Jim Faircloth has lived a life chock-full of activity. He started disciplined activity to prepare for the military, and he never let off the gas. For 35 years, he ran every single day.
“I have a passion to be fit,” shared Jim. “Fitness has provided me with a way to maintain mental balance in my life. It’s a way for me to challenge myself and keep a sense of discipline. At this point, I’ve been active for so long I don’t even question it anymore. It’s a huge part of who I am.”
Jim’s activity level is not in the “light-to-moderate” range. Those around his age may consider a 20 minute walk as their daily activity, while Jim prefers to compete in intense biking races. Though many may have told him to slow down after dealing with a back condition that caused his disc to displace 50 percent of the time, that was not in the cards for Jim. But, after struggling through a cross country ski race in Wisconsin a few years ago, he decided he’d have to seek a medical solution.
“Going into it, I was skeptical that someone in the medical profession would understand the level of activity I hoped to maintain, and support it,” explained Jim. “I felt that I was more likely to be encouraged to reduce activity and prepare for a more sedate life.”
Luckily for Jim, that was not the case. He met with Dr. William Haug Jr. of Altru Advanced Orthopedics, who led the team approach to help deal with Jim’s condition and help him maintain the activities that are such an important piece of his life.
An athlete himself, Dr. Haug understood Jim’s mindset. He knew that he’d be willing to put in the work, through treatment and physical therapy, to improve his condition and allow him to be active.
“Dr. Haug’s past experience with the USA ski team helped me to develop a rapport with him,” shared Jim. “He was familiar with the athlete mindset so I could share my goals and wouldn’t be critiqued for pushing too hard. He wanted to do what was in my best interest, what I wanted to do, not just what would keep me alive. I felt like he was on my team.”
With treatment and continued care, Jim is able to do the things he loves. He continues to bike and cross country ski, he enjoys spin classes and yoga at Choice Health & Fitness, and looks forward to trips to Colorado to ski and hike. Dr. Haug continues to check-in with Jim on a personal level.
“After a race in 2015, Dr. Haug asked me to call him and tell him how it went. He has a vested interest in my success. I can tell that for him, being a doctor is about building relationships, not simply completing transactions. He epitomizes what a doctor should be.”