Posted by: Steve Aune | January 9, 2019

Jan 9, is your new year resolution over?

It is Jan 9, 2019.  I am willing to bet that at least on of your new year resolutions or even a habit goal for 2019 has faltered.  Be honest.

I had one of mine falter.  We made a family goal to jump rope 10 minutes a day for 365 days.  6 days in and I get the flu.  There was no way I could or should jump rope with the kind of flu I had.  And you know what?  I don’t feel bad about missing my 3 days of jumping.  I am healthy again and back in the saddle.  I will do what I can to jump rope everyday this year.  My guess is that by doing it for that many days for that long of a time period, it will become a natural part of my daily routine, just like regular exercise already is.

The bottom line is don’t feel bad for dropping the ball, don’t beat yourself up over missing a day or two.  Get back in saddle.  Get refocused.  Get motivated to prove to yourself that you can do it.  Get clear on why you wanted to do it in the first place.

What is the key to keeping on track of your goals or new resolutions?

This is going to suck, so get ready…

Write them down daily.

journaling

That is it.  If you take the time to write your goals out daily, then establish goals for the day to work towards your bigger goals.  If it is a resolution or habit based goal, write that out and then do it NOW.  I heard on a podcast recently where the person said if I could buy everyone a watch I would change out the face on them and just have it read “NOW”.  I thought that was amazing.  If your goals are attainment based, you need to write that out and also include what you are going to do to get you closer to it each day.

I do this as a part of my daily journaling.  Reach out to me if you’d like a copy of my journaling docs and instructions.  ninsuranceninja@gmail.com

There you have it.  No secret sauce, no special gimmicks.  Just write it down and do it NOW!

To your HEALTH & ABUNDANCE,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

 

Posted by: Steve Aune | January 2, 2019

New Year, New Me, my road to recovery update.

So it’s been a while since I last posted on my rehab progress for my neck and back.  Most specifically my neck.

I am back to training again which has been amazing for my faith in healing.  I got turned on to Dr Joe Dispenza and his meditation techniques around healing your body and I can tell you from experience that it works.  His techniques literally teach you how to tell your body’s cells to regenerate healthy tissue, discs, bone, etc.  It is something else.

I have been doing a bible study on fear and faith and that has been tremendously helpful.  I pray multiple times a day.

I take my NRF1 and NRF 2  daily as I really feel that they are helping.

Having said all of that, it is not easy.  You have to be diligent.  You have to have patience.  You have to have faith and belief that it will work and that it is working.  You will be tested again and again to see if you really believe.  You will have to fight through those  thoughts and focus and new thoughts, ones that are constructive in nature and will help you build a better you.

One thing I am really clear on now is that what got me to where I am today will not take me to where I want to go.  Use your income for example:  Look at how much money you made 5 years ago or 10 years ago and then look at how much you make today.  If you want to make substantially more in the next 5 years or 10 years then you have to do something different than you are today in order to get there.  You could just keep doing what you are doing and you may see some gradual increases, however to make substantial change you will need to become someone better.  You will have to do things differently.  You will have to get out of your comfort zone.

By getting out of your comfort zone you will create some short term stress.  The key there is short term.  Long term stress or stress all day is not healthy.  Stress will deteriorate you and your body.  Stress is the ultimate evil when not in check and when it is not used in the short term.  Stress in the short term is healthy.  It gets your endorphins going and it creates energy.  That energy can be healthy.

biggest fear4

You have to learn to have fun with the unknown.  As soon as you notice that you are hesitant or a little uncertain about doing something, notice that and that is where the game begins.  You have to take the step to get through that feeling in order to create a new reality.  Your current set of beliefs, habits, & thinking have created your current personality and your current reality.  You have to create a new personal reality in order to change your current reality.  There is not other way around it.

I have been a victim of my own self sabotage for years.  Not in all areas of my life, but in some key areas.  My conscious mind was telling me I can do it, however my subconscious programming was sabotaging my effort and causing me to experience something to avoid doing it.  Everyday you have over 80,000 thoughts and 90% of them are the same everyday.  You are programmed.  5% of your thinking in your conscious mind and the other 95% is your subconscious mind.  That means that your subconscious mind rules the roost.  In order for you to change that programming you have to through the steps to change your programming.  You get that through the experiences you have and the emotion attached to them.

I am now empowered to think about what I think about.  I notice when I am about to do something new or unfamiliar how my body reacts.  Then I do it anyway to give me a new association with that thing and create a new feeling associated with it.

Stress is a big one.  Think about what is causing you stress.  Write it down.  Why does it stress you out?  By writing down the negative thought or feeling you have, then you can acknowledge it when it happens again and choose to push it aside and insert a new thought or feeling.  Is it really something to be stressed out about or are you thinking in scarcity?  Focus on abundance.  Work for abundance.  Strive for abundance.  Give in abundance.  Share in abundance.  Breathe in abundance:)

My neck has been doing really well.  I starting doing pull ups again, running our obstacle course in the basement.  I am not ready for clapping pull-ups or the salmon ladder, however I am getting close.  I am getting stronger and stronger daily.  My discs are regenerating, I can feel it.  I believe it.  I journal daily.  I follow my top 10 list of things to do daily.  I am getting better.

NinsuranceninjaIMG_2511

I feel for so many people out there who are suffering from some sort of pain in their body.  I know that some of that is real, there can be real damage done.  I also know that everything is made up of 99.997% energy, so if that is the case, why can’t your cells, which are the energy, be told to do something different than they have been doing?

It is pretty cool when you think about it.

That is all for now.

To your good health & plenty of abundance!

Steve Aune

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

Long title to a short story.  March 31st is the day that I thought I pulled a muscle in my neck while working out.  This particular neck muscle pull was a relatively frequent one that would happen about 1-2 times per year, sometimes it would bother me for about a week or so limiting my head rotation and shoulder movement.  I remember about 10 years ago, Dustin Barton, Chiropractor friend of mine who was working on me for maintenance and after some testing he asked me what I had been doing differently?  I said I was riding a lot of road bike at the time.  He said, “it is showing in the test as you can a lot of inflammation in your neck.”

Could that have been a foreshadowing of what was happening and could I have addressed this degeneration and compression issue a long time ago to mitigate long term damage?  I believe I could have.  It always brings me back to working with competent people who will help you get and stay healthy.  They come in many shapes and sizes.  I am not a fan of the traditional Dr unless you have something going on where they are a necessity.  I prefer a natural path or herbalist.

My neck pull turned into a compressed disc or two that are affecting the nerve on the left side of my body.  After about 2 months of not finding relief, I decided to see a traditional Dr.  Needless to say I took that expert advice before talking with other natural path Dr’s.  Worst decision ever.  Why?  They only recommend what they know and can do, not what is in my best interests.  I followed his “advice”, got a steroid injection and that was the birth of this blog.  That was the worst, most painful experience in my 50 years of life and I’ve had some doozies.  The injection made everything worse for more than two weeks.  So painful at times it was like holding a match up to my left hand all day and night.

I was motivated to find another solution so I sought out other types of practitioners and supplements to help me get back to “normal”.

I have learned a lot over the past 4 months.  Too many to write in a blog post but I have posted about them in the past, so go back and read them all!  My top ten list has been the most impactful.  Couple that with the reading 10 pages a day where I would read books on meditation, breathing, self healing, etc.  Amazing things can happen.

Back to today.  I am virtually PAIN free.  I am not out of the woods yet as certain things can definitely flair things up.  I can feel the tightness in my neck and arm constantly but it does not hurt and most of the time my hand is not tingling or numb, just occasionally.

A few key supplements for me are:  LifeVantage NRF1 & NRF 2.  They help restore your mitochondria so your body can heal and perform better.  Another is Curamin tablets.  These little wonder tablets are great to reduce inflammation of all kinds.  Omega 3’s, everyone should know the benefits of these.  Choose the very best sources for it, I have done the research, Nordic Naturals are highly recommended.  Pro-biotics, help keep the gut healthy.  Lastly, CBD oil.  I was really hesitant to do this as I am against HTC & Hemp.  The CBD has noticeably helped my sleeping.  I am sure it is helping in other ways as well, but I can definitely say that I get much better rest since I have been taking those.  Changing your eating habits will help too.  identifying what is causing inflammation and stress in your eating will help tremendously.

Lastly, reduce stress and anxiety.  Work your ASS OFF to reduce the stress in your life.  Physical, mental, financial, relationships, spiritual, etc.  Meditate and breathe!

You can heal your body, even disc issues.  I am living proof.  Seek out the people who will help you do it naturally vs. surgery or other.

I believe, therefore you can too!

My WHY!  At 80 years old I will be in Aspen CO, skiing on a powder day with my kids and grandkids.  4 months ago I would not have believed I’d be able to carry a gun again and hunt with my kids.  Last week we went out and had some luck.  Creating memories!

boys

To your health & Abundance!

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

 

Posted by: Steve Aune | October 15, 2018

Top 10 things to do DAILY!

Here is my top ten list:

  1. Pray, the power of prayer is amazing!  Pray for others, pray for healing, pray for strength, pray for love, pray to give, pray for forgiveness, pray for grace.
  2. Journal – Keeps me in the NOW.  Helps me focus on what I can do and what I can control.
  3. Affirmations – Present tense, I AM, personal.
  4. Visualizations – I visualize healing.  Visualize the vertebrae separating and making more room for the nerves to heal.  Visualize dominating an ANW course:)  Visualize no stress!  Harmony.
  5. Gratitude – This is part of my journaling but now more than ever I am grateful for what I do have.  When in pity party mode, just give of  yourself to others who are even less fortunate and all of the sudden your pity party goes away.  Inside of gratitude is giving: Give of yourself, your time, your talents, your being.  Give however you can.  Give without any expectation of receiving.  Give unconditionally.  You will never regret it.
  6. Nutrition- you have to eat well to live well.  Saw this quote yesterday – “You are what you eat ate”.  So basically, when you eat something you have to consider what that ate or where it was grown.  Think about that for a while.  Let it sink in.  Think about all of the food you eat.  Where did it come from and what might it have gone through to get to your mouth.
  7. Meditate – new for me but very powerful in relaxing and reducing stress.  Like I wrote about in a previous blog, 90% of neck/back injuries are causes by tension stress and lack of oxygen in the muscles.  Meditation has been proven to help that.  Breathing properly is as or more important than nutrition.
  8. Live above the line – Be honest, live with integrity.  Be honest with yourself the most.  You are not as good as you think you are.  I know I am not.  Hire a coach and get someone to tell you what they really see vs a sugar coated version.
  9. Forgiveness- Never hold a grudge or resentment towards others as this is the ultimate in stress.  Holding onto any negativity in relationships is not good.  The biggest person to forgive is YOURSELF!
  10. Read 10 Pages of a good book a day.  Imagine if you did this for 1 year- that is 3,650 pages.  12-18 good books year.  Now do it for 10 years, 36,650 pages, 150 good books!  What would you learn?  Who would you become having read and learned and implemented.  Start a study group of like minded people that will challenge you and keep you focused on growing.  This could be a bible study as well, that would be very enlightening for you.

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

 

Posted by: Steve Aune | October 6, 2018

The Road to Recovery – 90 Days – 180 Days

Do you ever feel like you are succeeding so slowly that you think you are failing?  That is what rehab feels like.  The daily monotony of the stretching, the exercises, the mental game, it all feels like I am failing at getting better, yet I know I will succeed.  It is a long game.

I was sharing that quote with my son Ben.  The opposite of that quote is; you are failing so slowly that you think you are succeeding.  Ben asked me for examples of what that means.  Him being a runner, I used running as an analogy.

Here is scenario:  You are going to start running.  You buy some shoes, get laced up, come up with a route, not too far as you are just getting back into it.  You haven’t considered that you have not run in years and your core strength isn’t what it used to be.  You have not considered that when the core is weak it will do weird things with your running gate.  You have not had a running coach evaluate your running technique for any potential issues that could arise.  So off you go.  Things are going great for a while.  You are getting the RUNNERS HIGH!  You are losing weight and getting faster so you amp up the mileage.  Then BOOM!  You get hurt.  Most likely PLANTAR Fasciitis or something with your knees, hips, SI joint or Sciatica.

You can poll 100 runners in a room and 99% will have had an issue with one of these areas.  That is an example of failing so slowly at first that you think you are succeeding.  On the flip side:  You want to start running again  You set some goals, find a race to participate in in about 6 months.  A 5k, something short.  You partner with a strength and conditioning coach who will evaluate you for your strengths and weaknesses.  They help you put together a plan to strengthen your hips, core, etc.  You also find a running coach that will evaluate your gait, and running technique.  Then help you pick out some shoes that fit your body the best.  Finally you are off and running.  Only now you are running so slowly at first to build your aerobic base and work on your technique.  This goes on for weeks and it really feels like you are failing.  You are getting bored with it.

But your coach explains that if you ramp up your speed and mileage too soon, before you are ready from a technique perspective, then you will revert back to your old habits and possibly get hurt.   So you listen and put in the time necessary to do it right.  finally 6 months later you are ready to run a 5k race.  You may not PR or have your best race, however you feel amazing, zero aches and pains and you are excited to sign up for the next one.  You are succeeding so slowly that you think you are failing.

That is my story after I went through my low back issues.  That is my story as I work through my neck issue right now.  Things are going well with the neck and tingling/pain down my left arm.  I do still have some tingling however it is becoming less noticeable for the most part.  Definitely not out of the woods yet.

I am still taking LifeVantage NRF 1 and NRF 2.  I really like how they make me feel all day.  Energized and mental clarity.  Pretty good product thus far.  I am also taking CBD Oil and have noticed how that is helping me sleep better.  My deep sleep pattern has been longer and more consistent.  Helps me feel rested.

I had to slow down my PT, massage, etc.  The $5000 steroid injection bill, that was a complete waste of money, caught up with me and I have to do a lot of the PT and massage on my own now.  When I keep my scalene muscles loose my neck and arm feel great.

We recently traveled to Charleston, SC.  For some reason when I travel I get a little stressed out.  We are leaving the kids at home, leaving our business, and the first day is always stressful for me.  So getting up at 4am, heading the airport, making it through airport security on time and with no bomb specialists being notified(long story), we get on our flight.

That first night my neck and arm were aching.  Stress, airplane posture, walking all caught up to me.  I worked my scalenes really good that night and Friday I woke up feeling pretty good.  So Jenny and I went for a 4.5 mile run.  The run felt amazing.  Technique was good, heart rate was a little high due to me trying to keep up with Jenny.  She actually slowed way down for me.  Then the rest of the day we walked another 10 miles or so.  Lots of steps in for the day.  My neck held up well.

Saturday morning Jenny talked me into running over this really cool bridge in Charleston.  It is 2.5 miles across, plus over a mile each way to get there.  Needless to say I was nervous.  Up to this point I have not ran two days in a row, nor have I ever ran more than 5 miles.  This would be 7 with a huge hill going over the bridge.  It was raining and hot when we started.

After the first mile my calves were getting tight, so I stopped to stretch them a bit and do a little manual therapy on them.  We both thought I was done.  But I cleared my head and committed to finishing the distance.  So we kept at it.  When we got to the bridge and first hill, Jenny took off and I chased.  It is funny how your attitude changes when you are focused on something else other than yourself.  I was motivated to dominate that bridge, so I went for it.  My calf issue went away and I crushed that bridge and really enjoyed it along the way.  Made it the 7 miles, which we walked another 8 that day as well.

All in all a very successful trip.  Sunday I figured I would be really sore but I wasn’t.  I did take two full days off before running again on Tuesday.  I could feel my calves tightening again only ran 4 miles to keep it light.

My point in the whole story is find competent help to guide you in the things you are doing.  Could be your work, family, relationships, exercise, nutrition, do what is necessary to ensure you are doing it right and getting better at the right things.

To your health & abundance,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

Posted by: Steve Aune | September 22, 2018

The Road to Recovery Update – 75 days and counting

It all started with a simple muscle pull in my neck on March 31st.  I figured this would be usual process of taking a week off, getting a massage and having some acupuncture done and then I would be back it training like a warrior.

Then it got so bad that I had a hard time walking without a ton of pain in me neck and left arm.  I still figured I over did it and it would eventually go away but something was telling me I needed more in order to heal.

Fast forward to July 6th and I decided to have a steroid injection in my C7.  That turned out to be the worst decision I have made to date.  All it did was make it worse for about a month, so bad the first two weeks that I was ready to throw in the towel at times.  Not the kind of thought I wanted to have.

Throughout the process I learned a lot about myself, my body, my mind and most importantly how to ask for help.  I pray more than ever.  Jesus lives within me and wants me to heal myself.  I have the ability to heal myself, we all do if we believe it.  Our bodies are designed to withstand tremendous adversity and rebound from it.

The past 75 days or so have been a test of will, faith, persistence, determination and patience.  Writing this blog about my experience has really helped me get my thoughts on paper and acknowledge what I have been going through, especially the mental side of what I am saying to myself and what I believe to be true.

Right now my neck and arm are healing very well.  I seldom have any pain anymore, the numbness and tingling in my left arm is very light and sometimes it all feels normal.  I am still running 2-3 times per week.  This past weekend we ran the UW XC course at U Ridge.  That was pretty fun, Ben almost lapped me.  I have been doing some light lifting on my upper body, 2-3 times per week keeping it really light.  The boys and I lift legs once a week and we really get after it, so that has been great.

Everyday I do my foundation training along with some exercises for my chest, neck and back.  I also try to release my scalene muscles several times a day.  They are time consuming, boring, tedious, monotonous, and there are times when I don’t feel like doing them but I do them anyway because I know that those small seemingly insignificant exercises are powerful when they are compounded over time.  I am clear on my goals and objectives and will do what it takes to get better.  My WHY is big!

Anterior-Scalene

My nutrition has been a roller coaster.  I am a stress eater and I have been through some stress lately.  Funny how that flairs up my symptoms.  Stress is the evil of being healthy.  I have been doing a great job keeping vegetable oils out of my diet along with refined sugar.  My energy level has been great and my mental attitude has been great as well.  I attribute this to my daily routine along with proper nutrition.  The LifeVantage product I have been taking for about a month now has made an impact based on how I feel.  The product works to improve your mitochondria and improve my cellular health.

oils

A friend of mine also recommended CBD oil to help my nervous system so I am doing a 90 day test with that now too.  Funny how you get to the point of trying just about anything to find some relief.  I won’t go down the road of artificial drugs as I don’t like most of the pharmaceutical industry.  There are very few actual products that bring benefit to us, most destroy our bodies and mask the real problem.

We eat too much crap, vegetable oils & sugar, we sit on our asses far too much, we spend our time dwelling on the past and worrying about the future and that wreaks havoc on our bodies.  We think what we are doing now won’t have too big of an impact in the future because everyone is doing it.  Wrong.  Some day we are going to look back on this past 80 years or so and ask “what the heck were we thinking by allowing people to make the crap that we recommended people eat, or pop pills to mask an issue?”

We don’t take responsibility for our actions and those actions will have consequences some day.  You get to choose your actions, you don’t get to choose the consequences.

So right now if you are reading this, I say THANK YOU.  Stop and take five deep breaths breathing with your diaphragm not your chest.  Relax and breathe.  Notice what you are doing to yourself and identify where you need to make improvements.  Then make them.

To your health and abundance,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

 

Posted by: Steve Aune | September 8, 2018

The Road to Recovery, I blew up the disc in my neck…GOOD!

It has been over two months since I got the steroid injection in my neck to help reduce the inflammation in the nerve that has been affected.  It has been 5 months since all of this has started.  5 months.

I blew up the disc in my neck…GOOD.  Why would I say good?  Because there are so many blessings that can come from a setback if you look for them or take the time to notice them.  Jocko Willink does a great job explaining this in this short video clip.

The injury has given me perspective on what other people are going through and it inspired me to write this so that if anyone else is going through it, maybe we can help each other.  It has given me the opportunity to slow down and really appreciate living in the moment.  It has taught me to breathe, yup you read that right, breathe.  So many of us don’t know how to breathe properly, especially while exercising.  It has taught be about patience and persistence.  I believe that I also have a deeper appreciation for what I do have vs. what I am chasing.

Having an attitude of abundance around what happens to you and looking for the GOOD in it can be very empowering.  We don’t get to choose the results or outcomes, we only get to choose our habits, our activity, then the results or outcomes will happen.

As I reflect on my life and the choices I have made, the choices I made when I was in my late teens and early twenties are exposing themselves in a big way now.  Time exposes everything.  I have to live with abundance and accept those results because I chose to do what I did back then.  Think about it.  You can apply this to every area of your personal and professional life.  Some are negative and some are positive.  How you react to them is entirely up to you and you get to choose your attitude towards them.  You can live with abundance or scarcity.  Positivity or negativity.  Proactive or reactive.  It’s up to you.

time exposes

An update on my neck, things have been really good lately.  Occasional flair ups due to unnecessary stress that came into my life but I worked through that.  Stress is something that can really cause long term negative effects.  If you are not dealing with stress and trying to avoid it or ride it out, time will expose you.  How do you handle stress now?  For me it is food.  I love to eat when I am stressed.  Not drinking alcohol probably drove me to food as well.  But I have always been that way.  Now that I notice it, I have to create a new habit/routine when I am stressed.  Exercise is another great stress reliever.

The best way to handle stress is to talk it through with someone.  Maybe a professional, maybe not.  Some people have some issues with therapists and being labeled.  You have to get past that and do yourself a favor and seek out a competent therapist that can help you move past your issues.  We all have them and we all should get the help!

I have been running 3 days a week which is huge for me these past 5 years.  I am up to 4 miles which I have not run that far for 5 years now due to an injury of some sort.  I feel great.  My core/hips and legs are strong and feel like they are really nimble.  I have started doing daily mobility exercises to keep my joints moving and do the Cal Poly hip warm up as well.  Don’t forget that I still do my back/core warm up with Foundation Training daily as well.  The one area I don’t workout is my chest, shoulders, and no pull ups.  If I do pushups or another chest exercise, my neck flairs up and I pay for it later.

If you think you cannot run because it hurts or causes pain, I am here to tell you that you can, you just have to really want to and then put the time in to learn how to run properly, ditch the crappy shoes that most companies are making and start from scratch.  Read up on “The Natural Running Network” & “Pose Tech Running ” to learn how to run properly.  Then put in the time to do it right.  I can tell you have most of you won’t because it is new it is hard and it takes a lot of time to do this right.  But if you do, you will be able to run until you are really old with no issues.

At work I have my desk area set up with my balance disk to stand on while I stand at my desk or I sit on it while in my chair.  I stop what I am doing throughout the day to do exercises once an hour.  Air squats, yoga moves, disk squats on one leg or two legs, etc.

My daily top ten routine has been the most impactful routine I can do.  Praying multiple times a day.  Journaling, gratitude, reading.  It all adds up.  Then compound that over time and you get some positive results vs. negative.

The scalene muscles are still the one area that helps bring the most relief and I am struggling to get this one area to release.  There is a large knot in there that won’t go away.  Along with that I am getting my left shoulder/back worked on as that is the one that I separated in 2009 and it appears has not developed properly thus causing some of my issues.  I’ll keep you posted.

Nutritionally things have been well.  When I get really stressed a week ago or so I lapsed a bit but that was temporary.  I really enjoy the LifeVantage products and have noticed my energy level is awesome, along with my mental cognitive alertness.  I believe that everyone should read the book “Deep Nutrition”.  Ditch the vegetable oils at a minimum!

To your health & abundance!

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

Posted by: Steve Aune | August 24, 2018

Days 41-53, The Road to Recovery- Discipline equals results

Days 41-53, Aug 11-23rd.  You won’t take the time to put in the little extra effort to get the results you want.  You won’t do the little things that are necessary to take ordinary to extraordinary.  You won’t set aside the time to do the little things that you know you need to do in order to get your health where it needs to be, or your life for that matter.

I can tell you that it takes a tremendous amount of discipline to make change happen in your life.  I know it certainly does for me.  For something to become a habit or it happens naturally without thinking about it, you have to have a lot of willpower and discipline to get you past the temptations.  This works in your body as well as your mind.

The past four and half months have proven that to me.  The injury or degeneration I sustained is proof that you have to do the little things to stay ahead of these situations and really listen to your body and seek out competent people who will tell you want you need to hear, not what you want to hear.  I could have prevented or significantly reduced what happened had I done this.  The symptoms were there for a long time, I just didn’t listen.

So now here I am writing about my journey to get my body back into shape so that I can thrive and compete on American Ninja Warrior. Heck, I’d be happy to be able to scale across some monkey bars at this point.  Funny how that affects your attitude.  I will be back and competing though, rest assured.

Life is not about quick fixes and magic bullets.  It is about the long slow boring slog where you do the ordinary daily disciplines that will eventually turn into extraordinary results.  Do it before you HAVE TO, or NEED TO.

My daily routine is mundane, boring, and doesn’t feel like a great workout, however doing it daily and sticking to the disciplines, I now notice the difference it is making.  Two years ago I thought I’d never run again after my low back injury and I can tell you that now I run three days a week, pain free!  It is a wonderful thing.  Learning to run again, yes you read that correctly, learning to run again with proper technique can keep you injury free.  Read up on Pose Tech Running, or listen to The Natural Running Network to learn more.

Take my work environment for example.

Steve Aune desk

I utilize a stand up desk to change from sitting to standing throughout the day.  I also have a disc that I can stand on and do two legged squats and work on my glutes and stability while working, and I can also do one legged balance moves and squats to further the core development.  When I sit I sit on the disc as well.  When you first do this, it is amazing how tired your core gets from sitting on it.  The disc helps keep your posture upright and forces you to use your core.  It is the little things.

My neck continues to improve, I know it won’t happen overnight and I am prepared to work at it until…  The scalene muscles are definitely the main culprit.  Especially the posterior one.  It is inflamed and knotted up.  The relief I get from working it myself is amazing.  Finding others who know how to release them is another story all together.  I like the variety of specialties in how people do their work, so I am trying other professionals to see how they do on them and not many really know what they are doing.  So if you know someone, please send them my way.

Been doing some light lifting to get some strength back into my arm which is very humbling as I want to get after it now that I am feeling better.  The pain in my hand is gone, I do still have some tingling but it comes and goes now.  I still get some tightness in my neck but that is happening less and less as well.

I started a new supplement, Life Advantage, they have some powerful testimonials from people who have made some amazing recoveries so I thought I’d give them a try.  After about 2 weeks I have notices an increase in my energy level and I really think it is helping with my healing process.  Some of the more powerful things I have seen in the people using the products are people dealing with neuropathy and MS.  If you are going through some tough stuff and are looking for a natural way to heal, why not give it a try?

I will keep you posted on that progress as well, I am committed to 90 days to give my body time to absorb and heal.

To your health and abundance,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

Days 37-40 – Aug 11-14th.  Have faith, put in the time and effort, believe you can heal and get better, seek out competent help.  That is my mantra when it comes to my body.

Have you ever heard of the Scalene Muscles?  I am not sure that I had specifically, however as I have been going through this issue with my neck and arm, I have heard it mentioned by Matt Safarik & Heather Stokes.  I have this book called “The Trigger Point Therapy Workbook” and for some reason I have not brought it out to reference what I am going through and yesterday I decided to check it out.  Not sure why I finally decided to read it, but I think it has to do with me finding some relief the past week or so and I am getting really excited to explore more deeply into what I am discovering.

Here is a quote from the book about the Scalene Muscles “Trigger points in the scalenes cause an impressively wide distribution of pain, numbness, and other abnormal sensations in the chest, upper back, shoulder, arm and hands.  Pain can occur in the back of the neck as well.  The scalenes are rarely suspected as the source of the trouble because they’re almost entirely hidden by the sternocleidomastoid muscles.  Symptoms created by the scalenes are easily misdiagnosed.  Neurologists often mistake degenerative vertebra, collapsed disks, or stenosis as the cause of the neck, shoulder or arm pain.  There are a lot of other symptoms that can come from the scalene muscles like carpal tunnel syndrome.”

When you take this info and combine that with my tight chest muscles, you have a recipe for disaster.  Matt has been working on this area of my neck as it is really bunched up.  Lately we have really been focusing on my chest muscle which feels like a rope knotted up, and the scalenes along with my subscap.   The muscles are so wound up that is it is taking daily focus on them to find some relief.

The past 5 days I have been doing my own massage and trigger point on my chest, shoulder, subscap with a lacrosse ball and a shiatsu massage device.  Yesterday, Aug 14th, I had by far the most relief that I have experienced since April.  Major breakthrough.  I can feel the chest starting to release which is making room for everything else to correct itself.  Crazy how all of this stuff works.

Now I also know that my attitude towards this is causing some of the relief as well but it sure gets you motivated to get after the rehab when you see some success.  The road to recovery will be a slow slog as I’ve stated before.  Diligence, persistence, playing the long game is the key to success.  No one will ever really know what I went through day to day to beat this, they will just see that I did and not fully understand the day to day battles I have been through.

One of the causes of tight scalene muscles is breathing with your chest vs. your diaphragm.  I have always been a chest breather who takes shallow breaths.  I have been converting that to a deep diaphragm breather through my meditation and mindfulness around breathing in general.  Breathing is so important, you cannot put enough emphasis on it other than you need oxygen to live.  I think some of us, me included, take that for granted.  Jared Markiewicz at Functional Integrated Training   says that proper breathing is more important than proper nutrition.  I believe that now.

Get your top ten list done for the day, believe in yourself and your bodies ability to heal itself.  No matter what you are going through, you have to believe that you can heal.  Then do the work, find the support team, eat nutritionally to help your body heal and avoid food that causes inflammation in your body.  Meditate to learn to breath deeper with your diaphragm.  Pray, God will be there for you.

Photos are from our trip out west to CO and SD.  These are from Black Elk Peak in SD.  Easy hike up to the highest peak in SD.  We made it up in 85 minutes and down in 35 minutes.  We ran down.  So now imagine me running downhill with a pack on!  I did it!

To your health & abundance,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

Aug 1-10th.  What a ride the past 10 days has been.  We finished our vacation in Colorado with a quick trip to the Black Hills of SD before heading home.  During this time the symptoms of the nerves was all over the place.  Crazy what these nerves do to your body when they are compromised.

On our trip to CO we had a day of golf scheduled with my Dad.  At that time my neck and arm were feeling ok however I was not too sure about golfing and what that would do and most importantly how it would affect the rest of the trip if I aggravated my neck.  So I opted to not golf and let my boys play with my Dad and I rode along.

Boys and Dad

Dad loves to play golf and they sure had a good time.

I wrote previously about our hike up Uncompahdre Peak.  It was a successful hike to the summit and here are some photos from it.  I would highly encourage you to do this hike if you are up for it!  About 8 miles round trip as long as you have a high clearance vehicle to get you to the trailhead.  My neck and arm did really well on this hike!

Even with the wildfire haze, the views were amazing.  I had very few issues with my neck, the only time it bothered me was if I slipped and jarred it unexpectedly.  That usually hurt for about 5 minutes before the shock subdued.

After this hike we started to prepare for our hike on La Plata Peak which is a 14,000ft peak in the Sawatch Range.  The trailhead is on the road to Independence Pass.  This is a great hike for the novice 14er as there is only two areas where the steep rock affects you.

We talked our kids into doing this one with us.  They love rock climbing, running, rock hopping, etc.  They’ve never been that excited to take on a ten mile hike that will take 8 hours.  They did it anyway and had a blast.  So much fun to watch them excel.  I was really nervous for them as they only had road running shoes to wear and there are some steep dirt trails that can get very slippery.

Once again my neck and arm did really well, here are some photos from this hike:

We did some other hiking as well and again my neck and shoulder did very well.  I even got in a 4 mile run!  Pretty exciting for me.

Once we got home it was pretty much the same, although I was starting to feel the affects of no rehab during the 2 weeks we were gone.  So I scheduled a session with Matt when I got back and the next week with Dave and Bob.

I was invited to play in a golf outing when we got back and I figured this would be a great opportunity to see how golf affects my neck and arm, so I decided to play as I didn’t have to worry about not having fun on vacation.  All in all it went really well.  I had to swing slower and with a shorter back swing, so once I figured out how to make that happen, I was playing relatively pain free.  Woke up this morning and felt pretty good as well.  I need to ice, decompress and do my exercises to keep my body happy!

During my time away and needed to update my top 10 list.  I cannot believe I missed this one very important aspect of my daily routines.  The one that was missing is reading 10 pages a day of a good book that will help you get better.  Jim Rohn always said “you have to work harder on yourself than you do at your job.”  I really believe that and I would not be where I am doing without following this philosophy for the past 25 years.  I read at least 10 pages a day.  I have participated in a weekly study group for the past 11 years where we are all learning to get better.  I am not perfect and I do miss some days and I don’t let that bother me as I know that I will not miss very often.  I also quit listening to the radio about 10 years ago and strictly listen to books, podcasts and other stuff to enhance my learning opportunities.

Here is the updated top ten list:

  1. Pray, the power of prayer is amazing!  Pray for others, pray for healing, pray for strength, pray for love, pray to give, pray for forgiveness, pray for grace.
  2. Journal – Keeps me in the NOW.  Helps me focus on what I can do and what I can control.
  3. Affirmations – Present tense, I AM, personal.
  4. Visualizations – I visualize healing.  Visualize the vertebrae separating and making more room for the nerves to heal.  Visualize dominating an ANW course:)  Visualize no stress!  Harmony.
  5. Gratitude – This is part of my journaling but now more than ever I am grateful for what I do have.  When in pity party mode, just give of  yourself to others who are even less fortunate and all of the sudden your pity party goes away.  Inside of gratitude is giving: Give of yourself, your time, your talents, your being.  Give however you can.  Give without any expectation of receiving.  Give unconditionally.  You will never regret it.
  6. Nutrition- you have to eat well to live well.  Saw this quote yesterday – “You are what you eat ate”.  So basically, when you eat something you have to consider what that ate or where it was grown.  Think about that for a while.  Let it sink in.  Think about all of the food you eat.  Where did it come from and what might it have gone through to get to your mouth.
  7. Meditate – new for me but very powerful in relaxing and reducing stress.  Like I wrote about in a previous blog, 90% of neck/back injuries are causes by tension stress and lack of oxygen in the muscles.  Meditation has been proven to help that.
  8. Live above the line – Be honest, live with integrity.  Be honest with yourself the most.  You are not as good as you think you are.  I know I am not.  Hire a coach and get someone to tell you what they really see vs a sugar coated version.
  9. Forgiveness- Never hold a grudge or resentment towards others as this is the ultimate in stress.  Holding onto any negativity in relationships is not good.  The biggest person to forgive is YOURSELF!
  10. Read 10 Pages of a good book a day.  Imagine if you did this for 1 year- that is 3,650 pages.  12-18 good books year.  Now do it for 10 years, 36,650 pages, 150 good books!  What would you learn?  Who would you become having read and learned and implemented.  Start a study group of like minded people that will challenge you and keep you focused on growing.  This could be a bible study as well, that would be very enlightening for you.

Thank you for following, please give me some feedback.

To your health & abundance,

Steve Aune, Ninsurance Ninja

http://www.ninsuranceninja.com

 

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