My son Willy’s original recovery story was widely posted to the Internet in June 2006. A little over a year later, in August 2007, I widely posted “Willy’s Three Year ADHD/Bipolar Recovery Story” to the Internet as well.
It has been almost two years since “Willy’s Three Year ADHD/Bipolar Recovery Story” was posted to the Internet. Quite a few significant events have occurred since then.
My goal in this blog is to delineate the above-mentioned events, as Willy continues to progress, and these events represent anecdotal proof of such. These events also represent anecdotal proof in regard to the tremendous therapeutic power of broad based supplementation taken all at once (which I often refer to as “Willy’s Baggie”, and now “Willy’s Baggie II”, which is an improved formula).
For those of you not familiar with Willy’s recovery story, and for those that might wish a brief reminder, the gist of this story is as follows:
Beginning at age thirteen, and with only a little guidance from me (a non-custodial father), Willy began self-applying nutritional supplements and other natural measures to himself in order to overcome his rather serious learning disability (for which he received an ADHD diagnosis, and took Ritalin for about four and a half years). Willy’s academic success (an 89/90 average, with numerous high 90’s New York State Regents Exams test scores over the past three years), and the numerous awards that he has received prove that Willy has come a long way from where he was in the seventh grade (prior to supplementation), a grade in which he still had quite a bit of difficulty in regard to being able to read.
In doing what he did to overcome his learning disability, Willy also profoundly overcame a history of being a weak and sickly child throughout his childhood. Willy’s health, strength, and stamina are nearly that of a world class (Olympic) athlete, as evidenced by a recent VO2max test (explained below), and what he can do with weights.
Willy is now eighteen years old, and he is graduating high school this month.
One event that occurred recently involved an award that Willy received. I had the pleasure of attending the senior award dinner for the high school seniors that attended New Hartford High School in New Hartford, NY on June 3rd, 2009. At this senior award dinner Willy won the award for being the graduate who had “most overcome adversity” in his academic career. This was the first year this particular award was given, to the best of my knowledge. It was apparently created with Willy in mind, and it came with “a much appreciated check attached”. (I deeply appreciate the person or persons involved in doing this for my son. I cannot thank this person, or these persons, enough.)
Another event that occurred recently is rather amazing. This event concerns a VO2max test. The particulars are below.
Willy recently took a VO2max test with a number of other athletes from his high school. On this test he scored 69 ml/kg/min.
To explain a VO2max test for those that are not familiar, according to Wikipedia, VO2 max (also maximal oxygen consumption, maximal oxygen uptake or aerobic capacity) is the maximum capacity of an individual’s body to transport and utilize oxygen during incremental exercise, which reflects the physical fitness of the individual. In sports where endurance is an important component in performance, such as cycling, rowing, cross-country skiing, swimming and running, world-class athletes typically have high VO2 maximums. World-class male athletes, cyclists and cross-country skiers typically exceed 75 ml/kg/min and a rare few may exceed 85 ml/kg/min for men and 70 ml/kg/min for women.
Given the fact that Willy is only eighteen years of age, and the fact that he is more of a weightlifter than anything else, Willy’s score on this test is nothing short of amazing. The persons that administered this test to Willy told him that NO ONE THAT THEY HAD EVER TESTED WITH A BODY TYPE SUCH AS WILLY’S (THAT OF A WEIGHTLIFTER) HAD SCORED SO HIGH ON THIS TEST.
When I saw Willy’s brother Maxwell (Max) recently, I asked him if he had heard about Willy’s VO2max test results. He told me “No”. I told him that Willy beat everyone that went for this test. I also told him that the person that scored closest to Willy was a cross-country runner that scored 65 ml/kg/min. At this point, Willy came in the room. Max asked him who was the cross-country runner that he beat. When Willy told Max who it was, Max immediately said “No way. He’s a state champion” (runner). Even Max was surprised at this. And it takes a lot to surprise Max, believe me.
Weightlifters typically do not score that high on this test. Long distance runners and other forms of endurance athletes do, or are supposed to.
Although Willy is a weightlifter, he admittedly also runs. For years he typically ran for two to four miles at a time as part of his self-imposed training regime. Then he found he could run six miles without becoming excessively tired. And then he found he could run more. About six or seven months ago Willy found that he could run fourteen miles without becoming excessively tired. (He told me “Dad, I found that I just had the energy to run fourteen miles”.) So for the past six or seven months Willy has often run fourteen miles once (or sometimes twice) a week, in addition to all of his shorter runs, and all that he does to regularly train with weights. (Weightlifting is where Willy’s heart lies. The running he does is secondary to this.)
Another event, which occurred recently, is that Willy came very close to bench-pressing 325 lbs. He did so on what he said was “a bad day for him” (he just did not feel “peak”, but wanted to see what he could do that day). Willy got to the very top of the lift of 325 lbs., and decided for the last little bit that it was wise to get a little help, as he was straining so much, and he does not want to risk a career ending shoulder injury.
Willy has been bench-pressing 315 lbs. for quite some time now. He can do two full repetitions at this weight, and almost complete a third. (Willy knows that his maximum for bench pressing is higher than 315 lbs., due to the fact that he can do multiple repetitions of this weight. However, he also knows that if he is too aggressive and tries to go “too far to fast” he can tear his shoulder out, and this ends his competitive lifting career altogether. I could not agree with Willy more in regard to being cautious with bench-pressing such high weights, especially in light of the fact that he only weighs 180 lbs. himself.)
Willy recently showed me that he can lay on the floor, head near a wall, with his hands on the floor on either side of his head, and then can pick his legs up and “keep on going”… such that he is then doing “push ups” against the wall, with his legs suspended in the air. He did 28 of these “wall push-ups” once. Willy tells me that no one that he knows can do as many of these “wall push-ups” as he can, or come even close.
As I reported a few months ago, last fall Willy did one hundred and twenty-two (122) “uphill sit-ups” on an inclined plane with a fifty pound plate on his chest. A person at his health club told him this was either a New York State record or close to it, assuming that the Internet reference that this person found was true. I mention this again here, as it is an event that occurred since Willy’s last recovery story was written in 2007.
Another event that occurred only a matter of a week or so after Willy’s last recovery story was written is rather incredible as well. In mid-August of 2007, Willy’s first year on the football team, soon after football practice began he tore his ACL. This injury involved a full tear, and not a partial one. A full tear of the ACL ligament needs to be operated on for the ACL to reattach to the knee.
This operation was never done, in part due to the fact that Willy healed from this injury so well and so fast. The people treating Willy for this injury were amazed at how well Willy recovered from this serious injury. (Willy reported to me repeatedly that his “Willy’s Baggies” of supplements helped tremendously in regard to healing.) By late September, perhaps five weeks after Willy tore his ACL, he was running miles. In early or mid-October, six or seven weeks after being hurt, Willy told me that he was up to leg pressing 200 lbs. on a repetitive basis (about half of the weight he was doing prior to getting hurt).
Normally, a full ACL tear that is not operated on means the absolute end of one’s football career. Despite both Willy’s football coaches, and the doctor that gave him a physical for football in his senior year, knowing that Willy had a torn ACL, he was allowed to go out for football. Willy fully participated in football practices and played in many of the games, He made it through the season without having any problems with his problematic knee whatsoever. (His team won the Sectional title, a game played in the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, NY.)
For a person in high school to get a full ACL tear injury, not have it operated on (such that the ACL is still unattached), and still be allowed to play football the very next season, is unheard of, to the best of my knowledge. Willy simply carries on as though this injury “never happened”… despite the fact that it did, and the damage was never surgically repaired. If this is not a testament to the power of “Willy’s Baggies” of supplements, I don’t know what is.
Another event that occurred recently is that the health club Willy attends offered him a job as a physical trainer. This is not a job he asked for, it is a job that was offered him due to the knowledge that he has, and he accepted it. Willy has in a sense now become a professional trainer, as he is being paid for what he knows. (Willy has read a number of weightlifting books. He also learned about physical training from his high school coaches and some persons at the health club that he goes to. However, Willy has been “his own trainer” over the years for the most part.)
And lastly, an event of very minor significance compared to the rest, is that Willy is one of only two young men that were asked to pose for the art class in high school, due to their physique, and the fact that the four major muscle groups in their upper legs were so well defined.
I have a great deal to thank Willy for in regard to his insistence at age thirteen “Dad, just put all of the supplements that helped you together, and I will take them all at once” (thus “Willy’s Baggie” of supplements was born). This simple-to-implement approach, along with daily supplementation with probiotics, mealtime supplementation of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, and digestive enzymes, and some allergic food avoidance (especially milk and eggs) has resulted in an absolutely profound change in Willy’s physical and mental health.
Willy’s “combined supplement approach” has also resulted in “a big part of a solid chemical answer” for depression, ADHD, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and other illnesses being discovered, assuming that the anecdotal evidence generated thus far holds up when being used with other many persons. (I firmly believe that this will be found true some day.)
Willy will be going to college in the fall. He intends on attending a community college in Utica, NY, and then transferring to a four year school. Willy’s goal is to become a high school physics teacher. (This may be a wise career choice in today’s unsound economy. It may also be a wise career choice for anyone that intends to become a parent, as one has “the summer off”.) As a minor, Willy is considering learning how to be a physical trainer, as he is doing this already, and he enjoys “teaching what he knows”.
Who knows what Willy can do in the future if he gains a little more knowledge, and has a little more time? It’s anyone’s guess at this point. I am betting on Willy, as he has certainly shown that he has the discipline and work ethic to achieve even more than he has achieved thus far.
And who knows what Willy can do in the future both athletically and academically if he supplemented with “Willy’s Baggies” of supplements (or “Willy’s Baggie II”, the next generation of our knowledge) every single day, instead of every other day, as he has been doing for years (due to the expense involved).
Regardless of what may happen in the future… Hoorah Willy!!! I am so proud of what you taught your teachers, your fellow students, and “the rest of us” in regard to what can be self-achieved in regard to mental and physical health recovery. Keep up the great work!