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 thought was cool. I have a female patient in her fifty’s that started hockey over the past few years for the first time. She plays on a team with all men and has worked extremely hard to improve her game. I see her every couple of weeks and always like to ask her about it. When I saw her last, she mentioned that her teammates began carrying her hockey bag. I asked if that had ever happened before, and she said it had not.
The reason I (and she) found this so cool, is that it’s a sign of respect. When she joined the team, she was given no special treatment. The other players rarely passed to her, but she worked hard to elevate her skills. With time, she got better and better, earned trust, and became a contributing member of the team. Her teammates have recognized this and carrying her hockey bag is their way of acknowledging her efforts. It’s never easy starting something new or being the least experienced but hanging in there and earning respect is certainly rewarding!
A workout I enjoyed and why. On August 28th, 2020, my brother-in-law (and a best friend) passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. It was a horrible blow to myself, my in-laws, and his young family. To honor him, I always do some type of big workout on this anniversary as well as on his birthday. I do this because when I exert myself intensely, it clears my mind. Once that happens, I can recall more memories, think about times together, and remember who he was as a person.
For those interested, the workout I did this year I nicknamed “The Sam.” It consisted of one hundred repetitions (for each exercise) of burpees, box jumps (30 inches high), pull ups, pushups, dips, and flutter kicks. I did twenty of each at a time, before going to the next exercise. I did that for five rounds until I got one hundred of each exercise completed. Then I did a 3-mile run as fast as possible. It was a solid workout but gave me time to reflect on my friend.
A wonderful memory and lesson. My brother-in-law served as my assistant coach in football for years. One of his strengths was the gift of encouragement he had for some of our less talented players. He would give them nicknames and connect with them in such a way that caused them to believe in themselves more. They would adore him, and their level of play would improve. I would always smile when suddenly a player that barely knew how to play, would be pumped to do something Coach Sam told him he was good at.
My mother-in-law later told me that when he played football, he was often over-looked and underappreciated. He played little and was often frustrated. Therefore, when he would coach kids like that, it was as if he were speaking to them like he would have wanted when he played. After he died, I have tried my best to do this for all my players because he showed me how profound it can be. He taught me that sometimes the biggest difference can simply be someone that believes in you and encourages you.
Something I find helpful. As many of you know, I am training for a 100-mile run in February. Usually once or twice a week, I will do an impromptu “extra run” on the treadmill in my garage while my kids are out playing, even though I’ve technically completed my workout and run for the day. I do this to get in some extra miles, but I do it mostly for the mindset it creates.
I know that over the course of a 100-mile race there will be times when I’m exhausted, bored, and/or in pain. Putting in extra work when my body is already fatigued is a wonderful way to simulate that feeling. When you train yourself mentally and physically to go beyond expected limits, it becomes currency you can cash in for resiliency in your toughest moments and darkest hours.
Some quotes I love.
“Remember, being happy doesn’t mean you have it all. It simply means you’re thankful for all you have.”
“It takes a backbone not a wishbone to get results.” – Brandi MacDonald
“Once you learn to carry your own water you will learn the value of every drop.”
“Everybody’s sore. Everybody’s tired. Everybody has an excuse. Don’t be everybody.” – Lewis Caralla
“You’re either getting paid for the decisions you made years ago or you’re paying for the decisions you made years ago.” – Bedros Keuilian
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