Addison Agler's movement inside the shot put ring is more than a natural instinct.
The Hubbard High School senior is blessed to be able do it.
Agler advanced to Saturday's Division II regional track and field boys shot put at Bedford Bearcat Stadium, which starts at 11:30 a.m.
A few other track and field finals and track semifinals begin on Thursday at 4 p.m.
Way before Agler stepped into the throwing circle, he had a life-altering event in second grade when his body was overcome by seizures.
"I was sent to the hospital," said the 6-foot-1, 275-pound Agler, who also played for the Eagles' football team. "They weren't sure why at first. Then, I had an EEG (A record of the tiny electrical impulses produced by the brain's activity, according to the-free-dictionary.com By measuring characteristic wave patterns, the EEG can help diagnose certain conditions of the brain.) They (doctors) determined I had seizures and strokes and had pinpoint brain tumors. The strokes pretty much ended the seizures, but it killed off that part of the brain. I ended up with weak dexterity, left-sided weakness.
"My memory is very iffy. My parents would tell me stories and I have no idea what they are. Or if I look at a picture, can I piece it together? But, I don't know if it's real."
What is real is Agler's determination to overcome hardship.
Hubbard throwing coach Zack Lord, who is also the youth coordinator at Agler's church - Church Hill United Methodist Church in Liberty, learned about Agler's situation a year ago.
"It's great to see where he's been," Lord said. "He's opened up to me and told me everything he's been through. He's a modest guy. He'll never say anything is wrong. He'll never say anything is bothering him. He'll never make excuses. I've never heard him make an excuse ever since I've known him."
Recalling memories from his elementary school days and younger are all but impossible for Agler.
"To build back the memory, there's not much you can do," he said. "Some people say you can't build back your memory until you learn how to read. That took me until about fifth or sixth grade. That's around the time when I remember some things, but before that it's very foggy."
His weakened left side hindered some physical activities.
"When I would swim, back in fourth grade, my whole right side would be a whole stroke faster than my left," Agler said. "I could barely kick with my left leg."
Agler had to rely on his dogged determination, lifting weights, jumping rope and strength training to build up that left side. But his physical nature isn't all that was enhanced.
"I wasn't able to do a pushup until seventh grade - a full push up," Agler said. "I couldn't even do a girls' one, really. That's because of football, I got used to doing the push-ups and that built my strength up. That's really it's how it just happened.
"I've carried that work ethic all the way through into my school work. Right now, I'm into college and high school calculus and chemistry classes. It's hard and grueling, but hard work needs to be done if you want to get anywhere."
Agler may attend the University of Toledo to study bioengineering. It's a long way from where he once was mentally.
"I can't really describe how hard it is to work and to get up to where I am," Agler said. "I'm happy I am at that level. When I was younger, we'd have to write these one- or two-page reports and it would take me an hour. It still takes me an hour to write a paragraph. I'd get so frustrated that I would cry. My mother and my sister would have to sit me down and they would have to help me write everything out. They would have me dictate to them what to write down. It was just long and grueling to sit there and think about, 'What do I say for this? What sentence? What word comes next?' "
He hasn't had any medical issues with his brain since second grade. Now, he concentrates on the shot put.
"Overall, it's a lot of footwork," Agler said of the shot put. "It's a lot of technique. It's being perfect at every little thing - like with your foot pivoting and bringing your hips through, getting your foot down on the spin, getting down at the right time. That the hard part - all those little things that add together.
"That helps me out with football because my foot speed has got so much better."
Agler's life, as a whole, has become better as he's grown physically, mentally and spiritually.
"He's an absolutely man of faith," Lord said. "That's what brought him through all of this. He's never been a 'Why God?' kind of thing, like why did this happen? Why did this happen to me? It's been like, 'I'm in this situation now. How can I get through this with You?' It's always been great to see him use that. His faith has never lacked. He's always been great character. You can't say more about him than how great his character is, the amount of strength and will he has. He puts everything he has into God. It's great to see him do that."