He Runs an Office, He Runs a Store, and He Runs

If not for the passion that Bruce Wilk has for slipping on a pair of running shoes and pounding the pavement, he def­initely would not be a physical therapist. It’s the activity that has kept him motivated after two decades in the business.

“I’m blessed to be in a field for 20 years and still wake up and be excited to go to work,” said Wilk, who lives and owns a private practice in Kendall and devotes much of his free time to running.

That’s what allows him to remain focused. And if all goes well, he said, he’d like to “die with his running shoes on.”

‘When I don’t train, or if I can’t train for a week, my mind gets clogged,” said Wilk, 44. “Running brings a kind of bal­ance. It’s my time.”

MAKING A MECCA

For years, Wilk said he has been working to make Miami a mecca for runners. He sees patients at Orthopedic Rehabil­itation Specialists, 8720 North Kendall Dr., which he founded in 1985 on the condition that other physical therapists in the office be amateur athletes also.

He volunteers with the Miami Runners Club, where he has been a member for 20 years, and he leads a track workout sponsored by the club from 6:30-8 a.m. every Wednes­day at Miami-Dade Community College Kendall campus.

A year ago he opened the Runner’s High, a retail store for runners at 11209 S. Dixie Hwy.

His motivation for running has rubbed off on his patients and colleagues.

“He’s extremely knowledge­able and extremely confident,” said Jo Staniewicz, 67, who said Wilk readied him for the Walt Disney Marathon last year when his back went out six days before the race."

Staniewicz, a real estate bro­ker and property iminager, said his back was so bad he couldn’t bend over, and when he drove himself to Wilk’s office, he had to pull himself out of the car because it was too painful to bend.

“He worked me Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday,” said Staniewicz, who not only finished the race but also won his division "because he likely has had it, too."

PHOTOS BY RAUL RUBIERAIFOR THE HERALD

FOCUSED: Bruce Wilk says running keeps his mind sharp for his work as a physical therapist and owner of a retail store for runners.

GET TO KNOW

Bruce Wilk:

Occupation: Physical therapist

Personal: 44, wife Sherry, daughters, Rachel, 15, and Tracy, 12. They live in Kendall

Professional: 1985-present, director and owner, Orthopedic Rehabilitation Specialists; president,
The Runner’s High; previously he was a medical advisor with Allied Health Insurance and a lead clinician at Metra Health. He also was an adjunct professor from 1990-1998 at the University of Miami School of Medicine\ Educational: Bachelor of science In physical therapy, State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center

Quote: “At all other times I’m devoted to something else. Running Is my time.”