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Cancer Survivor and Pro Boxer – Danny Jacobs

On October 20th, professional boxer Danny Jacobs beat Josh Luteran via first round knockout. Those who do not follow the sport closely may not think too much of the victory. Most probably have not heard of Josh Luteran and many may not even know the name Danny Jacobs.

Danny Jacobs is a former amateur standout who is currently 23-1 as a professional. Yet while obviously talented, what truly makes Danny Jacobs unique is that he beat an opponent that is more devastating than anything he will ever face inside the ring.

Around this time last year, Danny Jacobs was paralyzed below the waist with spinal cancer. It was uncertain if he would ever walk again. The thought of him boxing professionally was all but out of the question. The greater concern was whether he’d even survive.

In the video below, Danny looks back at the circumstances that he faced and his amazing recovery.

And while clearly inspiring, Danny’s story should also put our own bumps and bruises into perspective. I regularly receive questions from individuals suffering from minor injuries. In the last month or so, I have heard from people who have broken a finger, broken an arm, sprained an ankle, injured a knee, and experienced a bad case of the flu. There were probably others, but these are a few of the inquiries that I specifically recall receiving via email.

Most of the inquiries are from individuals who are concerned about missing time from the gym. Fortunately, as evident by Danny Jacobs, it is quite possible to regain whatever is lost during periods of downtime.  Danny Jacobs has returned to world class form, able to compete professionally at the highest level.

Yes, injuries can be quite frustrating, but most are short lived. Brief periods of inactivity are literally a blink of an eye when considering the big picture. It takes much less time to regain past attributes than it did to initially acquire them. If you lose strength following an injury or illness, it will come back once you return to action. Patience, diligence, and consistency have a funny way of making things right again. I’m sure Danny Jacobs didn’t feel too strong when he first returned to the gym. He kept working however and now is back on top of his game.

Hats off to him and his amazing comeback.

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There is no education like adversity. – Benjamin Disraeli

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6 comments

6 Comments so far

  1. Al Ink November 6th, 2012 2:52 pm

    Great story. Anyone know the song that was playing?

  2. Eric November 6th, 2012 3:15 pm

    Sometimes being away from training can renew your motivation and zeal that might have been missing for awhile particularly for those who’ve been training for any length of time. I was in a car accident this past January and thank God I only broke my ankle even though I completely flipped my car over and totalled it. I had prior to the accident been doing lots of hill running and it seemed to be taking its toll on my knees. So the couple of months rest from all lower body activity gave my weary knees a rest and renewed my interest in some hard hill training. I’ve learned that hill running actually is probably better off to be cycled periodically during the year because of the demands it places on you physcially and mentally. A painful shoulder also caused me to alter my weight sessions from the traditional lower rep ranges of 5-12 reps, to lighter weights and concentrating on ultra-strict form with rep ranges anywhere from as low as 15-18 up to 50-100 reps per exercise. The different rep ranges and stricter form also improved my mental outlook and relieved the boredom of doing the same old routine over and over.

  3. peter yates November 10th, 2012 7:07 am

    HI ROSS, LIFE HAS A WAY OF THROWING THINGS AT US WHEN LEAST EXPECTED. IT IS AT TIMES LIKE THIS THAT THE REAL BENEFITS OF TRAINING COME THROUGH. THE STRENGTH OF CHARACTER AND DISCIPLINE THAT TRAINING CAN IMPART. IN THE PAST 50 YEARS OF TRAINING I HAVE HAD TO DEAL WITH VARIOUS INJURIES MOSTLY UNRELATED TO TRAINING.I HAVE ALWAYS FOUND A WAY TO TRAIN AROUND THE INJURY AND MAY HAVE ACTUALLY BENEFITED FROM THE ENFORCED REST TO THE INJURED AREA. I KNEW AN AIKIDO MASTER WHO GOT CANCER AND HE SAID FOR THE FIRST TIME IN ALL HIS YEARS OF TRAINING HE FINALLY UNDERSTOOD WHAT TRUE STRENGTH WAS. THANKFULLY HE TOO RECOVERED AND BECAME EVEN BETTER AT HIS ART. EVERYTHING CAN BE A LESSON NO MATTER HOW DIFFICULT IT SEEMS.
    REGARDS, PETER.

  4. Romi December 23rd, 2012 2:08 pm

    Thanks Ross for sharing this. I was one of those who wrote to you about my injury of overuse..sometimes if it is not for a small injury,we become too addicted for training and stress our body too much..so we have to see it as a way to recover and be better than we once were..thanks for always inspiring us and teaching us!

  5. Tim G February 12th, 2013 5:06 pm

    HI Ross, I remember reading this several months back. Last week I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. I am 38 years old. It has hit my lower back pretty hard. I’ve been training since I was 14. I’m not a professional athlete, but I consider myself an athlete. I enjoy obstacle races. I typically finish in the top 5 percent. Most importantly I have a wife and twin boys. This news has been hard to swallow. I Don’t want them to have to grow up without their Daddy. I will fight this because I know what I’m fighting for. I want to thank you for website, I is my favorite one.

  6. admin February 13th, 2013 6:06 am

    Stay strong Tim. I’m sure I speak for many when I say we’ll be thinking of you!

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