A couple years ago (almost 9 now) I blew out my right AC joint while mountain biking with Jordan. Actually, I didn’t blow it out while cycling, it was the crash landing and sudden stop that caused my pain. Remember this truth, most deep pain is gonna come to a head – suddenly…

My physical therapist, Eric, worked really hard to get my shoulder back in working order. We worked together 3 times a week for months. He was a pain in the shoulder to work with too. He wouldn’t let me have my way. In fact, he flat out refused to give me what I wanted. Over and over I asked him for more work in between our physical therapy and he smiled and refused. Regardless my approach, he could not be moved. He simply would not give me more than 3 stretches to practice in between our sessions. I begged for more, thinking if 3 is good, 4 or 5 must be better. I was certain that I was right.

As my PT time wound down and my shoulder improving, I pushed him to tell me “why” he wouldn’t give me more. Eric began by explaining he had read a study that proved that 3 was the magic number. Something about 4 or more caused people to become overwhelmed. The study showed that once we’re overwhelmed, we stop. We don’t even perform stretch 1, much less number 2 and number 3. We simply STOP. His research with his clients had led him to the same conclusions. Stop at three. And so he did.

As you enjoy your week at work and life, remember not to overwhelm yourself with too many good stretches, literally and figuratively. Think 1 or 2 and maybe 3. Stretch. Get out of your comfort zone. Reach. Embrace the pain and chosen suffering. Stop short of overwhelming yourself and those around you. You see, deep pain comes on suddenly for most. The long climb out of your hole can only be accomplished one baby step at a time. Today, nearly nine years later, my shoulder and AC joint feel better than ever. The time with Eric was a good start. The continued push in the 3PP with Grappy, downer, jmo, pj, Blondie, Stud, Brett, and slo have continued the healing and strengthening. Together we improve – so long as we learn to stop at three. Good…

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