By: Clifford Sonnie, M.D., M.P.H., DAD
I wasn’t going to write an article this week. Instead I had planned to spend the whole Father’s Day weekend with my son. Well, it’s 1AM on Monday morning and my son is asleep. I could not have had a better time. We had decided that on Saturday we would do whatever he wanted and on Sunday we would do whatever I wanted. To my amazement I think I had a better time than my son on Saturday and he had a better time then me on Sunday. This has nothing to do with this article, but I found it eye-opening.
In any case, the thing I did notice all weekend, besides that I love my son, is that I FELT GREAT! I’m 57 and whenever I run too far my knees hurt. Whenever I bike too fast my knees hurt. Whenever I try to keep up with my 14 year old son I hurt all over. Well, call it mind over matter or whatever, but I went into the weekend knowing that I am going to spend it with my son and like I said I felt great afterward. No pains. I played, ran, biked, threw, caught, and got a heck of a workout and I don’t hurt. This perplexed me. I am sure everyone out there already knows why I tolerated this weekend better, but at the time I didn’t. Now I do.
I have been telling patients for years that I can detoxify them, replenish vitamins and minerals, suggest eating habits and exercise programs and all kind of anti-aging therapies. But it all will be for naught without a good frame of mind. I can’t give this to you. You have to do it yourself. You have to want it bad enough. And the great thing is that EVERYONE can do it. I know my little example of this past weekend may be minor but the concept is sound. To paraphrase a TV ad, the mind is a terrible thing to underestimate.
Well, you ask, how might I get in a good frame of mind too? That, my friend is up to you. It is not really an act but a feeling. Some people have actually described it like a feeling of accomplishment. To get it you have to find it. And believe me it may in the most remarkable of places. It can be something you do alone or with someone. Talk to a friend and tell them what they mean to you. Tell a family member what they mean to you. Hug someone. (Get permission first, as I would hate to see you in the Medina Gazette police blotter). Take a day off and do something you’ve always wanted to do. Volunteer. Start a hobby. Start a project. Start exercising. (Start slow). Spend time with someone (family or not) that you’ve not seen or spent time with for a while. The list is endless and you will always come away from whatever it is feeling more alive and better about yourself.
It won’t make you money or fame. It won’t advance you in your profession. It will, however, make your soul feel good and I defy anyone to tell me of a better feeling. And when you add this to any quest, whether it is health or whatever, it makes the journey easier, more enjoyable and I assure you much more successful.
I’ve said before to always check with your family MD or DO prior to starting any new regimen. Check with them before starting any exercise program, although, I think you can fly solo on this one. Before I end this with my usual closer I do want to wish all the dads out there a belated Happy Fathers Day. Yes, to the mom’s too, a very belated Happy Mothers Day. Besides it’s late and I’ve got to work tomorrow (I mean later today). So go out and smell the roses and like my dad said, “Go outside and blow off some stink”. Do something for your spirit. It is without doubt the best “medicine” out there. Oh yeah, I almost forgot, a smart health care consumer is informed and aware.
Clifford Sonnie, M.D., M.P.H. is a physician at the Balance of Life Clinic.