Tribute to Muhammad Ali….Post Call ramblings (residency call series)

June 6, 2016

muhammadali.jpg“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

With the kind of call we had, I am sure every member of my team felt this way at some point over our 26hour call. We were slaughtered, it was painful at times. I got the easiest part, most of the time I was operating. We did 5 cases (4 were laparoscopic appendectomies). Every type of appendicitis was represented, from simple straight forward to generalized peritonitis with pus and stool everywhere. The resident covering the emergency room saw 30 surgical consults, probably a record. My record was 27 in one call and it was one of the most painful experiences in my training.

My daughter asked me what it was like to interact with the man known as ‘the greatest.’ I grew up in a small village called Berrien Springs. The first time I met Muhammad Ali was at the post office. He was sending out packages and he talked to me about something which I don’t remember now and gave me a dollar. I had no idea who he was until I showed my friend the dollar and she said, “oh, thats the most famous boxer in the world.” I was never into boxing and really didn’t know much about it. That was not going to be the last time I would interact with him. We would see him at dairy queen or McDonalds or just around the town. The most humble man I have ever met. He had an amazing way with words and was an inspiration to many. He is a man who showed that when you believe in yourself, nothing can and will stop you!

Some of my favorite quotes:

“Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.”

“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”

“He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life.”

“A man who views the world the same at 50 as he did at 20 has wasted 30 years of his life.”

“If they can make penicillin out of moldy bread, they can sure make something out of you.”

“At home I am a nice guy: but I don’t want the world to know. Humble people, I’ve found, don’t get very far.”

“A man who has no imagination has no wings.”

“Live everyday as if it were your last because someday you’re going to be right.”

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