Is your doctor a dunce? At one time, mine was. His misdiagnosis almost ruined my life.

It was 1975. At the age of 35, I had discovered the joy of running, finding out that even a nerd can have hidden talent. After trying my feet at some local road races, I ran the Sugar River Trail Marathon in a respectable 3:22:42, and then qualified for the Boston Marathon by running the Milwaukee Mayfair Marathon in 2:59:07, under a smog advisory no less.

Then a nagging pain set in. My hip hurt, along with pain radiating down the front of my leg. It was uncomfortable to even sit while driving a car. So I went to my doctor to see what the problem was. After x-rays, I was told I had degenerative arthritis. The prognosis was that I would never run again.

I was devastated. I spent a couple of weeks in total depression, thinking my running days were over, that the exhilaration of running was history. Then I asked for a referral.

...

Now, 37 years after a misdiagnosis that almost took away what became one of the most important things in my life, my career log of human-powered (running, bicycling, skiing and swimming) miles stands at more than 174,300, or seven times around the world at the equator.

And I am not done yet.

The full story appears in the July 2012 print edition of Silent Sports. Don't miss an issue! Subscribe online, here.