Matt Kenney

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 27th

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On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I strive for.  When I was a teenager, I remember watching a special about a team that won an NCAA title in basketball.  Their semi-final game required one of their players to hit two free throws (while down one point with seconds left) to win it.  What stuck with me was an interview with the head coach.  As the player lined up for those free throws, the coach recalled saying to his assistant “he may miss, but he won’t choke.”  The implication being that he was so experienced that the pressure wouldn’t get to him and prevent him from performing to his normal level.  That line has stuck with me, and I find it significant. 

Results are never guaranteed.  There are bad bounces, unforeseen circumstances, and other issues that can affect them.  What we can control is our approach and process.  Giving a maximum effort and being committed to improving every time you attempt something is crucial.  Done enough, it makes high level performance more easily reproduceable.  Then, when a stressful or challenging situation arises, you will fall back to that high level of training and perform as best you can.

An interesting business conversation I had.  I spoke to a friend and fellow business owner this week.  He asked me what I do to “convince patients to stay with me.”  My response was “nothing.”  This confused him but I explained that I want volunteers in my practice, not hostages.  Anyone who chooses to visit my office should be there only because it is their decision, not because I was able to scare or convince them to be.

Therefore, my “tactics” are simple.  I am honest with my patients, give my best effort and expertise each visit, and never pressure them to make any decision for my benefit.  This allows me to operate an extremely low stress business, deal primarily with great people, and sleep well knowing I’ll bever violate my principles or ethics.  My friend asked if this method was effective for me, and I told him it was.  Most of my patients continue to seek ongoing care (at a frequency of their choosing) and I am blessed to receive many referrals from them.  Give me volunteers over hostages any day!

Something I think of often.  There is a scene in “The Empire Strikes Back” where Yoda is training Luke and prompts him to go into an ominous looking cave.  Luke senses that it is a dark, challenging place and insists on bringing his weapons with him even though he is told he will not need them.  He asks Yoda what is in the cave, and he replies, “only what you take with you.”

We bring who and what we are to everything we do.  Positive or negative, high or low energy, hard working or lazy; these are all examples.  When we are achieving positive outcomes in our lives and our relationships are healthy, we are usually taking the right things with us.  Conversely, when results are poor, relationships are constantly in strife, and we are regularly blaming others/circumstances for our shortcomings; we are not.  As the saying goes, “wherever you go, there you are.”  Make sure you are creating the best version of yourself because that version travels best into any endeavor.

A recent interaction.  I was asked by an organization I respect to be a volunteer last fall.  I was happy to help and agreed.  The person in charge asked me for my information and I provided it immediately.  I was told I would hear back in two days and though that turned into two months, I let it slide.  Then I was asked to fill out a background check and did so.  That was supposed to lead to a meeting five days later but stretched into two months before I finally heard back.  I wasn’t thrilled, but was still willing to help, and we set a face-to-face meeting for last weekend.  When I arrived to the meeting (on time), I was asked by the person I’d been dealing with if I could wait another 15-20 minutes.  I said “no” to his face and let him know I was no longer interested in volunteering my skills to help them.

It can be a good thing to exercise patience and give people the benefit of the doubt.    However, actions tell the tale.  Though I respect the overall organization, the person I dealt with showed no value for my time, was lazy, and disorganized.  Proceeding in a situation like that would only have made me bitter, so I decided against it.  Selecting where you give your time and what behavior you are willing to accept is crucial.  Personally, I only want to give my time to people and causes that uplift me, rather than dragging me down or causing regret.        

Some quotes I love.

“I know 12-year-old men and I know 40-year-old boys.  The difference is in the choices.  Boys choose distractions that allow them to avoid duties.  They choose the coffin of comfort.  Men choose responsibility and growth.  They choose never to play the victim.  They choose life.” – Matt Beaudreau

“Birds born in a cage think flying is an illness.”

“Care about what people think and you will always be their prisoner.” – Lao Tzu

“Where you are right now is the result of actions you took 1-2 years ago.  That grew from thoughts you had 3-4 years ago, that were battling or supporting habits you built up over your entire life.” – Ed Latimore

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 27th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 20th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant. I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.

Something that being in practice has taught me. I have seen thousands of patients in my career in debilitating pain. Some are from serious accidents, injuries, or conditions they did nothing to cause themselves. However, the majority are from long term damage that could have been prevented with even basic steps being taking physically and nutritionally.

When most reach this point, they wish they could turn back time and make better decisions. No one wants to live in pain or be unable to enjoy their life. The lesson is to take every step possible now so that you can be at your optimal level of health for as long as possible. That means making (at minimum) decent decisions regarding what you put into your body and how you care for it through exercise, stretching, chiropractic, massage and more. The small decisions that may seem a hassle now, will earn you more quality time later in life.

Something I believe. In any endeavor with the goal of making you better, there is a “positive point of no return.” This is a phrase I use to mean the amount of time necessary to start seeing a result that will provide you confidence and hope. “A positive point of no return” can be powerful because it helps us to prove to ourselves that something is possible.

For example, when working with someone that needs to lose fifty pounds, if they can stay consistent long enough to lose the first 5-10, it becomes much easier thereafter. Thus, ten pounds of weight loss can be their “positive point no return” where they’ll keep going and not quit on their goal. The point is, it is important to remain steadfast and patient when working toward a goal of self-improvement. It will not be easy, but if you can stay committed long enough to reach the point where you see results and believe in yourself, you will feel like anything is achievable.

A common question I get. People that know about my races, training, and regimen often ask me if I worry that I’m taking too much time away from my family. Usually this is asked in a passive-aggressive manner by someone that does little to care for themselves, wanting me to feel selfish. My answer is that I do not worry at all.

First, no one in my family would ever tell you that I sacrifice time with them to work out, run, or train. I simply complete those activities around my responsibilities and commitments. If I must get up at 2am to train, I will, but I will not miss games or events to do so. Second and more importantly, I am proud of the example I set for my children to follow. Speaking this lesson to them may help, but showing them is much more effective. My hope is that my kids understand that taking time for family is just as crucial as taking time to care for yourself, and that they help each other.

Something I believe. Years ago, my wife taught me the concept of life having “seasons.” This means that some periods of life are great, and some are not. For example, a bad year that you’ve gone through would be a tough season. Getting engaged, married, or having a child are likely to be great ones, however.

I believe the concept of “seasons” is accurate but would also add that the “weather” in those seasons may vary. In other words, you may have two great months then a brutal two week stretch. That does not mean the entire period was horrible. I encounter people regularly that go through a brief, tough time and lose sight of all the good things happening to/for them. They fall apart because things are not perfect. Tough times and challenges happen to all of us, we just need to deal with them. Always remember that your life will have “seasons,” and even within those times you will experience good and bad “weather.”

Some quotes I love.

“Some people are investments, and some people are bills.”

“Hope has two beautiful daughters; their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are, and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are.” – St. Augustine

“Be careful the friends you choose for you will become like them.” – W. Clement Stone

“Two traps you need to avoid: 1. Caring what they think. 2. Thinking that they care.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 20th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 13th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I learned.  A friend told me recently that buffaloes instinctively run towards storms rather than from them.  I was curious about this, did research, and found it to be true.  They head towards a storm so that it will more quickly pass by overhead and minimize the amount of time they spend under it.  Other herd animals run from the storm though they cannot outrun it, even if it takes them in the wrong direction.  This created an analogy that appealed to me because I believe if we train ourselves to sacrifice a bit of comfort in the short term, it helps us in truly tough times. 

My long runs, training in extreme weather, toughest workouts, cold plunges, races, and more have conditioned me to be comfortable being uncomfortable.  This is my way of running into the storm.  The benefit of doing so changed my life because when I have gone through extreme tragedies, I did not break or lose who I was.  Dealing with the small discomforts I imposed on myself repeatedly taught me to be like the buffaloes and face storms head on. 

Something that helped me.  My 100-mile race next month will necessitate me running for more than 24 hours straight.  I will begin at 6am and will see two sunrises and a sunset before I finish. The toughest time during these types of races tends to be nighttime after a full day of exertion.  During this period, it is dark, and I am alone with only my headlamp to guide my way.  Recently, I found myself worrying about that aspect of the race. 

Rather than keep stressing about it, I decided to try and attack it in my training.  To do so, I went through my normal day (getting up early, working out, running, seeing patients, etc.), then at 10pm that night, I left my house for a 3-4 hour run.  This simple act helped immediately remove the concern I had over running at night when I’m at my most exhausted point.  It reminded me that I enjoy the quiet and solitude of nighttime running and that it’s no big deal.  Directly facing something that troubles you removes its power and helps you conquer it. 

A good reminder.  I recently heard someone I have always looked up to say things that shocked me.  He is in a prominent leadership position, and I’d always viewed this person as someone with great strength and principles.  Shockingly, his words spoke to weakness, a need for acceptance, and half-measures.  It was disappointing because it was contrary to anything I’d heard him say before. 

It is important to remember that trust is a sacred thing.  It can be built over months, years, or decades but eroded in seconds.  When I heard his words, my instinct was not to judge him or get in his face.  Over the years, I have gained great insight and advice from this person and will not forget that.  However, it did put a dent in my trust.  Trust can be regained but that task is far more challenging than building and maintaining it in the first place. 

Something that impressed me.  Most of you are aware of the horrific injury/incident on Monday Night Football last week in which Damar Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest.  This was unprecedented for an NFL game and obviously shocking and horrifying to see, especially on a sports field.  What I found incredible was that the person who saved this young man’s life was an assistant trainer for the Buffalo Bills.  He was not the highest-ranking medical professional on site, did not possess the most credentials, and did not ask anyone for permission to intervene.  When stuff hit the fan, he just reacted.  He saw a life in danger and did what he knew to help him by administering CPR.  On national television, in front of millions of people, in a high-pressure situation; he reacted instantly and decisively.  His willingness to act was extremely impressive to me. 

Some quotes I love.

“In skating over thin ice our safety is in our speed.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“A hungry stomach, an empty wallet and a broken heart can teach you the best lessons in life.”

“Most of the battle in life is about getting your mindset right.  Ninety percent of life is mental.  Typically, we are own worst enemy.  The problem isn’t the problem.  Our reaction to the problem is the problem.” – Dr. James Nicolantonio

“Your good habits have a present-day cost, discomfort, inconvenience, and temporary deprivation; while the cost of your bad habits is deferred to your future self in disappointment, disability, and dissatisfaction.” – Brandon Mancine

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 13th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 6th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something inspirational I heard.  I was listening to an ultra-running podcast and the guest was a woman who recently completed a 240-mile race.  What was inspirational about her was that she was not born as an amazing runner or endurance athlete.  She was a regular woman that lost over 200 pounds!  She got motivated to begin getting healthy not on the advice of her doctors or friends, it was the realization that she couldn’t walk a mile to a restaurant her friends had selected for brunch.  She went from being afraid and unable to walk a single mile, to running 240 miles straight.

What I found inspirational was that she created massive changes in her life by starting small.  She began by making herself a healthy lunch each day for two weeks instead of eating out.  After two weeks, she added homemade meals for dinner as well.  Those improvements led to joining a gym which eventually led to running (at night because she did not want anyone to see her).  She followed no specific plan, just attempted different things, and gave it her best.  Hearing her describe the mental and physical transformation she made from a sedentary, obese person to a confident woman unafraid to challenge herself, was amazing to me!

Something that has been helping me.  Beginning on December 30th, my wife decided she and I should start doing daily ice baths through the end of January.  We run cold water into our tub, then add shovels full of snow to get it approximately 35-40 degrees.  I am the one that introduced my family to ice baths year ago, but I had not thought to do them in quite some time.   

I stay in the ice bath for 3-5 minutes and it has made a tremendous difference in my recovery.  With the training for my upcoming race, I have been running daily for almost 6 months and have continued to work out 6 days a week during that time as well.  This tends to create soreness and stiff joints at times, both of which the ice baths have been decreasing dramatically.  Additionally, putting your body into freezing water challenges you mentally so it helps build fortitude and strength in that regard too.

A lesson I’ve learned from my toughest races.  As someone that has suffered through long and intense races, I have learned many lessons along the way.  One I find significant is that it hurts more to stop than keep moving forward.  When we face challenges (physical or mental), there is a tendency to want to take a break.  We tell ourselves we will rest, gather our thoughts, and regroup but more often we simply lose our momentum and nerve. 

I have found in races that when I rest too long, my body tightens up and it becomes more painful to continue.  Mentally, my mind senses comfort and begins to see whatever challenge remains as more daunting.  Likewise in life, when I take a break from pursuing a goal, I find I lose momentum and start talking myself out of making the type of aggressive moves I know will help.  Having learned this lesson (often the hard way), my goal is always to rest as little as possible while pursuing relentless forward progress.

Something I teach my children.  I don’t recall where I initially heard it, but a saying I teach my children is, “You get two names in life, the one I give you, and the one you will make for yourself.” 

The first is important because it will always remind you of where you came from and how you began.  However, the second is more important.  I teach my children that the name they make for themselves is ongoing.  It involves habits, character, how they treat others, reactions in times both good and bad, and so much more.  In the end, the name you make for yourself is created over time through your actions so make sure they are ones you can be proud of.

Some quotes I love.
“You have what it takes, but it may take everything you have.”

“It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case, you fail by default.” – J.K. Rowling

“Sacrifice comfort to chase goals or sacrifice goals to chase comfort.” – Dr. Josh Handt

“Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Sigmund Freud

“The false prophets told the people what they wanted to hear, and the people loved them.  The true prophets told the people what they needed to hear…and they stoned them.”

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – January 6th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 30th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something inspiring to me.  My wife and I have a dear friend that is only around 60 years of age but is now in late-stage hospice care at her home.  Unfortunately, she will pass away very soon.  We are close to her and her family and this is very sad for all of us.  Last week, my wife was able to sit with this woman and speak with her. 

My wife asked if she was scared to die, and she said she was not.  She explained that she had done so much in her lifetime (raised 3 adult children, etc.) that it comforted her and gave her peace with what was soon to come.   This attitude and outlook inspired me greatly.  There is a saying attributed to many of the great warrior cultures, “today is a good day to die.”  The implication being that if you live your life with purpose, you will be fulfilled and at peace when it is your time to go, regardless of when.  The fact this woman embodies this attitude as her time is at hand inspires me to live an even better life myself. 

Something I loved.  I took my wife out to breakfast last week and she asked how the training for my 100-mile race was going and if I was ready.  I told her it has been my best training cycle ever and that I am prepared to die to finish the race (more of an expression than prediction!).  I told her how I picture receiving my belt buckle after completing the race.  Custom belt buckles are given to finishers in these types of events and “earning a buckle” is considered a badge of honor in the ultra-running community.

After listening to me explain all this to her, my wife thought for a second and casually said “Well, you better come home with that belt buckle or in a body bag.” I laughed and told her I loved hearing that!  It is a wonderful thing to spend your life with someone that truly understands you as my wife does me.  When we got home from breakfast, I immediately made a sign that hangs in my home gym saying, “Belt buckle or body bag” and it has become one of my mantras as I train! 

A recent interaction.  I was speaking with someone in a service industry this week about their business.  They complained about clients, having to work certain hours, challenges they encounter, and more.  Rather than seek solutions to these issues, they began telling me how they avoid them.  Things like making excuses, skipping work, and more.  They asked if I had any advice, and I did.

I advised them to be more of a professional and stop thinking so much about their feelings.  A professional always gives the best effort possible and seeks solutions to challenges.  Someone acting on feelings will make emotional decisions unlikely to produce positive or lasting results.  I told them the hard truth is that in business, no one cares about your feelings, but they will care about your professionalism.  For example, no one wants to go to a concert they paid 300 bucks for and hear the artist tell you how bad their day has been and why they won’t be doing as good of a job as usual, they want to hear the hits!

Something I teach my kids.  “On my honor” is a phrase I use often around my older children.  When I say that something is “on my honor” it means I see it as a matter of pride, principle, and importance.  Anything that falls into this category must be completed every time to the highest standard and is not open to negotiation.

A couple years ago, I began noticing the woman next door to me out early shoveling her driveway.  My wife mentioned to me that this was because her husband was too sick to do it any longer.  It turns out he had a bad form of cancer, from which he eventually died earlier this year.  Once I found out he was sick, I made shoveling her driveway a matter of my honor.  Though a simple gesture, I make sure to wake up earlier than normal (usually about 4am) and shovel her driveway so that she won’t have to worry about it.  This is certainly nothing special on my part, however, it is an example of how I view an act of honor.  It can be something small or large, but the act must become a priority, performed to the highest level, and done solely for reasons of pride rather than credit. 

Some quotes I love.

“Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” – Nelson Mandela

“I’ll tell you one thing, just don’t quit!  The beauty is in the journey!  Run your race!”  – Jeremy Reaves

“You don’t just pass down your genetics to your children.  You pass down your habits.” – Dan Go

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 30th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 23rd

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Two rules I follow.  A patient was complimenting me on my attitude this week and asked me how I always stay so positive.  I appreciated the kind words and told him that my two biggest rules are to never feel sorry for myself and never complain.  Through my twenties, I did plenty of both and always hated the way I felt.  With experience, I have learned the benefits of not doing either.

Feeling sorry for ourselves and/or complaining is counterproductive.  It creates a focus on explanations and excuses rather than solutions to our problems.  We also waste precious time over-analyzing our issues which tends to create negativity in our own minds.  I have found that not giving myself the option to pursue self-pity or pointless complaining has allowed me to be more decisive, positive, and happier.  Give this a try, I promise it will help!

Something I realized.  I am four and a half months into my six months of preparation for my upcoming 100-mile race on February 4th.  I run daily (sometimes multiple times) and continue to workout and stretch 5-6 days per week.  I’ve had a couple Sundays recently where I have had extra downtime to relax.  With all that training, you would assume that I would like nothing more than to kick back but I don’t.  In fact, I find myself uneasy and wanting to do more so I end up running again, doing another workout, or both. 

Does that mean that I am obsessed?  Yes.  However, there are goals in life that will require obsession.  I want to show up for that race in my best physical and mental shape to date so I am willing to do whatever necessary to get there.  I do not ignore my family, businesses, or commitments but I am happy to burn every other moment possible preparing for that goal.  I have had this level of obsession at times in sports, in chiropractic school, in business, etc. and it is yet to fail me.  The word “obsessed” has a negative connotation but when it comes to achieving something extraordinary, sometimes that’s what is required to get there!

Something I encounter often.  “I am willing to do anything.”  I have heard this hundreds of times from patients/clients/friends looking to achieve some better level of fitness, nutrition, health, or business success.  Nine times out of ten, this is followed by them balking at the first recommendation that is offered to them (by me or someone else with experience).  They make excuses as to why it won’t work, is too hard, how they’re different than everyone else, and so on. 

If you want to achieve a result you’ve never had, it stands to reason that you will need to pursue options you have never tried. Whenever I hear from someone that says they want success but will not follow advice, it tells me where their true level of commitment stands.  It is commendable to want to attain a lofty goal but remaining in the same comfort zone with the same habits is not likely to get us there.  Being open to learning more and trying a new approach can make all the difference. 

Something I read and liked.  I stumbled onto a description of some basic Japanese concepts this week and enjoyed reading about them.  Several stood out, but my favorite was the concept of “Gaman.”  This is a term used to describe having dignity while being under duress.

The theory is that even the toughest times should be met with emotional maturity, self-control, patience, and perseverance.  Have you ever been around someone that freaks out or gives up when even the slightest thing starts going amiss?  It is brutal to be around and makes a bad situation far worse.  We cannot control what happens to us (or around us), but we can manage how we react.  Remaining calm, collecting ourselves, and behaving in a manner that we can be proud of later should always be the standard we seek.  It will not be easy, but it is worth it to pursue “Gaman” as best we can.    

Some quotes I love.

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.  When the student is truly ready, the teacher will disappear.” – Tao Te Ching

“Most of us aren’t defeated in one decisive battle.  We are defeated one tiny, seemingly insignificant surrender at a time that chips away at who we really should be.” – Jocko Willink

“You hit home runs not by chance, but by preparation.” – Roger Maris

“Getting in shape is 10% exercise, 50% nutrition, and 40% managing your emotions.” – Dan Go

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 23rd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 16th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something that helps me.  As I prepare for my 100-mile race, I use the weekends to knock out my longest runs.  This past weekend, as I got very close to finishing both runs, I challenged myself to keep running for an few extra miles.  In no way did I feel like doing so, but I have found this type of thing to be incredibly valuable.   

Performing when you are tired, hungry, unmotivated, etc. is a skill to be developed.  If you can hone it, you will find that you are able to succeed even when you aren’t 100%.  This is crucial because we are so rarely able to be at our absolute best.  When I look back at my training after I have completed a major race, I barely remember most of the miles I’ve covered or workouts I have completed.  What I do remember, are the times when I pushed myself a bit further.  The “extra” is what brings you to a higher level and that is what it takes to accomplish extraordinary goals!

Something I know to be true.  As I scrolled social media recently, my feed was filled with these fancy and exotic types of workouts, promising amazing results.  It’s great to try different things and there are certainly many types of workouts that have value.  However, what I try to explain to patients and clients of mine is that to succeed, you do not need fancy.  All you really need is basic but consistent.

I have tried everything you can imagine when it comes to fitness and exercise.  Some of those things make cool photos, like flipping tires, carrying a heavy bag up a mountain, running in snowstorms, and more.  The reality is what has helped me the most is boring.  I perform the basics time and again, which leads to incremental improvements that no one would ever mention on social media.  If you are interested in getting in better shape, understand that it does not need to be complicated.  Master a few essentials and most importantly, remain consistent with them.  The cool stuff gets the “likes” but the boring, consistent staples get the results. 

Something that helps.  How do you feel when you walk into a room that is an absolute mess?  If you were meeting with a mortgage lender, accountant, or attorney, and their office had papers strewn everywhere, how would you feel?  The point is, when things around you are cluttered, your mind soon follows.  It causes subtle hints of anxiety, confusion, and decreased motivation.  It is not conducive to streamlined processes or high-level performance. 

I recommend keeping the areas that you use most (your workspace for example) neat and organized.  You don’t have to perform a white glove test every hour, just keep it so you’re not fighting through clutter or getting distracted constantly.  This will allow you to work efficiently and direct more bandwidth to planning, task completion, and focusing on pertinent matters.  As simple as this is, it is important.

Something I learned in practice.  When you deal with the public as I do daily, you will be exposed to everything.  Most patients are amazing, but some are a pain to deal with.  Performing adjustments on people can be easy and other times very tricky.  Certain people have realistic expectations, while some expect you to be a magician and wave away years of their poor habits in a single visit.  The point is that things can be easy or extremely hard.

What I have learned from this, is dealing with the difficult people and challenging cases is the best way to test my skills and grow.  Anyone can excel when things are easy, you need only be competent, and things will go well.  However, when you deal with the hardest people, conditions, and circumstances; you need you’re A-game to succeed.  Each time I face a difficult person or case in practice, it forces me to raise my level of skill to handle it.  As my level of proficiency rises to handle the tough stuff, it also makes me better for the easier ones.  Challenge creates growth and makes all the difference.   

Some quotes I love.

“Never fight unless you have to.  But when it’s time to fight, you fight like you’re the third monkey going up to Noah’s Ark…and brother it’s starting to rain!”

“Strength is never a weakness, and weakness is never a strength.” 

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 16th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 9th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something I found interesting.  I had two conversations this week with people that told me how they needed to “slow down.”  In both instances, neither had much going on (basic things in my opinion) and decided to slow down by taking exercise and other healthy habits off their plate.  I often hear things like this and wanted to share my thoughts.

First, there is nothing wrong with keeping a manageable schedule, but we want to make sure we prioritize the important things over busy work or wasted time.  If you evaluate how you use your time, it is common to find an abundance of social media, Netflix, or activities that should have been completed quickly but were not.  Next, if you are eliminating only challenging parts of your life, it is probable you are simply making excuses to avoid them.  Things that challenge us usually create better results and growth, but require more effort, don’t forego them for emotional reasons or laziness.

Something that inspired me.  I watched a video of man that recently completed a full Ironman race while pushing and pulling along his young adult son who had some form of a handicap.  The man was probably in his 50s to 60s and was close to missing the final cutoff to be considered an official finisher.  He gave it everything he had to make up time.

As he got within 10 feet or so of the finish line, he stopped pushing his son and helped him to his feet.  His son was able to take a few steps with his dad helping him to walk, and they officially finished together on their feet.  The crowd went crazy, and everyone focused on the young man giving him an amazing feeling no doubt.  What I loved, was as this was happening, everyone forgot about the dad, and he sat down a few feet away, completely exhausted, with a contented smile on his face.  The look said to me, however much effort he put into that race, it was worth it to see his son that happy.  This inspired me and reminded me that in any difficult endeavor, the first place to begin is with your “why.”  That “why” will push you to accomplish amazing things.

Something I recommend.  I am believer that small changes can lead to huge results.  Often, one single improvement is enough to create a result that can be amazing on its own, but often leads to further changes and better outcomes.  One example that I recommend, remove 10-15 minutes of TV or social media time per day and replace that with something productive.  For example, spend that time doing some form of exercise, reading to your child, working on something to help your business, pursuing some form of self-improvement, or any number of other positive things.  After 2-3 months of using only 10-15 minutes of your day differently, those minutes will transform into something significant that you can be proud of.

A great reminder.  I was up early one day this week when my youngest son came downstairs.  We started talking about Christmas and I asked him if he wanted to watch an “Elf on a Shelf” movie we had, and he excitedly said yes.  He crawled up on my lap and cuddled me and had lots of cute comments as we watched it together.  It was really a nice time for both of us.

I mention this because my mornings are always very regimented.  Everything I do is about getting things done for myself and for my family for the day ahead.  Usually, I bounce from one thing to the next and though I’m not stressed, I don’t often take time to just sit and relax.  This time with my son was a great reminder to me of the importance of enjoying the small moments in life.  It’s important to get things accomplished, but it is just as crucial to enjoy the people around us and time with them.  When you are blessed with an opportunity to create a nice memory with someone you love, take it!

Some quotes I love.

“Even in failure, hard work pays off…it teaches you discipline; it helps you respect the process and prepares you for the next time.  Never let the person next to you outwork you.” – Chef Michael Symon

“Just because we may understand the reason behind someone’s behavior, doesn’t mean it’s an acceptable way for you to be treated.  Knowing the ‘why’ is an explanation, not an excuse.” – Brandi MacDonald

“Friendly reminder that in three generations everyone who knew us will be dead.  Including the people whose opinions stopped you from doing what you wanted all along.” – Alex Hormozi

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of convenience and comfort, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy,” Martin Luther King, Jr.

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 9th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 2nd

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

Something helpful.  Ultimately, we are responsible for our own behavior and results.  However, it can be extremely helpful to have someone that keeps us accountable.  A person that keeps us accountable can serve as a moral compass, motivator, coach, advisor, and so much more. 

For me, my wife and oldest son are my two go-to sources for accountability.  Both understand my desires, principles, strengths, and weaknesses.  My wife helps keep me pointing North and knows how to get the best out of me with a simple kind word or question.  My oldest son keeps me accountable because I know he emulates my example so closely.  He asks me questions and makes comments that motivate me to stay on the highest-level path, so I can show him (and my other kids) the power we all possess to achieve great things.

Something I believe.  We all have strengths and weaknesses.  Sometimes, we neglect our strengths because we become more focused on our weaknesses.  While addressing weak points can be important, I believe the first step is to triple down on our strengths.

As an example, when I coach football, I try to find one thing a player can do well.  This can be something as simple as proficiency in a fundamental.  Once I find a strength, I put that player in a position to utilize that talent.  Without fail, this always leads to personal success, growing confidence, and a better overall team.  As the player thrives in his strengths, this usually begins to uncover other things they do well and can be capitalized upon.  Start with what you do well, and it will open doors quickly!

Something I follow.  I believe that the best things in life are won daily.  These include great health, personal relationships, success in business, and more.  There is a tendency to become complacent in these areas and stop working hard, giving effort, or caring as we once did. 

That is why I feel it is crucial to try earning wins in these areas daily.  For example, even on my busiest workdays, I focus on giving my best with each patient when I interact and adjust them.  With my wife and kids, there is not a day that goes by when I don’t show (and tell) them how much they mean to me.  When it comes to health, I eat well and exercise each day.  If something is important to you, realize that you must nurture and protect it.  Therefore, do something each day to “win” the things you care most about in life. 

Something I have found to be true.  Hope is never a substitute for action.  Therefore, hoping something will happen and following up with no effort is not a sound plan.  However, there will be times when even someone giving all they have and fighting the good fight will need hope. In those times, the faintest glimmer of hope can become like a spark that fuels effort and action like you’ve never seen before. 

Hope can take on many forms, some large and some small.  I have had times where my hope was to create a successful business and provide for my family, that powered me to work harder than ever.  During some of my toughest and longest races, hope was making it to the next aid station to try and find something to eat or drink to power me for the hours and miles to come.  When I’ve lost people close to me suddenly, the faith that I will see them again one day became my hope.  The ability to tap into any form of hope in your darkest times is a true superpower, and one that will serve you in ways you cannot imagine.

Some quotes I love.

“Remember, you are always responsible for how you act, no matter how you feel.”

“How to destroy a great plan:  Change it when it gets hard.” – Alex Hormozi

“How you do anything is how you do everything.”

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Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – December 2nd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 25th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant.  I like to share them in hopes that you might find value in them and have something resonate with you in your life.  

An important distinction.  There was a question I often heard playing football in high school and college, “are you hurt or are you injured?”  The implication was if someone were hurt (which was common) you could still play.  If you were injured however, then you were unable to.  Examples of playing hurt included minor injuries, aches, and pain that might limit you somewhat but still allow you to compete.  Injuries were broken bones, ligament issues, and other such things that prevented you from being able to move and compete in a safe or effective manner.

I believe this an important distinction to make not only in athletics, but daily life as well.  In my experience, many people abandon physical activity altogether over the slightest thing.  They are unwilling to play even a little “hurt” which leads to more sedentary lifestyle and a de-conditioning of the body and mind. I am not suggesting anyone do things to cause an injury, but often, working through a little discomfort will help your mind/body in the end. 

An interesting interaction.  I spoke with a young chiropractor this week, who asked me if I have ever felt under-appreciated and if so, how I handle it.  I explained to him that some of my greatest chiropractic accomplishments were barely acknowledged. As an example, I once had a patient that had not left their wheelchair in a full year.  I performed a series of treatments on them and within 2 weeks, they no longer needed to use the wheelchair.  It was a miraculous result, and the patient was honestly still not even remotely nice to me afterwards! 

What I told my friend was that I try not to worry about whether I am adequately appreciated.  Instead, I focus solely on my process.  By focusing on the process, I take with patients, in business, in my training, during races, etc. I am working to control what I can. When you begin to concern yourself with who is noticing or what they think, you will abandon your tried-and-true processes and begin behaving differently.  Control what you can, do your best, the right people will eventually notice, and you will never need to stress about it.

What I do if I’m not feeling well.  I have not been “sick” in decades despite being around people daily that have colds, flu, etc.  I’m never worried about catching what they have, because I do a lot to strengthen my body’s defenses.  However, every now and then I will feel that my body is struggling to rid itself of something as quickly as usual, so I have a three-step process I follow.

Step one is to increase the level of nutrients within my body.  I do this by trying to consume even more fruits and vegetables.  Also, I double my multivitamin, and take high doses of quercetin, bromelain, zinc, vitamin D, and vitamin C until any symptoms begin to dissipate (usually 2 days at most).  Second, I reduce the intensity of exercise (though I still do it) to give my body a chance to focus more on immune recovery and less on muscle recovery which helps a lot.  Finally, I do what I call the “sweat box.”  When I go to bed, I sleep completely covered in sweatpants, hooded sweatshirt, and socks, then sleep under multiple blankets.  I am encouraging the effect of a fever to burn off whatever virus or bacteria my body is battling.  The next morning, I wake up very sweaty and dramatically improved.   Each of these steps is simple but they never fail me!

A piece of advice I give often.  Many people think of exercise as being strictly for our bodies.  However, exercise increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine which are the neurotransmitters of all our thoughts and emotions.  Therefore, some of the best effects that we can derive from exercise are the benefits to our brains and minds.

My advice, is that if you are going through a stressful time or having a bad day, do something physical.  Preferably, something physically challenging, even if for only a short time.  Once you have completed this, you will instantly feel clear headed and able to make better decisions.  When you have a particularly tough day or time in life, you may want to do less with your body, but instead you should try to do more.  Work through some of that anxious energy with exercise and you will notice that you are less anxious, depressed, stressed, and/or unsure.

Some quotes I love.

“If you can’t outplay them, outwork them.” – Ben Hogan

“Struggle is temporary.  Sacrifices are like investments.  Give up the short-term comfort for the long-term win.  Be patient and stay focused.” – Diamond Dallas Page

“Your goals don’t make you unique.  It’s your willingness to pay the price that makes you unique.” – Alex Hormozi

“At the end of today, your kids will have watched you live, or they will have watched you exist.  Your intentionality around remaining inspired, tackling challenges with grace, remaining calm in chaos, and spreading positivity WILL be noticed.  Or it will be missed.  Be noticed.” – Matt Beaudreau

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – November 25th
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