Finding Joy everyday

I recently read an interesting book called The Book of Joy, Lasting Happiness in a Changing World by Douglas Abrams.  It was a collaboration between His Holiness ,the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.  Both men have been through extraordinary hardship themselves and with their people.  Yet through faith and an extraordinary view on life they have found ways to not only survive but inspire millions to have love, forgiveness and faith.

Look at these two icons of faith, they are 80+ years old and finding joy in life every single day!

They talked about 8 pillars of happiness, 4 of the mind and 4 of the heart.  The mind consisted of: perspective, humility, humor and acceptance.  The heart qualities are forgiveness, gratitude, compassion and generosity.  I thought it would be interesting to highlight each point, I mean who does not want more Joy in their life.

Perspective:

Our perspective shapes our reaction to every situation.  If we take a different perspective we get a different view.   They challenge us to take a wider perspective when faced with a conflict.  Try not focus on yourself but on others, which is not an easy thing to do.  When we look at things from the other parties perspective we have a chance at understanding instead of anger or victimizing ourselves.  Remember people are innately good and most conflicts are a misunderstanding.

They also referenced an interesting study done by Larry Scherwitz.  This study  found people who think or talk with self-involvement; “I” and “me” and “mine” instead of the wider perspective of “we” and “us” and “ours” actually had a greater risk for a heart attack.    Self-involved thinking leads to an increase in blood pressure, stress levels, depression and anxiety.  When they looked further they found subjects had a higher rate of coronary artery disease, high risk of a second heart attack and higher chance of not surviving either heart attack.  Now if that is not a scary thought, I don’t what is.  Thinking about yourself and talking about yourself constantly to others actually physiologically increases your risk of heart disease and on top of that makes you less happy.

Life is full of happy and sad moments, that is part of life.  Our perspective lets us choose what we focus on.

“That car cut me off!!”  you probably weren’t the only one and who knows why they are driving like a jerk maybe they are late to work or rushing to the hospital…maybe they are jerk.

“why is this person yelling at me I didn’t do anything”  maybe they lost their job or are having trouble at home leading to having a bad day.  I am sure that person did wake up and think, “you know what today I am going to get super angry and yell at someone.”

They say having a wider perspective does not mean you let bad things happen to you or you do not work to your fix problems.  It means that when you approach the situation or before you react, you take a moment to think why it may be happening. So much easier said than done, I can’t count the times I react to something and then a moment later think it through realizing I have done nothing but make matters worse.

But if we can do this, if we can be more humble, we can experience more joy.  Thinking with a wider perspective makes us realize that we are all human.  As humans we are a social creature and we are all on this planet together.  Don’t you think we should work together?

Next pillar is humility…

 

Format ImagePosted on Leave a comment

My awe of the Internet!

A quick disclaimer: This post is not intended to be boastful, but to truly reflect my amazement or better yet my admiration of how incredibly advanced and small the world has become.

In the last week I had the great opportunity to sell a Pronator to a lad in Herning, Denmark and then to an awesome person in Clarinda, Iowa.  In fact, just this year, Pronator’s have sold in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Queensland, Australia.  Plus several other countries outside these Untied States of America.

world map

I have never been to these countries and I don’t even know a single person living there.  For me to fly and talk to these people or even make a magazine ad, then translate it into 4 different languages, find a magazine to buy ad space and hopefully make a sale…. That would be incredibly expensive and time consuming if not impossible for one person to do.

Yet thanks to Al Gore’s invention of the Internet, selling to Brazil is as easy as Iowa.  People from around the world could view my videos or read this very blog post with a click of button.  You don’t need a million dollar budget or an office in the European Union, you just need a computer and an internet connection.  Then the entire world opens up literally right in front of your eyes.  That is so amazing!!!!

I am so blessed and thankful to be part of this world.  It is a gift to have these opportunities that lay in front of every single person reading this post…no matter what country you are in.

world palm of hand

Format ImagePosted on Leave a comment

Simple Exercises to Prevent Elbow Ligament Injuries

IMG_2949I was reading an interesting post by Dr. James Buffi, a bio-medical engineer that specialized in pitching mechanics.  (@drivelinebases)  The post talks technically about muscles and their function to protect ligament/bone structures.  This is a crucial relationship for our bodies.  I always like to think of this relationship like a radio tower.  They are made of steel, which is really strong, but they can be hundreds of feet tall.  Without support cables branching out the wind would blow them over.  This is how our bodies work, the muscle supports and protects our ligaments.

One of the things Dr. Buffi analyzes is the forearm flexor-pronator muscles.  These are the muscles that bend your wrist down (flexors) and turn your hand from palm up to palm down (pronators).   In the past couple years there has been several studies that show the positive relationship of these muscles to elbow stability. (see references below)

By keeping the flexor-pronator muscles strong you are increasing your body’s natural protective system for your elbow while throwing.  Increased elbow strength = increase elbow stability.  The force placed through your elbow during a 100 MPH fastball is incredible.

Here are a couple really simple exercises to build flexor and pronator strength:

Lets start easy with wrist flexion:

Place your arm on a stable surface, with your palm up and hand over the edge of the surface. Holding a dumbbell, move your hand from the extended to flexed position.   
IMG_5085
IMG_5088

 

 

 

 

 

Here is another simple exercise to build grip strength.  Our flexors are largely responsible for grip strength.  These can be done with a grip strengthener.grip strengther

 

There are not many good ways to build Pronation strength so lets makes things more interesting by using The Pronator!

Pronation/Supination with a Dumbbell: Start with arm supported and wrist off the edge of a surface. While holding The Pronator, rotate your hand palm up to palm down. Repeat this motion for chosen repetitions.

To increase bicep activation during this motion, try it with your arm unsupported:

In the article Dr. Buffi talks about concentric and eccentric strength.  These are two very different activation patterns that our muscles utilize.  To increase your chances of preventing injury it is important that you challenge a muscle with both types.  The only way to do this through a full range is with resistance bands.

I find the best way to do this is the exercise below.

Pronation/Supination Resistance band: For a full eccentric and concentric resisted motion, use a resistance band. Start with your arm supported and wrist off the edge of a surface. Rotate your hand away from the resistance band and return it slowly in a controlled manner.

Now do your exercises and keep your elbow safe!!

 

  1. Lin, F., et al., Muscle contribution to elbow joint valgus stability.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2007. 16(6): p. 795-802.
  2. Seiber, K., et al., The role of the elbow musculature, forearm rotation, and elbow flexion in elbow stability: an in vitro study.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2009. 18(2): p. 260-8.
  3. Udall, J.H., et al., Effects of flexor-pronator muscle loading on valgus stability of the elbow with an intact, stretched, and resected medial ulnar collateral ligament.Journal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery, 2009. 18(5): p. 773-778.
Format ImagePosted on Tags , , , ,