Running, walking and exercising are not just for the young.
Just ask Buckshot Sims, who at 61-years-old with two knee replacements and triple bypass, just completed the Winnsboro Rotary Shamrock 5k race.
Sims completed the 5K in 45 minutes and 19 seconds and has plans to compete in the Catfish 5k, April 10.
“At our age, we are not trying to win the darn thing,” Sims said. “I’m not a picture of health by no means, but we are trying to stay active.”
Sims had double knee replacement October 2010 and triple bipass December 2016.
Sims’ knees were in bad shape after a 26-year professional career on the rodeo circuit as bronc rider.
“I would tear my knees up, and they would scope them,” Sims said. “Two weeks later I was back out on the road rodeoing.”
His knees were so bad, a member of the Justin Healers, used them as an example to the younger riders.
The Justin Healers are the official sports medicine provider for Professional Rodeo Cowboy Association events. They are there when the injuries occur, offering emergency care and rehabilitation to rodeo contestants across the country.
“(A Justin Healer) looked at Cody DeMoss and said ‘see this right here (pointing to Sims knees),’” Sims said. “‘This is the reason we fix knees when you tear them up instead of just patching them up and going back out there. Buckshot, I can’t do you no good. You are in good enough shape just to do them (knee replacement) at the same time.’”
Sims listened to the Justin Healer and received the double knee replacement in October 2010. With extensive physical therapy, Sims was back at 100 percent by January 2011.
In 2016 Sims’ wife, Carmen, convinced him to get a cardiac checkup. Sim’s father passed away at 57 with a massive heart attack - the same age of Sims at the time.
Upon receiving a stress test and a nuclear test, doctors decided to do a heart catheterization on Sims.
“He said your left descending artery is 100 percent blocked,” Sims said. “He said the reason you are not having any symptoms is my heart has rerouted.”
When one or more of the coronary arteries suddenly becomes completely blocked, a heart attack may occur. If the blockage occurs more slowly, the heart muscle may develop small collateral blood vessels (or detours) for other coronary arteries to reroute the blood flow, and angina occurs, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
Sims did not feel any normal symptoms of heart disease or block arteries except getting “really tired, real easy.”
The initial doctor prescribed blood control and cholesterol medicine, but Sim’s middle son, Blaist, recommended doctors at Methodist Debakey Heart Center look at his case. Blaist is a nurse anesthetist at the Houston hospital.
“He called Blaist and said get your dad out here I have to show him something,” Sims said. “He had a little diagram drawn out. He said here is where you heart is rerouted and this is the reason you are not having any symptoms. It kind of corkscrews and makes a couple of loops. What is going to happen is you’re going to be the guy that falls over and nobody can bring him back.”
Sims returned home to “tend to business” and returned to Houston to have the triple bypass. The procedure was done on a Monday, and he returned home on Sunday.
“It was because I hadn’t had a heart attack was the reason I done so well,” Sims said. “My brother had to do the same thing a month later.”
In April 2017, Sims did his first official race at the Catfish 5K in Winnsboro with his wife.
“We never could run it, but we walked and jogged,” Sims said. “It was kind of a personal goal. When I was young and in the rodeo hot and heavy, I use to run three miles every other day. But, I tore my knees up and had to do other things like ride a bike.”
The night before this year’s Winnsboro Rotary Shamrock 5k, Sims was with his family at home including his youngest son, Ben, who resides in New Orleans.
Brandon, another son of Sims, was one of the race’s organizers and had to be there early.
“Ben was sitting there and said, ‘Dad, you want to do it? I said lets do it,” Sims said.
With his wife and Brandon cheering the duo on, father and son completed the race.
“I think I will do the Catfish race if I’m not working,” Sims said. “I can run the whole thing, but I’ll walk and run. Events like this are good for the community.”
These events are good for the community and also good for individuals who participate in them — no matter what age.