Dr. Kenney’s Friday 5 Spot
I interact with hundreds of patients each week and get asked a lot of questions. On Fridays I like to share some of the answers I give and hope it has value for you.
A recent event that has affected me? Sadly, this week someone I knew died suddenly after complications from a back surgery. His name was David Clark and he was well know for talking about his struggles as an addict on the way to becoming a millionaire before losing it all and finding himself again through ultra-running, becoming a vegan and more. I found him on Instagram, would listen to his podcast “We are Superman” and then read his books. I met him in person at the Leadville 100 last year and he was very kind and gracious to me and offered me very good advice.
The message I have taken from him maybe most of all, came when he described why he named his podcast “We are Superman.” He explained that on his home planet, Superman was just a regular guy. But when he got to Earth and used what came naturally to him, he became special. While that is obviously a comic book, the premise is the same with us in real life. We all have the potential to be extraordinary even as everyday people doing regular things. I think of this lesson constantly and try to set an example for my children and those around me in the way I conduct myself in anything I do.
A type of workout I’ve been enjoying? Over the past week I’ve been doing what are known as “ladder workouts.” These workouts use a variety of exercises and will begin at a certain number of repetitions and then climb like a ladder to higher repetitions. Here is an example of a workout I’ve done recently:
Bench press then on to barbell row then on to upright rows. The first set is 5 reps for each exercise, and you move from one immediately to the next. Then you will immediately start the second set which is 6 reps per exercise, third is 7 and so on until you reach 15 reps (or as high as you’d like to go) for each exercise. These workouts will not require heavy weights but by the end the weights will feel heavier. You can use whatever exercises you’d like and do not need equipment if you don’t have it (you can do pushups, crunches, air squats, lunges, etc.). These are quicker and fun workouts I’ve really been digging.
Something interesting I’ve run across lately? I was watching a YouTube video from one of my favorites, Jake Zweig a former Navy SEAL. He talked about what he calls the “3-week cycle.” What this means is that if you start today, create great habits, and put the work in; it will take about 3 weeks to start showing results. Conversely, if you start taking your foot off the gas today, it’ll take about 3 weeks before the diminishing returns start to become evident. I found this interesting because in my experience it is true. We often will find ourselves excited and totally committed to something and see it start to go well only to then ease up and watch it decline. To become successful, you need both good habits and a strong work ethic, and you need it just as much on the way to your goals as you do after you’ve reached them.
A lesson I was reminded of? I had a patient last week that mentioned he was training for a 100-mile race. As you know I compete in those types of races and it is extremely rare I get a patient that is involved in that world. He and I talked shop and he asked me about my last 100-mile race. I told him how it went and mentioned that my 13-year-old son ran 33 of the 100 miles with me. He was so excited about this and said, “Do you understand how much different his life may be now that he knows at 13 years old, he’s capable of something like that?” I thought that was a powerful question and it reinforced one of the things I believe in which is that we never really know what will be the fuel that propels us forward most in life but it’s usually some type of gritty moment where we struggle and then overcome something. When we can get through a battle, other things in our lives become easier to deal with and we become capable of so much more.
Some quotes I love?
“Don’t talk about it, be about it.” – David Goggins
“On the other side of hard work is your big break.” – Jake Zweig
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