keep that engine fine-tuned.”
It was sprinter Maurice Greene who originally requested that Dr. Stuart come help him at the event. According to the story, it was not long before word started to spread among other professional athletes that a chiropractor was around.
Weaver tells the story, “They liked him so much they brought him back the next day.
He’s working on once and future world-record holders, and that’s of great value to the meet. It gives us the added respect, that the Kansas Relays takes better care of superstars than any other meet in the US.”
Chiropractor Key to Bonds’ Power?
The above headline excerpt is from the June 10, 2006 “Giants Notebook” section of the San Francisco Chronicle. This story reports on Dr. Ron Mitchell, a chiropractor who travels with the San Francisco Giants baseball team as their team chiropractor. The story starts by noting that Dr. Mitchell loves to watch Bonds hit home runs and during Bonds’ recent chase of Babe Ruth’s record, Mitchell would stop adjusting, and run outside to see Bonds at bat.
Dr. Mitchell is present at the games adjusting players. The story also notes that pitcher, Jason Schmidt, also loves to get adjusted and typically does so during the games to avoid the rush of other players who get adjusted before the games. Ironically, Dr. Mitchell missed both Barry Bonds’ 715th and 716th home runs as he was in the clubhouse adjusting Schmidt.
The story noted that Jason Schmidt offered to halt the chiropractic session when Bonds was at bat chasing home run number 715, but Mitchell showed his dedication and responded, “No, let’s do what we’ve got to do. Let’s get you treated and get you ready.” The article reported that a few pitches later Bonds hit his 715th home run. After missing seeing the historic home run Dr. Mitchell commented, “Schmidty looked and me and laughed, and I laughed, and we kind of blew it off and that was it.”
It was a few days later when Dr. Mitchell was once again adjusting Jason Schmidt while Bonds was at bat that Bonds hit number 716. After this repeat performance all Dr. Mitchell could say was, “There goes the next one.”
In typical baseball superstition, the players even joked about it saying that they were going to schedule Schmidt for an adjustment with Dr. Mitchell whenever the Giants are behind so that Bonds would hit a home run and win the game.
Even Barry Bonds himself found the situation amusing saying, “I’m going to have to get on the table with him.” Jason Schmidt, however, felt bad having caused Dr. Mitchell to miss two historic sporting events. Schmidt commented, “I kind of felt bad...He takes a lot of pride on working on Barry, so I felt kind of bad he wasn’t able to be out there at the time. He’s been out there so many times, and it’s like, it’s not going to happen this time, so let’s take our chances.”
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #11.
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