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.
How was the 4th of July run? As I mentioned last week, every 4th of July and Memorial Day I will go for a run and carry the American flag. This year I set out early on July 4th for a 12-mile run wearing my Captain America Under Armour shirt and listening to a playlist I made of all patriotic/American songs. It turned into one of the best experiences of my life.
Early in the run I heard a siren and looked over and saw a police officer giving me the thumbs up. He had the sirens and lights on as I ran next to him for probably ¼ – ½ of a mile before I turned onto a new road. At another point in my run, an older gentleman in a Navy hat that happened to be out walking said to me “I love that you’re doing this” and then removed his hat and saluted the flag. Dozens and dozens of cars honked their horns, people yelled encouragement from their yards and decks and high-fived me at stoplights. It was windy all morning so throughout the entire run I got to see my shadow with the flag flying behind me which pumped me up as well. Finally, with two miles to go I was met by my wife and youngest son. From there I ran him home in the jogging stroller while Mary (at 8 months pregnant!) ran with the flag.
I posted about the run on social media and was honestly shocked at the response. I heard from dozens and dozens of people telling me how proud they were of the effort and how much they appreciated the display of patriotism. The most common sentiment I heard was that they’d been very bummed lately and needed to see something like that to boost their spirits. Ironically enough, I had felt the same and that flag run recharged me in a huge way!
What is a trait you admire in others? Something I really admire is tenacity and I think comes in many forms. I just love people that find a way to overcome regardless of circumstance. This could involve athletics, business, personal circumstances, overcoming loss(es), or any number of areas. Those people that refuse to be stopped I consider tenacious.
A colorful example of this that I shared someone recently was of a man I met while preparing for a race years ago. I was getting ready for my first 24-hour obstacle course race and was in a Facebook group with others doing the same event. There was a gentleman in his 70’s that told me his wife of many years had died and he was participating to honor her. He then ended by telling me “And you can call me Scorpion because that was my call sign in the Navy” which I thought was hilarious. That race ended up being 24 hours of Hell – 65 mph sandstorms, in and out of 50-degree water and temperatures that went from the 80’s to the teens within hours. I got hypothermia and can still get cold thinking about it. However, at probably 1am as I trudged through cold mud shivering my tail off, I encountered an older gentleman who I helped to complete an obstacle. After I did so he told me his name and it sounded instantly familiar. I said, “are you Scorpion?” and he proudly told me he was. That guy was by no means a physical marvel, but you better believe he was still in the fight honoring his wife’s memory long after far younger and more conditioned people had since quit and gone home. Anyone that displays tenacity in their life always will always have my respect…and bonus points if they have a cool “call sign!”
Something that made me smile recently? I take my youngest to the football field each night so that we can run around and play. Last week there was a man doing laps around the track as we did so. When he finished, he began stretching and was grunting as he was lying on his back stretching his legs. My little boy heard this and immediately said “Uh oh, you ok?” and began heading right over to him. I scooped him up and told him that the man wasn’t hurt. What I thought was nice was that he saw someone that he thought might be hurt and his little instincts told him to help. That inborn sense of empathy is a wonderful thing and something that we should highlight more often when we see it in my opinion.
A recent source of inspiration? Months ago, I posted about a woman I would see running the track by my house in the morning. She was older and overweight, but each morning would be out there – rain or shine. This week I saw her again for the first time in months (I’d not been to that area recently) and she was moving faster than I’d ever seen her and seemed to have lost another 20 pounds or so. What inspired me was witnessing her continued commitment to her health and fitness. The goals we seek are rarely achieved quickly and require lots of hard work so most people quit well before anything important can happen. I do not know this woman at all but it’s obvious to me that her commitment has never wavered, and her transformation has been remarkable as a result! Think of something you badly want and then think how much closer you’d be to achieving it if you took the next 8 months, a year or some chunk of time to getting there. You can make an enormous change in a relatively short amount of time when you commit to doing so.
Some quotes I love?
“A champion shows who he is by what he does.” – Evander Holyfield
“Do not correct a fool, or he will hate you. Correct a wise man and he will appreciate you.” – Bruce Lee
“It’s easy to lose hope. I sure have at times. But I’m never gonna stop fighting. Never. Our kids need us more than ever.” – Dr. Brian Moriarty (he is an excellent doctor and friend and this was a personal text he sent me)
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