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Are You Really “Pro-Choice?”

No this is not a political message.  However, it is one that is critically important and is even affecting you right now as you read this email.

Let me begin by sharing a slightly embarrassing story that helps set the stage.

In November of 2013, I was driving from Sarasota to Miami to take a continuing education class on muscle testing and neuromuscular activation techniques.  It was one of seven 3 day classes I took over a 9-month period at the same location, so I was quite familiar with the drive.

You might say, too familiar.

Since I like to drive the speed limit and people in the left lane don’t appreciate that too much, I stayed mainly in the right lane all down alligator alley.  About halfway down the alley, I passed a highway patrol vehicle that had pulled over another driver.  As I passed him, I realized that there was another highway patrol car pulled over in front of this driver.  I found it odd that they were both pulled over and sort of sandwiching this driver, but I paid little attention to it and kept on focusing on the road.

As I got a little ways down I noticed in my rear view mirror that the highway patrol car was driving right behind me.  Within seconds I saw that awful sight of red and blue lights flashing.

You ever been there?

I pulled off the road and all I could think about was what I could possibly have been stopped for.  I didn’t really panic because I figured with a 2-minute conversation we would straighten things out and I’d be on my way.

Sadly, this was not the case.

The officer approached the car and I asked him what was going on. He asked me, “Sir, do you know that you just violated the Move Over Law?”

“What’s the move over law?” I said

There was a law passed that requires motorists to move over to the lane opposite of any police vehicle that is pulled over onto the side of the road.  Failing to do so is punishable by ticket”, he said.

I had never heard of such a thing, so of course I felt I had to plead my case.

“But how is anyone supposed to know this” I said. “Isn’t it only right in a case like this to let me off with just a warning?”

“Nope.  This is how people learn.  We must make examples of them” he said as he wrote me the ticket.

Of course, being over 100 miles away there was no way I was going to fight it in court, so I knew as I took the ticket that I had no recourse from that point on.

Recently this incident came back to my mind when I was thinking about our vast array of daily choices.

Whether I like it or not, I made a choice to stay in the right lane.  Now of course, I can say all day long that I didn’t know it was the law that I had to move over, but it does not change the fact that I Violated the law and because I did, I had to suffer the consequences.

Isn’t it like this in other aspects of life sometimes?  You go about doing something, something you’ve always done out of habit, and you never think twice about whether it is good, bad, right or wrong. Then at some point, maybe long after it has been part of your lifestyle, you realize that maybe it wasn’t the best thing to be doing all along.

This is the essence of what later becomes regret.  Do you have any of that?  I know I do.

If I really wanted to be transparent, I’d admit that I have more regret over poor choices, than I have pride over good choices.  Are you in the same boat as me?

Despite this being the case, I think my strength is in my unyielding desire to search out the answers to the questions of what consequences might occur from the choices I make. This brings me to a place of greater personal revelation and control over my life’s direction.

Which… finally brings me to the title of this article and what it means to you today.  And every single minute you are alive from here on for that matter.

In America, we live in a society where we have more choices than we could ever adequately analyze to determine the best course of action.  For the few of us who truly care about ourselves, our health, our quality of life and the overall course our life takes day in and day out, we must expend mental energy to scrutinize the choices we make to discern whether they are the best ones.

This is one of the foundational tenets of what psychologists would call maturity.  Children do what they want with little regard to consequences.  Adults must behave differently.

Now although you are probably doing a lot of things right, none of us is doing all that we can do.  Let’s think about it, who ever stops to ask themselves if they sleep in the best position, use the best pillow, use the best mattress, get out of bed the best way, use the best toothpaste, eat the best food, use your body the best possible way, sit and stand the best possible way, take the best routes to get places, interact with loved ones the best way, think the best thoughts, say the best words, do the best work, do the best exercise, and on and on.

Likely nobody you know.  It’d be silly to think that any of us has really thoroughly analyzed even just the choices I’ve mentioned, let alone all the hundreds, thousands or more other choices we make each and every day.

Although this is the case, it unfortunately does not exempt us from the consequences of each choice.

When I chose to stay in the right lane, I was forced to endure the consequences despite not knowing it was against the law.  Every daily choice we make will either knowingly or unknowingly force us to endure consequences also.  Sometimes unpleasant ones.

The trouble is that unlike me getting pulled over and written a ticket, we don’t always know the cause and effect relationship in other areas of our life.  We don’t know exactly why we feel the way we feel, why our body responds to things the way it does and why our overall enjoyment of life is what it is. However, I can tell you that with some solid investments into your education of the positive and negative consequences of your daily decisions, you can know a significant portion of these cause and effect relationships and strategically and repeatedly make better choices.

Being in favor of choices is great, but what are you willing to invest to ensure that your choices are the best ones for what you want out of your body and your life?

An hour? A few weeks? 90 days? A lifetime?

I guess the better question is, “how much do you love yourself?”

Think on that for a while.

Life is honestly not terribly hard to figure out most of the time.  It just takes time and energy to learn what you need to learn to be able to accurately judge each choice for its value towards unlocking your desires or its influence on hindering them.

I chose with great intention to go deep into the study of anatomy and physiology throughout most of my adult life.  I chose to specialize in exercise science so I could understand how our daily choices of how we move, position, stimulate and rest our body affects its health and function.

I also chose to also study heavily in the area of psychology, so that I could understand how our thinking, our attitude, our beliefs and our self esteem influence and even determine the choices we make and subsequently determine our present and our future lives.

I worked to attain degrees in both (a major and minor respectively) and through that process I discovered that there have been A LOT of very, very, very smart people who have spent their lives searching out the answers to questions revolving around each set of choices we would make during each day.

Thankfully I have been able to learn from them and apply the findings of their tremendous work to myself and my clients.

Take psychology for instance.  Did you know that it has been extensively studied and validated that your thoughts and beliefs significantly influence your behavior, mood and enjoyment of life?  Being that is so, wouldn’t it only make sense to study to learn how to maximize our potential in this area so we can feel way better, way more often?

THIS realization changed my life completely….

Did you know that the exact position of each and every one of your joints during every second of every day really matters?

In fact, take a moment and analyze how you are positioned right now as you read this.

What position are your shoulders, legs, hips, knees, ankles, feet, hands, wrists, back and neck in right now?  How long have they been in that position?  Is that the position they are always in when you read emails?  What about when you do other things on the computer?

When you watch TV?  When you sit in your car?  What position are they in when you stand? When you bend over? When you reach and grab things?  When you … You get the point.

Most of us have not stopped for more than a few seconds to think about things like this, even though it is an enormous contributor to the presence or absence of bodily pain and the likelihood of developing various muscle or joint problems as we age.

Your lifetime is made up of two numbers with a dash in between.  It’s not the years between the numbers that counts as much as the choices we make inside the dash. 

Sadly, because of  poor decisions that we have all been making due to no one (including doctors) really telling us differently, musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction is rapidly on the rise. In fact, this is the most prevalent health ailment in America according to The Mayo Clinic (57.5% of doctor visits are made in part because of them.  Next closest is skin disorders at 42%).

And IT IS only getting worse.

We must arm ourselves to win the war that technology, travel, sedentary hobbies and habitual patterns of doing things is waging against our bodies right under our nose.

We must become wiser and become equipped with the right tools to make sure that our body doesn’t get “written a ticket” for a law we did not know we were violating.

If you’d like some help with that, come see us.

God bless you and may His grace carry you.

Chris Vercelli  MATm, CPT

Founder: Non-Fiction Fitness

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