Commencement Speech To the New Era Graduating Classes!


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Although I wrote this one for the class of 2020. I think it applies to all of you from that year as well as all the modern era classes. I definitely BELIEVE every word here and teach my own kids this way. I believe in you guys and I’m excited to continue to grow up sharing and evolving our world together!

Growing up I watched my dad give graduation speeches..pretty much every other year. He is a very popular teacher and fantastic speaker.  I always thought doing a graduation speech would be pretty cool. So I decided I’m going to do one of my own. 

Here it is… Well, first, Here’s what it is not:

Ohh the poor Seniors . It’s just not fair!    Robbed of their senior year. Robbed of graduation and the parties and the prom.  Poor poor 2020!

Look y’all. I know this isn’t the norm. But you guys aren’t the norm. You’re 2020. Whether high school, trade school, military or college.  The start of a new decade. The FUTURE. I know none of you would have picked THIS-but in all fairness none of you would have wanted THE NORM either.

This isn’t the article telling you how a virus and world wide quarantine is a good thing. I’ll not be that…fake.  It’s NOT a good thing.

This commencement will however, point out why your last few months of your senior year bonds you together with millions of other young adults -forever. It will point out why change, no…extreme makeover, is your specialty.

This commencement covers why your graduating Class has the chops to take on the modern era of business, the modern era of worldwide production and if you are a senior, right now – the new modern version of college/trade/work.

It will also explain why I believe your generation, specifically your graduating class, will be the best at this the world has ever seen.

Bonded like no other

First of all, just as a class, you guys have a shared experience unlike anything we have ever seen before. 2021 and Future graduating classes will of course be special in their own way however no one will have gone through this quite the same way you have. If the virus or another like it was to hit next year- you’d still be the first. It’s all you. You’re class will be remembered through history.  

Even if it’s 20 years from now and you are sitting for an interview and the person across the desk asks you what year you graduated- when you say,  “2020,” it will mean something.  With exponentially more meaning if the person interviewing you also graduated from 2020, because despite blog articles, Podcasts and CNN documentaries discussed by adults a generation or two removed from you, nobody knows exactly what it feels like unless they went through it the exact same way at the exact same time of their lives.

As you all know, significantly more than previous generations -the world is smaller. The connections that you have to the graduating class of 2020 from different states and foreign countries is much more prevalent than it was just a few short years ago. Your social media friends are not simply the people you see in the hallway between classes.   Many of them you’ve never met in person and most likely will never.   That’s normal for you.  That’s not how my social media is and it’s certainly not how my parents accounts are.  

Sharing THIS Corona/Covid “thing”…only strengthens that bond.

The social values aspect

Again, I do not want to try to point out how a worldwide pandemic is a good thing.  However, I do think your graduating class just got a shotgun approach to social values.

For example, one of the most important aspects of my life, probably the biggest reason I took the career choices I did, was because it allowed me time to travel – which is/was my biggest social value. And that social value changed almost overnight,.  There’s not a lot of family travel happening now and my trips I did have booked are worthless and cancelled.

I’m in front of high school and college seniors a lot. I have four kids of my own and I have never forgot what it felt like to be myself at different ages. I remember what was important to me, even if those values have changed through the years. It bothers me when I hear parents (who are my age) say to their kids that high school, prom, graduation, dates, the dorm life, college sports etc aren’t important!  They are!  

I went through the stage where I wanted to have a Ferrari and a mansion on the ocean and what really drove me and motivated me more than anything else in life was money.

Money, it seemed,  would get me anything and everything I wanted. IT was important and MY #1 social value of those days.

Indeed many of you may also feel that way and let me tell you that’s not wrong. But I do feel for most people in life there will come a time where other life modalities, things other than money make up your primary value.

Money won’t get you everything you want and often CAN’T get you what you want. I have a wall hanging at home that says “ Often the greatest things in life aren’t actually things at all.”  

In my case it is travel and family travel time specifically – I just can’t ever seem to get enough of exploring the world with my crew.

So maybe as a senior, your highest level social values are being near your friends, or living in a certain area of the world or being able to hit up all the hot clubs, that metro vibe. Maybe, like a lot of us on the planet, you saw your values do a complete cart wheel over the last two months and now realize that something that you thought was of the utmost importance in your life no longer makes your top 10 list. 

Conversely, maybe there are things that you thought were relatively important that you now feel play a larger role in your life – maybe the largest!   

I’m not going to tell you what values matter the most, thats for you to figure out and adapt with.  What I want to tell you, is going through an experience like this and shuffling and reshuffling what is important and what holds value in your life is an amazing experience that many adults my age never get a chance to do.   Many never even realize it is a possibility.  

I hope you’ve taken some moments in your life over the last couple months to really think about this aspect and to help get a more clear direction of where you want to go in your life and what you want to hold as TRULY IMPORTANT.    

I want to be one of the first to tell you- You do not need to know where you are going to end up in life and what you are going to do for the rest of your life at this point. 

The Life Compass

During my lectures I often tell my seniors to imagine themselves standing in the middle of a giant “Life Compass” as in “NASCAR track sized giant Life compass.”  The directions headings are your lifetime goals, achievements, you career, family, …bascially your life and they are way out far from you on the horizon. In fact you may not even be able to see the end in sight.  

For most of you it will not be a straight direct path to the end anyway, so you can’t see it.  There is no clear direction from the middle, it’s just horizon in a full 360 panorama.  Your path is unclear, there is no yellow brick road to point your way and no guide telling you where to go or even what adventures you’ll encounter along the way. But don’t make it overwhelming. I have a the cheat code for you, I have a hack that will help.

 YOUR PATH will be wavy and there could be direction changes and it certainly will have different angles as life experiences change your directions from time to time. That’s oK –  As you start to move Along this “life compass,” virtually no-one has a direct line. There is no “right path” – But it sure is nice to at least feel like you’re taking a step in the right direction.   

By knowing your inner values and what makes you happy. To think about a career path, lifestyle, family, entertainment….VALUES in a general idea rather than specifics…it helps. It gives you that first step in the right direction.   

When I lecture to seniors, I am bascially asked, “Tell everyone in the class about being a chiropractor.”  I rarely do. That’s a straight path that just has too many hurdles and problems. What I present is, “Here’s 150 jobs in the healthcare field. 138 of them you’ve probably never even thought about or even heard of.”     

That’s direction.   

The reason this direction rather than path is so important for the class of 2020 is because much of what you’ll encounter out there in the following decade isn’t even invented yet!  You are a part of the innovation and adaptation needed to make these new careers, paths and changes. Understanding your path is windy and that there is NO penalty for changing direction is a huge advantage over the people that cannot adapt to change.

…and you guys obviously handle change VERY well!

How to Handle Adversity

How do you handle adversity and challenge?    These are typical interview questions you’ll get while applying for any job. I don’t care if it’s for the largest Wall Street money management corporations or flipping burgers and washing windows. It’s typical.  

But how about these questions in today’s world? With Your new experiences? 

How about these questions with this little caveat…how Do you handle adversity/challenges/ getting to do whatever you want whenever you want/ making life work despite social distancing and oh yeah during a worldwide pandemic and planetary economic collapse??   

Do you know who has been asked these questions in an interview situation??   

Nobody. Ever.   

Like I’ve said already- You guys are the first graduating class with this particular experience. It’s not some new, crazy, life altering experience for you, it’s just the reality of your senior year. 

Uncomfortable at times? Yes.

Challenging? No doubt.

But I keep hearing my clients say, “I just can’t wait until it all goes back to normal.” 

I notice,

I don’t hear you guys saying this.  

You guys are just adapting. You know that this changes stuff.  Real changes and although it won’t be like this forever, the old normal is gone. it’s not a bunch of kids waiting around for normal to return, you just go. You’ve “got this.”   

You took the punch on the chin and got back up and went to work. And because of your skill set and your experience with modern technology and just having a handle and realistic grasp of a modern and cutting edge world -you didn’t just handle it. You own it.   This IS your generations burden. Your challenge. 

And let me fill you in on something possibly more important. For a HUGE number of the people on planet EARTH for the past two and three generations, you are the first to take on a generational challenge like this. You are the first to have experience with anything this big.

That’s powerful. The people out there hiring you want experience and you’ve got something that a ton of us never got.    

I want to reemphasize, I don’t think this is by itself a good thing- I would never wish something like this on anyone. What I’m saying though, Is experiences are powerful. You learn from them. You adapt because of them. You innovate and invent and modify and learn from them. Your class gets to do it first and that is something.

You, the class of 2020, have been tasked with being self reliable for completion, competition, relationships, responsibility and self productivity more than any graduating class prior to World War II.   

That counts.

Accelerated Learning

I first heard the term accelerated learning when I was telling, ok let’s get real here, when I was yelling at my oldest son to, “get off YouTube already.”

“Get off YouTube?”  he said.  “Dad, I’m not screwing around Over here-  I’m doing accelerated learning.”

In this case, he was learning from Ninja, who was teaching him how to smoke everyone on FORTNITE. 

He was learning how to dominate that game at a significantly faster level than what I was doing by playing it over and over trial and error style. There is no “trial and error time” for you guys. You don’t have time to waste on that.

You guys have grown up in an era of Unprecedented Information. I’m not dead, I’m right here, I can use YouTube, Google and social media to learn things as well. But not even close the way you guys can. In fact for most of the people older than you, trying to complete 2 to 3 tasks at the same time is damn near impossible.

Your generation can listen to music, read a book, watch a YouTube video explaining how to do something in depth at a much faster rate than I learned in school, while texting your friends (multiple friends) and playing a game.  You most likely are teaching your grandma how to FaceTime all while navigating 15 open windows on your computer at the same time.   

I like to think I’m pretty smart. But I can’t handle and process what you guys can. I love the term accelerated learning.   

When your parents ask you to “fix their phone.” that means something. That’s VALUABLE!

A ton of the world has been forced into getting very good at this stuff over the last couple months. We have to do homeschooling and teach our kids on multiple different software platforms. I mean even my dad and mom have gotten very good at running their iPhones out of necessity.   Overnight, the entire world, the majority of businesses as well as universities went online. Because they absolutely had to.

The planet got thrust into accelerated learning. Just check even basic stats for things like YouTube and Zoom and it shows this.

Your generation has already been doing this for years. It’s nothing new. it’s what you were born into!   Your generation ruled accelerated learning but now… you guys don’t rule this, you dominate this.

Many of you even taught your teachers how to evolve the last few months.

The rest of you just rolled your eyes for the first few weeks while the teachers and parents tried to catch up. We’re like infants to your technical powers!

Your class, the class of 2020, has an incredible NEED that has to be filled on a planetary level that you have been tailored and groomed for since your birth.

You are the future leaders, decision-makers, workers, tradesmen, business owners, associates, teachers. The forward thinking, future based, inventing,  decision making generation.

It’s time for you to take your passion, your wishes, your experiences and your knowledge together blended with the super ability to process change, adapt and overcome – to the world.    

Sorry guys.  My friend Troy said it best, “Nobody ever told me life was going to be fair. I’m looking forward to the challenge.” 

So I get it…I know your graduation isn’t gowns and throwing square hats- but that’s not really what it’s all about.   

I think you guys already know what it’s all about and the rest of us are just waiting to find out.   

-Cheers to the Future, You’ve got this!  

“More” vs “Some”

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My wife and I were at the end stage of a 4600 mile road trip.  The passengers were us and 4 kids stuffed into a suburban and touring the OLD west. Cowboy gun fights, rock climbing, staying in yurts…you name it, we did it. We crushed this vacation.

We decided a great finale to the trip would be to stay at the Great Wolf Lodge for a night.   Great Wolf Lodge is an amazing indoor water park, arcade, magic quest, kid’s paradise -money making machine.

There is so much to do it’s mind boggling and often stressful for all involved just trying to maximize the experience.

You guys know me by this part of the game – I want to maximize. In an effort to do so I think many times I miss the point that maximization is often not equal to more. I think there is a peak point of optimization and then anything beyond that shows diminishing returns.

This idea really seemed to prove itself on this trip… often times I don’t need more to be happy I just need some.

Case in point, The Great Wolf Lodge.

After a few hours of water slides, pizza, Dr. Peppers, running around, and craziness, my oldest asked if he and the other kids could just go up to the room and chill a little.  “Dad, we’ve done it…Another hour of doing it more isn’t going to make me feel better, I just want to relax a little.”

Now I’ve been and will probably always fight being one of these guys…”Whaaaat?  There’s still 2 and a half hours left?”

I could easily see myself talking my kids into staying another hour, squeezing the last drop of joy out of the water slide and taking my cost per slide rate from $15 to $8 giving me a financial “thumbs up” in the process as well.

But it wouldn’t have made anyone happier. It would have been forced and played out. In fact, it would have been conversely unhappier and less fun.

Remember, as a kid, how much fun it was to have a hotel room with no parents in it? Now that’s fun man.

So I let them go.

My wife and I decided to stay down and have a Mojito and watch the end of a World Cup soccer match.  Also fun. We talked. Not having to scream over our kids…OK, we had to scream over 100’s of other people’s kids still water-parking, but you get the point.

The next day I was talking to her about our vacation and expenses and usually family stuff and she said, “I think a lot of why we were so relaxed last night and today was just the 15 minutes we had.  It didn’t need to be a 3 week vacation by ourselves or a long drawn out 4 hour dinner…it was nice to just have a drink and watch a game with you. Sometimes a few minutes is all it takes.”

And as she does with her uncanny ability to summarize she states, “You don’t need more,  you just need some.”

The exact same idea and application as my son.  Some beats more.

Since, I have looked for this and saw a lot of application all over my life.  Look for this in your life – I’ll bet it’s the same amount of joy and pleasure (or more) …with some.

I once heard of the 3 X rule – a similar principal.  It’s used mostly for dietary things but seems to have a lot of spillover for mentality and mindfulness.

The 3 X rule is practical with pizza and beer as my primary analogy.

With Pizza and Beer, the first one is great. It hits the spot oh so perfectly. The second one is OK and, by the time you get to the third, it’s just so-so.  Any more just gets miserable and is often filled with regret later.

Guys, I could literally come up with a million scenarios to back this point, but why do more?

Running Hacks

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Running is hard.

Nobody ever said it was easy. It can be addictive and Fun and is obviously incredibly challenging and enjoyable. It’s popular.

Millions more people are running Half marathons, 10 & 5K’s since even a decade ago and that is millions more than in 2000.  

Running is HUGE and I think, at this point in our lives,  most everyone can agree it is good for us.

We’re Humans. We are built to run, climb and lift heavy things.

But like everything I do in life I want to know…”Is there a better and perhaps easier way?”

At one time I was a 240 lb Linebacker. In my era, college football players didn’t run much.  We had our 40’s (that’s 40 yards!) and occasionally a full length field, but we did NOT run.  In my mid 30’s I decided to change my life and my fitness world. I knew a BIG part of overall fitness is the ability to run so I made it my quest. Over the years I feel like I’ve got pretty good at running.

It’s certainly not something that makes me anxious anymore. It’s simple, dude! It’s just a run!

I’m not really training for anything specific but more want to have it in my bag of tricks. My desire was to be able to run at the drop of a hat. For instance if you said, “Hey Chad, i have an extra ticket to a tough mudder and it’s a ten miler.” I wouldn’t have to think about it. I could do it.

I could run 3 -5 miles if my life depended on it (Are You Healthy Enough To Survive?) and even if I felt the whim over a lunch break.

I could run a leg of Beach to Bay with no formal training.  I’m there already, (typically the announcer at the beginning) so I just go if I feel like it. Running is by no means intimidating to me anymore.

 Where a three mile run used to look like an all afternoon affair that would probably include a sack lunch and be brutal, it’s just not anymore.  

I can get you there.  And honestly, you should be able to do this.

Hence the article – How do I make running easier, better and possibly…fun??!    

First thing to know…It will still be hard. Running is Hard. But so is your job, yet- you do it everyday and go back for more. So is raising kids and yet…that’s a huge part of WHY it is so rewarding.

2nd thing –  My ideas you’ll see and hear in this article  won’t win you the race.

It’s not for the elite and honed in athletes.  It’s for the newbies and people that have struggled and are fearful. It’s for the guys and girls that just “gut it out” and as much as I love strong willpower, It’s for those looking for a better way!

This entire site is looking for a better way…In everything.  

And YES, there is a better way to run.

Here’s my list of things to play with and experiment with to make running easier and more efficient:

Galloway Method

Shorter strides with a quicker pace

Glute and Hamstring contractions 

Recovery

Sprints and up-tempo runs

Galloway Method

The Galloway method is based on Jeff Galloway’s best seller’s and his method of a run-walk combo.

I have played with this for years and it is typically the VERY FIRST THING I RECOMMEND to anyone that wants to improve their running.

In my opinion it is mandatory for people that hate running. When I take people for a run I do this 100% and nearly 100% of the time I hear, “That was the easiest run I’ve ever done.”

That’s right.

I can go deep into all the physiology etc and the burning and sparing of glycogen versus lactates etc but I think for this article, let’s not. Look up his stuff if you want to dive deeper. I’ll just give you my take.

First off it’s a run/walk meaning you run for a set amount of time and walk for a set amount of time.

One of the marathoners in my clinic that has done all 50 states and over 110 marathons stated he thinks MORE THAN 50% of marathoners use Galloway method for their RACES!

It works.

Here’s how I would have you start.

Run for 2:30  comfortable pace, your pace. Not trying to move faster or anything, just your pace.

At the 2:30 mark walk for 30 seconds. That’s right. Walk. No need to try and walk super fast or crazy, just walk. recover.

Repeat. For however long you want to go.

We’ve just turned running into sets and reps. If you are like me – that already makes a run easier.

Here’s how you adjust as you get better.

Once 2:30 becomes easy, repetitively easy -add to the run interval. Try 2:45 – still with a 30 walk. And I’m big into the 30 second walk. That’s the ideal amount of rest.  

Here’s how you pick your run time. As you progress and complete a few runs and the pace was good, increase it ten seconds and try it out. I still like the 30 sec rest.

You should never look down at your watch to see how much time is left because you’re tired. My personal example is this:

I am at about a 3:30 run/:30 rest. I constantly try to get that run up to 4 minutes but I find I am dying on the last 20 sec. I look down at my watch thinking, “OHHH LORD! How much more!?”

That’s your clue – the run is too long – your run pace should consistently be about 5-10 sec less than what you could run.  It always stays comfortable!

Be aware that the most common marathoner’s time ratio is a 4/1 meaning 4 minute run with a 1 minute walk but I think the walk is too long and there are a factor or two physiologically that make me prefer a 30 sec rest.

But, this is about you. You do you, I’m just here to drop the science.

If you just absolutely are getting your butt kicked halfway through, take the rest to a minute for one interval and then hop back on board – no biggie.

Galloway has many benefits: like rest for one. But if that’s not doing it for you try out: sparing muscles, increased fat loss, psychological (effort perception), and pace maintenance.

Meaning -You won’t get consistently slower as you go along. Typically for new to moderate runners you might start out at a 8 min pace. By mile 3 it’s a 9 minute pace. By the end of a 10K it’s maybe an 11 or 12 min pace. With Galloway, there is a lot of muscle sparing and You’ll almost always maintain the same pace race long. If not, your run interval it too long. Modify this.

Shorter Strides with a quicker pace.

For you guys that have been in a race before – especially a ½ or a full marathon. You know those guys that just look goofy when they run? I call them the jumping bunnies. These hyper-energetic bouncy weird people that just seem to hop around the race course with their quick short little strides. Yeah those guys…I’m one of them now.

That came from a protocol called POSE running technique and it is a HUGE energy saver by utilizing the energy your muscles produce coupled with elastic recoil. Like a rubber band and piston ½ the work is done with no additional energy.   

You’ll feel super lame. SUPER Lame.

But lets look at some evidence here. The jumping bunnies are constantly the ones that spring their way through the finish line with a smile and bounce on over to their friends for a chat, yapping a mile a minute and then bounce on over to the beer keg for a quick one to celebrate another fantastic life affirming run they just had. Yeah! Life!   

Meanwhile, the Sloggers, the guys with the big long strides – the putting every freaking ounce of effort into this technique of pain – basically start/stop/start/stop the entire race are dying and look like extras from the walking dead series as they cross the finish line. Gas break gas break 

The perfect POSE tempo is 180 strides per minute! Crazy fast! Your fast tempo music is most likely at 128 bpm – which is WAY slower and you’ll match that to your stride.  Now a 180 tempo for me is just too fast, I’m not there but I do mimic the bunnies as much as I can and it has helped my running so much. Plus it only feels strange – it actually doesn’t look that strange if you just get that smile off your face that shows you know a secret others don’t.

Glute and hamstring contractions.

Not stretches. Really.

I’ve only spouted on about this for close to 20 articles on this website – suggesting the same thing over and over for a number of conditions. Look, a warm up is not what it was when we were in grade school PE. You are heading out asking your muscles to contract over and over again for miles. Why would I start by taking them the wrong way. You’ll feel like a nerd, I don’t care. Contract those Glutes and Hammies prior to a run and see what happens.. You’ll run faster I’m sure.

Recovery

Look dude, You cant just go out and run as a amateur every single day and just expect to get better. Your body needs to recover and adapt and beating it too hell every day doesn’t do this. There is a level of what is good and detrimental in any sports conditioning. Football training is nothing like it was in my day and especially in my dad’s era. Recovery, rest, cross training are brought up every single seminar and book because it is real. You will only get better through adaptation. Allow recovery for this! My suggestion – and this has leeway depending on what your race distance is – forming a base is only 3-4 runs per week, and I lean towards three.   With one of them being a speed run (see below).   

So yes – to get ready for even marathon’s I might suggest only 2 REAL distance runs per week. The rest of the time is for growth! This goes counter to most programs out there but most programs out there are written by famous /elite runners, they like to use their techniques. This isn’t the article for those guys. I’m not a famous runner. I’m just a guy that wanted to get slightly better than average by utilizing a smarter system. I don’t win races. I finish slightly better than average with a smile on my face and can go for a run at the drop of a dime. I don’t fear runs.   

Repetitive long slow distance (LSD)  is great for injuries, that’s it – I know there are still tons of marathon systems that emphasize lots of LSD but there are testing your will power and pain adaptation and most end up in my clinic missing weeks of training and sabotaging their efforts. Train smarter not Harder! ‘

Especially when your goal isn’t to win but to finish.  Or to look better naked. Or to get slightly above average. The game changes and my coaching changes if you’re looking to qualify for Boston or MAKE THE OLYMPICS – for most of us – it isn’t.

Don’t like a day off?  great , me either – hit the gym.  Get some muscle on that machine. You wouldn’t put a Ferrari engine on a VW chassis would you? A run pace of under 6 min/mile with no muscle and no strength training is another recipe for guys that want to end up being a chiropractic client of mine..they’ll get hurt.

More muscle equals better running.   

Speed day

What’s the golden egg in all of this?  The one tip that will change it all? Well I’m split – I think the muscle is a huge missing factor for a lot of runners but if not that it certainly has a lot to do with speed day.

Have a sprints day or an uptempo day to not only prep your body for a faster tempo but shock the system and up regulate your hormones. This is so important and so good for your body and brain and system. Hormones are the secret. Use them for shortcuts and lifelong health.

8 x 200 is my favorite speed day – sort up.  8 x 200 sucks. It doesn’t look like much on paper or over the airwaves but this is a bad ass workout. It ramps up your entire system with much less stress on your body than a five miler. But given the choice of what I’d pick for perceived effort level I’d take the 5 any day. 8 x 200, 4 x 600, 1 mile repeats at a 30 sec faster per mile tempo are MAN MAKERS! And a fantastic way to see results quickly.

You’ll naturally change your turnover and pace and keep it fresh at the same time as well as dumping all kinds of beneficial hormones into your body – you need ‘em!

So this is what you do Chad?

Yeah, all the above. I do. During the super hot summers here I actually run much less.  I save running for the better weather but yeah, I do these.

If you want to dig deeper check out the master of this stuff – Brian MacKenzie and  TJ MURPHY and the book The Unbreakable Runner – I have a review link right here conveniently enough – he’ll tell you the same stuff I do but in a more clinical setting with all kinds of premade protocols to follow etc. he’s the best in the game – 

That’s it – you can get good at this, I want you to get good with less pain, less injury and more fun, that’s what life is like over here – Drchadpeters

See you on the road guys.

Therapy Vs Therapeutic…And Why You’re Screwed.

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  • There is a difference between what feels good and what works.

Deciding you don’t care… you just want what feels good isn’t helping you.

Please allow yourself to be a fly on the wall for a repetitive daily conversation in my clinic.

Me: “OK Ms. Jones, after your exam and evaluation, I feel confident this is what you have and I feel comfortable that is the correct diagnosis. And here is what you can do at home to take care of this issue. Kind of an “at home rehab idea” that will speed your issue and speedily FIX it.

Patient:  “But I don’t like to do that. I do this instead, ____” …example: use a hot shower, massage, hot tub, stretch, etc)

Me: “Yes, I understand that feels good but that approach is incorrect, in this case, it’s actually bad for you and is a big part of why you are not getting better.  It’s sabotaging your recovery…Here is what you should do instead.”

Patient:   “But it just feels good.”

Me: “agh”, pull my hair out (old days, I now have no hair!)

Every. Single. Day. Forever.

Hopefully this will clear things up quickly. 2 words, similar in nature but different in application.

Therapy = treatment intended to relieve or heal a disorder

Therapeutic (or soothing) = feels good

These ideas and terms are similar and at times overlap but they are not the same thing and odds are SEVERELY against your understanding the difference and how to apply it.

This is because we all tend to just follow our ‘chocolate lab brains’. Our chocolate lab brains are non stop pleasure seeking and affirmation based.  You cant tell a lab anything.   It knows what it wants.

Feels good triumphs over better advice.

It is your fault but I won’t blame you – because I know why. Because it really does feel sooo good.

The problem is that you’ll never get better – you are working against your ability to get better.   What I spend 30 minutes to an hour fixing, you spend 10-12 hours undoing.

Therapy vs. Comforting vs. soothing vs it feels good is an easy concept to understand but hard to implement. Let me give you a few examples I see in my clinic daily. Over and over and over.

– Heck guys,

This whole concept of you doing what feels good vs. what is appropriate treatment is the reason I started the whole damn website.

I do this lecture 5-10x a day – one person at a time. The hope is that an online following will help me reach more people, a shotgun type approach to health.

Examples:

Ice vs. Heat – I’ve absolutely chiropractic napalmed this topic to death – you’ll see this come up on https://www.sportsdocdc.com/ a million times..I won’t make you read it again. If you are inflamed… don’t use heat – that’s the opposite of anti-inflammatory – that called pro-inflammatory.

“But how can I tell if I’m inflamed?”   There are some tricks to the trade I can do clinically but an easy way is to just ask yourself – does ibuprofen (Advil) or Naproxen (Aleve) help take the edge off? Yes?   Those are anti-inflammatories.  It says so on the box – there’s no pain relieving drugs in there, just anti-inflammatory. So don’t pro – inflammatory treat it.

“But it just feels so good to take a hot shower.” I know. I know. But 15 minutes later it hurts again…yeah – it certainly does feel good.

Sorry, I told you I wouldn’t rant but it’s seriously our most discussed and played out things and one of the only few true negatives I have at work. I HATE this lecture and I do it clinically  100x a week!

Stretching  – as in “I don’t stretch enough” or “I stretch all the time, I have an hour routine I’ve been doing for three years now”

(see the 4 Reasons Why You Have Tight Muscles and What To Do About It on this site with a Batman picture included)

There are many reasons for tight muscles – Step into the future and get away from the old adage of you need to stretch more.   You sound like my PE teacher in the 90’s.  Get with the modern take on “tightness”

Oh what’s that? But it feels good? Great. 

Stop reading this immediately and start it again next year when you’re still messed up.

The answer is – know what you have first …

here’s a clue…For the most part – the entire back side of your body is over stretched and overlong already.   It’s over elongated  because we all sit too long.  (and.. Just stretching a tight muscle is lame and most likely is slowing down your recovery. Contracting the Posterior Chain (aka “UnWinding” the Seated Position)

Rest for an injury –

An acute issue probably needs a little rest – emphasis on LITTLE.

“I sprained my ankle 4 mo. ago and rested it (the entire time) and yesterday on my first run it came right back.  You think I should rest it more?”

Guess what? You didn’t rest – you just did nothing. Dude! We’re talking like atrophy, weakness-induced-level time off. You forgot to do something and anything. You were not pro-active. Rest by itself is by no means therapy. Ever.

Massage –

I love massage – I have three awesome LMT’s in my clinic. But, it is not for every issue – every time. If you have difficulty getting out of bed each morning because your back is killing you and if you sneeze,cough or fart you’d collapse in pain – then why on Earth would you figure lying face down for an hour would HELP?!  You won’t be able to get up off the table!

advice I’ve given already…you need to know what you have.

Second example – you want to use massage as a therapy – as in a FIX for a condition. “Oh man, I hold all my stress right here!” (imagine my mom pointing to her shoulders)

But you’ve been getting massages every week for the last two years. Guess what? It’s not working. If it was what you needed, it would have fixed you by now.

“But doc, it feels so good”

On this example I’ll throw you a bone here…If you are getting a massage for the sole reason that it feels good, personally I’m OK with that. It’s your money – use it however you want to. It does feel good and hands-on therapy has some seriously great side effects emotionally and mentally. BUT – you can’t complain when it doesn’t work as a therapy. As a fix. I don’t want to hear, “Oh I tried massage for about 2 years, it never worked for me.”

Give your poor Therapist a chance – don’t ask a massage therapist for miracles….”But my tight muscles, what about them?” Read 4 Reasons Why You Have Tight Muscles and What To Do About It one more time please.  you didn’t “get it” the first time.

My last example is the guys that are the polar opposite – the “no pain- no gain” crowd. Basically, most of my friends:   cross fitters, wrestlers, marathoners, power lifters …the type A crowd. 

The guys and girls that think if it doesn’t hurt like crazy it’s not doing anything. These guys will take a foam roller idea and in 3 weeks be using a metal weight bar to really get in and crush the muscles. “DUDE IT HURTS LIKE HELL TO CRUSH MY MUSCLES AND ROLL MY SHOULDERS OUT WITH A SHOT PUT, BUT IT’S LIKE A GOOD HURT ….BRO!”

C’mon.

I don’t even want to get into this right now. If you are serious about fixing an issue, and want to go it alone, I’m cool with that – get to know your body.

My advice would be to try your therapy of choice out for 4 sessions. 4 trys.

If you haven’t got serious results in 4 sessions, my bet is that you are doing something wrong – try a different approach.

Learn. Get smarter with your health. Maybe you’ve heard the quote, “First, Don’t fool yourself and…You’re the easiest person to fool.”

Quit fooling yourself – Quit lying to yourself with lame justification of “feels good” and FIX your body.

Why We’re Not The Experts For Our Kids

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I’m in the middle of soccer, baseball, softball and Ninja Warrior season right now. Both as a dad and as a coach – I’m involved! I have a career as a sports based chiropractor but spend a significant amount of my time and energy on human performance. I love helping adults and kids at becoming faster, stronger and more energetic. It is a passion of mine and after 4 or 5 generations of coaching I feel like coaches and teaching is in my genes –  especially for the age of my kids right now and their sports teams.

I often hear parents say, “It’s nice to have you coach because we can tell our kids what to do but they won’t listen.” That’s true. It’s difficult to be experts to your own kids.   Watch my teams.10 kids paying attention and fired up and ready to work and my two girls doing cartwheels 20 feet away. I’m no expert for them. I’m the dad – not the expert. Barely the coach.

The other kids might think I invented the sport and what I say is GOLD – but let’s get real..to my kids I’m just dad.

This may happen to you as well. Especially the young parents that have their oldest in sports for the first time –  “why won’t she listen to me??!! I played college ball for crying out loud!”

Don’t be discouraged. I have figured it out, and I can help you. I use my friends (whom are coaches) as the experts for my kids. I used to have issue with this but I’ve seen the light and learned from my mistakes.. I’ve done dozens of Tough Mudders and obstacle courses, hell, I built the stuff in our back yard they play on, but still – NO advice from dad please.

Guys it’s no big deal. Stop worrying and see it from the kids’ perspective and you’ll see why – for millennia, parents have RARELY been the experts. Even the best coaches in the world use outside help.

Little known fact – little Vito Columbus, Chris’ kid, learned to sail from one of his friends.  Not his dad.  It was pretty much peer pressure alone that made his, although lesser known – equal in longevity, sailing career profitable and secure.

Here’s why.

They’ve seen you in your underwear.

Pretty much sums it up. How can you be an expert when the kids know you like that.

They’ve seen you in the shower, swearing while tripping on Legos, in the morning before the coffee has kicked in, hungover, swearing after you stubbed your toe, Irrate over some little insignificant thing like clothes on the floor, swearing again about another thing not picked up that you stepped on – whining, begging for them to just. Go. To. Bed. Please. Basically everything that entails being a parent.

We are intimately tied to our kids and this is a GOOD thing, but it does lend itself to familiarity and comfort– both traits that keep you from being the end all –be all expert of the universe. And let’s get real, the real job of parents is in the comfort and familiarity department. That’s social development homey. The real stuff.  . Confidence and Security. That’s OUR job #1 and something to be proud of. Our kid hitting the slider can take a back seat for a while.

Have you ever noticed how your kids get when they see their teacher at the grocery?  That’s because Teachers haven’t been thought of as actual real people with real lives. They don’t just live at the school and think of nothing but furthering the human race by the education of the youth?

Use this information. Be OK with it – you still are the person they trust and love the most and they will always come back to you. Be the one that supports what the coach says and help reiterate the lessons they need. Ask the coaches to bring up something you want to instill.

Your kids’ universe is different than yours. Their perspective is different than yours and the same information coming in different ways helps reinforce the lessons they need for sports, life, love family and development. These little guys and girls are observant and when they see others listening to your advice and ideas, they’ll eventually get the point and understand that you actually do know whatever it is you’re yammering on about over there. No matter how they act – you’re still mom and dad..the smartest, strongest, kindest and most specialist person in the whole world.  Even in your underwear.

Your Goals Suck

podcast this at SportsDocDC/DrChadPeters where you podcast or click here:

How about a little counter intuitive advice to jolt your brain cells awake today soldier?!

Here’s the problem with goals – they are obtainable…and then what?

Look, I get it, every self- help guru and motivator preaches the power of goals and they’ve worked for eons and eons.

I get what they’re aiming for but they are using the wrong term.   Words are amazing  and powerful. One small shift can change an entire emotion, perception and outcome.

The entire chiropractic profession was almost destroyed over a simple mistake in terms. One word.

There is a simple shift you can do, we all should do, right now that makes a greater imprint on your mind and while seemingly benign it will radically change the way you approach your health, business and life plans.

Substitute the word

GOALS

For

HABITS

Example: “I want to drop 30 lbs.” That’s a Great goal.  But there are a million unhealthy ways to be successful. You could starve. You could join a Siberian Labor Camp – You could lose a leg. These, my friends are terrible ideas.

You’re not that strange – you’re going to just eat better and work out?  Seems a much better choice – BUT – I’ve seen this scenario play out.  You drop the 30 lbs for the 20th class reunion and then what? –you decide to reward yourself with a couple beers while listening to Thunderstruck with your Homies and the next day 8-9 of those lbs found their way back onto your midsection. After all that hard work and grueling gym sessions? “Screw it, I’m never going to the gym again.”

What if you developed a habit to eat right and work out. This is rather underwhelmingly similar right? But it has a different focal point. There’s no 30 pound end-point. No false pot of gold goal that brings you nothing.

The 30 lbs will still come off– it’s natural. But that’s not the point of it all. You have created a habit – (takes about 30 days to click in your brain) – you can still rock out to ACDC at the party and the next morning you’re immediately back on track. The scale makes no difference because the weight itself  was NEVER part of the equation.    Within 2 days “cheat and fun day” gain is negated and you’re back on track.

You get the idea.  I don’t need to beat this to death do I?    (my short and sweet articles are much more popular) OK… 2 more examples:

The habit is to develop a consistent golf swing. The reward is a consistently decreasing score that you can actually work with self correct.

The goal is to shoot sub 80 and you probably obtain it once in your lifetime… if you don’t count that one foot wedge and a gimme or two on the back 9.

The habit is to start to learn your way around the kitchen and try a new spice or two. To create something and play with cooking.  It’s fun.   It leads you to eventually creating real confidence and skill allowing you to amaze your friends and family with your culinary prowess.

The goal is to present one blowout  5 course meal to impress your date. (insert cartoon “Wah-wah.”)

These terms goals and habits are used nearly interchangeably in our lives, and they are similar and there is overlap but the ramifications of using them differently is life altering. Habits can and should be fun, exploratory and freeing – learning and trying new things, experimenting with life and creating.

Goals are laser beam focused and often riddled with pressure and guilt.

Change your words and change your life!

Just Pay For The Skittles

This place is paradise. Palm trees, coconut drinks, 5 star accommodations, water slides, snorkeling, sun tanned beautiful people, all you can eat buffets and families having a blast together.

So why am I walking around with the sour puss face on and feel like I’m internally com-busting and ready to explode?

It’s because despite the beauty, the family trip, the dream coming true; my kids are crying and punching each other in the adjoining room. They are fighting –

The cause – skittles

Freaking skittles.

You see, the mini fridge only has 2 packs of skittles and I have 4 kids. In my room.. That’s right player, we booked two rooms for this adventure, mom and dad need a trip to paradise as well. Anyway, my fridge has M&M’s.

So regardless of paradise right outside of the sliding door, there is a battle raging over who gets skittles.

Now I’m mad. “Kids, stop crying and fighting…quit bitching!!” I stammered – “We just got here and you guys aren’t worried about the water slides and turtles, you’re worried about who gets goddamn skittles!!”

“Worry about what’s important!!”

I was so mad I had to leave the room.

Not 100 feet from my room was a little corner market – More skittles were there for purchase of course.  A solution to my woes.  But at $4.35 a pack (tourist prices) I was hesitant to buy them. I mentally added up the cost of the trip, the rooms, the water passes and all incidentals and I’ll be damned if I’m going to tack on an additional $8.70 for a bunch of whiny kids that have no respect for their parents or any gratefulness for parents that are so cool, they’d book a trip to enjoy as a family. It’s not about the money… it’s about the principal   –   a teaching lesson if you will. My kids will learn and understand there are consequences and it’s important to have priorities in life and not just live for instant gratification. It’s what’s wrong with the whole generation and the reason for the fall of America.These kind of decision by parents are WHY kids eat tide pods for likes on YouTube.

I know full well, they could share – hell they won’t even eat 10 of them anyway –  it’s just the fact that they don’t want to share – MINE MINE MINE.

So I didn’t buy them.

And I was miserable all day. Me. I am at paradise and pissy and moany. A ruined day one.

Over skittles.

As I walked around the resort (10 steps ahead of my family) and just a grumpy old man, I noticed a lot of dad’s behaving the same way. Why are all the dads at Atlantis pissed off I wondered???

Or a better question, “Why won’t these kids value what I value?” The rest of the week was some of the same. I enjoyed myself of course and there were great memories but I returned home stressed, poor and strung out –  and needing a real vacation. When it wasn’t skittles is was the GOOMBAY punch, conch fritters or something else. Look, Atlantis is fabulous, I HIGHLY recommend it. It just wasn’t all it should have been or all I imagined it was going to be despite some amazing moments.

Now fast forward to last night.

My parents had just arrived in town. We were celebrating my youngest son’s pre-K graduation at a restaurant on the water. A typical fantastically amazing Corpus Christi sunset was going on and all was good in the world.

Until 3 of my kids noticed that one of the kids had Root Beer.

The others had ordered lemonade.

This immediately set off a whining pouting fit, in front of my parents, during a sunset at paradise at a restaurant.

I was all ready to instantly switch mode from relaxed and tranquil to “high alert” and “pissed” and the fight or flight surge was coursing through my veins. Instantaneous visions of how spoiled these little brats are and how I have done so much wrong as a parent that these kids can pout and moan and complain about such small issues flooded my inner eye.

And then as if spoken from GOD HIMSELF…A BOOM and tremble of deep BASS sound, a grumble of primordial gravel –  a tremendous earthquake of a voice spoke from within my head.

“CHAD..JUST BUY THE DAMN SKITTLES.”  Period. I believe, at the point I even spoke it aloud.

This “experience” I had last night would have profound effects on me and will affect me for the rest of my life, despite what little and minuscule the voice said.

I honestly felt as if the Almighty Himself, or my ancient soul, or some divine being created to slap our stupid asses on the face with reality when were so blinded by human-ism to see clearly – spoke directly into my soul. Honestly, I truly wish the voice would have said something to me a little more profound than that. A book title that would net me millions or something ..but hey, who am I to question the inner workings of the universe.

“Buy the damn skittles!”

I went back up to the counter,as if transfixed like a robot –  gave Larry $9.00 for three root beers and came back. The kids popped the tops took a sip and were all fixed. Done. That’s all they had.They didn’t even drink it!  All my inner argumentative dialogue about 47 grams of sugar and spoiling kids and tooth decay etc were for naught. They didn’t even drink it, I wasted money yes. But going a step beyond the actual product, the $9 was the best therapy, most relaxation, possibly BEST money I’ve ever spent.

I had dreams last night about how much different the trip to Atlantis could have been.

Look guys, judge me if you want – decide I’m a pushover as a parent and by caving I will indeed enable my kids to become street punks with needles hanging out of their arms and lead an unfulfilled life by never reaching satisfaction in little thing or any of the other scenarios I tend to play over and over in my head when I think about future consequences. Go ahead – judge –

But I’m guessing that the end result of me buying the root beer and the skittles is nothing more than that. It’s just skittles. Nothing more than satisfying a little kid’s wants for that immediate second and there is ZERO actual repercussions.

All I know is I had a miracle experience and my evening turned out way better than it could have. My blood pressure and heart and wife and kids and parents and all those around me are better off for a few over-priced root beers and under priced decision making.