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MAN IN FULL
CHRIS BALLARD
February 13, 2012
AS THE COACH AT A HIGH SCHOOL NEAR CHICAGO, MIKE POWELL HAS DONE MORE THAN CREATE STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONS. HE'S TAUGHT BOYS HOW TO BE MEN AND PROVIDED AN EXAMPLE OF COURAGE UNDER THE MOST TRYING PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES
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February 13, 2012

Man In Full

AS THE COACH AT A HIGH SCHOOL NEAR CHICAGO, MIKE POWELL HAS DONE MORE THAN CREATE STATE WRESTLING CHAMPIONS. HE'S TAUGHT BOYS HOW TO BE MEN AND PROVIDED AN EXAMPLE OF COURAGE UNDER THE MOST TRYING PERSONAL CIRCUMSTANCES

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So every morning Powell's body tells him to stay in bed, and every morning he fights it. Instead he takes 10 pills a day, eats anti-inflammatory foods, rewards himself with the occasional apple for a sugar rush and focuses on attainable goals. "My life has become relatively small," he says. "I coach wrestling and love my wife." He pauses. "I don't have much hope of being in remission for 20 years, but there's not a day that I'm not up for the fight."

These days Powell can barely complete five push-ups. If he makes it through a quarter-mile walk, he is pleased. Last week he completed two pull-ups.

He is, his wrestlers will tell you, the strongest man they know.

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