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.”
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