We are super excited to kick off the D1 Lab Human Performance Blog with Nick Engel. This post is especially relevant now, where inactivity seems to be an easier choice than ever. Following Nick’s post will be links to his website for ATX PT and his new online course: How We Move, Back to Basics.
Nick Engel, PT DPT, is a physical therapist, fitness enthusiast, athlete, husband, dad, and coffee connoisseur. Nick received his B.S. degree in Applied Exercise Physiology from Texas A&M University and later earned his Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Hardin-Simmons University. During his time at Texas A&M, Nick walked on to the football team and was inspired to pursue a career centered around athletes and the human body. Nick is undergoing certification in manual therapy through the Institute of Physical Art. He works with collegiate athletes, professional athletes, and weekend warriors-alike.
Have you ever considered the amount of maintenance you require? Think about it. Brush your teeth, floss, make breakfast, restroom breaks, showers, exercise, sleep, cook dinner. When you parse it out, much of the day is consumed with self maintenance. It becomes even more painfully obvious when you become responsible for the maintenance of another person (shout-out to my wife who stays home with two toddlers), how much work our bodies require. In fact, almost everything you do, in some form, is related to some sort of self maintenance.
The day you start neglecting your upkeep is the day you start breaking down. In fact, it’s work to simply stay at baseline. Like the Red Queen in Alice in Wonderland says, “My dear, here we must run as fast as we can, just to stay in place. And if you wish to go anywhere you must run twice as fast.” The point of this post is not to argue whether or not this is true…I think it’s self-evident.
In light of this, we better get busy. But think of it as an investment, similar to a vehicle. Imagine a car that has gone without several oil changes. It would be no surprise when it performs sub-optimally. So to with our bodies. Just going about life causes wear. Personally, I want to live a life of abundance. If I’m walking around banged up, it’s hard to argue that potential. Sometimes it takes feeling ill to realize what a blessing it is to feel well. Every time I get sick, I find myself vowing to do whatever it takes to never feel this way again. When the daily maintenance starts to feel like a grind, I remember how it feels to be sick and am immediately motivated and reminded of it’s worth.
If you haven’t been feeling quite yourself, take time to reflect. If you can honestly take stock, you may find you have been neglecting yourself and have allowed unnecessary wear and tear on your body. Maybe you need to get off the couch and get moving. We could all stand to eat a little more healthy or drink more water. Or maybe you actually need to back off; you are too busy. You have over-committed to less important things and have squeezed out time to recharge. It’s easy to over complicate, but if we take a step back and see the bigger picture, we can start with manageable, simple steps to get us back on track. You are one decision away from heading the right direction. You probably won’t get there today, but if you forego the decision to care for yourself, you are actually choosing the opposite.