What’s in your green smoothie? 5 reasons drinking a green smoothie every day for breakfast can enhance your life!

In order to have our health, we need to ensure that we are taking the right steps to take care of our bodies. This includes, but is not limited to a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. A healthy diet is key to maintaining your wellbeing and it all starts with breakfast…or does it? You will hear from people that breakfast is the most important part of your day. And you will hear others say that it just leads to unhealthy eating habits and starts your day off with bad fuel. Well the latter can be true if you are fueling yourself with sugar filled cereals or carb loaded bengals. But what if we fueled ourselves with something that could help us through our day? What if we began the day with fuel so good for our bodies that it helped us focus, burn fat and give us the energy that we needed in order to have a productive day? I think everyone would sign up for that if you asked them. Have you ever heard of a green smoothie? I’m sure you have seen them, and some of you have probably even tried one before. At first glance some of them don’t look very appetizing. I know the first time I tried one I was skeptical. But if you give them a try they can do a lot for you as you begin your day. I have put together a list of 5 reasons that drinking a green smoothie every day for breakfast can help enhance your life.

What is a green smoothie? Well, the name comes from it’s color of course. And what makes up this color you might ask? The green color comes from the vegetables and fruits that are added to it. A simple green smoothie is made up of green leafy vegetables, nutrient rich fruits with a liquid base.

5 ways drinking a green smoothie in the morning can enhance your life

With the benefits of broccoli, spinach, kale and many other leafy greens, combined with fruits green smoothies in the morning can help in a variety of ways. Here a just a few…

Rejuvenates your body

Most of the ingredients that are included in green smoothies are loaded with a substance called chlorophyll. This has very powerful antioxidant properties. This, in turn, can prevent anemia, help treat insomnia, assist in dental problems and the best part is that it helps lower your risk of infections. Those cold and flu symptoms you see your friends and family members getting will be a recent memory!

Naturally promotes weight loss

Not only are you getting the antioxidants that you need for your overall health, you are also getting the vitamins and minerals in these fruits and veggies that will curb your hunger. Abel James “ The Fat Burning Man” is quoted saying that in order to burn fat you have to eat fat. If you start your day off with fat you are telling your body this is the first thing you should burn as fuel. Good fats include Avocados, Walnuts, nut and seed butters, olives, ground flax seed, coconut oils and grass fed butter. These are just a few of the fats you can include in your smoothie.

Increases your daily fruit and vegetable intake

We all seem to lead very busy lives these days and when we get that craving to grab a snack we tend to eat the unhealthy ones forgetting the importance of fruits and veggies. When you start your day with a green smoothie you are already ahead of the game with your fruits and veggies. It is suggested that you eat 3 cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. Green smoothies are usually high in both of these and in turn you will not have to worry about getting all of those into your diet.

Improves Hydration

To keep your body hydrated you should drink half of your body weight in ounces per day! That’s a lot of water right? But, don’t you think that since your body is already made up of water it would crave it anyway? It does after you start to consistently do this. By adding a little more water to your smoothie in the morning it will help you reach that goal of ounces per day.

Improves digestion

Many individuals are affected by some sort of digestive disorder. Unhealthy and inactive lifestyles are just a few things that cause this. Green smoothies are filled with fiber, and in turn is a great substance to help improve digestion. Some individuals even say that this aides in relief of the symptoms caused by common digestive disorders.

I drink a green smoothie every day for breakfast. It’s quick and easy and I have come to not be able to live without it. Here is my simple recipe:

1 healthy handful of spinach

1 scoop of vanilla whey protein

A splash of cinnamon

A ¼ cup of frozen mixed berries

1 avocado

Add ice and 6 oz of water, could be more depending what you are using to blend it in. I use a magic bullet so the cups provided are filled to the brim. Blend till smooth and enjoy!

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Things that motivate me to lead a healthy lifestyle

Embracing an active, healthy lifestyle can be much harder than the alternative. You need to have dedication, preparation, and most importantly motivation. You are much more likely to actually achieve something when you are motivated to do it.

What inspires most people to live a healthy lifestyle? Is it to be a great competitor? Is it to look good? Is it to feel better? I have been thinking about this over the past week or so and decided to come up with some of my motivating factors on why I try to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Family: This is always at the top of my list for everything in life! If I didn’t have my family I would have nothing! My family motivates me to want to live healthy. I want to set a good example for my kids as to why they should follow suit. I want to be able to do things that they want me to do. If I come home and they want me to jump in the trampoline I want to be able to do it. Or if they decide they want to take a walk, or even play basketball in the driveway I never want to tell them that I can’t. If my wife wants me to go for a run I want to be able to do it, even though she kicks my ass every time! These things are so important to me and when I think about not being healthy these are the things that put me back on track.  

Practice what you preach: I talk about fitness, health and fueling your body with the right things to my patients, in my social media posts and in my blogs all the time. What type of person would I be if I just talked about it? I want to practice what I am talking about to show that I too am doing what I suggest. It’s a struggle sometimes and it would be easier just to be lazy, but what would that be teaching people?  

Seeing someone else’s results: Seeing someone go from not being able to walk a mile and being able to run a 5k is one of the most motivating things to me. I see people on Facebook, in my clinic or even just friends that have decided to be healthy and start something new. When you see their results it makes you want to be better. It’s like a domino effect. You want to compete and get better at what you are doing right now. This always helps motivate me to stay on track and knock me out of my funk.  

Being able to stay active: The idea of being able to stay active is a huge motivator for me. I know that if I take care of myself I will be able to do everything that I want to do. I will never have to sit out and watch others enjoy. Just knowing this helps me focus and realize what I am doing is worth it.  

Fitness: This is always a motivator for me because who doesn’t like to see results? I love being able to see increases in my performance, in my waist line and on the scale. I also love to see my energy levels stay high because of a workout I did at 5:00 A.M. Even though it kills me to get up and go I always use results to get me out of bed and stop hitting the snooze.  

I know it can be tough to stay motivated to try and be healthy. It just seems so much easier to not have to try. But in my opinion just like with anything habit and routine always take over. If you get yourself in that mindset and have a continued routine to follow it makes it a lot easier to succeed. What are some of the things that keep you motivated to lead a healthy lifestyle? Leave them in the comments section below! Have a great week! 

Don’t be afraid to try new things


It’s easy to be the one to shy away from something new. Sure, when something is unfamiliar it can be intimidating and make you want to just say no. I used to be like that. If something made me uncomfortable I would just not do it. Until I realized that in order to experience things throughout life you have to try them. You can’t just do the same thing over and over again. I get so many patients in my clinic that have never picked up a weight in their life and it can be very intimidating to them. Especially when they are in the gym area and have to perform an exercise in front of people.

I try to make it to the gym at least 4 days a week. I enjoy working out because it relieves my stresses from the day. I also like the way it makes me feel after I’m done. But lately it’s been getting kind of boring. I found myself in that rut of doing the same sorts of exercises for different body parts. It can make you feel bored and unsatisfied. This is when I would tell someone to try something new. So I decided to take my own advice.

This past weekend I went to a continuing education course for work. The course was about ways to assess and treat the fitness athlete. The fitness athlete is also known as an athlete that does “Crossfit”. But the things learned in this course can be broken down to be used with just about any patient or even the highest of fitness athletes. I’ve always wanted to do Crossfit, but I always felt a little intimidated by it. So this course fit right in to my plan because here I could learn about it, how to do things properly to assess someone and use this to help program patients to get stronger.

The course was held at Recharge Ho-Co Crossfit in Elliot City, MD. What a fantastic facility. It made me wish I lived closer to this place. Institute of Clinical Excellence is the company that put on the course and I can’t say enough about it. From the time I walked in to the time I left I felt inspired. The energy from the instructors Ryan Smith and Mitch Babcock was infectious. Ryan is part owner of Recharge and Mitch runs his business out of a Crossfit box he trains at in Michigan. Both were so knowledgeable and had an amazing ability to break down each movement so that it was easily understandable. And the best part about it, they are both Physical Therapists! I knew it was going to be a great weekend.

By the middle of the first day I felt more comfortable with different Olympic lifts that in the past I just did because I was told to do them. I was never properly instructed on every detail of form like I was this past weekend. And if there was a break down in form what was I going to do in order to fix it. At the end of day one we all participated in a workout. I was excited and a bit hesitant like most people are when they try something new. But I didn’t need to convince myself because I knew this is what I wanted to experience. At the beginning I was thinking I can get used to this. By the middle of the workout I was thinking when the F$@% is this going to end? And by the end I was thinking thank god! I was excited about a few things. First, that the workout was finally over! Second, I was proud of myself for trying something new. And third, I can’t wait to do another one! It was just so much different than any other workout I had done. And it encompassed every part of my body. This is how it started. We did a dynamic warmup for about 5-10 minutes that consisted of bear crawl/squatting lunges, walk out to push up and walk up into a pike position, sideways squat lunges, high knees, butt kicks and maybe something else I’m drawing a blank. After that we set up the bars with 55 lb for women and 75 lb for men total including the bar. Now, this may not seem like much, but when you have to do as many thrusters as you can it kills your lungs and your body. We had a partner an one started on the rower and the other had to do thrusters. You had to row 250 meters while your partner did as many thrusters as they could until you reached that distance. Then you switched and did the same thing for them. On and off for 10 minutes. That was the longest 10 minutes EVER! But, when I was done I felt awesome! Well, not right away, but about 10 minutes later it was great!

Day 2 consisted of more technique on pull-ups, kipping pull-ups, clean and snatches. All great exercises that involve the entire body if done correctly. Each movement was broken down and encouraged to do to practice correctly. If there was a breakdown things were incorporated into the movement in order to cue the athlete to do it correctly. If things were still not clicking, then another activity was done to break down the movement. This was key to understand what exactly was hindering the movement and what can be done to fix it. There was no day 2 workout, but I did enough snatches and cleans to last me for a while. I know because for the next 2 days I felt it everywhere! What a great feeling too!

I left that day inspired! Not only to be able to take back the knowledge to my clinic and incorporate it with my patients. But this course opened up my eyes to an entire new way to look at things! It made me want to be able to master what I learned and use that to drive my treatments. I would have never learned any of this if I hadn’t tried something new. This is what I always encourage my patients to do in order to challenge themselves. You never know what you might learn.

Thank you again Ryan Smith and Mitch Babcock for being great instructors and coaches! You have both inspired me to be more. Not only with my workouts, but with my patients! And in my opinion, when you can do that for someone you are on the track to greatness! Thank you Recharge Ho-Co Crossfit for hosting the class you have an awesome facility! And finally Institute of Clinical Excellence, you have some great content and instructors! From what I hear all courses you put on are class act!

Injuries don’t just go away on their own

Contrary to popular belief, when you injure yourself and are experiencing pain, things don’t just go away on their own. Can you sense the sarcasm in that statement? Our bodies don’t work like that. My wife has been having some hip and buttock pain for the past few months. Initially she strained her hamstring trying to race my son…not a good idea! I treated her a few times at home and gave her some things to do on her own. Since then she has developed some hip pain which again I looked at and gave her a few things that would benefit her. Just last night she was telling me how these things were still bothering her. I proceeded to ask her how the things I told her to do were going. She said she was not doing them. WHAT???? I told her that she is no different than a lot of the patients I see. Thinking these things are just going to go away on their own without any type of treatment is a common problem that I run into.

Rest at times can help an injury. For instance, when you sprain your ankle, you need to rest it. If you continue to walk on it, the inflammation will never go away and the healing process will take twice as long. But as that inflammation starts to subside you need to load the tissue and test it to keep it’s strength and flexibility. If you were to just stay off of it and not walk on it, it will take twice as long and could turn into a chronic issue. The same goes for all injuries. Things just don’t go away.

Don’t say physical therapy and treatment didn’t work for you if you never put in the work. I get this statement a lot from patients who have had PT in the past. I went to PT for a week and it wasn’t helping so I stopped going. Or better yet, they had me do a few exercises and they didn’t work so I stopped doing them. I know we all just want things to go away as quickly as they came, but that’s just not going to happen. Healing, strength training and diet all take a certain amount of time to start working.

This isn’t a new concept. They all take work, effort and a certain amount of self discipline to see any type of results. I said this to my wife and I will say it to all of my patients. I don’t want to hear your complaints when you never took what I said seriously and did what I asked you to do. Only after you have worked hard and failed can you start to complain to me about what didn’t work. Then we will refocus and try something new, because you can’t just give up when one thing doesn’t work.

What to do when you experience low back pain


I get this question a lot. “Nick I have no idea what I did to my back but here is what is going on”. “What should I be doing?” “What should I be avoiding?” Unfortunately, it’s really not that simple when it comes down to it. Without first evaluating someone I can’t just give out things to do, but I can suggest things that are pretty common in the treatment of low back pain. This can be a starting point to see if they get any relief. Once we have accomplished that, then we can look into more detail as to what the problem is. So what should you be doing if you start to experience low back pain? And what should you avoid so that the symptoms don’t get any worse?

Rest: how much is too much? In my opinion, rest with any injury is needed to allow for the inflammatory process to subside as well as for the tissues to start to heal themselves. Now, when I say rest I don’t mean bed rest. I am talking about rest from activities like running, lifting, carrying or any activity that seems to irritate your low back. And the length of time is important as well. 1-2 days is plenty because I then want you to slowly get back into your routine. Light walking, lifting, carrying activities.

Ice or Heat: I always advice ice for the first 48-72 hours. At that point you can mix the 2 back and forth if you want to. Some people, like myself, love ice. I hate being hot and ice always makes me feel better. So after that initial few days I say whatever makes you feel better is what I would recommend.

Change positions: you want to change positions frequently. If not you will tend to stiffen up or cause yourself more pain. When you are in pain your body and muscles are most comfortable tight. This, in turn, will cause you more pain and discomfort. If you sit for your job I suggest to not sit for more that 45 minutes before changing your position. Move in your chair, or get up and take a walk to change the position of your spine. This will decrease stiffness and load the spine and injured tissues so that they do not get stiff.

Light stretching activity: a light stretching program can help as long as you are not causing new symptoms to occur. Stretching also keeps the spine loose as well as the structures that surround it. As I said above your muscles like to stay tight when your body is in pain and this will help combat that. Sometimes back pain is accompanied by leg pain and we don’t want that. I always suggest to see your physical therapist to get evaluated and determine what best suits your back when you have these types of symptoms.

Avoid lifting heavy: If you work in an environment that you do a lot of heavy lifting this should be avoided for at least 2 days. Like I said about rest, it’s good for a short amount of time and then we need to start to load these tissues in order for them not to continue to get weak.

See your physical therapist: I suggest that you see a physical therapist right away when you experience low back pain. Our profession is so underutilized in this aspect considering that only 7% of patients with low back pain are referred from their physician to come to physical therapy. Where are the other 93% going? Or better yet are the other 93% not even doing anything about it? These are great questions and should be thought about in order to fully understand what it is that you can do when experiencing low back pain.

Do I need a prescription for physical therapy?


For the longest time, to come to physical therapy you had to get a prescription. First you had to make an appointment with your PCP and take time out of your day. They would take a look at you and say I think you should go see a physical therapist. They would write you a prescription and send you on your way. Nowadays, there is something called direct access for physical therapy. Patients can come right off the street without seeing a physician and get physical therapy treatment. So does this mean that you no longer have to see a physician to be able to come to physical therapy? Well it kind of depends.  

The short answer to if you need a prescription is no. Direct access is meant for just that, to not have to worry about seeing a physician to get permission to come to physical therapy. Now, what will decide that is your insurance. Some insurance companies still require you to get a prescription, Medicare being one of them. My best advice to people that are wondering if their insurance accepts direct access is to call the number on the back of their card and ask. If patients do call in we can check for them, but it is much easier for them to call on their own.

How does direct access help the patient? For one, it takes an extra visit to the PCP away. This means they can just come straight to the PT and not worry about seeing an extra health care provider. Another way direct access helps is that it cuts costs for the insurance companies. Unnecessary visits are avoided and this in turn makes them happy. Direct access also saves patients time. Again taking away another visit can be the difference in an entire afternoon or evening for some patients. Busy schedules require efficiency and direct access does just that. And finally, it eliminates barriers to entry. If a patient wants PT, there should not be anything that stands in their way of getting it. This, in turn, opens of and enables people to seek this service without having restriction.

So the next time you get injured call your physical therapist so that they can properly evaluate you and get you on the right path to better health!

Why is form so important with exercise?

I have people ask me this question a lot especially if I am correcting them as they do a specific exercise. Why do I have to do it this way? This way is harder for me to do it. It’s easier if I do it this way. These are just some of the things my patients say during their time with me. Now I’m all for doing something a certain way if it is easier and more efficient. But when it comes to exercise there is some form that we all must follow. So why is it so important that we follow proper form while doing exercise? And what can happen if we don’t?

Injury prevention: this is the number one reason why form during exercise is important. If you continue to do an exercise incorrectly, you run the risk of injury. In my world of physical therapy most people that come to see me are already injured or have some form of pain. The last thing we want to do is cause another problem.

Efficiency: with proper form comes efficiency. We all want to be efficient with things because this makes things work more smoothly, it saves time and helps to not overwork yourself. Being efficient with exercise allows our body to adjust quicker and avoid fatigue. This, in turn, will prevent injury as we talked about above.

Accessory muscle use: if proper form is not used this can cause you to use accessory muscles. These muscles are the ones that start to kick in if the other is either too weak or your form is not correct. The best example I can give is when someone is doing a bicep curl with a barbell. If the weight is too heavy or their biceps are just weaker they start to rock their back and extend back and forth. This causes them to start using muscles in their back and increases risk of injury. My advice is always quality reps increased weight. It’s better to do 20 quality reps with a lighter weight than 10 reps of heavy weight with poor form.

Increased joint mobility: form plays a role in mobility of our joints. Deep squats for instance, are a great example. Deep squats are an excellent exercise to get more mobility in your hips, knees and ankles. If the goal is to increase the mobility in those joints then this exercise is for you. But if we decide to just do squats to 90 degrees of knee flexion this could cause a decrease in the mobility of the hips because they are not going through that entire range of motion. Now mini squats and squats to 90 are great for strengthening but if you want increased mobility this will cause those structures to tighten and not allow for full mobility. In turn, causing you limitation and sometimes pain.

As I tell all of my patients. I am not interested in how much weight that you can do or how many reps. I just want you to have proper form while doing your program.

Is there a fountain of youth?


If you look all over the news especially on ESPN there is no way you are missing all the hype behind Tom Brady the quarterback of the New England Patriots. Now, let me preface that I am a huge Pittsburgh Steelers fan and it pains me to even talk about him. But it is really amazing what he has done for the length of time that he has done it. How has he been this good for so long? How is he getting ready for his 17th season in the NFL and 16th as a starter? Brady is 40 today August 3rd and in football years that is an eternity! The average NFL career is between 3-6 years depending on position and ability of play. Brady has broken records, won 5 Super Bowls, is a two-time NFL MVP and has the most wins as an NFL quarterback EVER! So how does he do it? How has he been able to keep up with all of these other younger more versatile quarterbacks? And how does it seem that he just has a knack to win the big game?

To be an NFL player you have to be special! You don’t just luckily get drafted and you don’t just get a starting job because you made the team. You have to work and work hard if you want to be successful in the league. There are many players that have gone past their years as a football player trying to get that one last season before leaving the game that they have loved to play for so long. Payton Manning comes to my mind right away. Even though he won a Super Bowl to end his career he was a shell of himself that year. His defense carried him most of the way and he did what he needed to do to win, even if it wasn’t pretty. Tom Brady has evolved as the exact opposite only getting better and more focused with age.

Let’s start with his diet and how he decides to fuel his body. It is no secret that he eats vegan most of the year. Now I’m not saying this is the option for ultimate health because there is no way that I could go without meat. But this is his secret to success. Diet plays a huge rule in your health and weight control. I have posted in older blog about the 80/20 rule that most should follow. 80% diet and 20% exercise. There is no need to kill yourself at the gym 6 days a week if you are not eating the right things to fuel your body. Next, his workout regimen is very strict requiring him to wake up very early each day because of his busy schedule as an NFL player. His workouts along with him being very conscious of his health play a huge rule in how he is able to keep going. He is a very focused individual and it shows through all that he does.

If you want to get serious about your health and the way that you feel I suggest you take a look at what this man has been able to accomplish. Tom Brady is an extreme case, but he is a perfect example of what hard work and dedication to your body and health can get you. Is 40 really the new 25? If so, Patriots fans would seem to think he might have at least 10 years left in the league! We all wonder how much longer he will be in the league for. The short answer, as long as his body will let him be. Truth is there is no telling how much longer he will play. He’s like the damn energizer bunny! All that I know is as a Steelers fan his retirement can’t come soon enough!

Things aren’t always impossible!

This past week was one of the best youth baseball experiences I have ever been a part of. Our 9 year old little league team went to the state playoff tournament. If you would have asked any one of us coaches at the beginning of the season how we expected to do I think we would have all said we probably wouldn’t make it past districts. Our team is made up of all 9 year olds and this was a 10 year old tournament. In youth baseball 1 year makes a huge difference. Some of these kids are a whole head taller and have at least 50-70 pounds on some of our kids. Our 10 year old team decided they did not want to be a part of this so we decided why not? If we go and get crushed at least they get the experience.

Districts were against a bigger North Allegheny team. It was a best of 3 series so we knew we would play at least 2 games. The first game was at our field. We came out and competed very well and won the game 9-2. We looked at each other and said we have a shot at this. 2 days later we won districts 16-15. That game was a lot closer but we battled back and won with a walk off hit! Now it seemed like we really had a shot!

A week or so later sectional playoffs started. This was a 4 team double elimination tournament. The first game was also against a much bigger team from Sharon, PA. This game was a very close game back and forth all game. Again, we ended it with a walk off win! It just kept getting more real! The goals we had set forth seemed attainable. Our second game was the next night against Carmichaels. We were down 4-0 after the first 2 innings, but that didn’t stop our boys! They came out on fire the next inning and continued that throughout the game. We ended up winning the game 7-4! It was awesome! We were in the winners bracket and had to be beaten twice now. 2 days later our boys didn’t disappoint. At this point we all believed we were going to win. We won 12-5 and won the PA section 2 championship! On to Morrisville, PA!

The experience all week in Morrisville, PA was awesome! Not only for us coaches but the kids had an absolute blast! From the banquet opening night, to opening ceremonies and the first game it was great. At this point the boys did feel some pressure and it was obvious from the first inning. We gave up 6 runs in the first inning and had to play catchup all game. We ended up losing 12-5 a very disappointing opening game and now we were in the losers bracket. We came back the next day ready to fight until the end and that is what these boys did. Coming back from being down 10-3 scoring 7 runs in one inning to tie the game. We just couldn’t hold them off for long. We ended up losing our second and last game and our run was over. It was sad to see these kids work so hard to come up short, but I was so proud of what they accomplished!

This entire season was very special and I am so glad that I got to be a part of it. Seeing how hard these boys worked to get where they did was awesome! They committed to a goal and they went for it without ever questioning themselves! They were never intimidated by any team that they faced and never let the spotlight get the best of them. I am so very proud of this team for never giving up.

When you have a goal that you want to attain ,whether it’s physical therapy related or not, you need to realize that things are not always impossible. It’s easy to look at something and say there is absolutely no way I can do that. It’s also very easy to not even try. We could have easily said lets just wait until next year and just enter in another tournament. But we decided to believe in our boys and just go for it and try. I am so glad that we did because they will never forget this, and neither will I!

Who doesn’t like a walk off?!?!

As long as I can remember I have always loved the Pittsburgh Pirates. I grew up in the 80’s and 90’s with the Killer B’s, Bonds, Bonilla, Bream and Bell! That was a great era of baseball to be a part of! The pirates were so competitive and seemed like they made the playoffs just about every year! Once free agency really took it’s tool on the Pirates they seemed to have nothing left but a farm system for the rest of the major leagues. Every year it seemed obvious, if a player started to do well it was certain they were getting traded by mid season. And every year that was the case. 20 years of losing was upon us! Do you even understand how long that is to suffer from losing? It hurts to even think about it. Even though it was rough I continued to watch my team get pummeled every year. I may have lost hope for about a year until they brought up Cutch! That was a great time because you knew he was something special! Even after they brought him up the losing continued up until 2012.

The Pirates actually had a great shot that year! They started out slow as usual, but at one point in the season they were 16 games over .500 with 7 walk off wins! They hadn’t had a winning season in 19 years and we were that far over! We were all going to win that year! And then the wheels fell off. They had a total collapse the last month and a half of the season and ended up in forth place in the N.L. Central with a record of 79-83 4 games under .500. Another losing season in the books!

2013 was a different story. They added some pieces that were going to prove to be key! Francisco Liriano and Russell Martin were added to help and boy did they ever. Again the pirates had 9 walk off wins that year! Liriano went 16-8 revitalizing his career and Martin ended up with 15 home runs! The key home run being in the wild card game when he belted a 2 run HR over the left field wall off of Johnny Cueto! It was still by far the best game I have ever seen. I was in my living room jumping up and down screaming! 20 years of losing can do that to a fan let alone a town! It was awesome! They lost in the divisional series against the Cardinals but it was still a great season. Their record was 94-68.

2014 started off just as strong in and out of first place of the division all year with the Cardinals. They ended up with with a record of 88-74 and made the wild card game for a second consecutive year. They had 10 walk off wins that year! They ended up losing to the Giants that day, but it was still a great season. Winning baseball was back in Pittsburgh!

2015 was even better then the year before. This time the national league central was stacked and between the Pirates, Cardinals and Cubs it was a battle all year. The pirates had 11 walk off wins that year and ended up with a record of 98-64! And they didn’t win the division! They made the wild card game for the 3rd consecutive year and lost to the Cubs. It was a very promising year!

2016 was very disappointing. They had just came off of a 98 win season and just didn’t look good. A lot of blown opportunities and they finished the season with only 4 walk off wins and a record of 78-83, another losing season! I personally was very upset and frustrated about it. How can you have a 98 win season and lose that many games the following year? Do walk off wins play a part in momentum?

As most of you know I help coach my sons travel baseball team. This past year has been a blast and I have enjoyed being a part of every moment. This year alone they have had 4 walk off wins that I can think of. One of them was just the other night in the sectional little league tournament. My son came up and hit a single into right center to win the game. It was great to be a part of! The next day those kids carried that momentum into another win and a birth into the championship! Last night we came in and totally dominated! A 12-5 win and a birth into the PA state little league championship! I am a big believer in momentum and feel that the experience these kids have will give them a huge advantage.

When I talk to my patients in my office about their success and failure I try and relate it to the walk off hit to win the game. If you have a great day or week or month of physical therapy you need to celebrate it! You need to use that as fire to build upon. Mindset alone can change what you believe and how you think. If your down it will show in your effort. If you use it to your advantage nothing can stop you!

So far this year the pirates are 48-48, 3 games out of first. They have had 7 walk off wins so far this year. One of them coming two nights ago. The momentum is starting to show because they have won 11 out of their last 13 games. Hopefully the walk off will hold true as to what type of season they will end up having.