LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Watching Bruce Thompson shoot hoops you’d never know he’s 75 years old. Shot after shot, basket after basket, Bruce keeps going just like he has his whole life.
Bruce came down with Pollio in 1949. He was put in an isolation ward in an iron lung for three months. Bruce had problems with a limp growing up, but he says it never affected him as a kid.
Bruce overcame Pollio, played college baseball at Southern Illinois Evansville, and was eventually signed by the St. Louis Cardinals. He was a Texas League All-Star and played minor league ball for four years.
After back surgery in the early ’90s, Bruce gained 45 pounds and started swimming. Soon he started lifting weights. Three years ago, Bruce was in a brace due to foot problems. The brace caused his calf muscle to wither away, but that changed after hitting the weights.
Bruce says physical activity can change your life too.
“I promise you if you start working on a specific area that you’re weak in and you’ll see the results,” Bruce said
Jeff Lawrence is a trainer at the Little Rock Athletic Club. He has seen the work Bruce has put in at the gym.
“He’s a go-getter. He didn’t care what his obstacles were. He was going to work out. Look what it did for him,” Lawrence said
Bruce says he has a lot of motivation.
“I got two grandkids that I want to see grow up so that’s a driving force in my life,” Bruce said. “We were meant to exercise. We weren’t meant to sit in front of a tv and eat chips and watch ballgames.”