Today we're working on our foot and ankle strength. These can be done around the house- it's that easy!
The first one- single leg balance. While you're brushing your teeth or standing at your work desk, practice your balancing on each leg. If that gets too easy, progress to balancing only on the ball of your foot.
As that gets easy, you can progress to standing on an angled- surface to continue the single leg balance work. Get this done throughout the day and you'll notice that your foot and ankle are stronger!
At Athletes' Potential we help active adults and athletes in the Atlanta area get back to the workouts and sports they love... without surgery, stopping activities, or relying on pain medicine. Life is too short to avoid doing the things that you love.
Reach out to us at:
Let us help you figure out to live your best active life today!
So here's the question, how do active people in the Atlanta area, stay pain-free and live the active fulfilled life that they deserve at any age. This is the question. And this podcast is the answer. I'm Danny Matta and welcome to the Active Atlanta Podcast.
Active Atlanta Podcast is sponsored by Athletes' Potential. And at Potential we help active adults stay that way. Pain-free and active during the sports and activities that they do. For life. We do this by working on four different areas. That's movement, nutrition, stress management, and sleep. When we optimize these four areas, you feel better, move better. You live better for life. Head over to athletespotential.com to learn how we can help you stay active for life today.
What is up Atlanta and welcome back to the Active Atlanta podcast. I'm here with yoga, enthusiastic as well as a software executive bad-ass Butler rains, guys. This guy's incredible. He's doing a lot of things and what's really cool. I love getting people like Butler on the show because the, the diversity in skillset and knowledge is.
Awesome to see. So Butler without further do, how are you doing my man? How am I doing well, man. And I'm flattered by that opening to kind of thank you. No, I hope I did it justice. Cause you know, like we were talking a little bit about the show guys. I'm excited to bring Butler on because he is just. A wealth of knowledge, as it pertains to yoga, he is, oh, wealth of knowledge as it pertains to product design.
So if you have any questions about that, I'm sure you can reach out to him on that too. But not necessarily the point of this show, but like he, he's just very passionate about a lot of different things. So I've had the opportunity to talk to him and to clinic as well. He's got a vast background in art, which is wild and crazy.
Cool. So just a wealth of knowledge. And so Butler, I guess, with, with for our audience here, can you just kind of give a background. Who you are and kind of like how you got into yoga of all things. Yeah. Wow. Yeah. That's a loaded question. Loaded question, but I'm going to, I'm going to break it. I'm going to break it.
Give me so who am I? I, I'm just a country boy from middle Georgia and had a very, very fortunate journey. How how I came to yoga or to find a passion. Enthusiasm for yoga. I'm an addict in recovery and one day out of desperation, I was 240 pounds or so I was drunk and just not well.
And I remember sitting above a garage in a room, I rent it out and. Googling up beginners because I thought, I thought it was the only kind of exercise I could possibly do because this southern boy is his understanding of yoga was like, it was stretches that people did at the health center at the hospital, in his small town.
And boy, I had no idea what ride I was about to go on. And so I accidentally found a beginners class in a stronger year. Okay. Which is a very, very physical discipline, the eight limbs of yoga. And I'm part of the secret, I just kept showing up.
So teachers that have a lot of love in their heart, I just kept showing up, kept working it and great things began to happen. So I began to explore. How yoga and the practice of yoga enabled me to recover from what was ailing me and then how it has helped me get to where I am today.
That's awesome, man. What you know, I've had the opportunity to talk to a couple different people that have used exercise and fitness and wellness as a way to overcome personal battles. So did you. Did you originally kind of look up yoga as a way to get in better shape, or was it a way to kind of help you battle your addiction or, or was that just an added bonus that kind of like bled into that scene as well?
Yeah. Great question. It was an added bonus. So I was. Again, I was very overweight, striking constantly, which I know guys, you can't see Butler right now, but he is nowhere close to what? Two 50. Yeah. Nowhere near COVID definitely has a few pounds. I'd like to shut off, but but they do take you for telling your audience that.
But no, it was really. You know, just feeling bad about yourself and like being really overweight and unhealthy, like sick looking. And I just needed to start moving for sure. I felt like it was, it was like an internal calling. Now I had no idea how this would affect me in recovery, and that's really the, the magic of yoga and I, and not to play into all the normal things people say about yoga, but the mind, the body mind connection is a real huge component for sure. And in particular with a style I do. And I think this is often lost in young and the west is it's about showing up every day, right? You show up every day and you tell your mind, I am doing this every day and that the trip would have Chagas.
It's the same poses every day.
Okay. Every day. Wow.
You do about an hour and a half of poses. It depends on where you enter the practice. So for me, 240 pounds alcoholic just had either recovery for drug addiction. It was five poses I did every day. Right. I walk in, set up. Teacher helps me to the spot.
Now I'm practicing an hour and a half. Don't stop. Just breathe in, breathe out, move, you know, 50 something poses. Yeah. That's you work through a lot of acrobatics. Oh, I, as best as I can do that, I'm 44, but yeah, but you know that, that's the, that's the part, that's the, that's why I'm so fascinated with it as a subject is because now, so this happened like.
Out of shape. I go into this yoga Shala who had started doing these same five poses every day. And I got six. Then I got seven and my breathing got better. And all of a sudden I started really being like, I think I can be completely sober. I think I can quit drinking. I think I can improve this. I started reading again.
I started writing again. Rewind or not rewind, but Paul's, I pick up the yoga sutras of Patanjali the Bible of yoga written ages ago. And you read it and it describes exactly what happened to me really. It's just like reading, like if you do these things, these things are gonna happen and you're like, there's no denying it.
Yeah. Wild. Yeah. It's it's, it's always, so it's a real experience, I guess you can say when, especially like, you know, in the world of healthcare and wellness and fitness, there's a lot of literature that's written or a lot of things that people say, but when you experience it to a T like that, it's, it's really almost gives you chills, you know, especially like when you read what kind of happened on your animal and experiment there, you know, I don't remember.
Yes. I remember it like it was yesterday. So I had tried. You start yoga, you get a little bit, you know, as anything you start, you like get a little bit more interested in, I've tried to read the yoga sutras. I'm like, this is esoteric. This sounds like a mock up to me. But then as for years, really with the only goal of, I didn't want to be overweight and I wanted to become more attractive than a bit healthier for sure.
But then all these other changes started happening and then randomly one day I picked up. And I started reading it and it all makes sense. And I'm like, it makes sense because I experienced it for sure. The timing was right. The timing is right. Timing is everything. And just about everything in life. So like the timing of finding a great fiscal year.
Hey, you know, COVID, hasn't, COVID had its purpose right now. Yeah. So that's awesome. So how long have you been practicing yoga then? Oh, man. So, so wrapped up in my story I wanna say five years, four and a half years, somewhere in there to have to go back and look, man. So we'll call it somewhere anywhere between four and five years, then 47,000 years.
Yeah. That mindset of just showing up. And it's hard to dedicate your, your brain space to anything for an hour and a half at a time, especially like, like truly being dialed in, you know, like I think people will be amazed at what you can accomplish when you can focus on one thing. Truly like in a deep mindset mindset process for an hour, hour and a half at a time can see, can accomplish a lot and to do that every day can be fatigued.
Absolutely. So do you find that your practice and being able to do that has led to your ability to kind of like branch out into some of these other things that you've become so dedicated and good at no. I might offer a different way to look at it at it. God, this might sound cheesy, but I. I can I can kind of see the yoga and the other things.
So for instance in the same way, like I didn't, I did have an appreciation of art. Sure. I grew up in again, a small Southern Georgia town and wasn't exposed to it. I came to Atlanta and I was interested, but I didn't know how to like, get the scene and all these fears you have about going to try something.
Yeah, where I really found my love for art was going to galleries and not, you know, like gallery might just be one route, someone showing their art and it's not just going in and having a beer and walking through and shaking hands and walking out, but like stopping, really stopping and looking and absorbing the piece that was in front of you.
Yeah. Right. That's kind of what yoga teaches you, right? How do you, how do you focus? Because it concentrating on what you're doing, what's in front of you shutting out everything else. Right? So I've kind of found that a century, if you will. And so, you know, that that's how those two things are related and another things like it's, it's so much of this Joeget philosophy.
I'm sure you see it with athletes who get into flow and things like that. It's really just teaching yourself, training yourself that you can, you can control your mind. You don't have to be distracted by every little thing that comes by. Like, that's what, that's what the world does to us, right? Like you're talking to you on a phone but you can train your mind to focus.
And so a lot of times people are starting out in yoga and I work with them and I'm the president of a nonprofit called The Trinity foundation that we give scholarships to people in recovery so they can go to yoga classes. Awesome. Right. Because we know there's a lot of us on the board or a parlor organization have, are in recovery.
We know that it's about retraining and rewiring your mind. It's on often say with yoga, you just show up. Yeah. I don't care if you do 50 poses. I don't care if you do it for hour and a half. I don't care if you do it for 30 minutes. You show up to top of your mat and you might just put your hands in prayer.
You might just raise your hands. Doesn't matter. The simple act that you've committed to showing up and you showed up, teaches your mind. You're in control.
For sure. Yeah. 100% I think you know, w what's really interesting about yoga and really just about it's. It's so interesting to me, where in the world of fitness and wellness and health, all these different disciplines try to act about, I try to talk about how different they are, but, you know, and, and discredit other arenas of thought, or try to discredit other things, but, you know, as the world evolves, we see more and more overlap in thought process and yoga is no different from, so like, you know, you take the, like the breath work that you're talking about when you do yoga, like that's a huge part of sports performance now, you know, and that's a huge part that that especially like sports psychologist or there's this course called art of breath.
I've mentioned a couple of times on the podcast, but they, they teach you how to like, you know, use different breathing techniques to control your breath.
And to a lot of people, myself included when I first heard the core, it's kind of groundbreaking, right. But then you start diving into the reaches of like, holy shit, this has been practicing for centuries, the other disciplines, you know, like things like yoga or, you know Pilates, even just to some degree, which is just, you know a different variation, I guess you can say.
What do you notice, do you, do you dive into any other forms of fitness or than yoga at this point? Or? Cause I know you worked out at my buddy, my buddy Sam's place or at least, you know, Sam and, you know, Smokes Fitness. Do you, do you dive into that weight training at all? Or, or do you like to stick with yoga?
No. I throw kettlebells every once in a while, you know if I, if I may expand on that a little bit, I think you'll find this interesting for sure. So you know, you've been helping me with some of my movement and mobility. So thank you for that. But you might ask, someone might ask, well, why, why would someone who practices yoga for years and has a somewhat daily practice?
Why would they need the help of a mobility coach? Right. Well, yoga's been practiced for thousands of years, but we are different as humans, right? We sit in front of a desk and I've been in this chair since eight o'clock this morning. Don't tell my doctor. And you know, in your, your shoulders are down and you don't have strength in the areas you might say, even in the seventies and yoga is really discovered and brought to the west when you discovered in the west.
And so you could go through these things all day long, but sometimes your body. One of the things we're working on right now is my internal hip rotation. Right. So four years practicing yoga, flexible as all get out how hard folding. Right. And that's blocked. That's not going to change for sure.
Right. And so sometimes you need that additional support. And also that also, plus the strength train, you do a lot of where people really get hurt, especially in a strong, in other kind of like power yoga is doing. Okay. Yeah. So like push up with your elbows by your side, if you will, right. Always get hurt.
They get hurt because they're most people's shoulders kind of come forward and you're just pounding away at your what's your bicep tendon there. Yep. Right there. Yep. Right. And so are you, you don't have the strength. You'll have to help me here. What's this called? And you're like, right. You're right.
Most people don't. And so you need to do strength training. Right to keep yourself from getting hurt and something that's supposed to be super helpful, like yoga. Right? And so there's a lot of, there's a lot of overlap there. Like I think people think yoga fixes everything. That's not true, right?
It is, it is a practice, a method that's can be super helpful, but you also have to take care of your body and protect it's education. Right. And so learning how your body should move, learning, where you might have to efficiency and strength to go support whatever practice you need. I think it's kind of a cancer, like weight training to play football, better basketball, better football, better.
Yeah. So short answers. You're not swinging some kettlebells. I do I do some exercises that kind of help open me up and yeah. And I think it's very complimentary. Yeah. Oh, for sure. You know, I think you know, it's really interesting and I get it to a point like, W with youth athletes, you it's, oh, it's almost redundant at this point.
How much we hear, like don't specialize early. You know, kids, these days are specializing too early and you know, you need to be a multi-sport athlete. You know, it helps your athleticism and helps with injury prevention helps with creativity all these different things. And then what do we do as, as adults we specialize and to the fitness realm that we love the most.
And I get it. We're all adults. We have very busy lives. We've got an hour, maybe an hour and a half to ourselves, if you're lucky. And then and you're what that timeframe, if you're going to, if you're going to do something for you, you typically want to do what you are good at, what you enjoy to do. So, you know, say I take someone with one of, some of the powerlifters that I work with and I try to tell them.
All right. I want you to go do an hour and a half a yoga, you know, like they're going to look at me like I'm crazy. And but there's components of it where it is super beneficial for a powerlifter to have some more, especially like a sport, like an Olympic lifting. Let's take that. For example, there's a ton of mobility that's required and the mandate out of that sport.
So if you're not trying to do some type of cross training, if you will. And cause that street goes both ways. You know, we hear it all all the time. You can't go wrong going or you can't go wrong getting strong, right. Like strength, training, fixes, everything it does for sure. But it's a, but it's definitely a two way street.
And in terms of you should be a little bit of, you should be able to run a little bit. If you're a runner it's going to help with your aerobic capacity. Now you should be able to have some good mobility as a, waitress, as a, an Olympic lifter as a or somebody who focuses predominantly on waitress.
And a lot of times that's where these yoga positions and these yoga styles come into play. If I might rip on that a bit so, you know, obviously the Asana, the poses and yoga can help open you up, can help them ability. A lot of things we do at your place, like can be mimicked in some of the poses and bring awareness.
But we focus a lot on ASA and yoga poses because that's your entry point to yoga. If you go to a studio, you take any of your class, you start, you raised your hand, you start falling over things, but as she's progressing yoga, Asana, pranayama, which is breathing part of your heart, which is withdrawal.
Diana, which is concentration. So you're actually using the poses to kind of climb this ladder or if you will, to get to a point of ultimate concentration. Okay. Right. But you can find that in any exercise, any fitness routine, any thing like that, that you enjoy. Right. Get it. Like if you love swinging kettlebells.
Right. Can you do it with proper breath? Can you do it without being distracted by everything? Because it's have, can you get in the state of focus and calm your mind and helps you find kindness, inner internists, inner peace, if you will. Oh my gosh. This is interesting. I never thought of it that way. In terms of like using yoga as a technique or a strategy for.
Focusing on a movement strategy. So that's over and just fun or anything that you do. Yeah, the the second Sutra yoga, the second searcher and yoga sutras of potentially yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind. It says nothing about poses, exercise, nothing it's about using these poses.
You're breathing. Withdrawal from census, so you can reach a state of concentration. That's cool. Yeah, that's right. Yeah. And so you can do these things no matter what your movement is for sure. Right. But can you control your breathing while you're moving? Right. Can you, can you cease to be distracted by other things while you're moving?
So this may sound ignorant, I guess, but is there in that, in that series of flow that you're kind of talking about there in terms of getting to a total concentration or total like centered miss, I guess you can say, what is that driven from like meditation techniques or meditative techniques, or is that a huge cup?
Is meditation a part of yoga or are those two things. That is very much a part where it might be different from what people usually ascribed to meditation is. So if you think of the eight limbs of yoga, so most people are familiar, we're just starting to Midwest. People are familiar with poses, Asana, pranayama, breathing control, probably a heart withdrawal from the consensus, Diana which is concentration Dharana, which is meditation.
And it's somebody which is. You're absorbed into the universe. And so meditation is a piece of yoga. Right. But the way yoga describes it is it's also different from just concentration. Yeah. Right. It's the next step, if you will. So you concentration, Diana is like, I'll look at a flame and I just stare at it.
The goal of doing that. I'm not seeing the things around me. I am basically teaching my mind. I can just stare at the state and not be distracted. Yeah, it does that. Then the next step is the object of which I'm concentrating as myself. Okay. Interesting. So you don't need the external object to, to focus, just focus.
Wow. Okay. Did they have to take some practice? There's no way you just jump into a class like boom. Got it.
That's the whole secret. It's always, always practice. It's just practice. You don't you don't achieve it.
Yeah, dude. That's that's speaking. You just show up. Yeah, that's great. So is there, so obviously you can become a co like a, an instructor or a coach, or a quote unquote guru with yoga, but like, what are their levels of like, is it like, is it like karate where there's there's levels and belts, maybe not belts, but are there levels of yoga expertise that you try to like, be like, I can do this pose and I can become a flame.
Is that like, so no. And yes. Let me, let me, let me talk about it a bit. Especially. So there's benefit to all yoga, if you will. And just a lot of different styles Chagas is it has a levels series that you I'm in primary series out of practice that for four years, my teacher says, well, go to second series.
And there is pride in that. Probably wish it didn't happen. Just like I do a second series. So I don't do primitive man. But the idea is, could you suspend that? The idea is if I just wanted to go in the yellow room, lay down my mat into sun salutations for an hour, we'd extreme with extreme focus and concentration.
That's good enough. I should not be attached to what series I'm in what level? I'm on. That's right. And so in many ways, I don't think you should ever judge yourself, but you would want to charge yourself like how well did I concentrate? How well did I breathe? How well was I not distracted by things outside of what I was doing versus how complex is the post data?
Do you see that? There's a, there's a nuance there for sure. Yeah. Cause it's not a. I love it. Cause you're, you're focusing more on the process and being like savagely good at the fund at the foundations versus trying to. Like just do something cool for Instagram essentially. Well, simple model for this is you talk about breathing earlier.
So if you, if you take breathing as candidate, the the gateway between poses and meditation, just to make it simple. Okay. There's kind of two things you have is known for poses and meditation breathing the, the gate. So take, remember me 240 pounds of going to Charlotte for the first time. I can barely do a sun salutation without breakout to sweat.
Right. But if I keep doing that over time, I start breathing comfortably in it. Now that I can breathe comfortably, I can concentrate in it. I could call my mind. That is, I talked about it, but that is yours, if you will, for sure. Right. You get, you get the more complex pose, but because you want to train yourself to be able to breathe in that pose, you can train yourself to calm your mind in that pose so you can reach that next state.
Right. And so really the complexity of the poses in many ways are just tools. So you convince your mind, I can breathe through this and I can focus through this and whatever's going on outside of me is irrelevant. Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I think you know, it's, it's pretty, it's pretty wild. What you. How doubting you can get or how hard it is to think about other things when you can.
Yeah. Yeah. That's right. You take that to your everyday life, right? Stuff that happens, drink too much coffee. So what excites you to get fight or flight then? All of a sudden you're making really rash decisions or reacting to things and which one it is like, calm yourself, breathe and focus and make.
Yeah. Yeah. I love that. I think I think it was NCS Atlanta Neighborhood Charter Schools or something like that, where they were talking about, or somebody was telling me that they, and this is all secondhand knowledge is in firsthand experience. So if I'm wrong on this answer. Yes. If anybody's listening, I'm sorry, but the teachers, there's, there's almost like a rule where the kids had to do.
If they're angry at someone or they're going to like tattle on someone or they're mad about something, right. They had to do like four box breathing patterns, and then they were allowed to kind of tattle on, but like what would happen is a lot of times the kid would lose interest or they would not be angry or they would talk in.
Be a little bit more comprehensive in their speech. And it was just it's. I love that because you're so right. Like the first thing we do when we get angry is we get in that fight or flight. We start breathing into our chest using our, or using our scalings, things like that and using very short breaths.
And if we can control that a little bit better than our decision making process becomes a lot easier. Yeah, absolutely. You see me? I just picked up my copy of The Dover Sutras. You said something to me, I go, you're talking to your audience. You're like, if I'm wrong here, like correctly, I fear I got Diana neurona wrong.
Oh my God. I want to correct it before I get off the podcast. Yes. I would not know the difference. You sound like you sounded great to me while I studied all the time. For sure for sure. I get that man. Polar dude.
So I don't want to keep you too long. I know you've been in that chair all day, so I want to give you some, let you enjoy your evening a little bit, but if anybody wanted to find out more about like, so, I mean, you're, you're on the board of a lot of cool things.
What was the board that you said you were a part of? Would that does the the, has like the foundation or the FA or the fundraisers or the yeah.
Trinity Foundation, T R I N. Okay. Trinity is three and Sanscript. And it's it was started by my yoga teacher. One of my yoga teachers, Taylor Himes.
He has a podcast as well when he talks to people in recovery and, and other yogis. And again, we, what we do is we raise money so that we can provide yoga classes to people starting recovery. Yeah. So it's supplements a recovery program or alcoholics anonymous or something.
Love it. Love it. So then if somebody wanted to reach out to you say you know, if they wanted to use yoga to kind of help them with their recovery process, or if they just wanted to find a bad-ass dude who, who is super knowledgeable on the topic of yoga, what would be a great way if you want to, it would be a great way for somebody to be able to reach out to you.
Yeah, absolutely. Or if you if I can help you in any way. And no matter what the topic LinkedIn, right? Butler rains on LinkedIn you can find me on Instagram. Just, my name is my handle. And so I, I encourage anyone, especially, especially if you're struggling. What's some type of addiction or kind of, we call sober, curious you know, if that's something that interests you and you can't figure out how to solve for it I'm usually keen to speak with people and I'm always keen to speak with people and, and kind of help them see that as possible.
And that, you know, it's not I just know one, it might. You know, anybody wants to drink whatever you want to do. That's cool. But if some people get to a point in your life where they want to change that, and they felt like kind of the world tells them they can't. And what I like to do is kind of put a message out there that it is real possible.
It's really possible. Thanks for giving me the space to say that. Yeah, dude, absolutely. Butler. I mean, you're doing great things for the community of Atlanta, really. And I'm happy to get you on the podcast. Love being able to give you a platform to be able to, to speak on that and enjoy the rest of your evening.
My man, thanks for having me super fun.
Hey, thanks so much for listening to the podcast today. If you want to find out more about our guests or about Athletes' Potential and how we can help you continue to be active and pain-free in life, head over to athletespotential.com to learn more.
Hey, what's going on everybody. Doc Danny Matta here with the Active Atlanta podcast, and this is episode number one. So first of all, thanks so much for listening. If you have worked with us in the past and you're listening to the podcast, I appreciate your willingness to spend time with us. If you've never spent time with me or any of our staff at Athletes' Potential, thanks for listening to the podcast.
I hope that you listen every week and my goal is for you to learn a ton about how you can really take care of yourself and live a really active, fulfilled life that's healthy, pain-free, and enjoy the people around you.
What I want to do in this first episode is really give you a clear idea of what I'm going to be talking about, who I'm going to be talking to, who this is for, and also, why the heck would you want to listen to me or any of the people that I'm going to be interviewing and sharing their approaches with you on this podcast.
So, first of all, just so we can save you a bunch of time, if this doesn't sound like you, no need to listen to the podcast. This podcast is for people that are trying to stay active, pain-free, healthy, and live a very active life around their family, their friends, and they look at their health as an investment. They want to actually be healthy, they want to be able to use their body long-term, and what we see is there's really two options: you either don't put the right things nearby and put the right context around what you're doing in your day-to-day life. Or you do, and the way that you look at long-term changes. It's a difference between somebody that's 90 years old, picking up their grandkids and somebody who's 90 years old, having to get helped out of a chair.
And sometimes, there's things that happen that are unavoidable, but what we want to do is give our body the best chance, the best chance to be pain-free, active, and really enjoy the one vehicle we have in life for as long as we possibly can. And we do know that these, decisions that we make on a day-to-day basis, well, before we're in our late years, really dictates what our life looks like at that point and to give you an idea of where I come from with this.
So, I've been a physical therapist for around 10 years at this point, and you know, my story is very similar to many of the people in our profession, and it takes a little bit of a turn a couple of years after I got started in the profession.
So what happened was I joined the army in 2007, and I stayed in until 2014. So I was a physical therapist in the army, directly attached to an infantry brigade, for a good number of those years where I was actually the person in charge of injury, treatment, injury prevention, and what they call it, human performance optimization.
So that meant that I was the strength coach. I was the person that was actually helping develop, certainly conditioning, models, training plans, things that people are going to be following to hopefully be healthy, but also not to get hurt along the way and be able to do their job, which is a difficult thing.
When you're talking about programming and training soldiers that are really going to be in austere environments and carrying heavy loads, and doing a lot of physical tasks that sometimes are unknown at the time. So for me, what happened was I started to really invest a lot of time and energy in learning this sort of hybrid strain conditioning as well as clinical skill sets.
When I left that job, I was put back into a hospital situation. So for me, like it's very common for physical therapists to be in hospitals or clinics. I'm not always attached to infantry brigades in the army. And when I got reassigned from Honolulu to Columbus, Georgia, I was put into a clinical setting, a traditional clinical setting where I was seeing both soldiers and I was seeing dependents and retirees.
So really running the gamut from a six year old kid, that's a competitive soccer player with an ankle sprain to a 90 year old World War II vet that was trying to get over a fall that he may have had. And what I started to do was look at applying the same principles of this hybrid strain of conditioning and clinical skillset that I had developed working with this infantry brigade with everybody across, across the gamut from the six year old, all the way to this 90 year old and everybody in between.
What I started to see was people who would make dramatic changes, dramatic changes in their functionality, in the achievement of their goals that they had, which many people are the same: they want to be more active, they want to do more of the things physically that they like to do, they want to be in less pain, and they want to be able to enjoy the people around them and the time that they have with them.
For me, this model, that we sort of established whenever I was in the army, I wanted to be able to take that model and share it with the civilian world, with the the city of Atlanta, where we decided we were going to move after I decided to leave active duty with the army.
So in 2014, We packed everything up, moved from Columbus, Georgia to Atlanta. I took a job also teaching for another group where I was teaching the same concept of movement and mobility and, and self care. And I ended up having an opportunity to teach internationally for a few years and really get in front of thousands of coaches and clinicians, and that information that we've shared, the process of teaching people how to take care of themselves and letting people invest in their own health and taking ownership in their own health, it's spread. It's something that I'm so happy to see. It has caught on it with what we do in Atlanta and plenty of other people that are doing similar things.
And what I really want to be able to do is not just share what we've learned, which there is an element of this where there's going to be topic-based episodes, where we're going to talk to you about, "Hey, if you have back pain, what are the first few things you can do?" "What do you want to think about?" "What do you want to be aware of?"
But not just that, I want to be able to highlight some of the people that we know that do amazing job, an amazing job with their specialty in the City of Atlanta. And over the last five years, I've gotten to know quite a few people that I just think are world-class.
And there's a lot more of them out here in Atlanta that I just don't know yet, but we will find them and let them tell their story, their philosophy and share it with you. And the goal is for us to have a medium where everyone can start to take better ownership of their health, of their wellness and, you know, we live in an interesting time. My grandfather grew up on a farm and he's 94. He has fought in multiple wars, he's a tough human being, but my life growing up and his life growing up, they look very different, very, very different.
And sometimes what happens is, with modern technology, things are more convenient. We start to move less and less and less, and we don't have to be as physically active for our profession. Many of us have gone the route where we've gotten professional degrees. We are, your profession, but that typically leads to: more educated you are, the more money you make, the less physical movement you typically have to do for your job day to day.
Think of it. If you were sitting here, listening to this, and you're an attorney, you've gone to school for a long time and you pretty much sit and read stuff all day and/ or prep to do things in court or whatever it is that you do. If you're an accountant, you sit and you look at numbers or you project financials.
If you're a physician, you're sitting here with patients, you're doing notes, maybe you're in surgeries, but there's very, very little active movement going on. You want to see somebody that has an active job. Watch an arborist, take a tree down and think to yourself, "how does that compare to my day today?"
You know, how does it compare to the things that you do as a catch 22 in our world, where the more education we have, the more professional training we have, the less there's a physical requirement for us in a day to day basis. And for many of us, we live a very sedentary lifestyle.
Now let's define that for a second.
So, a sedentary lifestyle is based on the standards of Australia. When I was down there, I had a interesting conversation with a physio that was involved with their national health care. He said they define sedentary lifestyle as anybody that's sitting more than six hours per day. It's one of their top health concerns just to help cut down on sedentary lifestyle.
Now, if you're sitting here right now and you think that, maybe I don't sit six hours a day, you gotta count commute, you gotta count time with the office, sit down and watching TV, sitting down, eating bathroom time. For some of you maybe is a little longer than the average. You got to add those minutes in as well.
Six hours is the standard, and for many of us, we accumulate that in half a day, between your commute and sitting by the time that you get through lunch. Now here's the really shocking thing about what's considered a sedentary lifestyle. No matter how hard you train outside of that, it's almost impossible to negate the negative long-term effects of having a sedentary lifestyle on things like metabolic disease.
And we know that those are things that long-term cause catastrophic issues in your health and things that we want to be able to affect and change. This is just one piece of the things we want to talk about, and to really give you an idea, there's sort of four key areas that we want to bring experts in.
And do topic based, heavily researched information, topic based episodes for you in these four key categories. Number one is movements. We kind of talked a little bit about this with sedentary lifestyle, but movement is just quantity of movement. So how much are you moving in the day is exercise, non-exercise based movement. Quality of movements. So how well do you move? How well can you get in and out of positions? Do you struggle to get off the ground when you're down there with your kids, do you need help from somebody to get back up? If you're having to sit, or they call it now, criss cross applesauce thing is what my daughter calls it, you know, being politically correct. Can you sit like that for five minutes and then get back up without your legs being asleep or without your hips killing you? Are you strong enough to get back up off the ground, all these things go into basic things of movement, quality and quantity.
Number two, what are you putting in your body now? I'm not saying you have to eat like a monk and you never have a gram of sugar in your life. What I'm saying is we have to understand the basic tenants of nutrition and what we put in our body and what that means to our long-term health.
And you can make a strong statement that this is one of the most important things that people can do from a long-term health and wellness standpoint. So, basic nutrition, basic food, information of like what we should be eating, what those things are, how much we should eat, how often should you be eating, fluid intake, all of these things.
What are the basics of nutrition from there? It's stress management and guys, I think this is where we can really get some really interesting people on board and have them share their opinions. And when we look at stress management, many of us deal with this.
I don't know a single person that doesn't deal with with stress in their life. If you have a few kids and you have a hectic job, you have a mortgage to pay, you got taxes, the car breaks down, you have to get a tree taken out of your backyard, all these things, they just lead to this sort of stressful environment that if you don't understand how to manage, may stress yourself. And have a basic, a basic framework of how to actually stay healthy, manage stress in a really positive way and not letting that spill over into your relationships with your friends and your family and ruin, in many cases, those relationships.
This is stress management and our ability to actually cope with our own emotions, our own stress levels that we're going to have on a day-to-day basis. And many of us are really, really bad at this, and it's something that we usually just totally neglect. We think it's "oh, no, it is what it is, it's just like part of my life, I just have a stressful life." Well, maybe, but there's also probably some really, really, fairly straight forward strategies that we can start to implement on a habitual basis.
They're going to help you manage those things and then negate much of that from these long-term negative effects associated with that. Now, the last core tenant that we're going to talk about is going to be sleep. So sleep is one of these things that I don't know why it's such a difficult topic for people to get a grasp on for them to really start to optimize their sleep, to start to get healthy sleep.
I had a sleep physician telling me this one time, he goes, "Danny, it would be like me trying to talk people into having sex. More like it should be something everybody likes and would want to do more of."
But yet nobody wants to focus on sleep. Nobody wants to try to get better at sleep. Nobody wants to actually like spend the time in bed, have nighttime routine, set the stage to actually get meaningful sleep. And for many of you listening to this, if you have children, firsthand, if your kids get a bad night's sleep or your kids go to bed late, they wake up early, whatever it is.
I mean, they're little turds, you know, they're a pain in the butt during that time and we are just adult versions of that. We can control our emotions better, but if you really look at what's happening to us from a neurologic standpoint, in terms of our efficiency, our health, our ability to recover from injuries and from sickness, things that really can cause a longterm negative implications on our health and wellness for cancer, neurologic diseases, our body's immune system, and hormone system, in many cases, is resetting and rebuilding indexing things, healing ourselves.
When we're asleep during these certain depths of sleep that many of us do not prioritize enough to even get to. So we have nights for months and years where you're asleep, but you're not really hitting levels of sleep that are beneficial for you, or maybe you're not even there long enough, or maybe you're just sitting there watching Game of Thrones for a few hours before you go to bed. And then, you're so riled up from watching the last episode of whatever, that you can't actually fall asleep.
And then now you're in bed for a long time, but you're not actually sleeping now. I'm not going to harp on this anymore because we're definitely going to get into some basics of these things and ways for you guys to really start to set the stage, to have some quick wins in your health and your wellness and sleep is one of those things I'm very passionate about because for years I neglected my own sleep.
When we first started our business, I got out of the army in 2014 and I don't know, some of you may have your own business. But, it's the hardest thing I've ever done in my life. And it was one of those things that, I had two young kids at the time, I didn't know if it was going to work.
So, my answer was, I'm just going to work as hard as humanly possible. And at the time, I was still traveling internationally and across the country, teaching on movement, mobility topics, just training coaches and clinicians, and I was usually gone two, three times a month. So I was traveling a lot. I wasn't sleeping much.
I was putting a bunch of hours in over the course of about two years, I had just basically ran myself into the ground. I was tired all the time, I was short with people, I really wasn't myself. And the biggest variable that I had to change was to structure proper sleep into my day, and make it a priority, because at the time, I wasn't, and I thought it was one of those things, it's just like, "oh, it's not that important." You know, I've got other things to do, but the lack of efficiency I had because of just neglecting long-term sleep probably slowed me down more than it actually helped. And in the long run, you just can't do it.
We need to sleep. It's that simple.
And so we're going to talk about some, some basics that, you can get into in all of these areas. And like I said, some of this is gonna be topic based, some of this is going to be specialists that we know in the area, and some of, you may know people that you think are awesome and we would love to talk to them as well.
And, and we really appreciate it. If you decided, "Hey, this person would be amazing," if you can line up a time to talk to them and share their story and their unique knowledge, just email us info at athletespotential.com. It's the best place to send that and just let us know who they are and you can make us a warm introduction or share their contact information so that we can get in touch with them.
Because our goal, really, is to highlight all the people that we've met, that we think can be really helpful, and I look at it as helping you create this cohort of people that you can call on and utilize when need be.
To create this ecosystem of health and wellness providers that have your best interest at heart and want to help you really stay healthy, investing in your body and be able to really enjoy it long term.
Because I think that maybe I'm a bit biased compared to many other people because I've seen the gamut of things that have come through my clinic and hospitals that I've been in, and really nasty stuff. Some of these nasty neurologic diseases that we know are strongly connected to, for instance, gut health and stress management, these really bad, musculoskeletal issues, where people have long-term arthritic changes in multiple joint replacements. And then they lose their ability to be independent.
And at that point, it's honestly kind of a sad existence, and I know for many of you that are listening to this, I like to think that you're probably more aware of your health than the average person.
And that's the kind of people that we want to help.
We want to help people that want to be an outlier. I don't want to just be the average person that once you get to a certain age, it's just, "Okay, well, I'm just going to sit in this recliner and wait to die." And as morbid as that sounds, as bad as that sounds, it's reality for a lot of people. I want to be the guy that's 90 years old, picking his grandkid up, and walking around with them at that point. But active, enjoying my family, enjoying my friends around me, and still enjoying the world around me as well, and you can't do that if you're dependent on other people.
And having a long-term perspective on your health and wellness, not as a cost, as an investment. And we're all so quick, to get a new vehicle. We're so quick to get the, you know, "Let me get this new BMW, switch it out for the old model because it's got some new bells and whistles."
When you get one body, that's it. One body. You're one vehicle in life.
You can get a new car every month if that's what you decided you want to do. If you have the money to do so, you can get a new part in your body. It's called a joint replacement and it's a difficult thing to do. I don't recommend doing it. If you really want it to get scared off from doing it, just video search, "hip replacement," or "knee replacement."
You'll never want that to happen to you. And I've sat in on these surgeries and trust me, I don't want some guy dislocating my hip, cutting a piece of it out, hammering another piece in, and then suturing my leg back up, and then having to be on the receiving end of all the rehab that goes into just getting somebody back to a normal state.
And in many cases, those things are avoidable. Sometimes they're not, and there's great surgeons that can actually do those surgeries really well when it's necessary, but our body is designed to be around for a hundred years without those things happening, without us needing these additional, certain reasons unless they're absolutely necessary.
But, if we set the stage to be healthy, just to manage stress, eat good food most of the time, to sleep, and to move well and to move often, we're independent, we're healthy, we're happier because we get a chance to enjoy the people around us.
And that's really what it comes down to. In my opinion, health is a vehicle to get you there and allow you to enjoy whatever it is that you want. And we have a unique opportunity to see these amazing people and what they're capable of, and things that people say they shouldn't be doing at their age.
And for them, just to say, "what the status quo, what's normal. I don't want to be that." You know, "I want to be more than that. I want to enjoy my life on my terms, you know, and I want my body to be as healthy as humanly possible, along the way so that I don't have to limit myself for the experiences that I have or the time I have with other people."
And that's the goal of this podcast, and frankly, that's the goal of our practice. When I got out of the army five years ago and decided to open our business, it was something that I didn't know if it would work. I told my dad, I told my family, here's my plan: I'm going to get out of the army. I had been in for around seven years and I was looking at getting promoted to Major, really, in the next one to two years. And I told them, I said, "look, I don't want to be in this environment anymore. There's something else that I'm supposed to do."
"I'm going to move to Atlanta. I'm going to take it. I'm going to take a position, teaching the stuff that I'm so passionate about. And I'm going to open a practice in a CrossFit gym on the west side of Atlanta, in a room that has no windows, in an area where I know nobody, I'm not from here. And I'm going to work with people in a setting in which I'm going mesh this clinical and strength skillset, and I'm not going to directly take insurance."
And my dad and many of my friends with good reason told me it was probably a bad idea. And as I say it out loud, I think to myself, "yeah, it sounds like a bad idea," but I just felt that there were enough people out there that wanted to actually do things the right way, not do things based on your insurance company.
And let's be honest. These people don't care about you. They don't care about me. They want to be as profitable as possible, give you the hardest time possible. So they have to pay for the least amount of, insurance claims that are out there and pay all of their investors and stockholders as much as they can.
And that doesn't mean, okay. That that's the right thing for your health. And because of the context of our healthcare system, we have to decide to take our own health into our own hands and look for the right choices from people that are doing things based on what's best for the client, best for the patient, not what insurance says you're supposed to do, or what insurance says you're supposed to be able to get reimbursed for.
Great example of this is a friend of mine recently went to a podiatrist for a foot fracture. He'd been trained to run a marathon. Scan came back clean. He just had a little bit of soft tissue issue going on there, but he was a little bit worried about it and turned out it was fine.
The podiatrist tells him, "Hey, I want you to wear this brace." My buddy goes, "well, I'm probably not going to wear it." And he goes, "well, just take it anyway. Just in case it gives him this brace." Two months later, he gets a bill from this group for $850. And as he looks at the office visit, which is like $400 and the brace that he was given by this guy that told him, "Hey, just take it anyway."
$450 for a foot brace that he didn't need anymore.
Why? Because that guy is getting reimbursed for it, and that is not an ethical decision. That's something that this person probably has to do because that's what insurance is going to reimburse for. So anybody that comes to there, with foot pain, probably gets one of these dumb ass braces that nobody's going to wear in the first place. And this is where we're at with insurance. It's a crappy place to be. It's a reason why we're as transparent as we humanly possibly can be. So if you work with us, this is the context I'm working with you.
I don't care what your insurance company says I can and cannot do, or I'm going to get reimbursed for. We follow our clinical practice act to the letter, but we do what's best for our clients. Not what insurance companies say we should get reimbursed for because in many cases, they do not match up with what you should actually be doing.
And that is an important thing as a consumer to realize that you have choices and those choices really should be in prevention in stopping some of these really nasty, longterm diseases and problems that can limit your body's ability to move, but neurologically limits you, but also can put you in a terrible, financial position that accumulates, and you either are proactive about it, or you get surprised by it one day.
And we just don't know because genetics loads the gun and habits pull the trigger, and I had a doc tell me that one time-and I thought it was so striking-and he said, genetics load the gun, habits and lifestyle pull the trigger. I mean, I guess you can kind of test for this stuff at this point, but lifestyle habits, we just don't know how many bad choices we can make before that trigger gets pulled.
What we want to do is help you really live as healthy a life as you possibly can avoid as much as you possibly can in terms of the negative things and be able to enjoy all the positive things that we know that we all value so much in life. And I hope that this podcast's first episode, gives you an idea of what you can expect from my interviews that I'm going to do with our special guests, with the topic-based episodes that we're going to do.
And that's, the goal: is really help you live as long as healthy and happy and actively as we possibly can. By helping you understand how to create a framework of investing in yourself and doing the right things for yourself on a day-to-day basis, it creates these habitual changes that lead, really, to true, long-term health.
So guys, that is it. I'm excited for this one. I've had two other podcasts, one I still do. Another one, I have a couple of hundred episodes underneath my belt with training/conditioning coaches, and I'm excited to get back into this and share this with the Atlanta area.
Atlanta is not my home, but it really is now. I've never been anywhere longer than we have been in Atlanta. I grew up in a military family. I really never lived anywhere more than about three years. I've been here for five, so this is our roots. At this point, I may not be from Atlanta originally, but how many of you probably aren't. I don't know many people that are from Atlanta that still live in Atlanta. If you do, you're like a unicorn. You're very rare here, but regardless, I'm excited for this one.
Thanks so much for listening and as always guys, thanks for staying, thank you so much for listening to the active Atlanta podcast and we'll catch you next time.
Dr. Danny and staff's views on performance improvement, injury prevention and sometimes other random thoughts.