Founder Dr. Fishel’s Story
I have sustained many injuries involving severe trauma which required months of rehabilitation. Although my injuries have been severe, they are minute compared to impairments of some of the patients I have treated today. I am very blessed to have the ability to help others.
My life quest: To help as many people as I can to live a healthy, active life.
I truly believe our Tighten the Core products may be life altering for many by helping minimize pain and promoting function. I was spared for a reason, I believe this is my cause and reason for being.
I grew up in a small, rural central Illinois community called Arcola. Arcola is a small town football powerhouse with very proud traditions. At one time Arcola was known as the broomcorn capital of the world.
In high school I had a very successful career in football and track. In football, I was a running back and made 1st team All-State in my Junior and Senior years. In track, I was 2nd in State in the 100 yard dash and 3rd in 300 yard hurdles. My junior year, my brother was quarterback and I was running back. We lost the State Championship game on a very cold day with wind chill temperatures 31 degrees below zero. Eighteen out of the twenty-two starting positions on offense and defense graduated in my Junior year. My partner running back my senior year was Marty Thomas (the head coach’s son). We both had exceptional speed. Marty was a tremendous athlete and we ultimately won the State Championship in my Senior year.
Being from a small town and a small school, we were not heavily recruited for college football. We were offered partial scholarships from different universities and often heard that since we were from a small school we were unproven. So, we decided to go to Joliet Junior College together and play football a couple of years and then go on to play Division 1 football. At JJC I was running back and Marty was a defensive back. My first year of college we were playing a game in Chicago at Kennedy King. On a freak play, running down the sidelines, I was hit and my knee came down on torn Astro Turf and about 10 seconds later a big defensive tackle piled on. My right knee cap was broken in 3 places and my left ankle was broken. I was in two casts and could not weight bear on my left ankle. Obviously football for me was finished for the year. The casts came off 8 weeks later. I rehabilitated and was able to compete in indoor track and by January was running faster than ever before.
On February 9, 1980, Marty Thomas and I went back home to Arcola for the weekend. While at home, we were driving back from a small get together with friends in a nearby town when a drunk driver crossed the center line and hit us headlight to headlight. Both drivers were killed, Marty being one of those drivers. I shattered my leg with a compound comminuted fracture and compression fractures of the lumbar spine. Bones were sticking out of my left leg and the bottom of my shoe was facing me. My left leg, with both knees fully extended, was approximately 9 inches shorter than my right with the bottom of my shoe facing me with my foot still in the shoe. My wounds were deep. Psychological greater than physical. Placing my feet on the dashboard right before impact saved my life. No one was wearing seat belts in either vehicle. The man who hit us was on a suspended license and already had 2 DUIs. He had no insurance.
The ambulance personnel who took us to emergency room was a close family friend and had years of experience. He was unsure whether they would amputate my leg above the knee or below the knee. The doctor who operated on me was a close personal friend of my grandfather. He cleaned all debris from my ankle and pieced it together as best he could. He told me I would never be able to walk without a limp and if the toes turn black I would lose the limb. I was in a back brace and a leg cast for several months. When those came off, the rehab began. However, I was already cheating by doing exercises in my back brace and cast.
I did not know if I would ever be able to play football again, but I knew I had to try. I would give it my all in rehab, and I would be as good as I could possibly be. August rolled around and I had a severe limp, but I was able to run, just not ready to compete. The head football coach at Joliet Junior College, Jerry Yost, made me an assistant coach for the running backs and took me under his wing. I used my medical red shirt year, trained hard and was able to compete the following year. I was stronger and faster in the 40 yard dash than ever before. They moved me from tail back to full back because of a new recruit, Harold Brown. Harold was God gifted and broke all of OJ Simpsons college rushing records that year. I was his full back. I would like to take a little bit of credit, but with Harold’s talent, I don’t think it even mattered if I was on the field or not. We lost the Junior College National Championship game that year at Northern Iowa. I received multiple scholarship offers to Division 1 AA and Division 2 schools to play football. I took a scholarship to NE Missouri State (now known as Truman State). During Spring ball, I fractured my collar bone in 4 places. Rehab begins again.
The head coach at NE Missouri State pulled my scholarship so I transferred to Millikin University, a Division 3 school an hour from Arcola. When the head coach at NE Missouri State realized that I could play he called and apologized. At that point I committed to Millikin with no regrets. I finished my career at Millikin as MVP, first team all-conference CCIW. After Millikin, I attended USSA. While teaching school in Pensacola, FL I finished a Masters in Sports Science and from there I went to Logan College of Chiropractic.
Today I practice the methods I learned during my rehab and subsequent education. By focusing on strengthening the core muscle belt, it helps strengthen not only the core but the lower back and the extremities as well. In practice, this is allowing people to live a healthy, active lifestyle. I have been blessed to have worked with many clients and patients that have not allowed their injuries or traumas to break their spirit. I have worked with five paraplegic patients using the core activator and core activation methods to trigger their center of power and get them moving again. These men were in wheelchairs for years. One for ten long years. All of them are walking today.