Athlete Highlight: John Scheufele
Pictured above: John Scheufele performing band resistance work
John Scheufele is no ordinary client here at The Micheli Center. The 80-year-old Navy veteran is a local from Waltham, MA, where he has lived for practically his entire life. After suffering a stroke which impaired some of his walking ability, John wanted to feel like his regular self again. Ever since he joined The Micheli Center this past October after noticing an article in the newspaper about our center’s gait retraining program, he has been making significant improvements.
When Mr. Scheufele (also known as ‘shoefly’, or ‘shuffles’, as his last name is a challenge to pronounce) was young, he lived a very active lifestyle. Growing up, he participated in a variety of pick-up sports including baseball and football. However, at the age of 59, John encountered a major setback after he suffered from a stroke. The incident impaired his ability to use his right leg. Furthermore, in 2014, John underwent bypass surgery, which in turn worsened his walking condition. He now uses a walker in order to move around easier.
Impressively enough, John has made quite the recovery. Since the first time John appeared at The Micheli Center, Injury Prevention Specialists Sara Collins and Jen Morse have witnessed him make some notable improvements. His strength and mobility have developed significantly with the help of numerous exercises such as seated band-resisted ankle eversions and red-light-green-light walking drills that get him on his feet. When asked about why he wanted to come here in the first place, John simply replied, “I want to be like I was when I was 59.”
Pictured above: Injury Prevention Specialist Sara Collins walking John through an exercise
John has a unique, energetic personality. His sense of humor instantly lights up the room. As an 80-year-old man looking, acting, and moving around the way he does, John clearly understands how important daily exercise is in order to live a healthy lifestyle. He participates in quite the repertoire of activities throughout the week. Besides his weekly visit to TMC, he rows at Community Rowing, Inc., he swims the backstroke and freestyle in the pool, and he takes dance classes with his wife every Saturday night. Additionally, John will be participating in the VA Games this July where he will be competing in events such as the discus and javelin.
John’s fun fact: he has one go-to meal: a peanut butter and banana sandwich (usually with a side of coffee).
Pictured above: Sara helping John strengthen his hamstrings
John is an inspiration; this high-spirited, lively individual provides a friendly reminder that perseverance, dedication, and positivity can take you a long way. In his words: “I’m a 2-year-old in an 80-year-old’s body!”
Thanks for all of your hard work here at The Micheli Center, John. We wish you the best of luck at the VA games this summer. Maybe we should all start eating more peanut butter and banana sandwiches!