• By Dana Sparks

Sharing Mayo Clinic: Winning against all odds

December 16, 2018

Sharing Mayo Clinic patient Andy Steinfeldt smiling after running a raceAndy Steinfeldt discovered his love of running late in life. When a series of medical conditions and complications threatened his newfound hobby, he refused to accept a future where he wasn't able to compete.

As a high schooler, Andy Steinfeldt wasn't an athlete. He never won a ribbon or medal for anything fitness related. But now, in his 70s, the Minnetonka, Minnesota, resident is raking in the athletic awards.

Over the past two years, Andy has placed in a multitude of marathons, basketball, track and field, and strength events at the Minnesota, Iowa and South Dakota Senior Games. He routinely practices mind-boggling feats — such as performing numerous handstand push-ups and sustaining a 35-minute plank position — as part of motivational presentations he offers. 

Andy's enthusiasm and athletic prowess was born out of a desire to rise up against a series of life-limiting health conditions. He's been supported in his efforts by a team of Mayo Clinic clinicians who have fostered his healing and rehabilitation, including Jonathan Finnoff, D.O., a sports medicine specialist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.

"I think there were a number of different factors that went into his success," Dr. Finnoff says. "One is that he did have a remarkable physical recovery, where his body overcame the obstacles and healed well. But he also had the fortitude and the psychological profile to be able to overcome adversity and be dedicated to his goals. I think that had a huge amount to do with it." Read the rest of Andy's story.
This article originally appeared on the Sharing Mayo Clinic blog.