Men Made For More Podcast Episode 105: A Marine’s Mindset to Staying Healthy with Chronic Pain with Riley SahmDec 03, 2020
So many people deal with chronic pain or injuries that get in the way of them living a healthy life. When it comes to dealing with chronic pain - adopting the right mindset and habits are key. Listen up to today’s show to learn how a Marine’s mindset keeps him healthy and humble instead of prideful and broken.
You can reach Riley at [email protected]
Men Made For More Podcast Episode 105: A Marine’s Mindset to Staying Healthy with Chronic Pain with Riley Sahm
[00:00:00] Dave: Welcome to the Men Made For More podcast, a show designed by men for men looking to get strong, feel confident, and live a high performing life. As men. We face many challenges as we try and strive for a better life. We want to live a meaningful and competent life. The don't know where to start. You've lost your physical and mental edge.
[00:00:18] It's keeping you from living out your full potential. You tired of talking about doing big things and you're ready to start living it with the men made for more podcasts. The goal is to teach you how to strengthen your body, your mind. And your purpose and your way to reaching your full potential. It's time to start living as a man.
[00:00:34] You know, you can be to help lift those up that matter the most in your life. Every week, we'll have a featured guest who will share valuable information and experience to give you actionable strategies. You can apply to live as a man you were made to go drawn or guests, knowledge and experience. More importantly, we will discuss how this applies to the common challenges and struggles with being a man in today's world.
[00:00:55] Our goal is to not only build strong men physically. But to help coach and develop strong [00:01:00] friends, sons, brothers, fathers, business owners, and professionals in every area of your life. I'm your host, Dr. Dave Paczkowski, proud husband, business owner, physical therapist and strength coach with a passion for helping other men strengthen their body, their mind, and their purpose, wherever you're at on your journey.
[00:01:19] I'm excited to have you here with us today. Now let's dive in today's episode. The Men Made For More podcast.
[00:01:27] Hey guys, welcome to today's guest episode of the men made from our podcast, uh, joined with a friend of mine and amazing individual Bradley sound today to talk about a Marine's mindset, to staying healthy with chronic pain and, uh, for a little bit more on Riley, he grew up in central Texas. He went to a small high school where he played football and baseball.
[00:01:50] He graduated from Texas state university with a finance degree, and then upon graduation, he was commissioned as a Marine. Officer. He was designated with the specialty of a logistics [00:02:00] officer and as served at duty stations in Okinawa, Japan camp, Pendleton, California, and is currently stationed in Quantico, Virginia.
[00:02:08] I rally's wife. Denise is a hand therapist, the Navy, and they met and married when they were stationed in Okinawa, Japan, and Riley's current hobbies include. Any outdoor activity, hiking, biking, kayaking, and international travel. He's been to 27 countries and also whiskey tasting, probably why him and I get aligned with him like a good bourbon.
[00:02:29] So guys, this is going to be a lot of fun. This is a topic that so many people deal with this issue of chronic pain. And we talk about the, you know, someone. Who is a Marine like rally. We talk about the importance of balancing humility with the, uh, with the tendency to have that mindset, to push it where our minds pushing harder than our, our body can.
[00:02:50] And we talk about playing to your strengths, having a plan and just having responsibility and that humility to be able to know when, to push it and know when to [00:03:00] step back. So guys, a lot of good stuff coming your way today. Uh, excited to have Riley on here today and excited for you guys to hear it. So let's get started.
[00:03:08]Riley welcome to the men made for more podcast. And I am stoked to see and stoked to have you on here today.
[00:03:13] Riley: [00:03:13] Yeah, thanks for having me on here. I'm excited too.
[00:03:16] Dave: [00:03:16] Yeah. It's going to be a good time. So why don't you, uh, for people to send, just give a general overview of your story personally, professionally, where you're at, what you're up to. Yeah.
[00:03:24] Riley: [00:03:24] Hey, thanks. Yeah, absolutely. So my name is Riley Sahm. I grew up in central Texas in the Austin suburbs. Um, I went to a small high school and so I grew up playing football and baseball for that school. Uh, when I graduated high school, went to Texas state university where I got a finance degree, right after graduation, I joined the Marine Corps, um, and I became a logistics officer for the Marine Corps.
[00:03:50] And so after about nine months of training, I got sent over to Okinawa Japan for my first assignment, spent three years at Okinawa, amongst a couple of [00:04:00] different units out there. And moved to California. Uh, so at Camp Pendleton, California, uh, spent another three years there got a deployment to, uh, Kuwait.
[00:04:12] Um, and then the central command AOR, uh, there in the middle East and finished up in 2020, uh, this past summer in, uh, Camp Pendleton and moved to Quantico. So I currently do, uh, I'd say human resource would be a good word for it. Uh, personal management and support in Quantico here in Northern Virginia. So I'm married to my wife, Denise, she's a hand therapist for the Navy and she and I actually met while stationed in Okinawa, Japan.
[00:04:44] She was stationed at the hospital. I was stationed, um, at one of the bases that she supported. And we actually met through a local church there in Okinawa, Japan. Um, and we're in the same small group and we got married right before we, uh, [00:05:00] moved back to San Diego, California. So pretty cool story out there, but I went to Okinawa.
[00:05:05] I had no idea I'd be meeting my wife. So that was definitely a good twist that God had for us.
[00:05:12] Dave: [00:05:12] and then same, uh, in the same fashion, we, uh, we met with three small group as well. So that was, uh, That's the, the full circle in, in San Diego there. So it's a funny how that works.
[00:05:22] Riley: [00:05:22] Lots of good people in small groups.
[00:05:24] Dave: [00:05:24] yeah, that's good. People in small groups is for sure. So what's, uh, what's your X, it's gonna kind of tie into the topic a little bit.
[00:05:30] What's your training look like now? What kind of training demands you have through your work? What things are you doing personally, to stay healthy, to stay fit?
[00:05:39] Riley: [00:05:39] Yeah. So, um, The Marine Corps, as, as known as it had his reputation for, um, has, uh, a high amount of physical fitness that's required during certain events. Some jobs are more challenging than others. Um, my current job is much more relaxed, more personal time, personal autonomy to heal and stay healthy. Per [00:06:00] my own schedule.
[00:06:01] Uh, but my last job, I was a company commander. And so my goal was to be in better shape than all of my Marines. And so, uh, my fitness goal was whatever there's a test or a competition of some type. Um, I want to make sure that I train for it and that I'm in better shape than the 18 19, 20 year olds, whether that be, uh, swimming, running, jumping.
[00:06:24] Uh, hiking, uh, whatever type of physical activity that was the goal was to be better than those guys. And, uh, at least keep up with them if not break them off as well. And now that I've transitioned over to this job, my goal is to just take care of my body and not break it. It makes sure that I stay healthy for the long-term.
[00:06:49] Dave: [00:06:49] Yeah. And that's, uh, I know it's going to be a change of focus for you for what you're used to. Cause when, when we were talking about what to, what to talk about today, we had a lot of ideas we threw around, but you know, you mentioned with your [00:07:00] history of some chronic pain and some injuries and some things that came up over the years, that that'd be a good focus point because you know, so many people listening are dealing with some degree of chronic pain or injury.
[00:07:11] It's just, it's more and more common, unfortunately. And especially for people. You know, even younger guys, it's happening to people that push their limits like you through, through the Marines, through sports, through football, through training, through all these things, it's, these things just develop and they develop slowly at times for some people it's a specific injury, but you know, they, they do happen and people have the choice to either.
[00:07:33] Kind of succumb to that and let that be an excuse for not being healthy, but like you, you don't really have the choice through, through your vocation and through just your passions, what you enjoy doing, you don't, uh, you know, you don't just give in to that. So what are, you know, how do you manage to stay healthy?
[00:07:50] How do you manage to stay working out? What is, what does that long-term picture look like for you while still trying to hang with the young Marines?
[00:07:57]Riley: [00:07:57] Yeah, so. A couple of things [00:08:00] I focus on is training to a standard in the Marine Corps makes it well, what we would call Barney style. It's very simple is between January and June, you have to take, what's called a physical fitness test. And that includes pull ups, um, a plank and for time and then a three mile run.
[00:08:19] And so when I'm in that January through June timeframe, I'm trying to. Max out all of those. And for us specifically, uh, the pull-ups is going to be 23. pull-ups gets you max points. A 4:22 plank gives you max points and an 18 minute, three mile gives you max points. Uh, being me I've, I've always considered myself a sprinter in, so that 18 minute, three mile, uh, is something that I've not come close to, uh, being able to touch even when I do interval workouts and I train to it.
[00:08:53] Um, but for pull-ups I found that one of the most successful things for me, Is doing pyramids and I loved challenging [00:09:00] my Marines and, um, And saying, Hey, we're going to do a pyramid set. How many do you think you can get? Do you think you can get pyramids is seven and work your way up all the way back down.
[00:09:10] Do you think you can do nine and then slowly as you, you form that competition with, with your Marines, um, all of you get better. And even though you might be doing a max of seven pull-ups one-time mirror at the bar or nine pull-ups, you find out that in reality, uh, you can hop up on the bar and knock out 25 or 30.
[00:09:30] For that planks, um, are a, a pure mind game of practice. I don't think there's anybody in the world, um, who can just go and do a 4:22 plank without ever trying. And so that's just mind over matter practice, uh, My wife's awesome about, uh, at night, just doing some repetitions in, in making sure we get some practice time in for that piece.
[00:09:57] Um, and I talked about January [00:10:00] through June was the physical fitness test. The combat fitness test is from July through December in, so that one consists of amo cam presses, where you're, you're taking an ammo, can putting it below your chin and then lifting it straight above your head, arms extended. And then for my age group, I think it's 116 in two minutes is the goal.
[00:10:23] Um, and for that, it's, it's simple practice. If you have a healthy back in a healthy body, uh, it's about repetitions and doing something similar to a pyramid workout or intervals there. And then it consists of an 880, uh, meter run for time and then a maneuver under fires. What they call it where you're, you're doing a buddy lift, you're dragging a buddy,carrying amo cans, uh, doing probably stuff that.
[00:10:51] Uh, people would associate with normal Marine Corps training and for the eight 80, I think the best thing that I've learned, I was talking to an old mentor of mine. I [00:11:00] asked him, Hey, sir, how'd you, how'd you do that? Like you just smoked a bunch of 18 year olds and you're 40 something years old. And he said, yup.
[00:11:09] It's because of practice it out. And for the last three months on a treadmill. And so from him, I learned, uh, the, you can go. To the treadmill and just two intervals, you know, sprint the half mile, um, slowed down and jog for a quarter mile sprint quarter mile jog for half mile. And you, you just put intervals together and slowly build up your speed.
[00:11:29] So kind of all in summary, the, the thing for me at, at this point in life is trained to a standard and then just try to hit that specific piece.
[00:11:40] Dave: [00:11:40] Yeah, I love that. And the repetition is where people miss the Mark. Sometimes they think they're putting in enough work and it's like, it really comes down to it in some like that. And a lot of things people have is it's like, are you putting reps in and putting quality reps in and those adding up over time.
[00:11:54] But like you said, that that kind of hinges on the fact of having a healthy back, [00:12:00] having healthy joints. Did you ever run into times where you couldn't train, you couldn't put in the reps because of, because of some of these chronic issues.
[00:12:09] Riley: [00:12:09] Absolutely. And that's the hard thing, um, is coming to the factory. You accept it. Uh, you're not going to be able to max something out because that's not where your body's at. And for me, I had a really humbling experience last year, when we talked about the ammo can lifts, you know, that's, that's pretty straight forward.
[00:12:28] It's a 35 pound weight. You can say the equivalent of 35 pound Dumbo that you just got to press. And oddly enough, every time that I was training it, wasn't my shoulders that gave out it wasn't my chest. It wasn't my. My upper back. It was my lower back that couldn't take the weight bending back and lifting up.
[00:12:49] And so for the first time, my Marine Corps career, I had to come to grips with the fact that, Hey, it's just not in the cards. You know, at this point in time, your [00:13:00] back strengthen your backs, health is going to be more important than you trying to get a Max set. So it's do something where you can keep that, that core.
[00:13:09] Uh, safe and stable. Um, and once your core starts giving out and you're lean and on the joints back there is when it's time to cut it off and let it be. Um, so that's one of the most recent experiences where I've had to realize that, Hey, the body has limits. You're not going to make it. You're not going to be able to do it.
[00:13:29] Dave: [00:13:29] did you run into that with any training leading up to, or is that just for the actual actual testing you ran into it. Where was the, was the barrier? Just not being able to get enough reps in for it.
[00:13:40] Riley: [00:13:40] Yeah, so great question in the training, I would do it in an interval workout. So I, I knew that, um, if I put too much stress, I'm not going to be able to knock out the 118. Um, so I would knock out repetitions of like 60 or 70 or 80. And then I'd take a break, but over [00:14:00] the course of a workout, you know, five times 80 math in public, right.
[00:14:04] 400, I think, hopefully I'm right on that. So my thought was I'm doing more repetitions than I should come game day, even though it's spread out over more time, I should be good. Uh, but when game day hit reality sets in the adrenaline pump that I thought would allow me to do more. Didn't quite work out.
[00:14:25] Dave: [00:14:25] How do you deal with the energy you're talking about? Being okay. Not maxing something out. How do you deal with having the humility around that too? Because especially, you know, I think, I think a lot of guys run into this, even at the gym, you look around you're, you're seeing someone bench benching a little more and you're like, okay, I sizing each other up.
[00:14:43] And even in those kind of low settings, and when we talk something like the Marines and I'm sure there's plenty of sizing up and competition and, you know, uh, con competitive attitudes there that, that try and win. How do you, like, how was it for you? Trying to find that humility and be like, okay, I don't need to, I [00:15:00] could put my pride aside.
[00:15:01] I don't need to beat these guys because of this issue of playing that long-term game.
[00:15:07] Riley: [00:15:07] Yeah, I think I'm still trying to figure out how the humility piece works in, in regards to everything. So part of me always wants to win. And what I found out was I just got to find what I'm good at. And. And train to challenge people on those specific things. And so I'll give you an example of that. Um, we have this thing called the obstacle course and I challenged some guys cause I consider myself a pretty good sprinter and I I've done this through officer candidate school and I've done it through the basic officer training course.
[00:15:43] And I know I'm pretty fast when it comes to the obstacle course. I can't do the three mile run, but I can do the obstacle course. Right. Um, and so I challenged my brains. I was like, all right. Fastest guy up here. Um, and they put this corporal up. Who's I think 21 years old. They're like, [00:16:00] all right, he's our fastest guy.
[00:16:01] Is that okay? All right. We're going to race and see who gets the best. And we go out, we get about 60% of the way through and I've got. Uh, uh, decently, like I am cruising and not to mention that I've gotten through the hard part of the course I've gotten through the technical part of the course. What I've got in front of me now is just hop it over some logs, um, and then climbing a rope real basic, real easy I'm thinking it would be great as it comes to that log.
[00:16:30] The first log that I've got to hop that's about chest high by legs. My mind says jump and my legs say you already burnt yourself out. And I just ended up hugging in that log and falling straight back down. And even worse, I hop up and I go to do it again. And my mind says you got this. And my, my legs say, Nope, not in the cards, uh, came back down and it was that second one where this [00:17:00] young 21 year old, 22 year old zips on past me.
[00:17:03] Um, and I was definitely not able to catch up at that point. And in that moment, I realized that I'm not the person that I was, where I used to be able to smoke. People on that challenge and on that course, but I did realize that I can't physically outdo someone on that anymore, but I could probably, I do someone mentally.
[00:17:23] And so what I did is I started challenging people to pull up. So I said, Hey, if you can challenge me to pull ups on a Monday, we'll have a pulled competition on Friday and we'll see who wins. Undefeated and pull pull-up competition that I can plan for. Right. Because I'm open that they do something stupid.
[00:17:40] Like on Wednesday night they go and they're like, Oh, I can go beat them. Let me see how many I can knock out. And they wear selves out. Whereas Tuesday or Monday, I do my pull-up workout for the week. And then I let my body rest. And then I'm, I'm doing well in. So, um, I'd say there's still a little bit of pride left there [00:18:00] and I haven't accepted the, the humbleness of it.
[00:18:03] But what I've done is I've found a different way to be competitive based on, on a knowledge of, uh, strengths and weaknesses, I guess.
[00:18:14] Dave: [00:18:14] Yeah, that's great. Do you find, uh, How many times have you run into the, the mind wanting to push farther in the body. And if you had any consequences from that and the other ones have flare up flare ups of pain issues, flare ups of old injuries from mentally being there. And especially for, I know a lot of people listening are former athletes and people that.
[00:18:33] They still have the mind of maybe a 20 year old athlete, but the body of a 40 year old guy. And they're still trying to do the things that they were doing when they were, they were 20. And I know a lot of people suffer setbacks from that. Have you, have you run into that personally? You're seeing other guys come through that.
[00:18:49] I run into that.
[00:18:50] Riley: [00:18:50] Absolutely. So I kind of highlighted it, uh, when I talked about my bio, but I grew up playing football and baseball and in football, [00:19:00] um, I played running back and I mess up my hands, um, in, and I messed up my knees to a certain extent, but then it got aggravated by the fact that I played catcher in baseball.
[00:19:11] And so it was always up and down on my knees, tearing that cartilage, putting way more wear and tear on it. Um, Then I should have. And so now that's one of those things you and I have during the football and saying, I've got to be careful the type of sand that I throw a football on, because if it's, if it's packed and compacted, um, I'm going to be okay if not, I'm in trouble and I need to calm down.
[00:19:36] And personally I've been blessed that I haven't had an injury, um, because I've been able to realize situations like that. But I've seen guys my age a little bit older, um, something as simple as making a cut on a piece of sand, um, going for a pass in a. In a field and they just tweak something. And that's what causes long-term injury.
[00:19:59] For [00:20:00] me personally, the two biggest injuries that I have have come from the most minute actions that I never would've guessed would have injured me. Uh, the first two is, was I tore my meniscus on a ski trip. And when people hear like, Oh, I got injured on a ski trip, they picture a mountain and you're coming down and going 30, 40 miles an hour.
[00:20:22] Taking a cut in. Something happens. No, I was going from a ski lift to another ski lift. And one of my buddies just came a little too close in his ski, caught mine and he went this way and I went that way. Um, and that just ripped my, my knee as it traveled with him. And I was going another way. And so from that, that took months to recover and I never in my life would have thought that.
[00:20:51] An injury going from one ski lift to the next would be something that sidelines me for months. And it took me months to be able to go [00:21:00] upstairs without having to hold onto the handrail and worry about my knee buckling under the, without me, me expecting it. The other injury that I had. That is by far the most significant and one I deal with today, uh, is, is a back injury.
[00:21:17] And it came from something as simple as picking up a pack during the deployment. Um, and I remember the moment I picked that pack up and I had it between my legs and I was doing the test of the weight in a one to see if this was going to be. Too much weight and I could get it on my back. There was just a little bit of pop when I pulled it up.
[00:21:35] Um, I thought, man, that's weird. That was weird. Like, I didn't have anything else to say other than that's weird. And the next morning I woke up and I had to log roll out of bed. I couldn't move my back. End, completely locked up. And year I found myself 28 years old. I'm not able to get out of bed and. For the next few months sitting down was [00:22:00] the challenge.
[00:22:00] I'm now sitting down for extended periods of time on the wrong type of surface becomes a challenge. And it all ties back to a simple action of picking up a pack of gear. And so, um, that's the thing is, is trying to understand how. My body got to be this way, uh, from such small actions that man, if I just did it slightly different, maybe I'd be better off now.
[00:22:31] Dave: [00:22:31] now in your, in your awareness of your body, do you think that was the one-time small action though, at least in the case of the back, or do you think, were there any warning signs leading up to that maybe that your, your body was getting worn down or anything? Anything else going on that could, uh, could have triggered that
[00:22:47] Riley: [00:22:47] That's a great question. Nothing comes to mind, but I do know that my core was there not as strong as it should have been, and I'm sure it still isn't. And, and [00:23:00] it's something where, as you're growing, especially playing football and baseball, you know, baseball, they're talking about, you need a strong core.
[00:23:08] She can rotate in generate power through your legs and put it into the bat. And you're like, yeah, whatever, dude. I'll be okay. Um, and in football, they talk about a strong core because you want to be able to take hits and absorb hits so that it's your muscles absorbing it rather than your bones. Um, And, and you get the stability from the core.
[00:23:30] It's something that I absolutely took for granted. And if I had a recommendation to people who are younger, um, especially in their teens, um, in early twenties, mid twenties, is your core as much more important than you think? And by core, I don't mean abs. Abs are like, uh, a by-product of a lot of other things.
[00:23:50] Core strength is as you are the expert in I'm sure. Tell your listeners about, uh, it means much more than washboard ads that you can show off at the beach.
[00:24:00] [00:24:00] Dave: [00:24:00] Yeah, quick. The quick sidenote on that is absolutely correct. Where those six pack abs you're seeing are not creating a lot of the actual stability at the spine that people are, are needing for that longterm health. And there's a, if you have sets, we did, obviously I have to send one over to you, Riley, the, uh, Bulletproof, your lower back did with dr.
[00:24:18] Kennis and the Charlotte athlete is he talks all about. Back problems and in-court problems. If you guys are looking for, uh, an episode on Dave and deep into the low back stuff, that's, that's probably the one to the one to check out. But with, uh, with some of these chronic issues in general, I know you've connected it to like brief and stages of grief.
[00:24:34] Do you want to talk through a little bit on how you've kind of conceptualize that and, and your, you know, the mental barriers of, of dealing with some of the chronic pain or some of these chronic injuries?
[00:24:45] Riley: [00:24:45] Absolutely. So as I was thinking about how do I address chronic pain? Uh, the thing that kept coming to my mind, like you said, was the stages of grief where we're first, you go through denial and you think, man, I'm [00:25:00] still young. Uh, This is something that happens to old people. Surely my 28 year old, body's not old.
[00:25:06] Surely my 35 year old. Body's not old. Surely my 55 year old. Body's not old. Um, You know, I get a kick out of my parents who say, Oh, no, I don't want to do that. That's for old people. And I'm looking at my parents saying, come on people, don't you realize you're old. Uh, but what I've realized is all of us to some extent, have a denial about where our body physically is at, in.
[00:25:32] And I say all of us, maybe, maybe I'm the only guy, but I assume there's more people, um, who just don't admit that they can't do what they used to do when they were 16, 18 years old and they try it and then they end up being the guys on the sand with a blown out knee. Uh, so that's my thought on denial, um, anger being the second stage of, of grief.
[00:25:56] Um, You know, you get frustrated [00:26:00] because he can't do what you once did. And you start blaming your younger self saying for me, man, why was my 16 year old self playing catcher and not taking care of myself, not strengthening my core, not looking out for my knees, not doing the actions that I needed to do.
[00:26:17] Um, you start blaming bad decisions, man. I shouldn't have gone on that ski trip. Oh gosh. I should have stayed further away from people. Um, And then you start blaming people that are trying to help you recover. You, you start blaming the doc, just doesn't understand that you can still do what you once did, but you need some time to recover and they need to stop telling you, you can't do something and start telling you how to work in and be 18 year old again.
[00:26:44] And so that angers is presented on to other people, uh, through that. The next stage being bargaining. And this is, this is one where I don't know if I've completely come out of the bargaining phase, uh, in with the stages. You, you hit all of them at [00:27:00] different times. It's not like it's a, it's a flow through process.
[00:27:03] You have little glimmers of all of them sometimes somewhere. But, uh, for me, I remember thinking, all right, after I blew out my back, I thought. Okay, this is okay. Instead of lifting weights, I'm going to do triathlons instead. And I started swimming because my wife is a fantastic swimmer and swimming is great like that, that works so many different muscles of your body.
[00:27:26] And it develops you in such a different way. Talk about that core strength as well. Uh, but then we hop on the bike and I found myself spending three hours on a bike. Well, that's a terrible decision when you've got low back problems to, because you're sitting on a tiny little piece of, of, uh, support and all the weight is running through your back and channeled onto this spot where you have a problem.
[00:27:50] And so my bargaining ended up turning into causing more pain because what was a great two, three hour bike ride in training, turned out to be a week's worth of [00:28:00] trying to recover and just be able to sit down later on in the week. Um, The next stage of grief is, is depression. Um, and for me, that manifested itself, um, when you think, man, I'm 30 years old and I can't sit down for more than 20 minutes, I can't.
[00:28:20] You know, stand up and not pace around. I'm always moving my joints. I'm always popping things in my back. Um, and you started to think, what does this look like 30 years from now? Can, can I take this pain and multiply to my sixty year old self and be fine? Um, and you start getting depressed because. That quality of life is not sustainable.
[00:28:44] It's it's just miserable. That's no way to live. I don't think that's how God intended us to live. And so, um, it's just rough to get to that spot. And then finally you get to acceptance and the thing I'll highlight with [00:29:00] acceptances, no one's ever going to care more about your body than yourself. And also, no, one's going to know your body better than you.
[00:29:07] So really the responsibility lies on you. Uh, to find something that meets your goals. And when we tie this back to what I mentioned earlier about pride, um, you gotta meet goals that are realistic. You got to make goals that that are for yourself. And for me, that means I can't necessarily go ride the bike on distances.
[00:29:33] I can't lift weights. I'm not going to have the chiseled body that I want. Um, A good workout for me some days is probably going to be stretching or rolling out muscles. We're using, um, the percussion, a hammer that's where I'm at in life. And so acceptances is understanding that, um, the workout that you wish you had, the lifestyle that you wish you [00:30:00] had may not necessarily be for you.
[00:30:02] Um, But that's okay. And I'll, I'll be the first to admit, I don't even think I'm at the acceptance phase yet. I think I'm still somewhere in the bargaining phase, um, and the denial phase. But, um, I have my moments where I realized that, Hey, it's just not for me. Uh, I gotta look at something and hope that one day, maybe I've got the health where I can do other things.
[00:30:27] Dave: [00:30:27] no, I appreciate you sharing that. And I was going to ask which, which phase was the hardest to, to get out of bargaining and denial seem to be the ones that you,
[00:30:34] you bounce
[00:30:34] Riley: [00:30:34] in denial. Yeah, absolutely.
[00:30:37] Dave: [00:30:37] Acceptance is so huge though. And I know you've probably gotten glimpses of it. I know it's, I guess it's probably hard to, again, these are fluid stages that you move in and out of, it's not like they're fixed things that you don't go back and forth on.
[00:30:50] It's not like you reach acceptance and then you're, you're cured and you're, you're, you're never dealing with those same struggles, but you know, like you said, I love those points. You made about finding goals that are specific to [00:31:00] yourself, finding what works modifying things. Because so many people that I work with.
[00:31:06] They, if they don't have that acceptance and they're still in that, well, I'm going to push myself and then they pay the consequences for two, three weeks for one workout. And then. They finally work up there and they do another workout and there's, it's this constant cycle of these setbacks and these pushing things.
[00:31:20] And it becomes a point of like, is there, is it really worth it to, to push like that? Is it really worth it? If it causes that setback for us having again, we come back to humility and, and having the ability to say my body's feeling kind of tight. I've been sitting a lot today. I probably shouldn't go crush a hard workout.
[00:31:36] My body might need just a little bit of stretching and a walk or, you know, some light cardio or something, but that's, that's hard for people to get to. And do you have any, like check-ins, you're using mentally or any things that you're doing to determine when, to, you know, when to work out harder or when to, you know, do more of that stretching rolling?
[00:31:55] Or is it more a schedule based, I guess if you have that already programmed in.
[00:32:01] [00:32:00] Riley: [00:32:01] It's all about how I've wake up feeling in the morning. And, you know, I always go to bed with a goal in, so sampled today, my goal was to go do my sprint workout training for that combat fitness test that I mentioned. So I was planning on hopping on a treadmill, uh, but I woke up with a real bad knot in my back.
[00:32:18] So congratulations, Riley, you're doing yoga this morning. Um, and so for me, it's just waking up with the understanding of, of. Hey, I'm going to be adaptable, always go in with a plan, because if you don't have a plan, you're going to wake up in the morning and you're probably not going to want to do it. Or if you're an afternoon workout guy, there's always going to be another thing that that takes precedence.
[00:32:41] So always have a plan. Um, but if you get your routines down, Uh, it's easy to adjust it and modify it to something that fits where you're at in that phase in life. And then, and then having someone that you can just check up on you, my wife, he's fantastic about saying, Hey, you're running a [00:33:00] little too much or you're getting up slow or, uh, I can tell it something's different.
[00:33:05] Um, and you're like, Oh yeah, I've been trying to ignore that all day. Maybe I should not be ignoring that. Maybe I should take an action to help heal from that.
[00:33:15] Dave: [00:33:15] Accountability is a powerful thing. And sometimes we need that to get out of our, our own heads or are we easily downplay that? Oh yeah. Maybe this is a bigger deal than, than I thought it is.
[00:33:25] Riley: [00:33:25] absolutely a good accountability is, is fantastic. So I hope everyone can, you know, whether it's a spouse or friend, uh, that one person, you can look at him and say, Hey, I see something's off. Let's talk about it.
[00:33:37] Dave: [00:33:37] Mm. Do you have any other areas you're, you're using, you know, other areas of life you're using to focus on or other things you're, you're spending more time on because of this, because I know, you know, I've had, I wouldn't say maybe chronic injuries, but, but things that have come up that have put me out of training for sometimes weeks at a time, sometimes you on the long end, uh, You know, six weeks or so, so nothing [00:34:00] real long-term, but at the same time, those were always opportunities that I use to like, Hey, I should probably clean up my nutrition a little bit.
[00:34:07] I should probably spend some more time sleeping and relaxing. You're managing stress. Are you, are there any things you're working towards in place of the physical fitness? Because a lot of people, when they lose that. Like we said, it can be an identity thing. It can be something that's hard when people are so used to being that guy that works out every day.
[00:34:23] And then you have to fill that with something. And I think if we're not filling it with something productive, we could, you know, fill it with something that can actually be harmful. Are you intentionally focused on anything with less time, maybe less energy put towards training?
[00:34:38] Riley: [00:34:38] Yeah in. My wife, given her background in occupational therapy, she had a phrase that really stuck with me and she says, focus on health and wellness. And so, uh, most of us say like, I want to be physically fit, but you know, if I, I had to pick two things, if I could be [00:35:00] healthy, And well, I think I'd be good in, and so I look at health and wellness is, is this huge bubble that they comprise so many things from, as you said, it's, it's nutrition, it's exercise and exercise could be walking, you know, um, it's stretching.
[00:35:20] It's, uh, Exercises such as yoga, uh, chiropractor, getting sunlight. I think for me personally, I can feel that I need sunlight and it says, especially the struggle in the winter. Um, so there's, there's all this stuff. Chiropractic care, physical therapy, dry needling, um, the percussion gun. And so when you look at all those things, there's so many things that you can supplement.
[00:35:49] To yourself, even if you're not getting that workout. So if you're the afternoon workout person, you're like you take a break from work or a late lunch, whatever it may be. Uh, you [00:36:00] can still go for a walk and you knock out the exercise and the sunlight piece. And, um, I think that's what I've learned is, is there's always some kind of health or wellness activity that you can supplement into.
[00:36:13] What was once physical fitness.
[00:36:16] Dave: [00:36:16] I love that. I think people need to need to hear that because when fitness gets taken away, people just assume, it's like, well, I can no longer be healthy, but healthy and fitness are two totally different things. Fitness is a big piece of that, but there's a lot more to being healthy than just being fit.
[00:36:32] And all those things you mentioned are, are great. And you know, with sunlight, man, I think you just got to come back to San Diego at some point to get a little more sun in the winter time.
[00:36:42] Riley: [00:36:42] I hope so fully. We'll see what the Marine Corps has in store for a couple of years from now, but you won't find me complaining about the sunshine.
[00:36:50] Dave: [00:36:50] of course. And a question I wanted to get to on this too. How, how has your faith been strengthened? What's what's God teaching you in this, in this season? Cause it's, you know, there's a lot of, like we said, there's identity things. [00:37:00] There's, you know, being a Marine and having chronic pain and not being able to compete the way you want.
[00:37:04] It probably has. Its has its challenges and as well as just like you said, sitting for a long time, Doing that with your family, with like hobbies, things that are all affected. So what's, you know, what's God teaching you through this.
[00:37:17] Riley: [00:37:17] Yeah, God has taught me to just swallow my pride and admit that I'm not able to do everything that I want to do and everything that I think I can do. Um, And that's been hard that I've hit on that a couple of times just in our conversation, but it's, it's really a struggle to realize that number one, I might not think I'm old, but I'm old compared to somebody in my body's having trouble.
[00:37:42] Um, so that's, that's a big change there. The second thing that I think God has taught me is, um, Even in my pain, I can count on him for support. And in fact, the pain can be my, my ability to prove Reliance's necessary. And [00:38:00] I consider myself to be pretty stubborn. A wife would probably agree with you on that.
[00:38:04] Um, but that, there's a lot of things where God has to break me in. I I've used the term break very purposely because I feel like. Uh, Unless I'm broken. I don't understand the purpose that he's trying to tell me or I don't get the signal. Um, I can't get a little nudge and understand what he's trying to tell me.
[00:38:26] Um, and so I look at injuries and opportunity to focus on the need, and there's a passage that stuck out to me since I injured my back on deployment. And I was just reading, um, Literally on my belly, because during that phase in life for several months, I couldn't sit down. And so I was on my belly doing my morning devotional and in second Corinthians 12, seven through 10, and I'll just read, uh, That passage.
[00:39:00] [00:38:59] Uh, so it says, therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me three times. I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me, but he said to me, my grace is sufficient for you for my power's made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ's power may rest upon me.
[00:39:21] That is why for Christ's sake. I delight in weaknesses in insults, in hardships and persecutions in difficulties for when I am weak, then I am strong and I ended up memorizing that passage, um, on deployment. And as I would walk from one location to the next, and there was, uh, you know, the feeling of pain is something that is.
[00:39:46] Come out and supporting me in a lot of biblical professional scholars would, would debate about what is Paul talking about? What is he getting at here? Um, but for me, [00:40:00] Well, whatever thorn in his side is in that's, what's debated, uh, the fact that he says, you know, God's speaking by grace is sufficient for you for my power is made perfect in weakness.
[00:40:12] I think we can all look at that piece and agree and say, that's a fact, you know, God's power is made perfect for weak people, and you can see that historically through the Bible. Um, So that's the biggest thing is, is when I'm hurting, it's a reminder that there's still a God and that he gave me a body. and it's my job to take care of it.
[00:40:33] And one day, uh, eventually I'll get an eternal body. That's something to look forward. Sure.
[00:40:40] Dave: [00:40:40] I love that man, so well said, and I appreciate you sharing that. And, uh, as we start to wrap up here, there's I kind of want to I'm of on the fly here, changing this, this one of the last questions a little bit. We, we talk about on the show a lot about vulnerability as men and how. You know, on the outside, there's always these appearances of having an altogether.
[00:40:58] And we look at the [00:41:00] outside at happy looking marriage, happy looking families, happy looking careers, healthy, external bodies and things that, you know, give the appearance of success and give the appearance of maybe a easier, comfortable life. But, uh, we know there's a lot of, you know, Challenges and a lot of vulnerabilities that don't get shown on the surface and that guys are especially guys.
[00:41:22] And man, I'm talking to a Marine here, so I know how much more, how much even more it is to probably show emotion and to show vulnerability and show weakness, these same things you're talking about. But what other times in your life you talk about this and I love how you said it, that like. When God breaks you down to, to be able to hear his voice.
[00:41:41] And sometimes in our, in our comfortable lives, if we stay in our, if we stay in our comfort and we stay in our shelves, we don't, we don't give God the opportunity to talk to us. Are there any other times you can think of where you've been, you know, used that word, broken, or God's broken you down.
[00:41:57] That's allowed you to hear [00:42:00] his voice clear and other lessons or growth you've had from that.
[00:42:03]Riley: [00:42:03] yeah, absolutely. The most recent challenge that I can think of that qualifies under that is just getting stationed where I'm, I'm currently at my current job. Um, I had really high hopes that I would be doing something different for this assignment and I. In my pride thought it was all because I was so good.
[00:42:27] And I told God, I was like, Oh God, you want me to get this job because I can do X, Y, and Z for you. If you get me this job. Um, and I worked hard and I worked a long time for it. And I studied and I did my preparation and. I was so convinced that because of my good actions, God would be able to use me for something.
[00:42:51] And in hindsight, it's one of those things where you look back on it and you just, I don't know what to do, but laugh at myself and say, [00:43:00] You know, that was a of understanding. Um, I had the wrong heart going into it. I had the wrong mentality. And in reality, when I look back and see where God has put me now, he's got a purpose for why I'm here and it's bigger and better than anything that I could ever do.
[00:43:18] And now one little piece of it is due to the work that I've done or, um, What I think is my success. Uh, it's due to him giving me gifts, um, so that I can benefit him through that. And so that's the most recent example I would, would you say answer that is, is God broke me in the sense that I think I had everything right.
[00:43:44] For something and he clearly had another plan.
[00:43:49] Dave: [00:43:49] Yeah, things can be hard to swallow. It's uh, like we said, our pride gets in the way and it's, uh, it's tough. And I appreciate your vulnerability with that too. Just, you know, it's, [00:44:00] it's a lot easier in hindsight to see it, but going through, I know going through that is not. Is not an easy task once you're right in the thick of it.
[00:44:07] And for people that are going through that is a much different story.
[00:44:11] Riley: [00:44:11] Yeah, it's always. It's it's always good to be on the back end of it. And look back and understand it. But, uh, I'm stubborn. And as I'm going through it, I think I got it all figured out.
[00:44:25] Dave: [00:44:25] Yeah, we, uh, we always have it all figured out until we realize that we don't. That was good, man. It's been so much fun. Uh, got one more hypothetical question to ask you. I've prepped you for this one. This one, we ask all our guests, you got 60 seconds. You run into younger Riley. So Riley, 10 years back and you're, you know, you're leaving, you're leaving work.
[00:44:46] You you're on your way to. A full day of work. You can't miss it. You only got 60 seconds to talk with him. He's asking for some life advice, looking for some guidance. What are you saying to them? What advice are you giving to them?
[00:44:57] Riley: [00:44:57] Yeah. So I'm glad you gave me the heads up [00:45:00] on this because I really hope this happens one day and I'll actually be prepared, but, uh, I tell myself three things. So number one, the path in front of you, isn't easy, but it's worth it. So just embrace the challenges, uh, because they make you stronger in the long run.
[00:45:13] Number two, focus on relationship, everything else fades away. Relationships carry on into eternity and number three, lighten up. Don't worry so much about whether it's expected of you, how they perceive you or what they want you to do. Just have fun, enjoy the adventure and go on an adventure. Yeah.
[00:45:33] Dave: [00:45:33] Yeah, I love those. And I do hope it happens because you'll be, you'll be locked and loaded. You'll be prepared for it. And like I said, I appreciate you coming out and spend a lot of fun. I know you're not a social media guy, but if someone is. Say, dealing with chronic pain. If someone is, you know, just like over some encouragement, any way people can reach out to you.
[00:45:50] I know you're a, you're a ghost on social media. So any place people can contact you if they need some encouragement.
[00:45:56] Riley: [00:45:56] yeah, sorry. I'm so old school. It's just too much for me to [00:46:00] manage, but you can reach me by email. And, uh, I feel like I'm my parents' thing that, but, uh, email it's [email protected]
[00:46:14] Dave: [00:46:14] that's great, man. Appreciate the wisdom. Appreciate you sharing all that. It's been a lot of fun. Good, good, good to connect. And uh, I know people listening will, or at least get some encouragement from it and knowing that they can, uh, they can keep pushing through on these things. So thanks for sharing with that.
[00:46:29] Riley: [00:46:29] That sounds good, brother. Thanks.
[00:46:31]Dave: [00:46:31] Thanks so much for listening to today's episode of the man-made for more podcasts, hope you found today's show valuable, and you have some actionable strategies you can apply to your life today. This is your first time listening. Thanks for being here. The aim of this podcast is to provide a ton of the best possible content to help you grow in your journey, to becoming the best version of yourself.
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[00:47:28] Keep challenging yourself growing and know that it's okay to get out of your comfort zone and know that you're made for more. Thanks for listening and see you guys soon.
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