What my roller coaster injury taught me about the pain in my butt that radiated down my leg

If you have ever experienced knife-like pain that stabs you in your back and butt then sends a lightning bolt down your leg, then you know that this pain can cause facial distortions with every step you take! 

And you don’t care how people are looking at you because the pain is just that bad!

When you have pain like that, your main goal is just to be able to make it to the bathroom on time without creating further embarrassment.

I’ve experienced pain like that. I’ve experienced pain where the very touch of my clothes felt like a hot iron burning my skin or like a nasty sunburn that no amount of aloe will cool.

When I suffered whiplash, a mild concussion, and sacroiliac dysfunction after riding a roller coaster in 2004, I quickly realized what my patients must be experiencing when they come to see me for physical therapy. 

Sure, I had ankle sprains and back pain before but NOTHING compared to this. Initially, I didn’t even realize my back pain and...

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How a girl with half a skull saved my future self on a bike ride

I’ll never forget seeing the image of half her skull missing. The pictures on the wall showed a beautiful teenage girl yet when I looked at her I saw the incision on her head, a young girl not able to speak or feed herself, and an indentation on the right side of her head that I could put my fist into if I wanted to.

I did not want to and it would have been very inappropriate to do so. 

The visual image of her head has never left me and I have never rode my bike without a helmet since. You see, that girl was riding her bike WITHOUT a helmet and she got hit by a car. Changed her life forever. Changed the lives of her parents, siblings, friends, teachers… FOREVER.

I’m not saying the helmet would have completely prevented a head injury or any of the other injuries she sustained but at least she might have had a fighting chance at an opportunity to recover.

When I was a kid riding my bike up and down hills, I never wore a helmet. I biked for miles. I would be...

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Timing is Everything

Have you ever asked someone to meet for lunch and they say, “Oh, uh, yeah, whenever”

 

What does that actually mean?

Do they want to meet for lunch?

Do they care about meeting you for lunch?

 

Contrast that with asking someone to meet for lunch and they say, “Sure, what about Friday at noon?”

 

How did that response make you feel?

Did you feel more certain that they wanted to go to lunch with you?

 

I have more confidence in the lunch meeting actually taking place with the second response.

 

Why am I more confident?

Because the person gave me a day and a time.

They told me when they could meet me.

 

Timing is everything.

 

If you don’t put a time on something, you probably won’t do it.

 

 “Let’s paint the room a different color” means nothing until you decide which weekend that’s going to happen.

 

“Let’s get out of debt” won’t happen unless you put a...

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Reality Check

Let’s keep it REAL today!

We’ve been talking about being S.M.A.R.T. - this is part 4 of a 5-part series on setting S.M.A.R.T. goals and today we are going to look at being REALISTIC.

In my last blog, Attainable Stainable, I used the example of someone wanting to lose 100 pounds in 30 days.

Not only is this unattainable but it also not realistic.

I also showed the example of a person who has never run before and wants to participate in a 50-mile ultra-marathon next week.

Again, this not being realistic.

Setting an attainable and realistic goal often go together but they are a little different.

An attainable goal is a goal that is challenging yet not outrageous.

  • Running a 50-mile ultra-marathon with no running experience is outrageous!

 

A realistic goal is a goal that someone thinks that they can actually achieve, is physically able to achieve it,  AND is willing to do the work to achieve it. 

  • Running a 50-mile ultra-marathon with the experience of 5...
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Attainable Stainable

When you stain wood, it is permanent. If you pick the right stain, what was once old looking becomes new and polished - something fresh and creative.

When you attain a goal, it becomes a stain - a permanent achievement that marks your progress. It increases your confidence so you can look back and say, “I did that!”

The first step towards attaining a goal is setting an attainable goal.

You can’t make up some extreme far-fetched goal because you won’t reach it and then your confidence plummets… or worse, you will feel like a failure.

No, do NOT do that to yourself.

Set attainable goals. 

Here is an example of a far-fetched unattainable goal:

“I am going to lose 100 pounds in 30 days.”

Not going to happen. This would not be physically possible and would be down right dangerous.

An attainable goal would look like this:

“I am going to lose 100 pounds in 1 year”

This is attainable because the person would need to lose about 2...

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The Might Is In The Measured

When you make a recipe for the first time, do you measure every ingredient?

You do if you want the recipe to turn out like the picture in the cookbook!


When you shop online and aren’t sure what size to order, what do you do?

You go to the size chart and check the measurements so you can order an accurate size without the hassle of returning an item.

 

The might is in the measured.

To be S.M.A.R.T., you must measure when setting goals.

 

Let’s look at weight loss. When a woman wants to lose weight, I rarely hear them say, “I want to lose a little.”

No. Instead, they are very clear about losing 5 pounds, 20 pounds, or 100 pounds.

They put a number on it. They place a value on their goal so that they can measure their progress.

And, that’s exactly what measuring does.

It allows you to know precisely what to do.

 

If we stick with the weight loss theme:

A woman wants to lose 30 pounds. She is not sure how long it will take her but she would...

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General Vague Loses VS Super Specific Wins

If I told you that your job this weekend is to clean your house, what is your immediate reaction?

 

Are you overwhelmed?

Are you thinking that “I can’t clean this entire house in 1 day!”?

What if I told you to just clean the kitchen.

Do you feel less pressure?

What if I told you to clean the refrigerator, the oven, and the counter tops?

Do you feel a bit of relief that you only have 3 things to clean now?

This is what it means to be SPECIFIC.

 

When you have a big goal like cleaning the house and you break it down into SPECIFIC tasks, the big goal becomes much more achievable.

It is overwhelming to think of the big goal. It can even seem insurmountable.

If we use our cleaning house example, let’s say you have a 3 bedroom - 2 bathroom house. You also have a kitchen, dining area, and living room. You have a laundry room. And you have a finished basement. That’s 10 areas to clean and each of those 10 areas has lots of stuff associated with it....

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When Your Mind Says “Yes” And Your Body Says “No”!

I turned 45 years old last month and my body acts differently. I noticed it when I became part of the “over 40” category.

Now, I’m not complaining about my age. I celebrate every 45 of those years and I don’t cringe at each birthday when it comes around. I have learned so much in my 45 years and my attitude is that “I’m just getting started!”

Here’s the conundrum though. My mind loves to say “Yes!” yet my body sometimes says “No!”

Have you ever experienced that?

Maybe you are an athlete reading this and you can remember the exact day when you ran down the field, cut to one side, and your mind said you were going to get the ball but your body said “Excuse me, your knee just went the opposite way.” Yea, that ACL tear wasn’t fun.

Or, maybe you are in your 40’s like me and you spend hours cleaning out the garage, weeding, planting flowers, spreading mulch, and thinking about your great...

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Grinning and Winning!

 

Have you ever worked so hard for something that when you earned the reward you couldn’t stop grinning?

Well, that’s how I felt this past week.

For the past year, I have been studying for a Fitness Nutrition Specialization credential with the National Academy of Sports Medicine. This was no small credential. It involved 15 modules of videos + reading + quizzes + a final exam. I felt like I was back in graduate school earning my clinical doctorate!

And you better believe… I am excited that I passed my exam with a score of 92/100 on the first attempt!

Why did I put in all this hard work?

I was tired of my physical therapy patients and fitness clients asking me questions about nutrition that I didn’t have all the answers to. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know I’m not going to have the answer to every question that comes my way about food. However, I feel so much better equipped to respond to questions like:

  • What is the best diet to follow?
  • Is...
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My Dad, Movies, and Memorial Day

Memorial Day is about honoring our fallen soldiers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. These soldiers committed their lives to protecting our country and I salute them.

 

My dad, Dale F. Brandt, served for 42 years in the United States Naval Reserves and retired as a Senior Chief. We were fortunate that he never had to serve in a war; however, I do remember the Wednesday night he was called to “Stand-by and be ready.”

 

We had just returned home from my marimba lesson at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He took the call and for the first time in my life I realized the significance of his military career. Prior to that, I just knew of the 1 weekend per month trip to Columbus, OH and the 2 weeks in Norfolk, VA.

 

This was different. This was the Persian Gulf War in 1991. This was real. For the next 24-48, our house was in a tizzy. Was he going? Was he not going?

 

The suitcase was packed. His uniforms were ready. His shoes were...

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