Jim Yakubovsky, from Arlington, Texas, I teach
7th grade history. I’m also the strength coach for the school, and the power lifting coach.
Outside of work, of course, lifting takes up a lot of my time. I’ve competed on the
USA Powerlifting World Team in a couple of meets. I started experiencing back pain after
a national championship in Scranton, Pennsylvania. It was going down the right side of my shoulder
all the way down into my arm and the pain was numbing my first two fingers and my thumb
and I was losing strength in my arm. Basically Jim had a degenerative disc that was weakened
and then through his heavy lifting and then his exercise he caused a disc herniation.
When you have a disc herniation, the material inside the disc space can push out where the
nerves go. And those nerves come out of our neck and go and operate our arm and the muscles
and the sensation to our arms. Dr. Duffy fused my C5 and C6. It’s an anterior spinal fusion,
and if you look you can’t even see the scar anymore. I can see why everybody loves to
go to him. The man really knows what he’s doing. With Jim, I just got him out to the
point where he was healed, and then we started to slowly see what he could manage, and as
you know he can manage quite a bit. Since the surgery, I lifted at the USA Powerlifting
Southside Classic down at San Antonio. I won the competition, but I also set an American
record in the squat with a 402-pound squat. The old American record was 374 pounds, so
I just kind of shattered that one. In December a year ago, December 2011, I could not put
the bar on my back and do a squat, it hurt too much. And, like I said, 2 weeks ago or
3 weeks ago, I did 402 pounds. Of course, I’m 65 too. So, you know, several of the doctors
told me I would never lift heavy again. Of course, I don’t consider this heavy yet. I’ve
still got bigger goals.