The New Road Traveled

dr steve

My husband called me today from a seminar on cutting edge research (8-5 both Saturday and Sunday) because during his lunch break he found out that one of our practice members fulfilled a dream of being drafted by the NFL. Years ago, this particular young man (wonderful man, even when he faced the wrath of Mary…) came into our office with a debilitating injury, a hip dislocation (Bo Jackson) that threatened his future not just in football, but all sports. They told him he may never play again, that he couldn’t put weight on it for at least 6 weeks. Just days later, he walked out of our office and now he is in the NFL (not directly, of course). He was our “first” ARP (accelerated recovery performance) patient, and with his dedication, hard work and faith, he is a testament to overcoming obstacles. I am so happy for him.

But today’s post isn’t about just this young man’s success. It is about all the pieces that fit together that helped him on his journey. I’m sure he can give you a list of all those influential people who stood in his corner that helped him to achieve his dream (I know he has thanked Steve over and over). We should all follow his lead, because as individuals we don’t do enough of that, i.e. recognizing and thanking those who help us in our lives. Not one of us is an island. And not one of us achieves anything on our own. The fruits we bring to the world are a compilation of countless influences, obstacles, opportunities, and benefiting from the fruit of others, many who go unrecognized. So let me take a moment to say a few words about the man who helped him on his way.

Most people don’t realize that Dr Edling is always on the cutting edge of embracing new and innovative approaches to health (which are soooo different than fads). I have never met someone who is as passionate about sustaining, maintaining and forging new roads for optimal health as he is. As an athlete himself, whose life was derailed by an injury, he has worked tirelessly to find ways and technologies so no young athlete has to let go of a dream. Whether it is through constant study, new technologies and going way beyond the call of duty, he is one of those special few who refuses to be defeated and absolutely loves and is committed to his work. No one is more thrilled, save the person themselves, than Dr Edling is when success is achieved and goals are met, and many times even surpassed.

Much of the time, his voice is a solitary one, one that pushes and maintains that change is up to the individual, that it is often a scary and challenging proposition and never an easy pill to swallow. The answers aren’t always easy to find, but he is there, though, every step of the way, through the frustration, sometimes pain, the problem solving and adaption when other questions arise. He has done the work, the study, put in the sacrifice, the investments in the best technologies. Most importantly he is present, available and stands as a partner to everyone who walks in our practice door looking for better health. Whether their needs are structural or metabolic, he gives 100%.

He may be a little embarrassed by this post. He never toots his own horn, so I will…only because the gift of his fruit, is making dreams possible for others, and that makes me proud. I see his enthusiasm for innovation, selflessness and commitment in our sons too, so that I’m confident the gift of his fruit will continue, and that also makes me proud.

When Winning Well is Worth the Wait, and Hard Work

Winning StateWinning isn’t everything…granted it is awesome, no one will ever deny the powerful emotions that come with victory. But it is just one moment in time, one that is a simple reflection of everything that came before it and sets a course for greater victories to come. What made Thursday night’s State Football Championship win so sweet, isn’t just that it has been a long time in coming, but that it is also a reflection of what winning well looks like. It is a reflection of the countless hours and dedication of professionals, volunteers and support from the community to build a worthy program, instill a sense of dedication, hard work, and commitment to the sense of team. The deep Chieftain pride we feel doesn’t happen overnight and certainly doesn’t happen in a vacuum. I think we all know that. I think it is what makes our team and community different, and why every single individual in our town’s cup runneth over.

Winning well just looks different. It isn’t playing dirty, it isn’t focusing on just the top players, it isn’t rubbing the losers nose in defeat, arrogant peacocking, excusing bad behavior for the sake of a winning season, or giving up when facing challenging odds. Winning well is walking hand in hand onto the field as a unit, being introduced as a team and not individuals, giving back to the community by mentoring and instructing younger players and service to the needy. It is playing with integrity, truth and commitment to the rules of the game, with no need for taunting, cheap shots and blame for mistakes made, but the commitment to evolve in spite of setbacks to keep getting better as a team.

Winning well isn’t running up the score in a blow away game, but utilizing those moments to strengthen and develop younger players to further continuity and commitment to a strong future. Winning well takes coaches who devote time and effort well beyond their pay grade to bring the best out of their team. Winning well means cooperation and collaboration in a sport that often focuses the success or blame onto the shoulders of the head coach. Winning well also puts aside ego for the sake of utilizing all the talent offered and understanding that it takes more of a village to build a program than just one person.

Winning well is also rooted in those parents,coaches, teachers and mentors who embrace the responsibility to raise our athletes to put character before accolades and integrity on the same level as talent. Winning well is a ripping diatribe against the lack of these qualities in the NFL and other professional sports…to which our local athletes seem to possess in spades. It is because of our parents, coaches, teachers and mentors that our young athletes understand that the person defines the sport and not the other way around.

Winning well is also rooted in a deep and abiding faith…not because being faithful to God guarantees a win. It does mean, though, that a team who shares a faith in something greater than themselves has the freedom to act without fear, push with strength and force beyond their own ability and embrace any challenge with unity and love. They become a band of brothers that exemplify what winning should look like.

Winning well will define and set the pace for every future goal, be it to continue in sports, go to college, join the military or any other venture. Winning well and working hard will always be synonymous after this experience. It is what will continue to make our small community great and shine with Chieftain pride.