This has been a crazy year for me. I got out of the Army after having been active duty for 7 years. My family and I moved and started a business in Atlanta, Georgia. I took a job as an instructor/coach for MobilityWOD. There have been a lot of changes for the Matta family and over this past year I’ve learned a ton. Hopefully some of what I’ve learned will help you in the soon to come new year.
1. Family is the most important thing in life.
In the past year I’ve spent more time with my family than ever. I work a ton of weekends teaching for mobilityWOD but some of my favorite moments this year were spent with my family during the week. My inflexible schedule in the Army rarely allowed me to do things with my family during the week. Taking my son to the zoo before I go and see patients or watching him and my daughter collect acorns are some of my favorite moments. Family is why we work so hard but don’t forget to slow down and enjoy little moments with them.
2. Travel can wreck your body.
I’ve never traveled on a regular basis until this year. Teaching 2-3 different places a month is something that I underestimated. Lots of time in airports/cars, sleeping in unfamiliar places and less consistent eating are a few things that can wreck havoc on your body. Here’s what I’ve learned the hard way. Eat as well as you can and train as hard as you can when you are home. Train while you travel but don’t expect to set the world on fire. A great way to hurt yourself is to go bananas in the CrossFit box after you’ve been traveling for the last 6 hours. Control what you can control and do the best you can when you’re away from home.
Here’s some great advice from the guys at Barbell Shrugged on this topic. http://daily.barbellshrugged.com/workout-eat-healhty-traveling-episode-154/
3. Cursing in small doses is very important.
In the Army using a curse words is very important. Frankly, if you don’t curse, soldiers don’t trust you. As I transitioned out of the Army I realized that an acceptable amount of cursing in the Army is not the same as an acceptable amount in the civilian world. That being said, I believe a well placed curse word is very important, especially when public speaking. If you really want to emphasize a point, drop a well placed f-bomb and people will never forget what you said!
4. People value quality.
When I opened my clinic I had people come out of the wood works to tell me why I was crazy to not take insurance directly. They said, “No one is going to pay you $175/hour out-of-pocket if they can go to another physical therapist that takes their insurance.” If you’re one of the people that told me that and you’re reading this, you were fucking wrong!
People value quality in anything. It’s the reason I buy a Mac over a PC. That’s the same reason people drive out of their way or fly in from out of town and are more than happy to pay out of pocket to work with us. The people I see value their time more than their money. They want a medical provider that will listen to them, help them and be their provider of choice for life. Strive to give people more value than they expect in everything that you do.
5. Learn something new everyday.
If you’re short on time like I am, podcasts and audiobooks are your best friends. There is no easier way to learn and stay on top of current training/physical therapy trends then listening to these things while you are driving. Turn off your Beyonce for a few minutes and listen to a book like The War of Art by Steven Pressfield or a podcast from the guys at Barbell Shrugged. Don’t get left behind by your colleagues, make learning a competition.
6. Do things that scare the shit out of you.
If something causes you anxiety or makes you apprehensive you must do it. Having kids was one of the scariest things my wife and I ever did. It’s also by far the most fulfilling part of our life. Starting a business scared the shit out of me and some days it still does. Teaching in front of groups of 50+ coaches scares me every weekend I do it. If I had shied away from these things I would have missed out on some of the greatest experiences of my life. Being scared is normal and the most rewarding things in life will no doubt scare you at first.
I hope some of this helps as you start your new year. Thanks for reading and thank you for being a part of the Athletes’ Potential family.
-Dr. Danny, PT, DPT
Dr. Danny and staff's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.