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