You never know what life will throw at you. That’s the beauty of it. Everyday there’s a new challenge that presents itself and your attitude will be the driving force that compels you to complete your goal. This is the story of Radnor High School athlete Michael “Ozzie” O’Sullivan, who suffered a stroke back in 2013 and is on his way to recovery.
Ozzie was a just a regular kid growing up in Wayne, Pennsylvania. “I enjoyed sports as a young kid, played little league baseball… I went to Radnor high school, class of 79, played baseball there, played right field, and pitched…” That was his passion growing up. He loved the game of baseball more than anything. He spoke on how he got into the sport and he said: “Baseball? I had a lot of friends that played baseball, and it was a little oriented place where we all grew up.” Growing up, Ozzie was always playing ball. However, he was playing so much that it felt like he was distant from his family.
“I like playing baseball and it got me to a point where nothing could bother me. My family was (there), and baseball was here.”
Ozzie eventually got to be so talented that he was receiving offers from Division 1 programs such as USC, University of Florida, and LSU. Everything started to come together until an inopportune injury came about. Ozzie was more than just a baseball player, he was an all-around athlete. During football practice, Ozzie told me he “was playing quarterback for Radnor. We went over this play, I just threw a 90 yard pass to the two yard line. We were up 22-0, and the coach said ‘listen, just run one more play’. I said ‘okay’ and we ran a trap play to the back, and the snap went up in the air went to push in my hand back was already gone. So I stopped and planted with my left foot then got hit high and low.”
His baseball recruitment and football skill was just the beginning of what was looking like to be a promising athletic career, but once his knee gave out, things wouldn’t be the same. Ozzie later joined a 30-year-old league playing baseball and played there for about 10 years. At the end of year ten in the league, his mother started to get sick and had to take care of his family. However, due his dedication to baseball, Ozzie felt strange being around his family for so long. “It was weird because they didn't really know me. I was like an uncle to my brothers who had kids and my sister had kids. I never functioned as a living relative.”
After both of his parents passed, Ozzie spent time working for Rittenhouse Book Distributors who sell books to hospitals and universities around the country. He was in the stock receiving department.
Like I said in the beginning of this article, you never know what life will throw at you. Back in 2013, Ozzie was getting up to go to the bathroom and then later woke up in the hospital. He was living alone in the third floor of his apartment building where he was found. I asked him if anyone was there to help, and he said: “No, nobody. I fell and crashed on the floor and stayed there for two days, two nights.”
After his stroke, he couldn’t walk, talk, or do anything. But (also like I said before), everyday there’s a new challenge that presents itself and your attitude will be the driving force that compels you to complete your goal. Ozzie knew he wanted to get back to his normal life walking and talking. He got connected with Max Out Strength Studio which is a gym in Royersford, Pennsylvania. “Through the use of cutting edge technology, science based methodology and proven mental conditioning - are committed to providing every client with the most exceptional experience possible at all times.” Fusing that statement with Ozzie’s attitude presented a great challenge with great reward.
Ozzie began working out at Max Out after his stroke. The road to recovery isn’t always the easiest, especially on the first day. “I was beat afterwards. They had me do everything. The third time, I actually threw up.” As time passed, he began to notice his progression a little more and he started to feel more like himself than ever. “Oh god, it’s so hectic. Without Max Out, I don’t know what I would do… I don't know what I would do. They were so good to me and it just feels like the pressure is unbelievable. You know, you come in, they give you a workout, and you feel good about yourself. You know, I haven't felt this good about myself in years.”
Ozzie spent 2-3 hours per day working out for the past 3 and a half years except for Fridays, that’s his relaxation day. Nowadays, Ozzie is able to run (even sprint) and cognitively develop tremendously. Ozzie’s efforts were definitely taken notice of. Back in April, Ozzie was honored at the Fighting Back Scholarship Programs’ Annual Achievement Night. At the event, Ozzie was honored for his tremendous work ethic and perseverance. He had many people to thank including Officer Matt Cubbler who got Ozzie working out at Max Out. The real sweet moment came when his baseball friends from back home surprised Ozzie at the event.
“It’s like the offensive line in football.” One buddy drove up from Virginia. “They’re all great people… and I would never forget it in my life”. Ozzie was put into tears reading his speech after seeing his friends appear at his events. He describes what it was like reading his speech: “I read this novel script and kind of lost it at the first part. Then I finished it out”.
Max Out has done wonders for Ozzie. Today, he is a happy man who still works out every day (except Fridays) and is with his Fiancé of one year. There’s no marriage date yet. He’s also a janitor for the facility where he was hired to do so about 7 months ago. He works out while he cleans. There’s no better way to describe Ozzie than being simply fantastic.
“They made me feel so good. I have people that care about me. I show up, I do what I do. Max out is definitely number one. It brought out so many things that I like to do and it forces me to step up and do the things that they want me to do for me”.