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Keeping His Tools Clean, Linebacker Spends $600k on Body Upkeep


“Keep your tools clean” was the sage advice an experienced contractor offered me early in my working life. The realization that you can only go as far as your tools will allow was the take-home and is apparently an idea Cincinnati Bengals linebacker James Harrison embraces – the $600,000 he spends annually to care for his body serving as testament.

Putting money back into the company is an idea all business people are familiar with. Whether that’s advertising expenses, equipment upgrades, or additional training, there’s a cost to maintaining and improving. For an NFL player, those costs go into tuning their “tools” in an effort to ward off the effects of violent on-field action.

“My body is what helps me to make money. Whatever there is that I need to do to try and make myself better or get myself healthy, I’m going to do it,” Harrison said during a recent press conference.

Harrison’s care-giving entourage – acupuncturists, massage therapists, chiropractors, and homeopathic doctors – is an extreme example and his budget for their services (he estimates $400k to $600k) is also likely at the high end among his NFL peers.

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“If you want to be able to stay in this business for a while, you’re going to have to take care of your body. You want to do that, you’re going to have to spend money. It’s not cheap.”

The 35-year-old veteran suffered a knee injury that caused him to miss time last season and is now starting over in a new city. He’ll have his trusted team in tow as he continues on the path to full recovery in an effort to extend his 11-year career.

Harrison’s approach may be taking it further than many others would, but his dedication to maintenance can’t be questioned. Something to think about next time any of us are sent off to a workshop for ‘skill enhancement’ – just how dedicated are we to proper prep?

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(Photo credit: sellyourseoul/flickr)

Rick Drummond
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