George and Mary-Lynn

90-Year Old Finishes Career On A Super High

By Bigg Success Staff
02-07-08

Success Stories

john_johnson_jpg 

Can you imagine working for the same organization for sixty years?

John Johnson can!

He is (or, was) the Assistant Athletic Trainer for the New York Giants. He announced before Sunday’s Super Bowl match-up between the Giants and the New England Patriots that it would be his last game.

John Johnson, at 90-years young, is going out a winner!

He’s worked for the Giants for 874 regular season games and, with Super Bowl XLII, 34 post season contests. He’s been part of the Super Bowl champion team three times!

Mr. Johnson, or “Mr. J” as he is affectionately known by the players, wanted to be a doctor. But he was coming of age during the Great Depression and couldn’t afford to go to medical school.

He found physical therapy – it let him be associated with medicine, so he could help people. That’s what was important to him.

He got a $500 loan from his supervisor at his part-time job. That covered his tuition at the Swedish Institute of Physiotherapy in New York City. He lived with his aunt in Brooklyn and took the subway into school.

School ran from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. everyday. He attended classes in the morning and worked in an area hospital in the afternoon, applying the skills he learned in class. He remembers those days with fondness as he helped many people return to a productive life after suffering from the debilitating effects of polio.

After he finished school, Mr. J got a job at the YMCA as the director of physical services. Three years later, he was drafted by the Air Force during World War II.

After the war, he heard about an opening at Manhattan College. He signed on as their head athletic trainer in 1947. The next year, he learned that the New York Giants were looking for a trainer. He joined them in 1948, working the two jobs until 2004. He retired from Manhattan College in 2004 after open-heart surgery.

He was there for 57 years, earning so much respect that they named the athletic center after him – it’s now the John “Doc” Johnson Athletic Training Center.

The players loved Mr. J because he attended to their aches and pains. He never told them “it was in their head”. As a trainer, he doesn’t diagnose their problems – that’s up to the team doctors. He administers the prescribed therapy and listens to the players to nurse them back to health.

Physical therapy today requires more education than it did back when Mr. J got started. It’s also become more specialized. However, according to the United States Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, the outlook for physical therapy jobs is better than average.

Are you looking for a career you can love for sixty years? Find what you love to do and you’ll go out a winner, too!

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Sources

Swedish Institute of Physiotherapy

New York Times 

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