A Third Career

My first career began in medicine. It started early when I worked under a child labor permit in pathology at a teaching hospital. My final days of pure clinical, in hospital, work were over in 1990. In March of that year, I moved into the medical industry.

Today, while reading a paper, Reliability of Displayed Tidal Volume in Healthy and Surfactant-Depleted Piglets, I realized how much I don’t miss working in the medical profession.*  When I moved into industry a hospital administrator where I’d been employed said, “We’re not giving your office to anyone. You’ll be back in less than a year.” He was wrong. I’d started my second career. When I left my first, I was 35 years old and had spent 21 years in hospitals.

Working on ways to prevent iatrogenic lung injury in 1988.

The second career moved me me around the globe. It paid for law school and set me up to retire at 57 years old. Not a bad gig that ran for 21 years.

Press release photo from my medical business days, 2011.

Throughout those first two careers I’d been involved in sports. Considering I worked since I was 14 years old I’d performed well as an amateur athlete.

At one point I had an opportunity to race bicycles professionally in Europe. But, the deal left too many unanswered questions and provided little security. I stuck to my academic-based plan that developed and worked out for the best.

On the bike at the 2008 Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI

The nagging thought for decades is what might have happened if I’d have moved across the Atlanta and raced bicycles. What would it have been like to live the life of a professional athlete?

Three years ago I got my hands on a $78.00 recurve bow. I shot it in my front yards at a bale of hay. It was so weak that the hay stopped the arrows. Still the arrows landed pretty much where I’d aimed. So, since I wasn’t working, I decided to buy a better bow.

To be honest I did not want a compound bow. But, that was all I could find to purchase, so that’s is where I went. If I could do it over (actually I could) I would have worked harder to find a better recurve. Shooting a compound bow is where I now have 3 years of practice and I am not too interested in starting over, yet.

While shooting my new compound bow it occurred to me that I might be competitive if I got serious. Today, I’m serious and shoot more than most people. In fact, I practice for hours every day, except the 1 in 7 or 1 in 10 days, which are assigned as rest days. Then, I locked on the idea of a 3rd career – that career being the goal of becoming a professional athlete in archery and earning money.

Trying a 3rd career, 2016

I’ve shot in the professional class a number of times and gotten soundly beaten. I’ve also shot in the amateur classes and been beaten just as soundly. Here’s the thing, those beating are less punishing today than they were yesterday.

We’ll see how the third career progresses. What I can positively say at this point, this adventure would not be possible had it not been for the first two careers.

*Honestly, I do not miss working in the medical field. I am however, looking for an EMT Course in which to enroll. That is a matter of improving our safety here in rural countryside. I do miss doing research, but satisfy that need by playing with archery and other sports science data.