A Healthy 2021
A Personal Message from a not-so-healthy Doctor
I’m Doctor Mark. I own Rebound Sport and Spine; a clinic that features chiropractic, physiotherapy, registered massage therapy, and kinesiology. I am a father to two amazing sons and husband to a fabulous (and very understanding) wife! I am the team Doctor for a few local football clubs, local hockey clubs and run a concussion program for numerous sports programs in our area, I’m a very busy guy! But it’s time to get healthy in 2021.
Challenges of COVID-19
There is no doubt that the pandemic has been challenging for everyone. I am no exception. We decided to voluntarily shut down our clinic on March 16, 2020, due to COVID19.
I felt awful for my staff who would no longer have employment or a place to work. I worried about how they would pay their bills, mortgages, loans, etc. I felt responsible like I was letting them down. I also worried about the same for myself and for my business. Would Rebound Sport and Spine have a future?
Through sleepless nights, I prepared for the worst. The sleepless nights brought on exhaustion through the days. Through balancing trying to entertain two young boys while answering phone calls, emails, and staff meetings, the exhaustion became overwhelming. I was ready to give up. I was willing to give up. The stress and pressure were overwhelming. However, I had no choice; I had to continue on.
We reopened the clinic in June 2020. Since opening, we have had the great fortune to be very busy. I have been very busy. Between putting in extra hours helping staff, putting together and introducing COVID and safety protocols for staff and patients, working extra hours to accommodate all the extra tasks, there wasn’t a lot of time left to eat lunch or dinner, let alone take care of myself.
Through the subsequent months, I became a shadow of myself. I was not a good parent, I was not a good partner for my (very understanding) wife, I was not a good leader for my staff. There was too much to juggle. I was letting everyone down. Worst of all, there was no time for me. No time to take care of myself.
In September 2020, I was noticeably unhealthy. I had lost over 20lb from the pressure and the stress. I weighed an unhealthy 148lb, something I hadn’t weighed since early high school. This was a result of not eating enough throughout the day and an utter lack of activity. This was due to increased stress levels and poor time management. Things were pretty dark for me both mentally and physically.
Later on, in September, a friend of mine who I hadn’t seen since 2004 stopped by the clinic to get some treatment for back pain. I gave him a tour of the facility and showed him our amazing fitness and rehabilitation space. He said; “You are so lucky that during a time like this, you have a facility you can workout in.” I told him that I was too busy to get a chance to use the facility. He said to me; “You look awful like you haven’t slept or eaten in months.” Then he hit me with something that changed everything…He said; “If you are a Doctor who sells health, you may want to start investing in your own health (so you look the part)”.
It was at that point that I realized how unhealthy I had become; how ugly things had gotten for me. He made me realize that all the people who look up to me as a Doctor; my staff, my patients, and probably most importantly, my family were suffering due to my own poor health choices.
A healthy 2021 momentum
In October 2020, I dedicated 3 days per week for fitness. My amazing staff, blocked off time for lunch and dinner in my schedule (and made sure I was taking breaks to eat) I thought to myself; “I have no excuse not to spend 30 min per day to do some physical activity…and I have the facility to do it in!” Days remained very busy for me, but I made it a priority to find time to workout. Some days were so busy, I would not get to a workout until 10p at night, but the thoughts rolled through my head; “It’s only 30 minutes, you can be out of here by 1030p if you get to it now!”
Once I got the ball rolling, I started enjoying my workouts again! 30 minutes to myself. 30 minutes where everything disappeared except for the music in my headphones and the weights in front of me. NO EXCUSES! GET IT DONE!
At the end of October, I was doing so well and feeling so good that I made it mandatory for myself to do a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. Now I want to keep this momentum going for a healthy 2021.
The benefits of physical activity
With the increase in physical activity, things have gotten so much better for me. I sleep better, I am eating more (and healthier), I feel better through the day! I am a better leader for my amazing staff. Most importantly, I am a better father to my kids and partner to my wife. Things have been going so well, I have motivated my wife and kids to join me! We make it mandatory family time now to do activities together every weekend. It’s pretty cool when I can bring my kids to the gym and they do workouts with me. In fact, I’ve had them put together “workouts” (more like obstacle courses) and run through with them and have found it to be more challenging than some of my workouts!
If you have read this far, I hope that it has hit a chord with you. The moral of all of this: Take 30 minutes for yourself per day. There is no excuse. There are 23.5 other hours to do whatever you want with but make sure you take care of your health. Everyone will thank you for it.
Today is my 100th day where I have done 30 minutes or more of activity. I am incredibly proud of what I have accomplished in the past 100 days. I see no sign of this stopping.
I’m committed to my health and being the best I can be.
Dr. Mark Malowney D.C., B.Sc., CSCS