Photo by @fritzphotos // Words by @petergwin Photographed on assignment for National Geographic magazine.
New England Patriots linebacker James Harrison (@jhharrison92) knows about pain—KNOWS about it. For nearly two decades he has been delivering and receiving devastating blows on NFL fields. This afternoon, at age 39, he will step onto the field for today’s AFC Championship Game as the oldest defensive player in professional football. (His teammate @tombrady is a year older and among the oldest offensive players.) Last spring, he let photographer Fritz Hoffmann and I visit him in Arizona to document his workouts (lots of power lifts) and meticulous health routine (no alcohol, refined sugar, or processed carbs). In between weightlifting sessions, we asked him his secret for playing such a violent game at such a high level for so long. “Ain’t no damn secret, man. HARD WORK, lots of hard work!” Well that, and a lot of attention to caring for his body. Harrison spends about $350,000 a year employing a team of specialists, including massage therapists, acupuncturists, and chiropractors, who help manage the punishment his body endures. One of them is Codi Hoos, a massage therapist who uses cupping, an ancient therapy practiced for centuries in China, to reduce muscle soreness. I mentioned to Harrison that scientists are skeptical about cupping some of the other treatments he uses. Harrison shrugged. “All I know is before I get treated, I HURT, and after, I feel better.”————- #NFL #Defense #playoffs #footballer #gameday #patriots #newengland #thephotosociety #tps #JamesHarrison #92