When things get tough will you quit?

As most of you know that read my posts my son plays travel baseball and I’m a coach on the team. Lately it has taken over my life, and I’m okay with that because I enjoy it so much! But I keep finding different reasons to talk about it because these kids show me something different each week. As with all 9 year olds there is an up and down attitude about them each day, week and month. One day they look like super stars out there and nothing can stop them. The next day they look like they are back in T-ball again. This past weekend was one of those weekends where you wondered how they would respond after the events that took place.

We played in a tournament called the Battle of the Boarder in Youngstown Ohio. Leading up to the weekend we knew that competition was going to be very good. 2 teams in particular were going to be there. Beaver Valley Red and West Hills. The last time we played West hills they beat up on us pretty badly. By about 13 runs to be exact! It wasn’t pretty, but our kids had bounced back in the next tournament they played in to take 2nd place. We were in a different bracket then either team and were set to face 2 teams we had never played. The day before the tournament started one dropped out and our schedule changed. Now we were scheduled to play Beaver Valley. I was excited to see how our kids matched up against them since we had never played them before. Once the kids heard that was who they were playing that’s all they talked about. They obsessed about it actually! And it was not in a good way. The game started and we walked the first batter, not a good start! Nerves were probably going crazy for most, but we managed to get 2 outs and the score was only 1-0. Then all hell broke loose! We committed 6 errors giving up 12 runs in the first inning! After the first inning it was 12-0! How does this happen? Little things like catching the ball before trying to throw it. Balls going through their legs, and coming in on fly balls instead of stepping back first. All things our kids do very well most of the time. Their nerves got the best of them. Needless to say the game ended in 4 innings after losing 18-1. We lost the second game 12-6 against another team we had never played mostly due to mistakes and kids just not being in the game. It was tough to watch and hard to talk to the boys afterwards. Sunday would tell us what type of team we have and how they respond.

The next morning the kids warmed up and you could tell they were more lively and upbeat. They started out strong and lead most of the game until the bottom of the 5th giving up 2 runs to be down 5-4. The kids battled that last inning but couldn’t find a way to get another run. We lost that game, but showed great resilience and determination to come back after getting the crap beat out of us the day before. It was great to see how our boys responded.

I wanted to share this with you all because there are always going to be times in life and in physical therapy that you are going to want to quit. Things are just going to get too hard for you and giving up seems to be the easiest thing to do. I know because I have felt like quitting before. My first 2 weeks of PT school I almost quit! I felt that it was going to be too hard and too much for me to handle. I was sick of school at that point and now I was going to have to go for an additional 3 years! I went home that weekend and thought about it a lot. I kept telling myself I could go and get a job for a little while and figure it out. Then I realized that I committed to doing this and this was what I felt passionate about. I’m so glad that I decided to continue my journey. Just know that it’s normal to want to just give up when things are tough and not going your way. It’s the way you respond and show resilience that makes all the difference.

Putting in the work and staying consistent always pays off!

I am one of the coaches of my son’s travel baseball team. My son is almost 9 and it’s his first full year of kid pitch travel baseball. He has played with most of the kids on his team since he was 4. They all started out on a rec team together. Year to year you can see the improvement. Constant practice and playing for most of the year is our life right now. It’s so much different than when I was a kid. I played a lot of baseball, but only from April till August. These kids started in November and will play until the end of summer. Constant practice and games keep these kids consistent. They stay focused by doing things on a regular basis and it shows. Most of the things that we succeed at in life are done on a regular basis. We make a habit of them and they become a constant.

This past weekend we had another tournament for baseball. We played very well in pool play to earn the second seed to start the playoff/championship round. Sunday afternoon we were set to play the same team we beat the day before 5-4. It was a close game, but we played flat that game. The kids seemed pretty upbeat at the beginning of this game, but it didn’t start out the way we wanted it to. My son started the game pitching and was a little off with his location. He ended up giving up a 2 run home run in the 1st inning. Luckily we got out of it without going down by any more runs. He was down, but his teammates encouraged him as well as all of the coaches after getting out of the inning. The kids were off and losing most of the game. We entered the second to last inning down 7-3. The kids battled this inning getting timely hits and staying disciplined at the plate scoring 4 runs to tie it up! We would have scored 1 more if it wasn’t for me running my son into an out at third after a nice 2 run double. The last inning comes and the other team scored 2 runs to make it 9-7. Things just were not going our way. The rain came off and on and it was just a miserable feeling. The kids did not seem defeated though. They have been in this situation before! This is what they practice for each and every week. We ended up with bases loaded and 2 outs, a situation every athlete wants to be in! As a kid we always played and yelled out 2 outs bottom of the 9th bases loaded down by 1!. So who steps up to the plate? My son steps into the box ready and focused. First pitch is thrown and he swings out of his shoes! He was pumped up for this! I yell down from 3rd where I was coaching and tell him to relax, because a hit scores two! Next pitch comes and boom! He smokes this ball high in the air towards left center field. I knew it was gonna at least score two right? Then it keeps going and going and I yell “GET OUT OF HERE!” And the ball sailed over the fence! You would have thought I hit the ball because I was jumping up and down like a little kid screaming! As my son rounded 3rd he had the biggest smile on his face and it’s a moment I will never forget and cherish forever! I’m getting chills right now just typing this! The kids went crazy and it was just a great moment to be a part of! They won the game!

These kids never cease to amaze me! They showed me something that day that will always stick with me. Putting in the work and staying consistent will always pay off in the end. They never gave up on each other and they never quit. Even when my son gave up a home run in the first inning he kept his composure and stayed focused. Every single one of them contributed to that great victory!

I always like to bring things back to a situation related to physical therapy or situations in life in general. If we stay consistent with anything in life we are going to make our situation better. If we practice at something or make a habit of doing something on the regular it’s proven that you have a better chance of success. If you are trying to be more healthy then make a commitment to stick with a new way of eating and doing some sort of physical activity weekly. Do these things at the same time and same day to make a habit and stay consistent. When you make an appointment to come to physical therapy stick to it and commit to the full length of treatment sessions. Do your program at home and stay consistent. It’s proven to work because I saw it first hand this past weekend.

What seems to work best for weight loss? Diet or exercise?

Everyone wants to loose weight at some point in their life. Some people have struggled their whole lives trying to figure out the magical ingredient to lose that unwanted poundage that has taken over their midsection. Losing weight and keeping it off is a huge challenge. It’s just not easy for a lot of people, including myself. I have patients come into my office with lower back pain, knee pain, hip pain and they are overweight. Most of the time they will say “If I could just lose some weight I know it would help with my pain problems.” Or “I want to lose weight because I know it will help, but my pain prevents me from exercising.” If you ask most people will tell you that if they don’t exercise they have a hard time losing weight. Is this really true? If we limited our physical activity, would this effect our ability to lose weight? Does the way we eat have anything to do with our ability to lose weight?

Exercise has great benefits for your body. It strengthens muscles, helps your cardiovascular system, lowers blood pressure and helps you release the chemical Serotonin the “feel good” chemical of the body. This helps your mood change after a workout. Have you ever felt lousy after a workout? I would probably say no! The bottom line is that exercise makes you feel better, boosts your health and it also can be fun. Exercise helps burn calories, which in turn helps you lose weight right? If we burn more calories than we take in then in turn we lose weight. This equation works well, but it wont last for long if all we are doing is an insane workout routine.

Our eating habits can also help with weight lose. People tend to say “I can’t have that I’m dieting!” Or “I am on this diet for the next 4 weeks to get down to my beach body!” Crash diets are just that…they crash! If you decide to start counting your calories and follow the newest “fad” diet plan it might work for a few weeks or maybe a month. Eventually it will catch up to you, especially when you start to eat the same old stuff you used to. Most people will have short term success with these type of diets and leave them saying “I have tried dieting and I just can’t seem to lose the weight.”

So what is it that most of us are doing wrong that is causing us to either not lose weight? Or gaining it back after we have lost it? The short answer is we are relying solely on either exercise alone or some fad diet plan. I suggest to patients that they should try and follow the 80/20 rule. 80% food intake and 20% exercise. Most people would think it should be the opposite. But to lose weight and keep it off for the long haul there is a balance that needs to happen and food is usually the main culprit. Changing the way we eat has such a huge effect on the way we can lose weight, get healthy and stay healthy. If you continue to workout like crazy and not get the proper nutrition you are just being counterproductive. You can’t use exercise as your primary source to lose weight. There has to be some sort of balance both ways.

What I suggest for people to do is first get away from those processed foods and sugar! Sodium alone keeps weight on and those foods are packed with it. Usually I will tell people to fill half of their plate with vegetables. Green leafy vegetables, broccoli, spinach, artichokes, asparagus are just a few that I like. You only need about a fist full of protein on your plate and a palm full of your starches such as brown rice or yams. Getting fat in your diet is also recommended. Just make sure it’s good fat. I eat at least 1 avocado a day. Try and eat cleaner foods and drink lots of water. In order to stay fully hydrated throughout the day you should drink half you body weight in ounces per day. This can also help your body stay full and not hungry. Sometimes when you think you are hungry you are really dehydrated. Exercise 3 times per week is plenty for about 25-30 minutes. You can do more if you would like. It’s totally up to you.

These are all suggestions that you can try. I am by no means a nutritional expert or a dietitian. I am solely going by experience alone and what has worked for me. As with all things new I recommend to do this for at least a 6-8 week period to really see results. Let me know how it goes!

Practice, consistency and effort: All keys to have success

My son plays on 2 different baseball teams. He is on a travel team and an in-house athletic association team. For his travel team, we have been practicing in an indoor facility since late November. He is fortunate enough to play with most of the same kids for the past 3-4 years. They work well together and it shows. Since they started practicing until now there is a noticeable difference in their attitude, their work ethic, their desire and of course their overall ability! I’m one of the coaches, and it’s really amazing to see the transformation before your eyes with these kids! It’s truly something special. I can see that every single one of them has benefited from being on this team. You can see it from the pop of the mitt, the crisp and quick hands of a fielder and the sound of more and more solid contact of the bat! It wasn’t always like this though.

Rewind to November…and so it begins. Most of these kids play multiple sports, my son included. Flag and tackle football had just just ended and basketball was just about to get under way. Baseball seemed to be on the back burner for most. It usually is at that time of year. Practice started 2 days a week and only half the kids were ever there at one time for the first month and a half. It was frustrating at first because you could never really get the kids to gel. Even though these kids have all played with each other, there was just no consistency. And it showed in practice during drills and hitting exercises. You could tell which kids had been there more and which had not. It’s only natural that with consistency you improve. Over the next several months once basketball started to wind down is when it really started to show. You could just see it from practice to practice. Their attitudes changed, their ability to do things asked of them and the desire was there. Once we had a consistent bunch of kids who were committed and practiced together, is when they all started to gel together.

Just this past Saturday my sons in house team had their first practice. For most of the kids this was their first practice of the year. I am not a coach on this team, but I offered to help if needed. The coach talked to the kids at first and had them warm up. As they were warming up he stopped everyone and asked them to watch my sons mechanics on how he throws the ball. He said “everyone watch Caden and how he throws.” He wanted them to watch the entire motion through his follow through. He said that’s exactly how I want you guys to throw the ball. Great mechanics there! I’m always hard on my son with everything, and since baseball has been my passion since I was 5 I am extra hard on him with this! I thought, wow he is using my son as an example to all the players on what to do! Later on in the practice I was helping hit ground balls to the kids. I didn’t say much a I was just observing the team and what kids needed help with. The coach from time to time would jump in and tell a kid to do something different. When I coach for our travel team I am constantly correcting form, the way kids take a ground ball, throwing mechanics and everything in between. Like I said, I am extra hard on my son! What Dad isn’t hard on their kid? So I decided since I didn’t know very many people on this team I would just help and sit back. I was shocked, amazed and PROUD all at the same time! Not once did I have to correct my son! I mean I was really shocked that I didn’t have to even yell his name. Those that coach with me will tell you they hear me yell CADEN all the time during practice. I saw everything that we practiced so hard during the winter and more. He did everything that I normally have to correct him on! And to top it off he was instructing kids on how to do things better turning double plays! It was a very proud moment for me as a Dad!

I always try and take things back to how it pertains to Physical Therapy. This example is no different. My title for this blog post is practice, consistency and effort. Practice makes “BETTER” in my opinion. It never makes you perfect. There is always something that you can work on and something to improve on. Consistency with practice and technique will always help to focus on things that you are having difficulty with. The amount of Effort you put into something shows in your results. The more effort you put in, the better the results. If you truly want to get better, which I feel that every patient that comes to me does, then you have to take into account these 3 things. My son has shown me that with these 3 things he can do amazing things, and he is only almost 9! When I think about it though I wouldn’t expect anything less from him or my patients!

How much does weight really impact my joint health?

If you have the occasional twinge of pain in your knees, hips or even your back, it is your body’s way of warning you of a potential problem. Pain is your body’s way to tell you that something is wrong and you need to do something about it. Similar to an engine light coming on in your car, pain is indicating a possible problem. Now, what is the cause? There are multiple reasons why your body sends off pain signals. First, if you injure tissue your brain tells you that you are in pain. If you have bad posture, eventually you will feel pain. Our joints are designed to take a lot of pressure during different activities. But when that pressure is increased just the slightest it can cause an enormous chain reaction and your function can be lost. So how does increased body weight really impact our joints health?

Studies have shown that for every pound of excess weight exerts 4 pounds of pressure on your joints, your knees in particular. Let’s just think about that for a minute…if you are 10 pounds overweight you have 40 pounds of extra pressure on your knees. If you are 100 pounds overweight now you have 400 pounds of pressure on your knees!!! That’s a crazy statistic! Now, walking on a level surface puts a force equivalent to 1 ½ times your body weight normally with everyone. So if you weigh 200 pounds you are putting 300 pounds of pressure on your knees. If you add an incline, the pressure goes up. Going up and down a step increases this pressure 2 to 3 times. And squatting, a very functional activity that we all do on a day to day basis, can add up to 5 times your body weight of pressure. This is why it is so important to know what we are doing to our bodies and the affect a few extra pounds can have.  

What does this mean? Well, with increased pressure on joints this can lead to joint break down, in turn causing osteoarthritis. Obesity and being overweight is one of the leading risk factors of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is caused from wear and tear of joints. Once the cartilage is worn away this causes a bone on bone atmosphere which causes inflammation in the joint. Increased weight causes this breakdown to occur quicker than normal. And, pain levels can be even worse with those that already have osteoarthritis. Now you have an inflamed joint that is bearing 3-5 times the amount of pressure that it should.  

What can be done to avoid this? The simple answer is to lose some weight. Most people can afford to lose a few extra pounds. It’s easier said than done, I know. It all comes down to 2 questions. Is it important to you? And what are my goals? You really have to decide what is important to you. If not having pain is important to you, then this should be a priority. If being able to do any activity you want without pain, then this should be a priority. What are your goals? I would suggest setting small goals at first so that they can be easily reached. Seek out another partner to hold you accountable during your journey. In the long run it’s a life style change and it needs to be done in steps. Nobody ever said that getting to a healthy lifestyle is easy, but once you get there it is very easy to maintain that environment.  
So to sum it up, weight has a huge impact on your joint health. Your joints already have a great deal of pressure put on them when doing a specific activity. Adding any additional weight, just increases that pressure even more. This, in turn, can cause other issues such as osteoarthritis. Having a healthier lifestyle can and will prevent such things from happening and should be a priority.  

Which running shoe is best for me?

With so many shoe choices out there, in can be tough to find the right one. You ask yourself questions like: “What color will go with most of my clothes?”, “Do I want a high top or low cut?”, “What brand do I want?”, “Which shoe is the best value?” While all of these questions are valued points, they are not the questions you should be asking yourself. Even the most advanced runner needs help from time to time in the decision making process of choosing a running shoe. Here are a few tips and questions to ask yourself. These will help steer you in the right direction of picking that perfect shoe leather express footwear!

What type of arch do I have?

Normal arch: A normal arch has a half of an arch in a foot print

Low or flat arch: A low arch shows a print of the whole foot

High arch: A high arch only shows a print of the heel and ball of foot. Sometimes it shows a very thin line on the outside.

Once you determine what type of arch that you have then you can search for shoes in that criteria.

How much running do I plan on doing?

This will vary tremendously so I always tend to round up a bit for this question. If you intend on running 10-15 miles per week I would round that up to 15-20. Certain shoes wear more rapidly than others. Similar to tires on a car. If you plan on doing a lot more running you will go through shoes a lot faster and in turn will cost a lot more money in the long run. Cost as well as distance play a big part so choose wisely.

Once I find a shoe is this the only type I should ever run in again?

Some people think that since this shoe works now it will be the only one they can use forever. Many factors go into what works for certain people. Speed of running, stride length, body weight, arch type etc…these same things change over time with everybody. Finding the right shoe for you is a challenge. Sometimes you need to just experiment to see what is best for you. As your fitness levels and ways that you run change, so should your shoes. Bottom line is as you change, your shoes should also follow suit.

Should I only wear my running shoes for running?  

The quick answer is yes! All shoes wear at different rates, but if you use them for everything chances are they will wear out a lot faster. Wearing shoes specifically for running will help with the way the tread wears and will also help with injury prevention. Activities that involve side to side movement like basketball will start to wear the shoe in directions that it should not. Running shoes are meant to wear while running. They have a balance for forward motion. And the cost of a good shoe is not cheap so why wear them out quicker than you have to.

Should I wear in new shoes before I go for my run?

Most shoes now a days have nice movement in the material and do not need to be broken in. Some people will disagree and that is okay. I suggest that if you feel the need to break them in with a few short runs before your long ones than go for it.

When is it time to retire my running shoes?

About 300-500 miles is the suggested time to replace your running shoes. This varies because of different style runners. Some people have a very long stride length so the miles will be higher due to less strides per mile. Shorter people have a shorter length so they will have more strides per mile. This is just a general rule of thumb. In my opinion, if your shoes feel like they need replaced before the recommended mileage then replace them.

Choosing the right running shoe takes time. Sometimes it’s more trial and error. My suggestion is to find a Physical Therapist or a Podiatrist that can evaluate your feet and help you make the right decision.

My running shoe:


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Having trouble staying motivated? Try these tips to stay on track!

It can be very hard to stay motivated about things, whether you are in the middle of a fitness program, trying to lose weight or even trying to keep up with your exercise program at Physical Therapy. It’s hard to stay at a consistent pace because things tend to get harder each day and week. We all start off the same with anything new. We are very excited to see the results of hard work. Then we hit a wall and we plateau. We lose interest very easily and start to go off course. Then the excuses come: “I just got so busy and I couldn’t find time.” “After 3-4 weeks it just wasn’t working for me.” “My body is just meant to be in the position that it is I; it runs in my family.” Do any of these sound familiar? They do to me and I have found myself saying one of these a time or two. Being a Physical Therapist I deal with excuses like this all of the time from patients. I wanted to put a little list together of ways to stay motivated. I myself use some of these to stay on task.

Write down weekly and monthly goals:

Writing down your goals makes it that more real. It makes you accountable for what you say you want to do. If you hang them somewhere you will see them each day. It will make you more aware and want to accomplish them.

Surround yourself with like minded people:

Surrounding yourself with people that have the same vision as you can be the difference between a win or a lose. When you surround yourself with these kind of people your mindset shifts. This also holds you accountable to what you have set forth. If you are always around “Debbie Downers”, then you are going to be more apt to act like them.

Be patient:

You have to be patient. Things take time, especially if it’s something new. Everyone that starts a new exercise program or tries to lose weight wants results yesterday. Nothing in life works that way. You have to stay focused and keep your eye on the prize. Remember steady and slow wins the race.

Reach out to others for support:

This also goes back to surrounding yourself with like minded individuals. It helps to have support of others that are going through what you are. I always encourage my patients to talk to each other about what they are coming to PT for. Tell them your story, and what you have done to try and convince yourself you are getting better. Having others to bounce things off of can help keep you focused and motivated to continue.

Read and listen to personal development:

This is a big one, especially for me!! I have never read more personal development books than I have in the last 6-8 months. It helps me stay grounded. It shifts your mindset from “it can’t be done” to “let’s do this!” Personal development in my opinion should be something that everyone should work on. It gives you a sense of direction, greater resilience, improved focus and of course motivation to want to succeed.

Give yourself breaks:

There are going to be times when you want to give up and you feel overwhelmed. Burn out can happen, so you have to give yourself breaks. Take a day or two to refocus on what you originally started for. Rethink your goals and what you eventually want to do. Go out with your spouse, significant other or friend. We all need breaks from time to time.

Make sure to reward yourself:

You have to reward yourself every now and then. If you are trying to live a healthier lifestyle you need to be able to splurge on a meal you normally wouldn’t eat. If you are working towards a particular fitness goal you should reward yourself with something that makes you feel good. When my patients accomplish something or are doing well I always tell them reward yourself today you did great! When you reward yourself it helps remind you why you are doing this in the first place.

Sustaining motivation can be tough under the best circumstances. It’s not magic and it is not something you can just drink out of a bottle, but it is something that you can tap into when you feel like giving up. The next time you feel like you are losing motivation try these simple steps to keep yourself on track.
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The effect a thank you can have…

Last Thursday was a long day for me at work. It’s usually one of the days I work 12 hours. By the end of the day I was exhausted mentally and physically for some reason. I am used to working longer days because it comes with the territory of working in outpatient Physical Therapy. This day for some reason was just longer than usual. I had an unusual amount of cancels because we had just had a snow storm the night before. And for those who know southwestern PA, people will use snow as an excuse to miss just about anything, Physical Therapy being one of them. I was on my way home from work listening to one of my favorite podcasts: The Physical Therapy Business School by Paul Gaugh. As I came to a stop sign another car got to the opposing one just after I did. I flicked my lights to tell him go ahead and of course they did. The next thing that came was not a shock, but a reminder…he flicked his lights back as he went through the intersection. The universal sign of thank you in car talk! It dawned on me that having someone say or gesture thank you can go a long way. It makes you feel good to do something for someone and they return their gratitude.
I work in a field of helping people every single day. Every person that comes through the doors of my clinic is going to be helped in some way, shape or form. Sometimes I even inadvertently help the parent, caretaker or significant other all while helping my patient. In return I always receive a thank you! If you think about it, I get a thank you between 14-30 times a day! A DAY! That’s crazy to me! Some people get a thank you maybe once a day at most, sometimes once a week or month, but 14-30 times a day is just insane!  

My intersection thank you reminded me of how lucky I am to work in the field that I do. It reminded me that just a simple thank you can have a huge effect on someone. Think about it for a second…how does it make you feel when you do something nice for someone? When you give someone a present and they light up with excitement and say THANK YOU! It’s one of the best feelings in the world! I get to have that experience on a daily basis! Especially when I am discharging someone that initially had a rough start and can now walk and play with their kids again!  
The reason I got into the field of physical therapy was to help people. I wanted to make people well. I wanted to get people back to what they wanted to do. I never once wanted anything in return from them. I still don’t, other than for them to do their program at home!  
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Stress got you crazy? Try these tips to help

We all have stress in our lives and we would be lying to ourselves if we said we didn’t. With all that goes on during your daily routine it’s hard to stay away from stress. Our jobs, responsibilities, parents, kids and families can all throw us through a whirlwind and then the stress begins. You start asking yourself questions like: How am I going to get this project done by the deadline? How am I going to get the kids dinner, their homework done and get them to both of their games at separate fields? How am I going to check on mom, get to my meeting and try to spend time with my family? All of these questions would cause stress. I deal with things like this all the time. I stress about getting out of work on time just so I can get a workout in and get home in time for the kids to get off the bus. I stress about how I am going to fit patients in when I only have limited space at my clinic. I stress about when I get slow at work and what I can do to get better. I decided to put together a small list of things that you can do to try and decrease your stress levels. I do some of them on a regular basis to try and keep myself grounded.

Exercise: Exercise is a great way to relieve stress. As we exercise we release endorphines, which are the bodies natural pain medication hormones. When they are released it makes us feel better, improves our mood and increases our pleasure. This, in turn is what causes us to feel so good after a workout.

Socialize: When we are stressed sometimes we just want to be alone, but socializing with people can help as well. Talking to someone and venting is sometimes all we need. It’s also good to talk about other things to try and get your mind off of your current situation.

Read: Reading is one of the best ways to relax and even six minutes can be enough to reduce the stress levels by more than two thirds. Research has found that this is one of the best ways on top of walking, listening to music or having a cup of tea.

Meditate: Sometimes you just need to go to that other place that makes you happy. Meditation is a skill, but when done properly can take you into a whole new world of being happy.

Breathe deeply: Deep breathing exercises are always good to try and relax yourself. Have you ever seen the movie the Karate Kid? Mr. Miyagi had Daniel doing this to stay focused and not lose his cool. This actually does work and if you do it often enough it will become a habit. If combined with meditation it is very powerful.

Listen to music: Listening to your favorite music always takes your mind off of things. There is something about that beat! Or when your favorite jam comes on you just want to rock out! Don’t lie, you were just rocking out in your car the other day and got caught singing at a red light. I did! Seriously, I was at a red light just belting out some Kenny Chesney and I looked over and the lady was just laughing. It was cool because I probably made her day!

Mow the lawn: This is one of my favorite things to do when I am stressed! I love to mow the lawn! Anyone that knows me will tell you the same thing. I put my headphones on and drive. I like to make perfect stripes in different directions each week. It’s kind of like a picture that I am making. It makes me feel good when I’m done and look at how nice it looks.

Drink a beer or two: Now I’m not saying go get smashed, but drinking a beer or two can take your mind off things as well as help you relax. It also brings in the social aspect and helps you let loose from time to time. This is not recommended to do a lot, but every now and then you just need to enjoy yourself.

So, the next time you are feeling that stress start to build up try a few of these tips. I guarantee one will work for you. Enjoy, and as always don’t hesitate to reach out to me with any questions or concerns.

Things I’ve learned from a man I never met

Actions speak louder than words! This is a statement that I have heard all of my life. I have even said it to people myself. When I was younger I really didn’t grasp the concept behind it. I mean, I would hear my parents tell me that, or a teacher tell me that, but I never fully understood what it meant. Your actions are so powerful! What you do on a day to day basis defines you as a person. How you do something, when you do it and if you come through with it makes all the difference. What good is it to sit and talk about all of the things you want to do in life but never actually do them? You can have all the goals in the world, but if you never strive to accomplish any of them where does that leave you? When I was younger I would always hear grown ups say, “If I knew then what I know now boy would I be better off!” Or, “ I wish I would have…” You get the picture right? Actions speak louder than words! Say that to yourself over and over until you truly understand it.

I go to the gym 4 days a week and I see a plethora of different people there. Some people come with their husband or wife. Some are friends that get together, some are by themselves. I even see people that come in just to use the tanning beds. I will see the usual suspects because I am very regimented and I go at the same time practically every day. Sometimes I will see different faces. Some people are just there to socialize and others are all business. For the past year I have seen this guy that caught my attention. I see him almost every time I am there. Every time I see him he is working! I would say that he probably works harder than anyone I see at the gym. It’s not because he wants to…he has to! The man that I am referring to has a neurological condition. I’m not exactly sure what, but it seems as though he was born with this disorder or he had some sort of traumatic injury. I have seen when he gets dropped off in the front of the gym. It takes him at least 5 minutes to get from the car to the front door…and it’s only 10’ away! I have watched what he does over the past year of seeing him enter the building. He first walks from the front of the gym to the back which I would guess to be 100-125’. It can take him 16 minutes! I know because that is how long it takes me to run 2 miles on the treadmill. It takes him that long to walk 125 feet, but he does it every single time! He will find a bench to sit on and start doing leg exercises on his own. Exercises similar to what I would give to my patients. I watch him walk from machine to machine struggling at times because of fatigue. He gets frustrated, but he does it. And if he has to use the restroom forget it! There goes at least another 20-25 minutes round trip! This man has to deal with this on a day to day basis and he is killing it!

Actions speak so much louder than words can! Seeing this man on a daily basis focused, fighting and striving to make himself the healthiest version of himself is so inspiring! He is someone we should all think of when we decide we want to make an excuse not to do something. Do you think he wants to go to the gym every day? Do you think he enjoys the fact that it takes him quadruple the time to do something as it does someone else? I am not trying to speak for him, but I sure as hell wouldn’t enjoy that!  

The next time you are having a bad day and just want to give up I want you to think about this post and this man. I know that every time I want to skip out on the gym I think of this guy! I know he will be there no matter how he feels. I’m sure if he doesn’t go he will pay for it. This is what helps him get through his day. This is what keeps him going and makes him functional. His actions speak loud! I know because they have impacted me, and I have never even met him!