Gary Arner used to squat more than 800 pounds and dead lift more than 700. But by mid-summer, his knees were so shot that the former competitive powerlifter couldn’t get around without the aid of a walker.
“It’s terrible. It’s depressing,” the 55-year-old Allentown resident said of his loss of mobility and independence. “It wears on you.”
“I’m not going to lie,” Gary Arner of Allentown told The Morning Call after a double knee replacement last summer. “That first week was tough. It hurts.”
But less than two months later he was back to pumping iron in his garage — though only upper-body work because he wanted his new knees to last as long as possible. He said his knees were pain-free, although his back and hips were a bit achy because, after years of stooping to accommodate knees that wouldn’t lock, he was again standing straight, reaching his full height of 6 feet 2 inches.
“The first thing out of [people’s] mouths is, ‘Wow, you look taller!'” he said. “It’s like I’m a new person.”