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Alright, did you spend the past week committing the Golden Rules to memory?

No matter, let’s review each one at a time:

  1. Stop Harming Yourself.

So what would this mean?

Harm comes from a Germanic word meaning grief or sorrow, and is often something that is inflicted upon the individual, usually by the individual himself!

Why would someone inflict injury, grief, or sorrow upon themselves?

I’m going to pause for a moment so you can ask yourself this same question….

Why would someone inflict injury, grief, or sorrow upon themselves?

Most probably wouldn’t unless they simply didn’t know.

How is it that people are aware of the many different indicators that one is on the right path and progress is being made with all except their general health and well-being?

Build a puzzle, work in the yard, finish a project at work, go for a hike, drive to some destination in another state…, one can see that he is doing things correctly and progress is being made, right?

How is needing medication you weren’t taking before, being so sore you can hardly walk or get up from sitting, and having to stretch for 20 minutes before walking the dog or emptying the dishwasher, or needing braces and wraps just to survive your chosen endeavor…, how is this making progress?

It’s not.

These “athletes” are actually worsening and making less of themselves as they grind it out each day going for the gold!

What would be so bad about actually getting better and making progress, being aware of improvement, and having a better sense of well-being and motion?

Thanks to Schwarzenegger and his no pain, no gain nonsense, most believe the sign of a truly “productive” workout is debilitating pain for the next several days, and an inability to perform simple activities of daily living like getting up and down off the toilet.

Laugh if you will, but why don’t you have someone beat you with a baseball bat for 10 minutes instead of wasting 2 hours at the gym, if agony and painful motion are your indicator that “progress” is being made with your exercise program?

We were at a seminar a few years ago and the instructor asked if any of us had ever slammed our hand in a car door, or worked with people who had.

Next, he wanted to know at what point during the treatment program the patient said he was getting better and wanted to know when he could get back to slamming his hand in the car door again!

But this is exactly what most patients want to know, and when I tell them to stop harming themselves they look at me kind of funny and try to explain to me why it is so important to continue to harm themselves.

The best advice would be to have a goal or ambition in mind when training or undergoing some endeavor and ask yourself many, many times…,

Is it working?

Are you making progress now, not hopefully someday when you can get out of bed in the morning without agony, but right now?

Can these gains be measured or statisized, or possibly even demonstrated if only to your satisfaction?

This would include any type of activity from learning a new dance step, to playing an instrument to running your first 5K, or trimming down and building strength and muscle mass.

Is it working, is this what you had in mind?

If harming ourselves made progress I suppose we would all be gods and goddesses by this time and able to fly around the world like Superman!

So stop harming yourself. Sometimes the best way to make progress is to take your foot off the brake and arrive at your intended destination better, stronger, and healthier for the effort.

Take Care,

Dr. Dave

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