What Shitting All Over The Himalayas Taught Me…

This pic was taken at the height of one of my Ulcerative Colitis flairs in 2010, while I was still working as a FF/Medic 🚒🚑. Up to that point, I was sitting on the toilet up to 100x/daily, bleeding ulcers and all 🙁. I was squeezing a medicine bottle up my ass every night before bed, hoping it wouldn’t leak too much overnight. Every time I ate, I was in immediate intense pain and bled. I was smoking a cigarette every morning and every night to ease symptoms (look it up). UC is a funny disease if it isn’t happening to you. I don’t blame you for laughing 🤷🏻‍♂️.
“Battling through Ulcerative Colitis”
I’m absolutely positive that I was very hard to be around 👺. Luckily, I had a VERY patient and understanding girlfriend at the time 🙏🏽😔. I was grateful for that. But I also do remember that I kept fighting. I was sick of being sick. I barely took any time off of work, maybe a shift here, a shift there.
I secured 29 days of leave and decided to do a trek in Nepal 🏔. Everest Base Camp was too long and probably too arduous for me. So I chose one of the smaller treks and started training 💪🏽. I decided that I wouldn’t use a porter and that I would lug 60lbs of equipment the entire 10 days (for the trek). That was stupid. Let’s just say that I lasted 3 days, didn’t see shit because my head was down the entire time 😬.
What led me to do that, I have no idea. Looking back, I was pissed. I was pissed that this damn disease was controlling my life. My entire existence was based on where clean, plentiful bathrooms were. Ya’ll don’t understand- it happens in an instant. Of course I shit my pants many a times. The embarrassment, pain and fear DICTATED my life. I had enough.
I noticed my symptoms decreased while in Nepal 👏🏽. My stress levels were down. Up to that point, I was at the height of working 100-120 hrs/week, still (over)training and running 2 careers. Of course, I still shit all over the Himalayas 💩. But I felt better. My old life was on pause.
My default is to fight. No matter how long I’ve been knocked down, I eventually will myself back up, get pissed, and battle. Sometimes it’s graceful, sometimes an epic fail. But I still fight. I love that about myself. You win some, you lose some, but you live- you live to fight another day (movie anyone?).
It’s not a special talent by any means. Everyone has access to it. It just takes practice. You don’t have to fight huge battles to get started. Willing yourself to get up when all you want to do is curl up and hide is a FIGHT. But you can start right there. Change DOESN’T have to be dramatic and world changing right away. Throw that garbage out. Small steps work too. If you’re going through something, know that someone else in your EXACT circumstances has BATTLED and WON. I want that for you too. Fight on my friends. You’re stronger than you think. If you don’t believe it, lean on me until you do 🙏🏽. I want you to win 👊🏽.
By the way, I BEAT this “incurable” disease 👊🏽😎.
Philosophy Training Uncategorized Wellness

One Thing You Need For Mobility….AND Happiness

You NEED more rotation in your lives. I mean seriously, your physical future health depends on it. These aren’t fear tactics I’m sprouting. Most of you are stuck in one or two planes of motion. We move in 3 dimensions. Do the math.
So what happens if you keep doing what you’re doing without adding training and movement? How about this- what happens in 10 years? 20?! 30?!! Do you care? Maybe it’s too far away. But 30 years from now, you will wish you took that question more seriously.
I see it happening right now. My clients are getting younger and younger with issues only seen in the senior adult population. I’ll yell it from the tops of the trees. Many will suffer a very painful and slow decline. It doesn’t have to be like that. THAT doesn’t have to be the outcome.
You know, there are actually people out there that decide when it’s “time”- not out of pain, or sorrow, but fulfillment. I know I can’t control most things, but I know that I CAN control, to a large extent, HOW I grow old. I choose to make movement medicine for myself and my clients. I choose to do my best to practice empathy and compassion. I choose to take measures to decrease my overall stress. I choose to feed my body mostly nutritious things, while adding other things in limited quantities because I enjoy them 👉🏽🍕🍔🌭🍰🍫🎂🍩🍪🥂🍷🍻😛.
There are things within your control, decisions that can be made, paths that can be taken to get to wherever you want to go. You simply have some work to do on a regular basis. How did you get good at the thing(s) you HAD to do, or the thing(s) that you love? Practice Practice Practice….

Desk Jockeys Beware- 7 Tips For A Healthier Desk Life

If you’re reading this, you’re probably sitting down, hunched over, with shoulders a little bit too close to your ears. You’re shrugging when you don’t have to. You look at your phone…A LOT. The problem isn’t the phone itself. It’s how you are looking at it. It’s really how you’re looking at almost everything- phones, tv’s, laptops, iPads, Kindles. It’s also a product of you NOT DOING anything about it.

Yes, sitting has been demonized and this isn’t the first or the last article about it. But this topic really needs to hit home for you to actually take action. Because if you’re reading this, you’re on LinkedIn and you probably spend your careers mostly in a seated position. Your posture may not be the best now, but you’ll eventually get to it, right?

knee pain

The problem is that 99% of you WILL NOT do anything until it’s too late. What a shame. EVERY CLIENT that comes into my facility has structural issues that we have to address. I cannot, in good conscience, not address it. That’s why they come in. Many don’t even realize how “jacked up” they are because their bodies have become used to the positions they are in most often.

It’s not JUST sitting that is the problem- it’s sitting UNDER duress. Let me explain. Our ancestors used to run or fight when under stress. “Stress” for them meant something was trying to eat them. “Movement” was the way out. Stress is different today. We feel “under attack” in traffic, while sitting. We feel “under attack” during face to face or phone meetings. When you hear bad news, you’re probably sitting. Stress and NOT MOVING don’t mix. It fixates your body in that seated position while your stress levels increase. Do it over and over again and you have potentially disastrous consequences later on.

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“Dopamine is a messenger molecule in the brain that allows certain nerve cells to communicate with one another. Underestimated at its discovery, dopamine proved critical to central nervous system functions such as movement, pleasure, attention, mood, and motivation.” 

“Movement” is linked with the same pathways as “Pleasure, Mood, Motivation.” Read that again. What that means is that if you move more, you elevate dopamine levels which lead to feelings of pleasure, elevated mood and higher motivation. What’s the cost? GET YOUR ASS UP and make MOVEMENT a PRIORITY!!!!

  1. If you can, take phone meetings while walking. Remember that movement increases dopamine levels, mood and focus. You’ll be able to respond to most situations with a clearer head.
  2. When possible, perhaps walking to your co worker’s desk to deliver a message in person is a good idea?
  3. Park as far away from your office as comfortable and walk to work.
  4. Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
  5. Use your lunch break to move and eat (mindfully) at your desk.
  6. Set an alarm every hour to remind you to get up for at least 5 minutes.
  7. Don’t workout- CONSCIOUSLY move for medicinal purposes at least 45 minutes every day. Purposeful walking is fantastic because it’s the ONE skill that we need to maintain for the rest of our lives.

***My client Brendan and I working to improve his Thoracic Rotation. For full description, click link above video***