Charlie Greene summed up his former athletic accomplishments in one phrase, “once upon a time.” The endearing 70-year-old ProActive member said, “Every individual has a moment that they can capture as their own, and mine was my Olympic accomplishment,” as he reflected on his previous athletic prowess. A University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate with a gift for track and field, Charlie competed in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City and won a gold medal as a member of a 4x100 meter relay team, and a bronze for the 100 meter.
In recent years Charlie has endured two neck surgeries, with a kidney transplant sandwiched in between. During his recovery he received treatment at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospital. “For my next phase of recovery it was recommended that I work with a trainer at ProActive. What I knew about ProActive at the time, on reputation and through a recommendation by a doctor friend in Iowa, was that ProActive is considered to be the best facility in the city of Lincoln.”
Charlie reviewed the trainer bios with a discerning eye to choose someone for his therapy that was a former athlete with a background in competitive sports. He wanted to feel a connection. “When I selected Anthony Sobotka I gave him instructions not to let me overrule what he recommended. I had been a track star in my youth and I wanted him to push me, and he listened.”
He compared going through therapy to preparations for an athletic competition. “All the work you do is 60% mental/40% physical. You have to think your way through it, just like a team has to think their way to victory. It becomes a mental game. If you think you can do it, and then you show up for your therapy appointment, 60% of the effort is accomplished. Then you do the other 40% as your told and after a few weeks you get to feeling better, and you begin to work toward your goal.”
Married for 45 years to a wonderful woman he met on a blind date while at the Olympics in Mexico City, they have two daughters. There is some truth to the fact that good men have good women behind them, “said Charlie, who is thankful to have had the experts at Madonna alongside him this past year as he’s worked toward achieving his latest victory of recovery.
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