Food For ThoughtHealth

I Thought I Was Getting Early Onset Parkinsons…

By May 30, 2019 No Comments

This was sent out to my client newsletter but I thought I would share in hopes it can help at least one person.

I have been writing this newsletter for over 11 years now.  I would estimate I am at at least 1200 newsletters over those years.

My goal in writing is to share what is working right now in the world of health, nutrition, and fitness along with sharing lessons I have been learning through the peaks and valleys of my life.

In other words the good and the bad.

I regularly receive emails or people mention in person that they appreciate my openness and vulnerability.  I do my best to be an open book. Sometimes this gets me in trouble and my wife or staff (who pre-screen my newsletters) tell me to back off and not be quite so open and honest.  🙂

So, I would like to share a little story with you and then a couple of lessons I hope you can learn from that you can apply to your own life.

Here is the vulnerability part…

The past two months have been some of the toughest months I have experienced in the 13 years I have had the Transformation Center.

As the TC has grown to a staff of over 18 and over 120 sessions a week, the pressure to continue to grow, or even maintain, is so much harder than when it was small.

It seems like every person I have talked to recently who says they are interested in the TC and getting in shape has come up with reasons why now isn’t a good time to start.

And then, just by chance, we have had a record number of current clients leave because they have moved away, slipped on their driveway and gotten injured, traveled out of town to take care of their sick parents or a dozen other reasons.

Our average, the number of sessions per week our clients attend has dropped below 2x/week for the first time that I can remember.  Now, I would guess the average gym has a rate that is somewhere between 0.3-0.5 which is so sad, but we normally average just below 3X/week, which is pretty much as high as you will see anywhere in the country.

Then we have had a bunch of leaking problems on the roof with ice build up, which has caused me to spend hours at a time shoveling thousands of pounds of snow off the roof to reduce the amount of ice build up and flooding.  I am all about a good workout but that is a whole other level.

So, the stress (and poor sleep because of the stress) must have caught up with me about a week ago and I experienced something I have never had before.

My thumbs on both hands started to shake uncontrollably.  

When it started to happen I didn’t think too much of it, and tried to figure out what it was.  Maybe I was dehydrated or had low blood sugar. I figured once I corrected that it would go away.

Well it didn’t.

It was so bad that I could barely text on my phone, and I only could if I pinned both wrists to my belly for support.

Then you go down the internet diagnosis rabbit hole and of course the two really scary ones are Parkinson’s and ALS (which my grandpa, who I never met, died from at a very young age).

There were, of course, other less serious diagnoses or causes and one was stress.

Anyways, after about 3 long days of uncontrollable shaking, it started to improve and at the time of writing this, it is pretty much gone and I hope to never experience it again.

So why am I sharing this with you?

We all go through challenges and struggles in life and it’s how we get through them that dictates our experience of life.

About 8 years ago, I made a conscious effort to take radical responsibility in my life.  If something happened to me I would blame no one but myself.

So in my case above, I haven’t done my part to attract the right people to the Transformation Center over the past couple months. Myself and the rest of our team will come up with even more new ideas to keep our long term clients engaged and pumped to come to each and every session.

I have created a plan to change this course, so I don’t ever have to go through this stress and pain again.  I need to take 100% responsibility.

How have I tried to handle this stress?

The three biggest things that I have done to help me over the past couple months are the following.

  • Working out: I have stayed so consistent with this one, and when I am exercising all my problems feel like they go away for the time that I am working out.  I feel better afterwards, and I believe it gives me a clearer head to see what I need to do to fix things.
  • Leaned on relationships:  My wife Tessa was really the only person who knew about the shaking and the high amount of stress I was/am feeling and she has been my rock during this shaky time.
  • Faith: I have specific Bible verses that give me hope and comfort that things are going to be ok.

If I didn’t have those three things going for me, I feel like I would be in a much worse situation without a path towards improvement.

I hope these tips can help you if/when you find yourself in high stress times in your life.  There are so many great ways to help cope, but these are a few that have helped me.

I haven’t shared this with you to make you feel sorry for me in any way, so please don’t.  There are so many people in our community and the world dealing with much more serious challenges.

Thanks for listening and allowing me to be open and vulnerable with you.  We are in this together.

PS One action step I have committed to doing immediately to build back momentum at the TC is to set aside forty 15 minute 1:1 sessions.  For current clients this might be to help you regain focus, help with motivation, or put together a plan to reach a specific goal.

For non-members this might be talking through your goals and your current challenges and seeing if we may or may not be the best fit for you.