Categories: Outdoors

An Athlete Who Cares for Athletes

written by Andes Hruby | featured photo by Nicholas Homboe


Dr. Jeffrey Holmboe focuses on eye contact when patients talk about their condition. It takes a few minutes to realize he is missing the accessories associated with his position—a clipboard and a pen.

Eight years ago, Holmboe became head of Redmond’s satellite office of The Center, a group of skilled orthopedic surgeons, neurosurgeons and specialists.

“Redmond offered me the ability to hold on to the small-town feeling,” he said. “I don’t need a clipboard or chart to know the history of my patients, because I know them.”

Holmboe is broad-shouldered and stands at a towering 6 feet 4 inches. A football dream for coaches, his father, an orthopedic surgeon in the Navy, forbid him to play contact sports. Rather than risking his joints to injury, he became a high school All-American swimmer and a collegiate All-New England water polo player.

“I wasn’t happy with my father then,” he said. “Now, as I watch my friends and clients struggle with degrading joints and repetitive stress injuries, I can honestly say my ankles, knees and hips are working great at 60. We are all invincible until we’re not.”

After medical school he specialized in foot, ankle, and lower extremity reconstruction.The intense athletic prowess around Oregon gave him plenty of opportunity to practice his specialty. In doing so, he sacrificed his health for his passion to be helpful.

After fifteen years, he found himself exhausted, 30 pounds overweight, stressed, and lethargic. He subjected himself to numerous tests and discovered he was insulin resistant and a Type 2 diabetic. He consulted an endocrinologist and nutritionists. The road away from white starches and simple carbohydrates was grueling, so to distract himself he began taking photos.

To increase his stamina on weekends he found a group of hunters to follow and photograph. Rifle and archery hunters seek exquisite hiding holes in nature. Holmboe found the quiet stillness helped calm him and the distance walking was excellent for burning calories. He missed the camaraderie of a team sport and discovered his extensive reach and long limbs made him a natural at tennis.

“I had to learn to balance work with respect for my body,” he said. “It wasn’t an easy road, but it’s one I’ve stayed on for fifteen years.”

Dr. Jeffery Holmboe

Orthopedic surgeon at The Center, Redmond

Age: 60
Born: Portland
Residence: Bend

WORKOUT
Hiking
• Three times a week, sunset hikes in Bend on or around Awbrey Butte to reconnect outside and away from the surgery center’s artificial light.
• One long hike on weekends, indulging in nature with his camera.

Tennis clinics
• Three times a week rise-and-shine (6 a.m.) tennis clinics at clubs

NUTRITION
• Committed to keeping off the 30 pounds he lost with a low-carbohydrate diet. Caveman-centered proteins and paleo guidelines. Local meats twice a week, fish, game birds (preferably from friends), vegetables and fruit.

POST-OP INDULGENCE
• Oregon Pinot noir and well-ripened Brie

POWER FOOD
• Greek yogurt over granola with a handful of fresh or frozen blueberries.
• Fresh-ground peanut butter and whole-wheat pretzels

INSPIRATION

• Despite how complex health care has become, Holmboe goes to work every day believing he can still make a difference in people’s lives. When patients recover and return to joy, their healing feeds his passion.

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