Matt Kenney

Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 23rd

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

**Note – this Friday night I am competing in my first race since March 2020.  I’ll run from 7pm to 7am in Highlands Ranch and will likely run about 45 miles.  I’ve been thinking back on some previous races as I get ready for this one and so today, I’m sharing some of those experiences but more importantly what they taught me.  Runner or not, you should get something valuable from them!

Lesson 1.  I did the Pike’s Peak Ascent in 2015 which is 13.1 miles from Manitou Springs to the top of Pike’s Peak.  Around tree line (13,000 feet) I got altitude sickness which I’d never experienced previously.  I vomited about every 10 feet for the final 3 miles of the race (which took me 2 hours) and lost nearly 10 pounds in that 13-mile race.  I looked like I could’ve been an extra in the Walking Dead.   The race had a staggered start, and I was getting passed by people (including my wife) that started 30 minutes after I did.  It was bad, but I finished.

On the day of the race, I was very embarrassed that this happened.  I’d trained hard but failed in my eyes.  In the days following the race, people asked me how it went and frankly I was ashamed to tell them.  What I noticed however, was that the people I told would say “I can’t believe you still finished.”  It then began to dawn on me that I never once considered quitting during the race.  The lesson this taught me was this – you don’t really know who and what you are until you face adversity.  Getting through a tough time isn’t always pretty but that’s ok.  In the end, just getting through it will tell you more, and do more for you than any race time (or anything else) would.

Lesson 2.  In 2014 I competed in the World’s Toughest Mudder – a 24-hour obstacle course race featuring lots of dirt, climbing, cold water and running.  The race began at 10am at 80 degrees and by midnight there was a 60 mile per hour sandstorm that brought temps down to the 20’s.  Going in and out of the cold water and then dealing with these temps resulted in hypothermia for me and many other participants.  The medical staff was kicking people out of the race left and right for this reason and I had to hide from them at the end of each lap to avoid this myself.  Quick disclaimer – I’m not suggesting you do this, but I was fine with it!

Most of the race was the most miserable I’ve ever felt in my life – bone chilling cold, exhaustion, pain and more.  The lesson that it reinforced to me though was simple – things always get better so just keep going.  I kept telling myself during that race all the things I would enjoy again soon – warmth, lying in my bed, eating certain foods, playing with my kids, feeling rested, etc.  This was my way of reminding myself not to quit because I felt so horrible but instead to keep trudging on because things would improve before too long.  When things are bad, we can become overwhelmed and our instinct is often to quit but if you can persevere, it will soon improve, and you’ll be proud you didn’t stop.

Lesson 3.  I’ve done a lot of races and many of them have been exceptionally challenging.  Sometimes they go as well or better than I planned.  Other times it goes far worse, and I don’t reach my goals.  What I’ve learned is that it’s better to take a chance on something big and fail then to sit back and not attempt it. 

I saw something last week from a businessman I respect, and he said that most people are so afraid to fail that they don’t want to act unless they know it’ll succeed.  They want to go 3-0 and say they’ve never made a mistake.  He said his goal was to make the best decisions he could but end up around 112-94.  In other words, win more than you lose but remain unafraid to try and fail.  When I sign up for something, I want it to scare me, and I want to conquer it.  I’ll give it everything I have and hope to succeed but if I do not, I’ll learn from it and move on to something else.  Never be afraid to fail but be constantly afraid to risk nothing. 

Lesson 4.  People often ask me what is my favorite part of a race?  My truly favorite part is after the race when my body is destroyed and moving to do anything is a challenge.  The reason for this is, when I’m in that state, I know I’ve given everything I had.  The soreness and discomfort simply remind me of the effort and exertion.  

The lesson this has taught me is there is no form of respect more crucial than self-respect.  Deep down, we know when we’re doing the right or wrong thing, when we’ve given everything, or we have not.  Personally, I enjoy any the scars associated with a maximum effort whether it be in a race or any endeavor.    

Some quotes I love.

“Action expresses priorities.” – Ghandi

“Leadership is an action, not a position.” – Donald McGannon

“If you don’t invest very much, then defeat doesn’t hurt very much and winning is not very exciting.” – Dick Vermeil

“The real risk is doing nothing.” – Denis Waitley

“A lot of people have the talent to succeed but do you have the guts to fail?” – Denzel Washington

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 23rd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 16th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

A workout I liked (that also helped me).  I’ve been reading the book “The Man in The Arena” by former Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher who was falsely accused of war crimes and then found innocent.  He mentioned a workout he did while being held in the brig (military prison) that I tried out.  I used a barbell with a moderate weight and did 8 deadlifts, 8 rows, 8 power cleans, 8 military shoulder presses and then 8 back squats.  This was done without putting the weight down and this was one set.  I did 8 total sets, and it was a solid challenge. 

More important than just the single workout was that it broke me out of a rut.  When you do anything long enough you go through periods where it can get repetitive, boring, etc.  This workout inspired me to come up with some similar ones of my own and it’s been more fun and challenging working out over the last week.  Change up your exercise in some form or fashion all the time and it will help greatly!

Why don’t you fast?  How come you don’t do yoga?  I used these two random examples because I’m asked all the time why I do or do not do certain things for my health.  Patients often wonder why I don’t follow a certain type of nutrition or exercise plan that they are fond of.  People get excited about what they like so they tend to think that by not doing what they do, you don’t believe in it.  This is not usually the case, it’s just that we simply can’t do everything.

I’ve been into fitness and nutrition for decades, so I try different things and keep what works best for me.  Does that mean other things are wrong or that there aren’t other things that would work?  Of course not.  I just simply cannot do everything so through trial and error I’ve had to prioritize what I think helps me most.  I recommend doing the same for yourself.  Experiment and then stick with what gets the best results. 

A postural change to start making now.  With as much technology as we use these days, it’s easy for us to spend too much time staring down at devices or lurching our heads closer toward our computer screens.  Over time this decreases the natural curvature of the spine and begins putting pressure into the spinal cord.  This can also lead to stiffness, pain, muscle fatigue, cervicogenic headaches, numbness/tingling and more.  To prevent this, concentrate on creating better neck positions for yourself.  When you’re on a computer, keep your breastbone up and keep the neck neutral.  Avoid looking up or down into the screen and make ergonomic changes to facilitate this, as necessary.  With your phone, do not stare down at it.  Instead, raise the phone up closer to you.  By making these changes, you will feel better in the short term and avoid issues in the long run as well.

A tip for low energy.  There are many causes for low energy but a common one is adrenal fatigue.  This occurs when your adrenal glands become over-worked causing a hormonal disruption in sleep and energy level (among other things).  Two things that will nutritionally wear on the adrenals are over-consumption of sugar and/or caffeine.  Once this happens the body needs to use more B-vitamins causing a deficiency that results in even less energy (and often more pain). 

To address this, decrease (or eliminate) simple sugars you eat/drink and try to decrease caffeine consumption.  In addition, take a B-Complex supplement to build back up your levels.  I recommend doubling your B-complex for 1 week and then taking it daily thereafter.  If you follow these steps, you will notice an increase in energy!

Some quotes I love.

“When it’s your time, is the goal to leave a well-preserved body?  Or do you really want to use it?  A body with stories that says you’ve pushed it and at times suffered, and you sought its potential.” – Billy Yang

“Don’t ‘fake it til you make it.’  That’s garbage advice.  Face it til you make it.  Get up.  Work hard.  Fail.  Stand back up.  Face it again.  Do a little better.  Fail again.  Get back up.  Repeat.” 

“Don’t cry because it’s over.  Smile because it happened.” – Dr. Seuss

“Go for it now.  The future is promised to no one.”  – Wayne Dyer

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 16th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 9th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way.  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 really inspired me.  The oldest and most prestigious ultra-marathon in the world is the Western States 100, run in California each July.  The race has a 30-hour cutoff time so to receive a belt buckle that recognizes you as an official finisher (the best runners usually finish under 24 hours) you must finish in under that time.  This race ends on a high school track and between hour 29 and 30 is considered the “golden hour” – where approximately 60-70 back of the pack runners will finish in front of a full stadium of people.  These runners are not the fastest by any stretch, but if you’re looking to be inspired, they won’t disappoint.  Many of these runners have trained for months and are battling down to the second in order to say they made it.

I watched a video of this “golden hour”, and it inspired me tremendously.  Not just because I’m a runner but because it was a spectacle of regular people doing uncommon things.  My favorite was a very ordinary looking woman who came around the track being led in excitedly by a group of 12 or so runners whom she’d likely never met cheering her on and trying to get her to that line before that 30-hour mark.  The crowd was going crazy, and this woman kept going with everything she had and made it with only seconds to spare.  Her finishing was like a victory for everyone there, it was so cool! 

I was so proud of her for completing that goal because I know what goes into it myself.  Most importantly though, I know that if that woman made an impression on me, then there was someone else that saw her that she likely motivated to do something special in their own life.  Maybe it was one of her children, maybe it was a stranger in the crowd or someone that saw that video.  I guarantee you though, someone saw that woman finish that race and it became the catalyst for them making a huge change in their own life somehow.  I love this type of inspiration!

Something I really enjoyed.  On the 4th of July I ran carrying the American flag as I do on the patriotic holidays.  As I do this I always enjoy interacting with other runners, cyclists, people in their yards and cars driving by.  It’s awesome that people get so excited to see that someone is proudly showing off the flag.  Afterwards, I was asked to be in the Highlands Ranch parade which I enjoyed as well.  I got to hold my youngest son and watch him waving his flag and waving to a sea of people wearing red, white and blue.  It was a special moment that I will remember for a long time!

A helpful tip I’ve been using.  When we sit, we tend to let our stomachs spill forward which is bad for our posture.  As the stomach is allowed to do this, the spinal muscles relax, the spine starts to come forward with our shoulders and before we know it, we’re slouching badly.  Repeated time and again, this will have a negative impact on our musculoskeletal systems. 

A simple tip to help correct this is to focus on drawing the stomach back.  Mentally picture yourself trying to bring the belly button back toward your spine.  As you do this, the core muscles will engage, and the lower back and abdominal areas will tighten.  This helps to protect our spine and muscles as well as avoid pain syndromes and other issues that come from poor posture.  Start doing this and you’ll notice a big difference in how things feel, especially as you’re sitting. 

Something important to understand about your health.  Many people like to blame anything and everything about their level of health on circumstances, genetics, and/or bad luck.  Are these components of our health?  Of course, and in some cases, people can be dealt a bad hand in one of these areas.  However, most of the time, we have the power to control the majority of our own health destinies.  How?  By watching what goes into our bodies, controlling what we do to/for our bodies and doing our best to keep ourselves mentally fit.  Regardless of your genetics, circumstances, or fortunes; you always have the power to impact your own health if you make positive nutritional, physical and mental changes. 

Some quotes I love.

“The code of the West:  Live each day with courage.  Take pride in your work.  Always finish what you start.  Do what has to be done.  Be tough but fair.  When you make a promise, keep it.  Ride for the brand.  Talk less and say more.  Remember some things aren’t for sale.  Know where to draw the line.” 

“Emergencies have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have eroded.” – F.A. Hayek

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 9th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 2nd

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way.  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 helped me.  I’ve been running almost daily to get prepared for my next ultramarathon race in July.  I was checking my stats on my watch one night and had the thought that I was running kind of slow on most of my runs.  For the types of races I do, speed is not a necessity, and I can certainly get through my next race just fine, but I felt like I was going slower than I should in training.

The next day, I decided that I would really push the pace and ended up running over a minute faster per mile.  Doing so has had a carry over effect into all the subsequent workouts after that time.  It was as if I instantly reset what my “normal” was.  I’d been getting too comfortable in my training and as my intensity decreased a bit, I didn’t notice it until I looked at my stats.  Once I brought that intensity back up, my body responded with an improvement in overall performance.  Not everything you do will be at 100% each time out but it is crucial to push yourself regularly to prevent from becoming complacent and going through the motions. 

Great advice I often think of.  Before I ran the Leadville 100 a couple years ago, a runner that had completed the race several times gave us all some advice.  He said “you’ll be out there tomorrow and you’re going to think you’re smarter than you are.  You’ll start worrying about your VO2 max, mineral levels, and all sorts of other things that you shouldn’t.  If we were that smart, we wouldn’t be running 100 miles through the mountains at 2 miles above sea level.  Your mind will give you all sorts of things to worry about to try and get you to stop but all you need to do is keep going forward and you’ll be fine. ”

The reason I love this advice is that it’s a reminder of how we often make things overly complicated in our lives.  Ultimately though, when we keep it simple, refuse to quit and just keep making progress, things tend to end up just fine.  Don’t overanalyze, stay focused, remain in the present and keep progressing.

A concept I believe in.  When I coach football, I tell my boys that mistakes are unavoidable.  They’ll make them as players, and I’ll make some as the coach.  What we want to avoid however, is making the same mistakes again and again.  This is especially true of mental mistakes.  If the same errors are being made mentally it often indicates a lack of focus and/or awareness.  These types of errors are usually easily corrected by asking better questions, paying closer attention, and preparing better. 

This concept applies not just to football but to life in general.  Mistakes are a great teacher and without them we would not learn as we should.  We must heed the knowledge they provide and improve as a result.  If you find yourself in the same misfortunes, then it’s time to start doing things differently.  As I tell my guys – “if we’re going to make mistakes let’s make them full speed and at least make different ones than the last time.” 

Do I take nutritional supplements?  I am a fan of the “keep it basic approach” to supplementation.  That is not to say that taking a wide variety of nutrients isn’t beneficial, but I personally keep it simple.  I take a whole food multivitamin (derived from fruits and veggies not synthetic), calcium/magnesium supplement, vitamin D (mainly in fall and winter when I’m not getting sunshine as much) and fish oils on and off.  If I’m building up toward a major race, I’ll also use a joint supplement as a preventative measure for my joints.  Overall, my goal is to take in as many nutrients as possible from my food and then fill in the holes or address any specific needs I have through supplementation. 

Some quotes I love.

“Some poor, phoneless fool is probably sitting next to a waterfall somewhere totally unaware of how angry and scared he’s supposed to be.” – Duncan Trusell

“The only difference between salad and garbage is timing.”

“The number one reason people don’t reach their goals is that they trade what they want most for what they want now.” – Zig Ziglar

“When you’re wrong, admit it.  When you’re right, be quiet.” – Mark Devine

“Shallow men believe in luck or in circumstance.  Strong men believe in cause and effect.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – July 2nd
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 25th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

“If you need to come back more than once doesn’t that mean chiropractic doesn’t work?”  A patient mentioned to me that her husband told her that if you need to go back to a chiropractor more than once, that was proof it didn’t work.  She did not agree but asked for my thoughts.

What I told her was that if that criterion was true of chiropractic than it was also true of dentistry, physical therapy, acupuncture, massage therapy, personal training, and many other examples.  In general, the things that are best for your health and body are not meant to be done once – exercise, stretching, brushing your teeth, showering, you name it.  Even allopathic treatments such as taking medications or chemotherapy for example are not meant to be done once. 

Best parenting tip?  With Father’s Day having just passed, I was asked by a friend what my number one parenting tip would be.  My answer is that my number 1 goal is to raise my children to have confidence in themselves.  How I achieve that varies from child to child but in general factors like maintaining positivity, pointing out strengths, assisting with weaknesses, being honest, communicating well, and setting a good example with my own actions are all crucial. 

The goal is to raise children so that they believe in themselves enough to make good decisions.  I did not grow up confident in myself and every poor decision I made in my younger years can be traced back to that in some way.  Confident children are more likely to become leaders, avoid peer pressure, seek bigger goals, achieve more, be less likely to depend on drugs or alcohol, and so much more.  It’s not always easy to get kids to be confident but it will be worth it.

Something I often notice.  Time and again I notice that some of the most stressed people I encounter are some of the least organized and have no routine.  Stress comes at us from many directions, and some is out of our control.  What is under our control though is how we structure our days and time.  “Winging it” for people that tend to be anxious is a recipe for more worry.  Building a routine that addresses an efficient way of accomplishing what needs to get done each day will create “wins” as things are done rather than stress as they’re not.  You are also likely to notice that you carve out much more time for yourself as things get completed faster.  If you’re stressed, look at your routine and how it’s affecting you. 

Something cool.  I’ve been running a few miles each morning before work pushing my daughter in a jogging stroller.  I’ve been using some of the same routes and I began to see the same group of 4 African American women probably in their early 70’s each day.  I started saying hello to them and joking with them which they liked.  Now I see them on almost every run and these young ladies cheer for me (and my daughter) like I’m finishing an Olympic marathon.  They always make me smile and it makes my day every time I see them!

Some quotes I love.

“You can’t win when you’re surrounded by losers.  You can’t lose when you’re surrounded by winners.” – Ian Smith

“I trained 4 years to run 9 seconds and people give up when they don’t see results in 2 months.” – Usain Bolt

“A son who is loved by his father becomes a father who loves his son.”

“Almost all bitterness is wanting someone else to fulfill something for you that you can only now give to yourself:  forgiveness, integrity, compassion, action.” – Brendon Burchard

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 25th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 18th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

Something important I read up on this week.  I was reading some orthopedic journal articles and one I found significant was the effect of weight on your knees.  Common sense tells us that if our body is meant to support a certain range of weight and we go past that amount, it will apply intense pressure to our foundation – in this case knees.  What I found interesting was that for each pound lost, 4 pounds of pressure would be alleviated off the knees.  Therefore, a 10-pound weight loss would be a reduction of 40 pounds of pressure on your knees.  This article really drove home to me how important it is to our joints for us to maintain a healthy weight. 

An interesting experience.  My family and I went to a food truck event last weekend and had a lot of fun.  At one point, my youngest was bouncing in a jump house with probably 10-15 other kids and somehow the air compressor disconnected.  This caused the bounce house to immediately lose air and start collapsing inward.  Some of the kids were scared, some were fine.

What made it interesting was the response of some of the parents. One dad immediately began holding up the entrance and calmly told the kids to move one at a time and come through to exit.  Another mom reassured the kids that everything was fine and helped relax them.  Both responses were perfect.  Conversely, one woman hovered at the entrance and panicked which began to freak out some of the children inside.  As my son came through the exit, she continued to do this and even began crushing him as she tried to get to her child who was in no distress or danger.  I had to yell at this woman and (gently) move her to snap her out of this and get her off my son because she was in such a stressed state, she didn’t realize she was trampling my son and another child.  This was a great reminder to me of how to behave in a stressful situation.  Staying calm is the best way to keep others relaxed and focused on a resolution.  Freaking out takes a bad situation and makes it go nuclear.  As someone I look up to likes to say, “take a breath, look around and make a call (decision).”

Is it bad to self-adjust your spine?  I get this question all the time.  If your spine pops during regular stretching or when performing basic ranges of motion (like rotating the head for example) then it’s generally fine and a sign that your spine is de-stressing itself.  If you’re bending over furniture or forcefully putting pressure into your own spine to get it to “pop” then it’s possible the noise you’re hearing is your spine going into a good position but it’s as equally possible it’s also going into a poor position and becoming misaligned.  Therefore, it’s best to avoid this type of thing.  If you feel the need to pop your spine it’s likely a sign that something is misaligned and you’re in need of an adjustment.    

A concept I love.  My oldest is training 4 days a week with his high school teammates for football and he and I work out together on his off days as well.  He’s got an amazing work ethic and I’ve noticed that as his enthusiasm and intensity go up, so do mine.  I push harder when he’s there and then when he isn’t. 

This is a something I believe in wholeheartedly – associating with people that make you better.  When you can get around people that are passionate, successful or just doing something well; it drives you to do the same.  Conversely, when you get around people who are average, unmotivated, lazy, etc. then you tend to become that way yourself.  Everyone in your life does not have to be amazing, but the people you spend the most amount of time around really should be if you want to keep getting better.

Some quotes I love.

“Fear is a habit, so is self-pity, defeat, anxiety, despair, hopelessness and resignation.  You can eliminate all of these negative habits with two simple resolves: “I can” and “I will.”” – Napoleon Hill

“Success is both very personal and relative, depending on where you would like to be in your own life.” – Les Brown

“If you need a pass to prove you are free, you are not.”

“The less pain we tolerate, the more average we become.” – Jack Butcher

” Doctors don’t make you healthy.  Teachers don’t make you learn.  Trainers don’t make you fit.  Coaches don’t make you rich.  At some point you have to understand that life is 100% your responsibility.”

“Failure is only the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Henry Ford

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 18th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 11th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

A nice moment recently.  This past season one of the boys I’ve coached for several years has had a very tough go of it.  It’s been especially frustrating for him because he was coming off an amazing season last time out.  He went from catching everything and making big plays to dropping pass after pass.  We worked with him a lot, but it never clicked like it had for him and after a while the quarterback lost faith in him, and the ball went to him less.  You could just tell his confidence was gone.

During our last game this past weekend we got near the goal line and the other team called a time out so my team (and oldest son who was my fill in assistant for the day) was surrounding me waiting for me to call the play.   I told the player I just mentioned to look me in the eyes, and I said “I’m calling this one for you because I believe in you.  I want you to believe in yourself, catch it and score.  Can you do that?”  He said he could.  And he did.  I then had a nice moment with him as he ran off the field.  Later, my older son said “You’re usually so fired up when you’re coaching but that was a nice heartwarming moment and I’m glad I was there for it.  That was cool.”  I certainly didn’t throw the pass or catch it, so I deserve no credit, but I think sometimes it’s important to let someone who is maybe a bit down know that you’re still there for them.

A great reminder about exercise.  I finished coaching my team for the season on Saturday and it’s always a let down for me when I’m done and it’s over.  After the game, my wife mentioned that she started an email address for my late brother-in-law (her youngest brother) so that we can email him as kind of like a shared journal for us to keep of him.  That night I wrote to him, and it was emotional for me.  Sunday morning, I woke up and feeling overwhelmed, anxious, and not myself.  I decided had to do something, so I put my daughter in the jogging stroller and off we went for a 5-mile run. 

Almost immediately during that run (and especially after), I felt like a different person.  The anxiety had subsided, and I felt clear-headed and myself again.  This was a great reminder for me about.  The physiology of exercise is truly amazing and does so much more than tone our bodies.  Rather than dwell on feeling sad or try and numb the pain with substances, get out and get some endorphins (the feel-good chemicals) going and you’ll notice an instant improvement in how you feel.

A great question to ask yourself.  In the book “Atomic Habits” (excellent book!)  the author makes the point that our habits form our identity.  As an example, if you regularly write each week, then part of your identity is that of a writer.  If you don’t write, this would not be the case even if you wanted to think of yourself as one.  So, the question to ask yourself is as of this second right now, what are your most common habits?  What do those habits say about who you are?

I like this simple viewpoint.  Regardless of where your life is at, you can begin changing your identity through habits at any time you choose.  If you’re out of shape and have 50 pounds to lose but are now trying to exercise and eat better, then your identity is that of someone who is getting in shape.  If you’re broke, start following habits that someone with money might.  Give real thought to your habits and what they say about you and what you’d like them to say about you.

A valuable lesson I I’ve taken from my races.  Due to COVID, I have not had an opportunity to compete in a legitimate race since March 2020.  This week I registered one that will take place in late July and am excited again.  I was speaking with someone who is doing the same race and competing in an ultramarathon (generally 31 miles minimum up to 100 miles or more) for the first time and they asked me quite a few questions.  One of the things I expressed to them was that these types of races mirror the feelings and emotions that everyday life gives us.  In other words, you’ll physically exert and challenge your body but will come away with many valuable lessons that apply to life in general.  I was then asked to provide an example.

The most valuable lesson I’ve learned in these types of races is that things will always get better, and things will always get worse.  The trick is to just accept this and never get too high or too low.  When you’re going great, enjoy the heck out of it and take full advantage.  When you’re in a low spot, keep fighting and realize that things will soon improve somehow.  Both extremes are equally valuable and necessary.  There are times in races where I’ll feel horrible for hours and then great for hours, it just depends.  Life is no different – there are ups and downs and ultimately the key is to just keep moving forward.  Sometimes this will happen with speed and enthusiasm.  Other times it’ll be slow and begrudgingly.  Ultimately, it doesn’t matter so long as you’re putting one foot in front of the other and making progress.  True in races, even more true in life. 

Some quotes I love.

“Talk about your blessings more than you talk about your burdens.” – Tim Tebow

“When they say you can’t do it, do it twice and take pics.”

“Most people don’t really want the truth.  They just want constant reassurance that what they believe is the truth.” 

“Either I will find a way, or I will make one.” – Philip Sidney

“Sick until proven healthy is the same as guilty until proven innocent.”

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 11th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 4th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

A cool experience this past week.  On Memorial Day it is common for many to do the “Murph Challenge” which is named in honor of Navy SEAL Mike Murphy who died heroically in Operation Redwing as told in the book and movie, Lone Survivor written by Marcus Luttrell (who was the only survivor).  The workout involves wearing a weighted vest and running 1 mile, then doing 100 pullups, 200 pushups, 300 air squats and then finishing with another mile run.

I did this workout myself and then my two oldest sons and their friend joined me for another 5-mile run where each of us took turns carrying the American flag.  Seeing those young men proudly carry the flag as passing cars beeped their support made me extremely proud.  Afterwards they kept talking about how cool the experience was and how glad they were they did it.  I was so proud of them and shared a “proud dad” post about it on my Instagram about the event and told my boys I would tag them and some of the Navy SEALs and special operations guys we look up to as well.  Almost immediately, our post was “liked” by Marcus Luttrell who was on the mission in which Mike Murphy died and who was his best friend.  This meant a lot to all of us, as though he approved of how we were honoring his friend and the thousands of others like him.  It was a great day of patriotism for us and an experience we’ll all remember.

Something that’s been working well for me.  For the past week, I’ve taken nothing but cold showers.  I learned this years ago from reading about Wim Hof who is the godfather of cold training.  For space purposes, I won’t go into all the specifics of how (just Google it) it works but being exposed to cold water (and cold in general) forces you to breathe in a certain way to tolerate it.  Exposure to the cold water in this fashion leads to physical and mental resiliency, less sensitivity to cold (through production of brown fat), increased testosterone, boosts in metabolism, increased energy and more.  I’d gotten away from doing this for some time but am back at it and the benefits for me have been noticeable instantly!

“I walk every day, why am I not losing weight?”  I hear this often and wanted to address it.  First, there is nothing wrong with walking and it can be great exercise.

When someone goes from being relatively sedentary to beginning to walk regularly, there is often an immediate improvement in terms of weight loss.  This is because the body is not accustomed to it and so metabolism is increased.  If you continue walking the exact same distance and pace each day, eventually your body will become more efficient and will not need to raise metabolism as much in response, and thus you won’t lose weight.  If you were to quicken your pace, increase the distance, start walking more hills or otherwise change the routine; you’d notice a change once again.  Finally, if you’re walking and moving more but not following it up with at least decent nutrition, it’ll be difficult to see any noticeable changes from just walking (or any exercise really).

Something I liked recently.  My youngest son will be 3 in July and began taking karate a couple months ago.  Some classes go well, and some don’t which is what you expect at that age.  This week he went to a class and ended up being the only student, so he had the instructor to himself.  It went ok for about 10 minutes and then went off the tracks before my wife had to end his lesson (out of respect to the instructor).  He was a bit intimidated being in class alone, and it was new for him, so we weren’t worried about it.

What I liked is that the sensei told my wife “I’m not going to tell him he did well because he didn’t “, then offered some constructive advice and explained that this is a normal part of young students’ learning.  He wasn’t upset with my son in any way, was kind to him and told him he’d see him tomorrow.  Why did I like this?  Because I think it’s wonderful when the correct behaviors are reinforced as opposed to commending those that aren’t.  He did not insult my son or hurt his feelings; he simply didn’t praise his behavior as being appropriate.  When he shows up at his next class and does well, I’m sure he’ll tell my boy that he did great and that will hopefully begin the cycle for him of knowing how to behave in class.  This is a small example to me of how good behaviors can be learned and how things that are earned are always far better than those that are simply given.

Some quotes I love.

“You won’t always be motivated that’s why you have to learn to be disciplined.” 

“Discipline is doing what you hate to do but doing it like you love it.” – Mike Tyson

“There’s free cheese in a mousetrap.” – saw this on Instagram and dug it

Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – June 4th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 28th

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

On Fridays I like to share some of the experiences I’ve had during the week with patients and in my personal life that I’ve found significant in some way.  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 struggle with.  This past weekend I finished coaching a group of boys I’ve had since age 6-7.  Both of my oldest sons are also moving up into different leagues/schools and leaving teammates behind as a result.  They both expressed to me how hard this is for them and I told them I understood.

When I coach a team or train for (and then run) a big race, I put everything I have into it.  When I’m amid this, it’s amazing – I enjoy the camaraderie, the structure, the planning, everything.  But when it’s over?  I’m sad.  It leaves me kind of depressed and it feels like a part of me is missing. 

So how do I handle it?  First, I remember to have gratitude for whatever I’m missing.  I try to think of what I’ve learned and gained because of the experience and focus on the good times.  I woke up Monday morning to a Facebook post a mom wrote about me and what I meant to her son, how I understood him and helped him as a player and a man.  How can I not be grateful for things like that?  Second, I begin the process of looking for the next adventure.  The goal is not to replace what’s lost but to find something else fulfilling.  Finally, I find solace in guiding others toward the types of experiences that have been so good to me.  For example, when I hear someone talking about wanting to coach, I love to share my experiences and encourage them to do it as well.  The highs of the things I invest so much time in is incredible, the struggle for me has been learning to deal with the inevitable lows that come when it’s over.  Thankfully, that has happened with experience and time. 

What does is mean if you have arthritis?  I can tell you after 16 years in practice that what people believe arthritis to be is often wildly inaccurate.  The most basic and common type of arthritis is known as osteoarthritis or degenerative disc (or joint) disease.  This is a gradual wearing down of the joints.  It is caused by lack of motion, misalignments, injuries and can be accelerated through many lifestyle factors physically and nutritionally. 

In terms what arthritis looks like – on an x-ray or MRI you would see a loss of disc space between 2 vertebrae (or joints), altering of the shape of the vertebrae/joint and the formation of calcium deposits that often look like hooks called osteophytes (bone spurs).  These changes can be mild to incredibly severe.  Arthritic changes cause lack of mobility, pain, and other nerve related symptoms to be more common due to less room for the nerves to operate.  The good news is that this type of arthritis is not genetic, can be prevented and can be treated (but not reversed). 

Other types of arthritis include rheumatoid and psoriatic, but these are less common and are often genetic because they are an autoimmune reaction.  If you want to avoid or help arthritis I recommend moving more (exercise), spinal care (adjustments, stretching, etc.) and eating less sugar and inflammatory foods.

Do you know how old you’ll be when your daughter is in college?  As most of you know, I have 4 children.  My older two (11 and 14) are from my first marriage and my younger two are with my wife now (9 months and almost 3).  Since I am 45 years old, quite often people ask me if I know how old I’ll be when my daughter graduates from high school, college, etc.  Naturally, I am aware of this math and quite honestly when my wife was pregnant with our little ones it was something that bothered me a bit. 

However, I began to realize I was focusing unnecessarily on arbitrary numbers and my viewpoint was wrong.  Instead of doing that, I always focus on the quality of time I spend with all my children and being present when I’m with them.  In addition, I do things each day to strengthen myself physically, mentally, spiritually, financially, as a leader and more.  The reason I do this is to make sure I set a great example for them while also giving myself the best opportunity to maximize the number of years I have with them (by maintaining great health).  This is how I honor my family, by seeking more time with them not only now but many years from now.  That’s the only math that concerns me now.

Something beautiful I saw recently.  A couple weeks back, I’d just finished coaching my team and my son and I were watching his older brother play.  Suddenly, we heard louder than normal cheering coming from the field next to us.  We looked over to see a young man in a wheelchair with a football in his hand being pushed by his teammates toward and into the endzone while the other team made a nice show of trying to “tackle” him.  After the score, he was wheeled around the field and the look on his face was priceless.  He was so proud and slapping high fives with everyone he went by.  The cheering went on for probably 5 minutes and my son looked up at me smiling and knowing this would get me emotional. Sometimes it takes a moment like this for you to appreciate the human spirit and to be truly grateful for all you have.

Some quotes I love.

“There is timing in the whole life of a warrior, in his thriving and declining, in his harmony and discord.” – Musashi Miyamoto

“At the end of all our exploring we will arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” – T.S. Elliot. Four Quartets

“Many people will panic to find a charger before their phone dies.  But won’t panic to find a plan before their dream dies.” – Elon Musk

“Your beliefs don’t make you a good person…your behavior does!” – Inky Johnson

“Fear is not a virtue.”

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 28th
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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 21st

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Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot

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

An analogy I think works.  Your immune system is a lot like your musculoskeletal system.  How do you strengthen your muscles and bones?  You expose them to a stress by challenging them in some fashion – exercising, lifting weights, etc.  These demands cause your body to think that these stresses will continue, and it adapts by increasing bone density and muscle strength.  Conversely, if you do no workouts and are not physically active, the body has no reason to get stronger and so it weakens.

The immune system operates in a similar fashion.  When it is exposed to germs/bacteria/viruses it is forced to get stronger to better protect you going forward.  If your body is not exposed to these then it will get weaker.  This also means that when you are eventually exposed to anything (even mild), your body will have a diminished ability to fight it off.  So, should you head into a lab and get exposed to everything and anything?  Of course not, just as you wouldn’t load a bar with 400 pounds on day 1 of your fitness routine.  The key is repetitive stimuli causing a progressive but steady strengthening of the body so it can protect you better. 

A mistake I often see as a chiropractor.  A lot of the conditions I see in practice are easy to fix if we can get started soon after they begin.  However, patients often wait so long to come in that something relatively simple is made more complex by the condition being worsened and/or overcompensation of other areas occurring.  As a simple example, if we can get to neck or back pain soon after the onset, it can often be fixed within a few days but if not, it may take weeks.  Motor vehicle accident cases that I’m able to begin treatment on soon after the crash will often need weeks less of care to fully heal than if they wait weeks or months to seek treatment. 

In general, if something has gone on for more than a few days (week at the latest) then it’s not simply a muscular issue and likely has a structural and/or neurological component so seeking treatment is a good idea.  I try to impress upon my patients that it’s always better to be a little bit early seeking care than it is to be a little late. 

A good lesson recently.  My older sons and I have been watching a football docuseries recently.  One of the main characters being followed in the show is a high energy, passionate man that is great to the kids he coaches and is a leader within his community.  In a particular episode, because he is a mayor of his town, they dug in a little to his politics which happen to be the opposite of mine and my family.  As one of our favorite people on the show, my sons asked me if this changed how I felt about him, and the answer was no.

What I explained to them was that I had no desire to only interact or see people with beliefs identical to mine.  I also told them that given the choice, I will always take someone that is invested in people to the degree this gentleman is over someone that merely sides with some of my beliefs.  When you’re legitimately good to the people around you I think that speaks far more about you than anything else. 

Something I loved this week.  There’s a podcast I listen to called “The Order of Man” that centers around helping men be better fathers, providers, protectors, leaders, etc.  Recently, the host got on a topic and gave the advice of “know your lines.”  He did not mean this in terms of memorizing material.  Rather, it means what are your lines in the sand?  Where do you draw your lines?  What won’t you compromise on?  At what point is it time for you to stand up? 

This appealed to me because it follows along with something I preach to my children constantly – that every person must have a code.  Our code dictates our behavior because it outlines what we can or cannot allow.  Anything that crosses the “line” or goes against the code cannot be permitted without a fight or standing.  I like to believe I have a strong code that I’ve developed over the years and it doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, family, stranger, or the government, I will not and cannot break it.  Give some thought to this so you can “know your lines.”

Some quotes I love.

“You needn’t fear the darkness if you have the light inside.”

“For those that I love, I would do great and terrible things.”

“The hardest challenge is to be yourself in a world where everyone is trying to make you be somebody else.” – E.E. Cummings

“Leadership is a journey that never ends.  There is no finish line in the race to become a good leader.” – Jason Redman

Want more?

  • Don’t forget to follow Dr. Kenney on Instagram @Coloradochiropractor
  • To see previous Friday 5 Spots, visit www.newbodychiro.com and go to “blog”
  • Check us out on Facebook under New Body Chiropractic
Matt KenneyDr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot – May 21st
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