Physical therapist, Ron Kochevar, joins Colby to deconstruct belief systems around your individual capabilities. This relates to pain and being able to bring yourself into the right mental space to help your body with the healing process. Ron emphasizes the importance of stopping in the moment in order to work on retraining your brain to have a new or different response to certain stimuli, like pain. Ron delves into some of the most common asymmetries and challenges he sees in the athletes he works with and addresses some of the contributors to these common maladies.
Welcome to the cycling and alignment podcast, an examination of cycling as a practice and dialogue about the integration of sport and the right relationship to your life.
Colby Pearce 00:25
Good day to you podcast listeners. Thanks for returning. Today we have an episode with Ron Coach abbar runs a physical therapist who’s based in Denver, Colorado. He recently relocated here from Los Angeles. And when that happened, I knew I had to capitalize on the opportunity to have him as a guest on my show. I found Ron a few years ago on the Instagrams. He has a series of videos posted there short videos, maybe 246 minutes long. Where he offers a lot of just thoughts on the ways that we think about life, the ways that we behave as people, our belief systems. And this really drew me to understand more about the way Ron’s mind works. And today, you get to be part of that adventure. So buckle your spiritual seat belt and hang on for a ride. Enjoy the world of Ron kosha bar. Well, I said this in my my intro, outline, but a lot. But basically, I really tried to strike the balance between structure and flow. And most often, I think my conversations drift more in the flow, the Happy journey, kind of QA neighborhood things, which is great. That’s what I want to get out of people. It’s just let let the conversation roll and take the form that it takes. So okay, yeah, yeah,
Ron Kochevar 02:02
that sounds good. I’m all about flow. Cool, right. I’ve been, I’ve been trying to get out of hustle. Yeah, yeah.
Colby Pearce 02:09
Well, there’s the balance right there. Isn’t it that to do the structure versus the let things organically move as they are? And it seems like our society is definitely on the to do list oriented. We’re
not taught to flow? No, we’re only taught to hustle. Yeah. It seems to be it seems to be inbred. Mm hmm.
Colby Pearce 02:29
But do you think that we is dominantly? us Americans or Western culture, including Western Europe? Or is it?
What certainly, I think a lot in Western culture? Absolutely. 100% American? Yeah. I actually think that it all started here in the American culture. And then with the advent of, you know, media, and the ability to reach, you know, reach the rest of the world. Almost immediately, I started to change a lot of things. I mean, if you look at our influence on some of the remotest areas of the world, yep. Sure, we bring some good things, but there’s a lot more that’s on the red side of the ledger. Hmm. And definitely, that that whole conversation, you know, working between hustle and flow, it’s heavily, heavily weighted to the side of hustle, make things happen. Do what you can do no matter what, push push press press. Yeah. Yeah. And I know, and I absolutely did that for a long time, and was lucky enough to learn some lessons from it. So yeah,
Colby Pearce 03:45
yeah. Yeah, perfect. Well, that I think that right there kind of encapsulates a lot of what I’d like our discussion is centered around is some of those lessons in that tension between that we all negotiate in our lives between that pull that cultural directive to just do and accomplish and just in the last couple days, I’ve been going back and listening to a lot of your, your Instagram posts that you’ve done, which I’m really grateful for. Thank you for those. I will definitely
start those back up here. And another caustics.
Colby Pearce 04:14
now that this fellowship is, yeah,
Colby Pearce 04:19
yeah. Yeah. Cool. So well, we’ll unpack that for sure. Um, but those have been really instructive for me. And I think, I think you have a really powerful ability to distill and kind of call people out, make them think about their own thought processes and lay them out on the table and sort of make those those lines of thought accountable. When you really bottom line it. You know, what do you what are you doing? What do you How are you operating? What’s your what’s your operating system telling you to do each day? And let’s unpack that and examine it. Is it programmed? Is it automatic? Did someone tell you to do something and you’re just sort of doing that, you know, robot tronic fashion or because you think that you’re you should measure up to Some standard some story that you were told, or you actually living your life in an examined way. I think that’s, and that plays into not just sports and athleticism, but it plays into everything plays into how you interact with other people and, and how you feel when you lay your head down at night on your pillow. You know,
you do anything is how you do everything. Exactly. Right. Yeah. So you know, the way you transition on the yoga mat is going to be the same way that you transition on the freeway is going to be the same way that you transition and the whole foods parking lot right now. That’s it, I think it takes a very intentional mindset to, to be able to make a break between those things, to make a decision in one in in one venue, and then make a very different decision in another venue, or in another situation. And that the ability to be able to do that is based in being able to be present in in the moment right now. Take a breath before the reaction from the stimulus. Hmm. And, you know, but that’s not again, that’s not how we are. It’s not how we’re taught. No, it’s not how we’re bred, you know, we’re bred to be very, sort of hijacked, basically, by our emotions, and hijacked by our identities. And, you know, if we’ve got any biggest addiction, at all, it’s our, it’s our identity. This is who I am, you know, and we’re breaking out of those stories and out of those beliefs, because lessons, we think that they’re positive. But, you know, any belief doesn’t matter what that belief, any belief is limited.
So, you know,
that took a long time for me to, to realize that
Colby Pearce 07:11
and start to figure it out. And when we have so many beliefs that permeates so many activities, or decisions we make in our lives, and you start to break down, you realize that common theme, any belief is limited. And you start to question the origin or the etiology of that belief. And then you apply that to all the beliefs we have. That’s a big project. Right?
It is a big project.
I spent a lot of spent a lot of time over the years trying to figure out air quotes, trying to figure out how, how do I answer? Or how do I resolve all the problems that I’ve got on my plate? And my teachers were very quick to let me know that I’m asking the questions that I’m asking are way too big? Right, I’ve got to answer or I’ve got to start asking answerable questions. which essentially just means getting down to the present moment, asking the question, usually some binary question in the present moment, should I get up? Should I stay in bed? Should I brush my teeth? Should I not brush my teeth? should I look for a job Should I not look for a job mean breaking it down, so that it’s that simple. And when we do that, when we do anything long enough, it changes the architecture of our brain. It becomes a habit, you know, you get what you train, no matter what it is. And so leading to the bigger picture of things. I think the sort of the, the mantra or the consciousness that it’s kind of left me with is that it’s my job to hold on to a vision. But it’s also my job to let go of the outcome. And I think there’s a space in between those two consciousnesses. And that space, I just choose to call it faith. Hmm. You can call it whatever you want. But this unrelenting grip on
whatever vision it is that we have
limit the possibilities of what actually could come out of that. You know, my teachers were very quick to tell me early on in my journey that like, thank God, I didn’t get everything that I ever asked for because I would have been selling myself short. Which made no sense what’s whatsoever to me, right you know, when you know, when I’m just walking into a situation confused in pain, depressed, hurting angry, whatever, you know, full of emotion. That didn’t make any sense to me. But I think whenever whenever we hear the truth, the truth pierces through whatever ramparts, we may have up whatever, wall shields whatever we’ve got that we’ve constructed to kind of keep ourselves safe. The truth comes through that, and we hear it. And we may not know what to do with it. We just know that we heard something that meant something. It’s like hearing. I think it’s like hearing good music. That is of a different genre than you normally listen to.
Colby Pearce 10:37
Just wakes up your soul. Yeah, you’re like, wait
a minute. Well, you know what? I don’t usually like this. But yeah, says something about this. Mm hmm. And we remember it, it leaves an impact. And that’s when we have an opportunity to start paying attention. Hmm. Another thing we’re really not trained to do, we’re trained to sort of move along if I can’t measure it, if I can’t label it, if I can’t put a name on it. I can’t put it in a box. If I can’t hang it in the closet. It parked in my driveway, we have parking in my driveway, if I’m if I can’t objectify it in some way,
Colby Pearce 11:13
then it’s not worth attention.
Yeah, right. Right. If I can’t prove it, then what good is it? Yeah. And
Colby Pearce 11:22
that’s just so most of the universe? Well, that is that’s a textbook definition of a limited belief, right. And it’s so easy to illustrate. I mean, the simplest example of that is like, do you love your daughter? Yeah, of course. Yeah. Well, prove it to me, how much do you love her? Do you love her? 100? Do you love her? 999? Like, like, how do you quantify that? How do you now of course we can. We can measure our fields. And we can measure probably different physiological responses to you standing next to a rock or a corpse or your daughter, we would get different, different responses in your body that we could measure scientifically, but that’s not really getting at the core of what love is. That’s just numbers, we’re assigning to physiological variables.
Well, we can definitely map it, for sure. with, you know, with PET scans, right, and functional MRIs, you can definitely, we can definitely map what’s happening cortically we can happening, we can measure what’s happening physiologically. But it’s all independent, in context, you know, what lights up those areas in one situation may not light those areas up in another situation. And, you know, so yeah, it’s fascinating, where we are with research now, because there’s so much more that we can objectify so much more that we can quantify. And especially recently, with, since all of this COVID stuff has been happening, science, all of a sudden, has taken on this this height of religion, you know, it, there’s this, it’s just a buzzword, I’m gonna follow the science, I’m gonna follow the science and follow science. Well, you know, what? Sometimes you can’t follow the science. Sometimes you got to follow yourself. You know, my, again, you know, my, I think, really good teachers and my lineage. And my, that was a consistent message from them was like, Look, if it’s your body, telling you to do something, and listen to it, yes. But if it’s your mind, telling you to do something, then stay with a little bit longer, which is a, which is a big thing, because I’m a physical therapist. Right? So and I’ve worked with tons of athletes of all levels. And that sort of high endurance type a push, push, push athletes out there with this mentality of, well, if I do more, it has to be better. That switch gets shut off. Because there’s not a chance in the world, that their body is telling them that this is good for them. Embrace it, because it won’t happen that way. So that there there’s a, either a conscious, or an unconscious feed feedback loop that just says Nope, I’m going to push, I’m not listening. I’m going to listen to my mind. I’m going to listen to my mind, I’m going to listen to my mind, I’m not listening to my body. If you look at you know, all the longest standing
spiritual philosophies, religions,
sort of philosophical giants of the world that that message is inversed. It’s, it’s turn your mind off, no, mind for others, no mind for self. You can use your mind for others can’t use those same tools when we turn on the turn everything back to ourselves, you know, turn, you know, the get into your senses and get out of your mind. I mean, there’s, there’s a, there’s centuries of, of not advice of practice that has told us to do that. But that’s not the way that’s not what our culture tells us to do.
Colby Pearce 15:24
Well, what about the idea of mind over matter of, of punch through the wood, or, you know, I mean, I’ve, what I’m getting at is, I think that a lot of our type A personalities, our endurance athletes, or even some of our strength athletes, we, we craft this belief system, that the way to success in athletics is to overcome the complaints of the body, it’s to disconnect from through what the body’s telling you, you know, shut up legs, that’s young voice, tag, sign writer, or hashtag, whatever. So when you you condition yourself to be a badass, and you push yourself in the Canadian wilderness and ride like our colleague Trevor does in, in Toronto, without gloves, when it’s 38 degrees on coffee for five hours, coffee, only, then it’s a tough guy thing. And it’s a Canadian, you know, this is how you you hammer, you chip away at the stone to make to carve an athlete out of, you know, marble, or alabaster, or whatever. And you You do that by putting aside the complaint to the body and just committing to the realm of the mind the box, the the idea of I’m going to keep stepping forward on this goal, independent of the complaints of my body so that I can achieve this level of happiness and punch through to, to bring myself to the ultimate level of conditioning.
Right? So what I would say to that is, if we’re talking about, say, high level athletes, endurance athletes, people that really want to push their physical bodies to the edge, they do actually listen to their bodies, because they know how to take care of their bodies. Right? pushing through, I have no problems with pushing through pain, I do it all the time. Right. But there’s a way to push through pain and not tear down the system. Right? And those people are typically good at restoration. Yep. Right. They’ve got, if they’re, if they’re, if they’re well, educated, well schooled, if they, you know, if, if what their end goal is to see, I’m gonna see what I can do with my body. They know how to push, and then they know how to listen. And they also know how to rest and how to restore. But that is a very small group of people. Right? That’s a, that is a, there’s a small percentage of people that that function at that level, most of the rest of the world is sort of under this bell curve. and applying what works in the standard deviations beyond the mean, to what’s happening under the bell curve. Usually, that doesn’t, doesn’t work. You know, it’s like, it’s like your recreational athlete, looking at a strength and Fitness magazine, and deciding that well, because this endurance because this super athlete each 13,500 calories a day. And these are the you know, these are the breakdowns of their macros that now that’s what I’m going to do. Right, but doesn’t work that way. Right. Who’s the nose? Listen to one of your podcasts. What was your name? linting, huh? Yeah. Yeah. And she talks a lot about that right about this. You’ve got these people that are beyond outside of the bell curve. Mm hmm. And to apply that same formula to those that are inside the bell curve. It doesn’t work. It doesn’t work
Colby Pearce 18:58
out. Right. There might have been Jesse stands on team focused on diet.
Yeah. Oh, yeah. That’s lucky. Okay. Okay, who’s talking? Okay.
Colby Pearce 19:05
Yeah. Yeah. And blessed with so many brilliant guests in my pockets.
And I think that, so what I’m saying is that, for those people, I think they actually do listen to their body. Right? And they’ve got a, they’ve got a goal in mind. And anytime we push doesn’t matter what it is we do, anytime we push to achieve a goal. We are willingly putting ourselves out of balance. We have to, we can’t we can’t, we can’t go to an extreme of anything and still stay in balance. Can’t just
Colby Pearce 19:46
because you’re not going to grow. You’re not gonna get stronger won’t happen that way. Yeah.
So the balance then comes in, I’m going to push and then I’m going to relax. And then there’s this ebb and flow right? But those aren’t the people that I’m really talking. That’s that’s not what most people do. You know, most people either push, push, push, push, or most people take listening to their body to the other end of the spectrum. And they’re like, Nope, I feel a tiny bit of discomfort. I can’t do this, you know, and I see that all the time in the in the clinic. Interesting. It’s people come in, Will it hurt? Okay, well, let’s have a conversation about what is the kind of hurt that’s okay to push through, and how to push through it. Right? Because you have to you have to test tissues in order for tissues to heal. And that’s sort of a paradigm for life. Right? And then there’s these other people, you have to throttle back. You know, listen to this pain. Don’t listen to this pain. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 20:50
Right. Yeah, it’s about discernment. What type of pain Are you experiencing? Right? what’s appropriate, what is going to get you training stimulus, what’s going to make you stronger? What’s going to break you down. And in some cases, that’s really clear cut. Like, I used this example in bike fitting all the time, you know, used to be that saddles were these crude devices that were just torture chambers, and basically, put your your junk to sleep, you know, man or woman knows just sort of device of torture. Now, saddle saddles have evolved quite a bit. And we’ve got a lot better options on the plate, there’s still some negotiation, figure out which saddle works for which person, but it’s saddle technologies taking massive steps forward in the last decade, fortunately. But it used to be this old school paradigm of, you know, when you started training in January, you were getting ready for your season. And it was, you know, you had races in March or April coming, you went out on your first few rides and your neck hurt from carrying the weight of your head and your helmet and your back hurt because you were acclimating to the the forward hinged hip hinge position of cycling, and your legs hurt because you just pedal 80 miles for the first time in a few months, and your lungs hurt because you were reading all day long, and your respiratory and inspirational muscles became fatigued from that and, but also your crotch fell asleep. And we didn’t used to have the discernment between those types of pain, your hands went numb. And it was all put in the category of this is how you HTF view and become strong enough to become a better bike rider. And, and become a better athlete. Now we’ve started to enter the paradigm, I would say, and I try to educate my clients about this all the time of discerning between which pains are constructive. You know, if you ride your bike for 80 miles, you’re your butt and your legs, your quads should probably hurt. But we don’t want your dog to fall asleep, that’s not necessary, we can do away with that it’s not gonna make you tougher, it’s not gonna make you better on the bike, it’s not going to learn teach you how to suffer better, we’ve got plenty of suffering to do in the constructive categories. So let’s start to discern which ones. And so those types are more clear cut. What’s interesting is you could send someone out for a really hard workout on a Wednesday. Let’s say they’ve got two heart interval workouts per week on Wednesday and Saturday, just hypothetically. And you might give them that set of workouts for two weeks or three weeks or maybe four weeks in a row. And for those four weeks, they might be quite constructive. But you can’t do that same workout for 12 weeks in a row, even though the load doesn’t change or maybe it progresses incrementally. You can’t just bludgeoned someone repeatedly with the same stimulus, right over and over again. And then it because then it turns the corner and becomes not constructive stimulus. It breaks you down. Right. Right.
Yeah. Poison then the nectar come from the same flower.
Colby Pearce 23:34
Exactly. Right. Yeah. Yeah. Or the dose makes the poison maybe is another way to look at Yeah, right. Right.
Yeah. And I think that, that leads to another part of that conversation, you know, the difference between pain and suffering. Yep, you know, pain happens. But suffering is simply the story that we wrapped around our pain. And we can dress, we can dress our pain up. Any way that we that we want to problem is that we usually do it unconsciously. And we do it based on whatever limiting belief systems we’ve got within it, whatever identities, we’ve decided that we that we are that we want to be then pain becomes a very different thing, because it gets run through the filters of suffering. So what can be a very normal pain in somebody out riding riding first time for 80 miles? Yeah, everything. Of course your quads are going to burn, right? But that’s pain. And that’s the kind of pain that if there’s not suffering attached to it,
it comes and goes as normal
but If we send somebody out to do something that they may not be ready to do, they’re not at a level to be able to accept the tissues aren’t at a label at a level where they’re able to accept that kind of load. And they end up with pain. But their pain story, which comes with a whole table full of their own experience, their pain story decides for them that this pain is bad. I’ve had pain before, these were the results of my pain. I saw my mother, my brother, my next door neighbor go through this type of pain. And this is where they ended up. Now all of a sudden, you’ve got several narratives that are feeding into that. And suffering becomes equivocal to pain it becomes contiguous with pain. Mm hmm. Then Then you’ve got a, then you’ve got some problems,
Colby Pearce 25:59
because you want to decouple those two? Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. So in your experience, when you you mentioned a few minutes ago, you have a client that comes into the clinic, and they they have the slightest sensation of pain in a given exercise or whenever they’re doing whatever they’re doing, and they immediately kind of put the brakes on? And is that your experience that they’ve just got more of those belief systems that are that are tied that are tying suffering to that pain? Or maybe they’re projecting into the future?
about where that paints get out is a very individual thing.
My job as a clinician when people come in, because I’ve worked primarily in outpatient orthopedics now, so it’s primarily musculoskeletal pain. So my first job is to build a rapport with somebody. Right? most, most people haven’t had the the best of experiences in our country’s healthcare system. Yeah. Sort of shuttled through like cattle. The primary complaint, if you look at the literature, is that my providers don’t spend enough time with me. They don’t listen to me. They talk through me or to me, but they don’t pay any attention. To me, they tell me. Yeah,
Colby Pearce 27:26
rather than Listen, not seeing the client as an individual, right?
Yeah. So being a being a physical therapist, we’re in a very unique position within the healthcare system, we’ve got usually more time with patients, so that we can listen, and we can start building rapport. And I’m not limited by say, a psychologist, who, by their Practice Act, can’t put their hands on people. So not only do I get to listen, but to get to touch. So I get to interact in ways that other clinicians don’t. Now, physicians, absolutely, they’re allowed to touch people problem is that most of them dumped. Most often, they’re on a computer, and in and out in a few minutes and prescribe some sort of medication. So my job is to first build that rapport. My second job, then, because the primary reason people come in to see me is because they’ve got pain or dysfunction. My primary thing is to figure out or create a clinical picture or create a different story or create a story. That makes sense. And there’s several different reasons of why somebody would be having some sort of pain. They can, it can either be that their pain is purely nociceptive in nature, meaning it’s being driven by some pathology in a tissue of an acute sprained ankle. Right, there’s a hematoma, you’ve got ecchymosis or bruising. There’s all sorts of primary inflammatory issues that are happening at at the site of the lesion. That is, in the beginning, and when it’s acute, that’s going to be mostly a nociceptive type of pain, right? There. Yes, you have you have torn tissue, or you have disrupted tissue, it makes sense that you would have this type of pain. The other type of pain would be a neuropathic type of pain, meaning that there is pain that is being generated or experienced is probably a better word. Because there’s a lesion within the nervous system somewhere. Tora nerve stretched a nerve impinged on a nerve nerve becomes inflamed. And that can and that can very often happen along with nociceptive type pain and those two things can they work hand in hand right? But there’s usually a reason that you can point to. But there’s also a huge different type of pain. Yeah, there’s also the sort of chronic, persistent pain that doesn’t go away. And that can have a whole myriad of different presentations. And in the literature that is starting to become what’s called nosa, plastic pain, pain that is not otherwise well described by specific problem in the tissue, or a specific issue in the nervous system. So these people, you know, they may come in, and they may have a simple and have a very simple, you know, sprained ankle, no bruising or swelling, full range of motions and musculature actually works fairly well. But you touch the skin on the on the top of where this ankle sprain is in the jump off the table. Right. So when somebody has a, a noxious response to a stimulus that is normally not noxious, that’s called allodynia. And when somebody has allodynia, that’s a very clear indicator that it’s not the problem is not in the tissues. There is now a there’s now a portion of their pain that is being handled by their nervous system. Hmm, specifically within their central nervous system. And so it becomes, it can become a big challenge, because to bring it back around, which you said, if somebody comes in and they’ve got, they’ve got a little bit of pain, and they jump away from it. Well, my job is to figure out, Okay, why, if they do, they do a lunge, they’ve got knee pain. And I notice that there’s some sort of aberrant moving movement that happens at their knee. And I bring them out of that position, change the way they move, and then they do a lunge in their pain goes away. Well, that’s one. That’s one story that might, you know, they clearly had a mechanical problem. So we change the mechanics, and we got a different outcome.
But if I can’t change any of that, and then I go in and test their test their knee and their knee is normal. It’s got full range of motion, no a fusion, musculature works. There’s no ligamentous, laxity, tendons are all non tender to palpate. There’s no bony tenderness to palpation like their exam is normal. But every time they move, even if you correct their movement, they still have the same symptom reproduction, then we’re going to start unpacking some different some different things. Yeah. All right. Yeah, then then I would start asking questions about their history. What is pain? What is it? What do you think is happening? What is your primary concern? Because very often, we’ve got very good literature, very good evidence in the literature to suggest this stuff. Now. Once you start unpacking that, there’s a lot of non therapeutic effects that happen, which, in layman’s terms, is essentially the placebo effect. You’ve got a provider that sits and actually talks to a patient or to a client. And that client feels heard their chemistry changes, their neuro chemistry changes, their blood chemistry, everything changes. So we mean, I may do something to them in the clinic, I may change their movement, I may get in to do some like instrument assisted soft tissue stuff, you mean going in needle them may do you may manipulate a joint, get a cavitation. And then we get them up and reassess them and their pain is gone. But we don’t there’s no, there is no evidence out there that will validate that just because I did a particular intervention on a particular problem, and then got the outcome that I was looking for. There’s no evidence out there to validate my intervention. Right? And that can be a, that can be a tough field to play on. So
Colby Pearce 34:18
if you’re a clinician, so when you do that, you know, adjustment of joining or whatever, and you get that effect, and then the pain seems to go away, because there’s no evidence. So it’s just one of two things. One, we just haven’t figured out the right study to correlate the, the treatment with that effect, or that the athlete believed in what you did, and that was a right placebo effect. But I mean, going back to talk to just just
to jump on that. So if you are a clinician who’s in the middle of a fellowship, right, a sports medicine fellowship, or what Just one of the one of the fellowships that I teach in in Los Angeles, I teach in a sports fellowship and a spine fellowship. So if you are a clinician, one of these fellows that’s in a fellowship, then that may become a question that you then decide to apply to some research. Like, this is fascinating to me how? Why would I have three different people that come in with the exact same problem? I can do three different things with these people and get the exact same result. Hmm, why is that? Yeah, then, then that becomes a fascinating arena to start researching, hmm.
And we may uncover some evidence.
But if we are the personality type, that likes to take on, that gets stuck in our sort of sphere of knowledge. And think that our sphere of knowledge is everything that there is, all that stuff does is feed into our ego. And, you know, our ego gets bigger and bigger and bigger. But our ego gets much bigger exponentially than our actual sphere of knowledge. Right, right. And it can be, that can be a tricky, a tricky thing. To follow the science, always, like I’ve got, I have three science degrees, bachelor’s in science and Master’s in science, doctoral degree in science. I’ve done three postdoctoral fellowship, two postdoctoral fellowships and residency.
I know how to follow the science, right.
But having spent the amount of time in the clinic being a clinician, every single patient that you see as a clinician is essentially a research project with an N of one. Mm hmm. And so patterns start to start to emerge. And the patterns that emerge are no person, no group of people, no patient population can be specifically nailed down and labeled, with one or two or a handful of randomized clinical control trials, peers can, if that was all we needed to be able to treat patients was evidence was empirical evidence that’s in the peer reviewed body of literature. Well, then we could train any monkey to be a provider.
Colby Pearce 37:42
Right? Or any AI system. Yeah,
Colby Pearce 37:46
Which, you know, we can’t that complex,
right. And that’s the, that’s, that’s the issue, really, that I have now with this sort of elevation of science to religion, basically, that’s kind of where we’re at right now. And if you look at what evidence based medicine is, what it is, in its definition, evidence based medicine is a triangle. And there’s only one leg of that triangle, that is empirical, peer reviewed evidence. The second leg of that is the clinician. And their effectiveness, their efficiency, their efficacy as a clinician, and the third leg of that is the patient. What does the patient want? What does the patient need? What is the patient’s chief complaints? What is the patient Okay, with those three legs are evidence based medicine. evidence based medicine is not practicing medicine, or health care, or training or whatever it is that we do, it’s not just practicing based on what is in the literature. Right? Because the literature is constantly changing. Constantly. what we thought was good 10 years ago, has gone through, yeah, has gone through this ebb and flow. You know, there was a time when eggs were good for us than a bad right dragon eggs were good for us. And then it was just egg whites. And then it was no, you got to eat the whole thing. And then it was no you can’t eat You can’t eat eggs that are that come from chickens that are stuffed with chickens to a cage, you can only eat eggs from happy chickens that have gone to Disneyland and you know, brass and in that it reminds me of that podcast that you had with with one team. Yeah, you know, your body knows what it needs. Right? And if we can somehow throttle back, pump the brakes, to get back to this place where we learn how to actually listen to our own bodies. The answers are there. Any good clinician any good provider going to give you that exact same message. And then they’re going to help you walk through a process to learn how to listen to it. Mm hmm. So that’s what I do is as a clinician, and that has, you know, that has 1000 different ways to get to a single, single endpoint.
Colby Pearce 40:23
Recently, Paul did a podcast with Ervin Laszlo. I don’t know if you happen to catch that one. But they spoke about science and scientists. And it their conversation definitely touched on some of the points you’ve just brought up. Which are well, Paul kind of very publicly expresses his frustration with science because he he sort of talks about how he feels that a lot of scientists have basically been bought by companies to produce biased research, to be blunt, and to support that company’s financial agenda or agenda for sales or whatever. And he confronted Ervin Laszlo with this question, and Urban’s response was quite interesting, he said, that, really what Paul Paul was technically confusing, a true scientist with someone who is a technician who’s been bought, who’s been trained in science, and then has specifically been hired to produce this type of white paper, or maybe even not a white paper, maybe it’s a straight up, ostensibly scientific study. And the problem is from this from the public side, we have no way to discern and discover or really, to discern which realm of science is, is truly scientific, in the sense of an exploration and objective look at whatever a set of data to put down a hypothesis, look at the data, perform the experiment, look at the data, and then draw your conclusion and decide whether or not your hypothesis hypothesis held up. I mean, from that perspective, science is really about proving not necessarily what is but in some cases, in many cases, what isn’t, right makes tiny steps forward, saying, well, we can establish this, which means everything outside of that boundary, by definition, we don’t know yet. Or we can’t say with certainty. And the scientific woman tends to look at that pile of data as this enormous amount of things. It’s, I might think of it as inwardly focused or focused towards the center of this pile of data, the sphere. And when you’re inside that sphere, it looks like this giant world. But the reality is, when you examine it against what we don’t know, it’s
right, well, that’s the sphere of knowledge, right? If right, if right, if all of our knowledge that, you know, that we currently know, was to fit inside of a balloon, right? Then all of what we don’t know is on the outside of the balloon. So as we increase our sphere of knowledge, as that balloon gets bigger, it actually increases the surface area of the outside of the balloon. So the more we know, the more we don’t know, right? And any good researcher, any good scientists, and I and I, and I know a number of them are going to tell you that the results of this research tell us this, they are limited within these confines within these within these parameters within these exclusion and inclusion parameters. And if you look at any good research paper, the conclusion section, the end, last section is going to say, more research still needs to be done. Right, right. There. Most scientists, when you speak to them are going to say, Well, you know, we just don’t know what we do know is this. But what we don’t know, is a much as a much bigger picture.
But that is not what
the general public wants to hear. When they walk into a doctor’s office with a headache, walk into a psychiatrists office with some sort of an emotional problem when they walk into a trainer, because they want to take the training to the next level. They don’t want what they want is a diagnosis. They want a treatment strategy with goals attached to it. And they want to be part of the decision making.
And you think so? I think so.
Colby Pearce 44:36
Seems like a lot of clients want I have experiences with people It seems maybe I’m misinterpreting their their desires, but seems like they just want to walk in the door and be told what to do because they don’t want to think about it. Correct. Right? They they’re all their energy is tied up in correct taking the kids to soccer or their financial problems or their life stress. Right, you’re right.
And then any like I said, any good provider and a good trainer. Right, how many people have you worked with that have come to you with that in mind? Just tell me what to do.
Colby Pearce 45:04
Yeah. Can you write out a program? The simple answer?
Can you just write out a program? Yeah.
And our response to that is almost unanimously ubiquitously is, it doesn’t work like that. Right? I can’t just give you a program. Well, why not? And then that starts this conversation.
At that point,
any good any good clinician provider trainer would have you is going to then involve that person, their client, their patient, what have you, they’re going to involve them in the conversation. What do you want? Why do you want it? Where do you see yourself in in a given amount of time? What are you willing to do to get there? What are you not willing to do like that it becomes a conversation. And that is much more what I’m interested in, in terms of when I, because I’m always on this sort of steep learning curve looking for the next thing to do. When I’m looking for somebody to learn from. Those are the people that I’m looking to learn from those people that want to involve they, they don’t let people just get away with, we’ll just do this. Right. That’s what that was that that is what most people want. They don’t realize that they want most of the time, they don’t realize that they want something else. Yeah. Again, because we’re so ingrained, to just have things taken care of for us that go to the doctor, I’m going to get a pill. If I go to a trainer, I’m going to get a program, they’re going to do something to me. And that is going to change me. And that is all the more involved that I need to be, it’s going to fix my problem. Exactly. Yeah. And
Colby Pearce 46:53
it seems like that some of that, I think, is a function of just our modern complex lives, right? I mean, we all we’ve had so many discussions where we imagine what the Paleo man look like, or the caveman look like, and like, we really know, but we, the story we have in our head is that they men go out and hunt food, and the women stay home and tend to camp and watch after the children. And then the men come home with the antelope or whatever, and then they cook it over the fire and their days are simple. We don’t they don’t have to take the outtie to get the oil changed, or to get the system software updated. They don’t have to go buy the new iPad, they don’t have to take their kids to soccer, ballet, yoga, and, you know, voice lessons, they don’t have to, I don’t know, take their shirts to the dry cleaner, all the shit that we do running around every day, all these all this business. And when you add, you know, lawn mowing, or dealing with the lawn care people and the 55 other things that add on our to do list every day, by the time you get to man, my shoulder is killing me. It’s hurt me for four years. And now I can barely move it. I’m gonna go see Ron, because I need to just fix my shoulder, can he just give me a pill and give me two stretches I can do for 6.8 minutes a day in the morning and my show will will feel better. And they walk in the door. And because they’ve got all these other things on the plate, they don’t have time to dig into the why the emotional component of why what their belief system and is and how it’s played into this long term shoulder pain or their daily movement patterns and how when they click a mouse, couple thousand times a day, it builds this right rotator cuff problem or whatever they’ve got. And, and they so they want that simple solution just as a function of the fact that we’re so overloaded. Do you think that that’s
Yeah, and that speaks to a much deeper issue? The difference between a cure and a difference between actual healing? Mm hmm. Right? Very, it’s very seldomly does a cure lead to healing, true healing. But very, very often, but true healing will lead to a cure. And what I mean by that a cure is something that just takes away the symptoms. Right? Yes, I can give somebody very likely, especially if what they have is a tissue driven problem, a very no susceptive problem, I can give them a couple of stretches, and say, Okay, do this, and your shoulder pain will go away. But like we just talked about, if you keep doing only those two things, at some point that stops working, right. So now this cure that I had, inevitably, those symptoms end up coming back. And that’s true kind of across the board. You know, I can give somebody you can give somebody Tylenol for a headache, a couple of exercises for some knee pain, a couple of cognitive behavioral exercises for some, you know, emotional issues that somebody might be having a couple of training tricks to, to be able to get them over a hump, but we’re complex beings, and we’ve got a consciousness and we’ve got this of addiction to our own identity that we are hauling along with that. And what usually comes along with that is, I should be able to do something. And I should be able to do something in the moment and get rid of, or somebody should be able to give me something and get rid of this problem. All right, so that it never comes back. The problem is if you cut out a tumor that is not in any way, going to change the circumstances that created the tumor.
Colby Pearce 50:29
Excellent analogy. Yeah.
So there’s a high likelihood that that tumor will come resurface
Colby Pearce 50:37
so at some level, we have to dig deeper. Yeah, we have to, if you look at you know, most of your cancer survivors that have remained cancer free, they didn’t just go in and get surgery. They change their lives, change their lives. There’s a number and they change their lives in a number of different arenas. They change their diet, they change their mobility level, their exercise levels, they changed their spirit, their consciousness, they focused and followed, you know, whatever practitioner, they were, you know, some people, some people get, are sort of married to this idea that I have to go through medication, I have to go through chemo, I have to go to radiation, fine. Some people are like, there’s no way I’m going through chemo medication, radiation, and they end up and both of those patients end up cancer free for a long time. Why? Well, because that was a multi layered approach, they changed a whole number of things. So if we change the conditions, that created the problem, simply by changing the conditions, very often a cure comes along with that the symptoms go away. The disease go away, it goes away. That disease state is no longer even a part of our field. anymore. Change the terrain? Yeah. Is that
Colby Pearce 52:19
a way to think about? Yeah.
But to put band aids on things? Yeah.
there’s there isn’t any healing that that very rarely is only healing,
Colby Pearce 52:29
there might be relief. Right.
Yeah. But things will resurface. Yeah. You know, yeah. And so I think, again, so if I have a patient that comes in to me and was like, well, can’t you just give me two shoulder stretches that I can do for six minutes a day? Yeah.
Yeah, but it’s not going to work. It’s not going to work for very long.
I see patients all the time that come in. And it’s very clear that one something that actually is going to help them because they’ve got a hot flared up in flame joint. Something is going home, probably a corticosteroid injection. Right. Right. They have the place. I think it’s a very small window, but they’ve got their place. And they work. Right. There’s good evidence to support it. But how so on so they, you know, I’ll call up one of our sports med Doc’s and say, Hey, can you see this person for patellofemoral injection, right, they get hot flared up until a femoral joint or tibia femoral joint, yeah.
And then they get better.
And they get better, because their primary problem was that they had a lot of inflammation. But they didn’t change any of the conditions that led to that inflammation. And they didn’t want to listen to the conversation that I had with them, that if we don’t change the conditions, this is going to come back. But now they got a magic bullet. So the next time this happens, and they go back to a doctor, they get another injection, but that injection doesn’t last as long. And then they go back and they get another and another and then any good physician is going to say, Look, when it comes to these injections, you can have three injections in the course of a year. You can have for injections in the course of the lifetime of that joint. And then simply because of cataloguer transit along the the corticosteroid has a very deleterious effect. Yeah, connective tissue.
Colby Pearce 54:28
Yeah, you know, the tissue becomes brittle, right? Yeah, yeah.
And all of a sudden, their, their their magic pill. No longer is magic anymore. And so then they go and start doctor shopping. Try to find another physician that’ll do more, or they change gears all. You know, they do one ad and they’re like, Alright, I’m going to go and find another practitioner. I’m going to go and find somebody else that’s going to help. Right? And so and so we become addicted to healing. We become addicted to fixing and re fixing the same problem over and over and over and over again. And that becomes just as much of a problem, as you know, the, the opposite end of that continuum. And, again, the answer lies in the middle, in, in balance, and knowing that there are times in life when we are going to have to allow ourselves to be out of balance, just so that we can grow. And then when we grow, there’s this return to balance until we’re ready to move outside of balance again. And you know, that’s, that’s, that’s a difficult, that’s a difficult territory to navigate with the people that are on the ends that are on the extremes. These people that are just push, push, push, push, push, and these people that are, you know, rest, rest, rest, rest, rest. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 56:06
Interesting. So yeah, I was listening to one of your, your posts this weekend. Wait, this is the weekend, I don’t know, a couple days ago. And you had said, you were talking about that tension between growth and rest, and Yang and yen. And you said, and you were talking about the cycle of people who treat a problem. And then they and then they treat it superficially, and then it comes back, and they treat it superficial, and it comes back and they’re caught in that cycle that tailspin. And I think you phrased it. I’m paraphrasing a little bit, but you said something like, well, at a certain point, you have to realize that you’re going through that same process over and over again. And you’re, you’re, for some reason, you’re getting something out of holding on to that problem. Yeah. Right. And the question is, what are you getting out of repeating that cycle? Exactly. And that’s a powerful question to ask.
Right? You’re never done until you’re done. Right. So the question really is, what are you getting out of not being done?
That that is as easy as it as easy as it gets. Yeah. You know, and I think anytime we make an i statement, an I am statement, I am this I am that I was meant to be this, I am here for this. That isn’t, that is a direct opportunity to stop in that moment. Turn the mirror back to ourselves, and start on that process of discernment. Why do I think I’m like that? Where did that come from? Who decided that I am this? Did I decide that I am this? Or, you know, I see this a lot with all the student athletes, that I’ve got kids, right. Usually, the most challenging sort of juggernaut to deal with in the room is the parents. Especially if they’ve got a kid who is an excellent athlete, they are outstanding in what they do. Especially if that parent has got sort of unresolved issues that they’re working out through their kid. And that happens all the time, right? You got these throwers, these pitchers have come in. And they’re throwing 110 hundred and 20 hundred and 30 pitches, and then wondering why they’ve got dinner. Right, right. And there. And when you start looking at sort of a
sort of looking at sort of a, a tissue based
trajectory to get their child back on track. It means rest. Yeah. Right. It means you know what, I realized that they’ve got a club tournament this after, you know, this weekend, but unless you want to have some more long standing permanent issues happen, they can’t do this. And if you know, if a kid get to put through that enough, this thing that they initially loved to do, now, all of a sudden, they very often are they despise doing it, they hate doing it. They’re doing it for complete other reasons, right? They’re doing it because they got saddled with this. This is what you’re supposed to do. Yeah,
and those kinds of contracts.
In all of us, we all have got those kind of contracts that got written a long time ago. And we’ve been operating under these contracts for decades, very often, really without question. And if we do question, usually the answer is well, that’s just who I am. You know, I’m just this I’m just that I can’t do that because I’m a vegan. I can’t do this because I’m an athlete. Programming is too deep. Exactly. Yeah, yeah. So there is this sort of magic moment. Every time we take this hard stance, we say, I am this, this is my purpose. I believe this. That’s it. Those are the prime prime prime opportunities to stop. Yeah. And then reaffirm Why am I really this? Am I? Am I actually? Is this really what I want? Or am I just choose I arrive at this, this this, this decision? Yeah, right. And your body will tell you. Our mind is not going to tell us, our body will tell us one of my one of my teachers who told me it doesn’t matter how effectively or efficiently you may be going north. If your mission in life is to go south, you are going the wrong way.
Never have I ever forgotten that.
You know, how true is that. And if we look at
the fact that
we absolutely can push push, push, push, push and make things happen. 100% we can do that. You hold on hard enough, tight enough. You Hustle, Hustle, Hustle and push through? Yes, we can absolutely make things happen. Right? How often when we make those things happen, is there satisfaction in that moment? How often does that happen? If you look at a if you look at somebody that is in that mindset, you know, the extreme sort of artist, mindset, athlete mindset, they accomplish. And with that accomplishment, what comes with that? Because usually, in that kind of consciousness, there’s a profound sense of dissatisfaction and unfulfillment. There may be this momentary high, because I accomplished something. But very often, that’s that is followed almost immediately with all right, what’s the next thing? Because I’m not getting enough out of this moment?
when I have to have those conversations with with with clients, it usually I’ll frame that conversation in the difference between
materializations materialization and manifestation.
materialization is absolutely that I can make something happen. Right? Doesn’t matter how many times I get knocked off that horse get knocked off that pedestal, I am going to pick myself up, and I’m going to drive forward, drive forward, drive forward and make make things happen. Right. And if what is truly My mission
is to do that.
Then when I have materialized that, because I have just driven through and driven through, then there will be some satisfaction with it. That’s not usually what happens. Because materialization is exactly that. Me and control, I am driving. I am going to make this happen. manifestation is something completely different manifestation is these things coming to us? Yes, we had a vision. Yes, we tried to do what we could to hold on to that vision or to stay in line with that vision. But there was a willingness to sort of let be, what was going to be? And usually those stories of manifestation was
these things arrive almost as a gift.
Like, I don’t know, I don’t know how it happened. It just had like, I woke up one day and everything. That wasn’t making sense. All of a sudden, it made sense. Yep. I woke up one day and what I needed showed up, right when the students ready the teacher appears like it. And that is a different, that’s a very different thing to have happen. Because manifestation involves or it requires this letting go of the reins. This, you know what I can do enough to get to a certain point. But at that point, I don’t have any control over that.
Colby Pearce 1:04:47
As you said before, let go of the outcome. Yeah,
yeah. You know, we can do all the work to get to the precipice. But then we need to take a step. Yeah, we’re either going to take that step. And surrender. Or we’re going to find a way to keep climbing, or we’re going to stay on that precipice and never actually take the chance. What my experience has been is that the universe does not respond until we commit. And commitment, in my view, involves surrender. It involves being willing to not just listen to the science to learn how to listen to the answers that are already within us.
And that we’re just not taught to do that.
Colby Pearce 1:05:38
Maybe now we can go backwards and rewind and get some context. Cool. That sounds great. Okay. Wonderful. Would you tell us about your background, where you grew up what you studied your life experiences that led you to become a PT. And, sure,
I’m an Air Force brat. I remember once the second time that I dislocated my kneecap, my patella, I went to a doctor. And I don’t know how I might, it might have been 2019, something like that. And this doctor told me that I couldn’t bend my knee for a year. And I was instantly just pissed. That’s what I mean. I was a young kid, I was a young kid. And I knew that that was a bunch of horseshit.
And so I just took it, I just, I kind of dragged this mentality that I had my whole life along was like, well, screw you, I’m gonna show you that that’s not the case. And I essentially rehabbed myself without knowing that I was rehabbing myself, I doubled down on my my gym workouts, there was a lot of pain that I pushed through. And then I sought the help of some friends of mine that knew more than me that were competitive power lifters and bodybuilders. And they were very quick to deconstruct what I was doing in the gym, and start to construct a program that actually worked. So they taught me how to move. And they, they taught me how to how to train in season and train offseason they taught me how to, to stagger loads, they taught me all this stuff. And because I had now this, this chip on my shoulder that I needed to prove something to this doctor who I knew I was never going to see again. There’s no way it was going back to this guy. But so I did that, I got better.
And I ended up
going. So the background story of when all this was happening is I was a drug addict, and an alcoholic, ah, that that was playing underneath all this for a long, long, long time. And so when I went to school, out of directly out of high school, I went to the University of Minnesota, and I got kicked out. After my fourth quarter there, I got kicked, I got a letter from the school saying, you were invited not to return, put me on academic insufficiency. And I was like, part of me felt relieved. And then part of me felt like I took a blow. And so then I subsequently took a couple of took a couple of years, then I ended up going to another school, ended up leaving that school. And so I was I was going, I was being an addict. In everything that I did in life, everything was all or nothing. Everything there was there was no flow. There was only hustle there was only push. And when I decided to go back to school, to finish my undergraduate degree, I really didn’t know what it was I wanted to do. But I had all of these experiences. And in a company in the two years prior to me going back to school, I had been working in healthcare. I was a home health aide for a guy that was a quadriplegic. I was nursing assistant in a locked psych ward. Wow. Right. And I knew I was like, there’s something about like, there’s something about being connected to people because the way that I was brought up, I was brought up to respect relationship. And in the end, that’s kind of my whole spiritual practice is about relationship. How am I relating to whatever’s or whoever is out there.
I had this experience of working, I guess, in healthcare. But now I wanted to go back to school, but I didn’t really know what to do. So I went, I sat in front of a guidance counselor, who summarily looked at my previous transcripts, and sat there with his arms crossed. Like, why don’t you do this test when I did this Myers Briggs test? Yeah. But it did the long version, the 300 question one, okay, and had to wait three weeks for the results to come back. And I went back, I sat across the desk from him and, and he kind of kicked back to speed up time, he’s like, Well, according to this, his eyes opened a little bit. And he’s like,
according to this, you should be a doctor. You should be an architect,
doctor, an architect, an actor, or a physical therapist.
And I had no idea what a physical therapist was. I had no no clue what a physical therapist was. I know what a doctor and an architect and an actor were. Yeah. And the next thing he said was, before you get any big ideas, I want you to know that being a physical therapist is more than just passing up basketballs. And he said that to me with this, the same smugness that that doctor said to me, can’t bend your knee again for a year. Right. And I decided in that moment, yeah, that I was going to be a physical thing.
That was your choice.
And I hadn’t, I didn’t even know what a physical therapist was. I had no idea what a physical therapist was
Colby Pearce 1:11:40
not passing basketballs, right, more than but it was
to spite somebody else. Right. And that had been that was my programming. I was on the defensive constantly. And and so I attacked school the same way attacked everything in the same way attack drugs the same way attacked alcohol the same way attacked everything with a short fuse and a lot of power.
And, and I got a lot accomplished.
And I got my degree, and no fulfillment. None. Zero, I get zero. I’m like, this is it. This is this is my degree came in the mail, my diploma came in the mail. Like that, that meant I didn’t do anything. Right. And so I then decided to start doing some other things with my life. And I’m one of those people that doesn’t have a problem with dropping everything. And starting a new, right, I bought a one way ticket to Europe. I started modeling. I worked as a model for
few years, several years.
And the only reason I did that was because while I was in the middle of all this stuff going through, going through getting my undergraduate degree and working in these in these long term care facilities and things that I was doing. Somebody randomly said, Hey, you know what, you should be a model.
I was like, I’m not gonna be a model. Are you kidding me?
But that’s crazy. Like, I tell you what, we’ll just gonna send you out on a casting and see what happens. So they sent me out on a Budweiser commercial casting that I summarily booked. Uh huh. And it was shot by Michael Bay. Wow. In northern Minnesota, in July, or not in January. In January, so yeah, so it sounds kind of hockey. Okay. All right. We’re in it. Anyway. It’s it was all it was a Michael Bay commercial from way back in the mid 90s. Okay, 90s. I made 50 grand off of that commercial. Nice. over that, like every 13 weeks does mailbox money would come from residuals and hotspots that they cut and recut and things of that was like, Well, shit, this is a good money. I can do that. Yeah, I mean, if I did, if I actually went and did this, I can make enough money to pay for graduate school, I could go back to PT school. And so I did. And then I immersed myself in that world. After I was newly sober, I’m very newly sober, like, within a couple of years. And let me tell you trying to stay sober. When you’re living in a different country, in a business that is built on image and partying. Yeah, I was lost. I was lost. I mean, I found some, I found some meetings to go to, but not very many, and most of them were in, you know, in Spanish or Italian or French or, you know, wherever it was that I was, yeah. And so, I have Eventually quit that business. Move back to Minnesota is going to I went and then I started doing a bunch of prereqs so that I could get into graduate school into PT school. And I had to retake physics. And I had to retake board, organic chemistry and all this stuff. And I had been in school in a while. It was challenging. But if I’m good at anything, it is pushing. I am good at materializing things making things happen. And I knew that about myself. And so I just did it. I put my head down, push with the best of them. And
Colby Pearce 1:15:33
so when you during the modeling stint though, were you able to stay sober? Yeah.
Yeah, I said I was I was clean and sober for 25 years. Good for you. And that’s a whole story of how that? Yeah, what happened with that, but
so I pushed through, I finished these prereqs
gonna start graduate school. And then I got to this point where I was like, You know what? There’s things that I want to do with my life, that if I don’t do them now, I’m going to be 50 kicking myself in the ass, saying, Why didn’t you do them? I grew up, like, from a young age, I grew up on stage. I was acting, singing, dancing, playing my saxophone. Like that. I was just, that was all it did, was played music, sing dance, love being in theater. When I became when I started using drugs and alcohol, all that went away. And so there was this sort of unfulfilled unrealized thing that happened. I’m like, if I don’t do this, you know, I’m gonna forever regret it. So, I decided to call the schools Okay, I’m not coming. Like, what do you want to defer? I’m gonna defer. I packed up my truck into a and a four by eight u haul that I dragged behind it. And started driving south out of California, really not knowing if I was going to go to LA or New York. And I was like, the thought of going back to somewhere where it was, can still possibly get to 20 below zero. I was like, I couldn’t do it. So I just drove to LA. I called my called a friend of mine. I knew one person in LA, I called him up as like, Hey, I’m coming to LA, you wouldn’t happen to know anybody that’s looking for a roommate. And he’s like, I’m having to be looking for a roommate, because I’m moving. So in the three days that it took me to drive to LA, he found a place. I called him from the road. And he was like, he’s like, do you want to see it? I’m like, No, get it. So I moved, I drove into Los Angeles, unpacked my stuff into an empty apartment that I had never seen before. Because he was still he was still finishing off his lease manifestation. And exactly, there was I, there was no pushing involved with that there was me saying, I have pushed and I’ve pushed, and I’ve pushed, and I’m still unsatisfied. Now, what do I have to do? And the only thing that I came up with was that had to listen to what was pulling me. And that is a very, very different sensation, when something is, is pulling us into the future. Rather than us driving and driving and pushing against obstacles that are in front of us. That’s a, there’s a very different outcomes that came with that. And kind of gift after gift after gift sort of unrolled when I moved to LA. My modeling jobs picked up my acting jobs picked up I was where I think I worked on seven or eight different theater productions, which is where I was really the most satisfied was being in theater. And I was able to do a bunch of guest spots on TV did some guest roles and films, and I kind of got myself to this point, where I didn’t have to be going into casting directors all the time. Like, they would just call me straight to directors or producers, or they would, you know, offer me something small. But it was in this space, where everybody who’s gone to LA to be an actor knows that space of it’s like purgatory, you’re in that space where something big just might happen. Yeah. Right. It’s I can’t quit now because something might happen. And I had a, you know, at a big agency, I had an excellent manager. And, you know, two things that most most actors there never got a chance to, you know, be with these that size of an agency or be with that quality of a manager. And I was in this space where I was kind of doing what I wanted to do. And then I found out I was gonna be a dad.
then some different reality set in because like I said, when we were sat down, started talking, I’m now back to working five days a week and I haven’t worked five days a week since I was 19. years old. Right? Right. So I was like, Okay, what am I gonna do? I’m in a place of uncertainty. Do I want to gamble that on certainty knowing that I’ve got a kid on the way? Mm hmm. And I had a long history with my, with my father, who was not present for a lot. Because he was in the Air Force. Our relationship was touch and go for a long time. And I blamed him for a lot of things. I was like, I won’t do that to my daughter. And so I just called my manager called my agent. I’m going back to school, going back to graduate school.
And I felt good about it.
Never did I ever have the intention of actually working as a physical therapist. I was just going to get this diploma stick in my back pocket, and then boom, jump. Right. But it was just so that it’s there could be something stable. There’s a
Colby Pearce 1:21:03
Safety Network. Yeah,
yeah. And while I was in graduate school, there, we had an instructor come in on in my last year, who changed the paradigm of PT for me, because physical therapy for since its inception, has mostly been had mostly been up to that point, this is 20 years ago, had mostly been up to that point, kind of training technicians, pts, or just people that did the things that doctors told them to do. Right there was there was no thinking that was really involved. And now the profession has changed completely. And this guy that came in and taught our advanced orthopedics class. He’s like, that’s, that’s, that is the old school, the new school is that we need to teach you how to be a diagnostician, we need to teach you how to clinically reason. And that was something that I hadn’t really had up to that point, and so on all of a sudden, my postgraduate clinical rotations. Now I got put into very challenging clinical rotations, places where I was forced to think faces were places where I was forced to use my brain in a way that pts hadn’t been trained to use their brains as a diagnostician. And that changed everything. So all of a sudden, now instead of this intention that I have never actually working, I graduated, apply to and got into a residency program, then apply to and got into a fellowship program. Then a couple years after that started teaching, and before you knew it, I had this like full fledged career, and my resume that was just sort of building and building and building and building. And then I went back and finished up my doctorate. And that was my sort of my, my PT. trajectory. Never with the intention, certainly never, with the intention of what I thought it would look like. When I first went into it, it was it turned into be something much bigger than what than what I thought was possible. And some of those things manifested simply because I was like, you know, what, I’ve had too many things that have pushed for gotten the results that I thought I wanted, and then then completely unsatisfied with those results that have to be willing to do what some of my other teachers were telling me, which was, you got to let go. Yeah. And it’s always in the moments when we let go, that the universe response, right, depending upon what it is our particular belief system happens to be. Whatever it is, you call that energy, that energy response. It responds to commitment, it responds to, you know what, I don’t know. I’ve done all I can do hands off the wheel, take my hands off the wheel. Yeah. And at some point, that energy says, Okay, go take the wheel for a little while. And then it’s like, you gotta let go the wheel. So the whole process has been has turned into one of listening and working on paying attention. And the place that I have to start with that is in my own body. That’s what all my teachers told me to do. And that seemed to what has worked now.
Colby Pearce 1:24:56
I really am appreciated. The paradigm you’ve laid out there of listening to the body versus listening to the mind, kind of bouncing back and forth between those worlds and having an awareness of when we are too much in our minds, we are too, too far down the what we should do what we’re attached to, that would be attachment to outcome, or the shoulds. The programming, the, this is who I am, this is what I do. This is my goal, this is what I’m going to accomplish. And the balance between listening to your body, so in your experience, okay, so it’s probably pretty easy, at least for me it is. And maybe if my audience is tracking with my line of thought, it’s easy to see how we would suggest to an athlete that they should listen to their bodies more during periods of hard training, right? There are times when you say, Okay, I’m gonna make it through this interval workout today, it’s really hard, or I’m gonna make it through this strength workout today, it’s gonna be really hard, I’m gonna feel the pain, I’m going to be present with it. But I’m going to, this is the goal, I’m going to, I’m going to go from A to, to Q on my workout list, or my to do list. And then after that, the next day, I’m going to get up and listen to my body, I’m going to go to the other side and reflect, be internally reflective and say, what’s my body telling me? How smashed Am I after that workout? My totally obliterated, maybe that was too much load? Or am I nice and tired? But not, I can still do things like walk around and pick up a cooler and be somewhat functional in my life and go back and forth through that process that seems relatively crystal into me. How would you say, Ron, you listen to your body, when you’re making bigger decisions, life decisions, like, I’m gonna pack up and move from LA to Denver, or now is the moment for me to let go of my career as an actor and a performer and go back to school? How do you how do you listen to your body for those bigger guidance, type of directional North versus south.
So again, I will, quote one of my teachers in that the secret of the practice is practice. A, we start with, we start with listening to the small things. We start by making manageable, manageable decisions. And when I was, you know, he said I was it was in was a 12 step program for 25 years. When I was new to that program,
I walked in there should be a shell looking for looking for some sort of guidance, asking massive questions, having massive problems that I thought were
And the evidence or the the advice that I kept getting was smaller questions. Right. So literally having a concrete checklist of what to do
when I got up in the morning,
and that works for a given amount of time
until it doesn’t work anymore. And then
we need to recheck in and we need to get another checklist. We need to get an like Alright, so you’ve gotten really good at getting up in the morning and not staying but you’ve gotten really good at brushing your teeth and not walking around with smelly breath. You’ve gotten really good at wearing clean clothes rather than wearing the same crap over it. But you’ve gotten really good at making your bed. Okay. Now, simple tasks simple. Yeah. Now what? Okay, well, now how do I talk to somebody in that job that job interview so now it’s, there’s, there’s, there’s something that happens automatically, when we show up for our own life. When we make a commitment to something, when we don’t know what’s going to happen. And we’re willing to we’re willing to take in new information and commit to it. And I can’t tell you I have no idea how it works. I only know that it works.
But it involves it involves a commitment to something.
And like I said earlier, it doesn’t matter which arena of life we’re talking about, you get what you train. And so if we train that muscle, we become so much better in like your discernment. Right? We become so much better and discernment. I was taught to ask myself those questions. Because of that path that I was on because of the teachers that came to me because I was ready. I was taught to stop I was taught to take a breath before I responded That was my very first indication of higher power was one day, something happened. And I didn’t respond the same way that I normally would respond. You didn’t
Colby Pearce 1:30:17
have your automatic read and have an
automatic it was I used to post so short tempered and violent. Somebody did something, a switch flipped, and I responded, and I usually responded with force or with violence.
But now, then,
I got clean and sober for
a year maybe. And I had an experience happen. Where it was in a parking lot, where somebody cut me off in a parking lot took took a parking space that I was going into. And I’m at least five occasions exactly like that. In the past, I had not only stopped my truck and gotten out of it,
yeah, and attacked their car. But
And this time, I took a breath.
And I didn’t respond.
But blood pressure elevated, I don’t know, 15 seconds. And it went back down. And I drove up and there was a spot that was even closer to where I was trying to get into. And I stopped in my I pulled my truck into the spot and just broke down, just broke down just sobbing just just sobbing. Because I couldn’t remember a time when I felt that much gratitude. So that was my very first experience of what, then I called a higher power. And I called it higher power, because that’s what I was told to call it. But that was my first experience of it, that God or the universe or energy or whatever it is lives in that space. In between the stimulus and our response. It lives in that space between the vision that I’m holding on to, and my willingness to let go of the outcome. And that one incident never um, you know, never forget that. Wow. And I think, I think what my programming was, because I was so good at holding on and pushing and pushing and pushing, I was able to not forget that I was able to something profound just happened to me. I can’t let this go. I can’t forget how important this moment is. That’s where our liabilities, you know, what we do somebody we decide or somebody else decides is, you know, our list of
character defects, yeah.
Where they can actually start to become
our strengths. You know, this unwillingness to let things go, all of a sudden became a benefit. Because now is unwilling to let go of something that was profound. That was a gift that had manifested in a moment because that wasn’t something I tried to do. That was something that was given to me. Somebody in Poland, and then I suddenly remembered that, okay, I’m supposed to take a breath. You know, I’m supposed to, you know, recite a prayer, I’m supposed to get on my mala, whatever. No, that’s not what happened. What happened was, there was a stimulus. And I stopped, and I didn’t respond, I responded in a different way. And I believe that that is the only way that we have as human beings to know if we have changed, if we have grown, is that we have a different response to the same stimulus.
Because we can
we can do all this sort of inner work, the spiritual work, we can memorize mantras, memorize prayers, we can help other people we can, we can take all these sort of philanthropic altruistic actions and still be so tightly wound around a program that any disruption to that program shatters this supposedly, you know, Foundation, this new foundation that we’ve got, it’s still rigid. It’s still a rigid system. I mean, a friends that are that are vegan. Right.
And there are some
people that are that have gotten so wound into it. A conditioned way of life, that this thing that initially sort of set them free. They became a vegan that became plant based and all of a sudden, everything changed in their life. Well, now all of a sudden, they become so constrained by the structure, that they’re very unwilling to move out of that or experiment out of that structure anymore. Well, that happens with athletes all the time. No, I did this. This was my ritual. This is how I got to where I’m going to get to, this is where I got to where I am right now,
at least that’s what we think.
So I’m not there’s no way that I’m going to venture outside, I’m going to try something new. Because it’s going to it’s going to change my outcome, right. And so even in this sort of learning to live a different way of life, memorize new things, you know, like you said that you’ve memorized the mantra, the prayer, the service, like everything.
If something comes in and hits a sideways,
we don’t have the ability to adapt, we don’t have the ability to take a breath, and then respond in a different way. We haven’t really changed all we did was switch addictions.
Colby Pearce 1:36:19
We’re still reactive, it’s still defending ours are a little different, still defending our beliefs
wedge of cheese, or whatever it is. Yeah,
So I think that’s really the only way that we have to know if
we have moved farther down the path
is if we are presented with stimulus,
we don’t respond in the same way.
That is evidence of change. And I think change at a very fundamental level. And I think the trap of that is that we get we get stuck in this, this idea that it was our doing, we were the ones that did it. Because I did this because I followed this program, because I did this diet, because I decided to follow this particular regimen because I went to this particular school that I was taught by this particular teacher. Because Because Because Because Because Because of these things, because Me Me, me, I therefore am or was able to do this. No. No,
quote yet another one of my teachers, you know,
it’s very dangerous when we start confusing. Our preparation with our readiness. Mm hmm. Just because we’ve prepared and prepared and prepared
Colby Pearce 1:37:41
doesn’t mean we’re ready doesn’t mean we’re ready. Yeah.
You know, and we very well may be ready, when we have done no preparation whatsoever. And if there isn’t a willingness for us to check in, with what’s going on inside of us.
More often than not, we missed that. We missed that boat.
So to get back to your question, how do I how do I know now in my life, that it’s okay to just pick things up and change to make major life changes or to make a significant change in my life?
I’ve practiced it.
I’ve got I know. I’ve got tools in my toolbox. I know, I know how to. I know how to breathe. I know, I know how to listen. And when I think I’ve got the answer. I know who to call to check my thinking. Do I really mean this is what I’m thinking? How does that make? But how’s it sound? You know, I have I have teachers that I can go to I’ve got friends that I can go to I’ve decided to surround myself with people that keep sort of pushing those those personal boundaries, a support network.
so making those decisions is a is a lot easier.
And I think it also helps at some point, if we start to turn those kind of things into a game. You know, life is about play. As far as I’m concerned, this seriousness of being stuck in a particular pattern, no matter what that pattern is.
There’s limited, limited happiness in that.
There’s, there’s not a lot of balance in a pattern.
Unless that pattern is sort of flowing with the ebb and flow of of life.
that’s supposed to happen.
Me deciding when it’s supposed to happen. That’s just me deciding when it’s supposed to wanting Yeah, exactly.
Colby Pearce 1:40:02
So shinzen young says a teacher that I followed a bit going back to your discussion about reactivity. His expression is we have exactly three tenths of a second before the terrorists stormed the gate.
I love that.
Colby Pearce 1:40:16
That great. That’s so beautiful. Yeah. Yeah. I found for you get hijacked before you get hijacked. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. That’s Michael Holt taught me that through shunting. Michael’s a guy that I study with and check. Yeah, Institute. Yeah. meditation teacher, smart guy. It’s truth.
Yeah. That’s interesting is that same message comes from no 1000 different points of light. Yeah. And we may hear it from 999 other points of light like we can, we can pare it back.
Colby Pearce 1:40:55
But until you act on it until
embrace till it hits. Yeah. And until we embody it, until we’ve had an experience that is attached to it. Mm hmm. It doesn’t mean anything. It’s it stays cerebral. It just, you know, enlightenment is one thing. But, embodiment, that that’s essential. Getting the information? Yeah, we can change a lot. But embodying something is that’s a very, very difficult that we take it into our body. We can’t be that thing unless we listen to that thing. Mm hmm.
Which I think
we started initially kind of talking about, about athletes. Yeah, there’s, there’s so much truth. In that we can’t be what it is we think we’re supposed to be or what it is we’re trying to be. Until we start to embody all of what that means. And we can’t know what that means. Until we start to unpack it. What that means for us, because being an athlete, to, to one person, is a very, very different thing than it is to another person. There’s, there are extreme high level, high level athletes that I like, Yeah, that’s great. I realized, I know that I’m one of the best at what I do. But that’s not the most important thing. Most of them, the most important thing is my is my practice. And then you’ve got other extreme high level athletes are like you ask
so what’s your practice?
And all they do is pair it back, you know, a diet regimen and exercise regimen on loading and offloading regimen, the way something gets fit the way, you know, like, we’re No, no, no, no, no. what’s what’s like, what do you do? Like what’s important inside of you? Like, if we were to take all this off the table and be like, what does it mean for you to actually be this person.
There’s no substance behind it. There’s just an end goal.
And if you look at, if you look at people that have reached these goals, wanting them one of them, allowing that goal to sort of pull them towards it, and one of them deciding that they’re going to push and push and push and push until they achieve that goal. You got two different people that you’re sitting and talking to. Yeah. Very, very, very different people. There’s a level of humility that comes with sort of being drawn into something. There’s a level of balance that comes with that there’s a level of willingness to surrender that comes in with that. And those people, quite frankly, are a lot easier to just sit across the table and have a beer with Mm hmm.
Colby Pearce 1:44:14
One of my racing colleagues, a guy named Mike creed used to say, he feels that cycling as a sport really chose him almost more than he chose it. And that I think, perfectly illustrates that paradigm. Right. He felt like he was being pulled into cycling. And surrender to the outcome to degree.
Yeah, right. Yeah, exactly.
Whereas there’s this sense, that story of the story of the bricklayers. Right, this guy walking down the street, and he sees this guy with a wheelbarrow on sand and straw and water and he’s toiling and sweating and grumbling underneath his Breton’s breath, and he’s like, what are you doing? It’s like I’m making bricks goddamnit Wow, okay, and he walks down the street farther and he sees as the same Setup Wheel there on a bucket and straw and mud and what are you doing? So I’m making bricks, he’s just angry. And further down the street, he runs in the same setup, skies doing the exact same thing. And he’s just kind of singing and smiling. And so what are you doing? He’s like, I’m building a cathedral.
Exact same tasks,
just different perspectives, on things. That all comes down to, why? Why are we doing what we’re doing? Why am I thinking, what I am thinking? Why do I think that I am this particular person? You know, when I start when people ask me, you know, what are you? I’m a physical therapist? Well, that’s a great, that’s a, that’s a great opportunity for me to turn the mirror back on myself. And what does that what does that represent? mean? You know, I say I am this thing. Why am I this thing? How did I arrive at being this thing? What does that mean?
What does it what’s the end goal of this?
I think is and that’s the, you know,
I think faith
wants to be challenged, it wants to be questioned, just so that it can be reaffirmed?
You know, I had
it, I think it begs to be questioned. Okay, why do I have these beliefs? If this is if this is really true? Why would I believe that? And we start taking, what we what we think are our true this, or mandates, and then turn those turn those things back into questions? Like, this is the way it is? Well, if Why is this the way that it is, and then we we have to get into the moment, we have to get inside of ourselves to really,
to really sort of unpack that
we hold on to all sorts of, of theories, that don’t really have great evidence behind them. You know, there’s whole schools of thought, in physical therapy that are built on
paradigms, that there’s not great evidence to support.
Colby Pearce 1:47:35
Unfortunately, the dig deeper, you dig in a lot of topics, that seems to be the case. Exactly. Right. Yeah.
One of my one of the teachers said to me, you know, think of a theory that you’ve got that you hold to, and you know, it’s a part of your practice, it’s a part of your life, it’s a part of your livelihood. If somebody came to you and presented you with evidence that refuted that theory, sound evidence? What would you then do?
Colby Pearce 1:48:09
Would you really, really look at that evidence? Yeah. Or would you just ignore it?
Yeah. Or would you plow through? Or would you try to take this new evidence incorporated into this sort of practice that you had and start throwing things against the wall and see what stuck? Right? Are we willing to investigate? Or are we are we in such a rigid system? That we’re just you know, you know, what, I just have faith. Yeah. Because faith can can become a very rigid system. You know,
Colby Pearce 1:48:45
this gets to an analogy that I recently heard Paul check us on one of his discussions he was talking about he used the analogy of a really big sailboat. He said okay, this ship sets out from South America and travels through all the Caribbean islands, Caribbean Caribbean, depending on where you are winds up in you know, in the US somewhere in Florida or in Texas or something and on each of these islands, in this hypothetical ship example, at each port, a part of the ship is replaced You know, one part of the bow has cracked and rotted so they have to put a new piece of the bow on or whatever in other place they have to replace the mast I don’t know what my ship language is terrible, but you get the idea. So bit by bit this boat this entire boat is replaced and when they get to Florida, or they get to to Texas, even though it still says Santa Maria on the side of it or whatever, the sailing the whistling pig. Is this boat the same boat? Does it have the same soul does it what makes a boat a boat? And I think that this is clearly one of the things that people have the hardest time with when they’re thinking philosophically about discussions like this. You know, I’ve been on this planet for 20 3040 years, 50 years, whatever. And I’ve always drank coffee. Or I’ve always thought that people who did x were a holes, right? Still steal parking spots, or whatever, pick your pick your event, right? I’ve always thought that my grandmother told me that you always whatever, drink a cup of water before you go to bed at night. And now for the last 10 years, my sleep has been horribly destroyed because I’m urinating four times a night or right or whatever. And, and so how do you deal with that balance between disassembling or deconstructing tearing down those belief systems, those scaffoldings of things that you’ve always done that you think make up air quotes you, you know, I am this, like you said, I’m this guy who rides my bike, I’m this person who gets up in the morning and has my coffee. It’s my so how do we? I mean, I think we’ve already talked about this, but I just want to comment on this. Like,
how do we
Colby Pearce 1:51:04
have the answers faith, I think, but how do we? How do we calm people’s fear and anxiety around them losing their sense of self that they identify with? And the answer, of course, is to let that’s the point, it’s to let go of that sense of self and become greater than learn, be okay with evolving, right? Right to let go of those infrastructures of belief, those scaffoldings that are not only what we think makes air quotes us, but also complicate our lives, they weigh us down and keep us from growing and expanding and having those experiences like you did in the parking lot.
Yeah, well, everybody’s got a bottom. Right, everybody’s gonna, everybody’s gonna hit their own bottom. And for some people, that bottom, maybe very, very low. And they may need to get dragged across the bottom
Colby Pearce 1:51:53
several times before the vote, something changes, the bottom being kind of the point at which you really you’re not capable of deconstructing anymore. Yeah, exactly. Right.
you know, there are those two kind of, quote, 12 step literature that are constitutionally incapable of being honest with themselves. But they’re not very many of those. They are, you know, they’re they lie outside of the bell curve. Most people have an experience, they hit a bottom, they get to a point where they’re like, there’s, I can’t make a way out of this. And so they asked for advice, they try to do something different. They’re like, you know, what, I don’t know, maybe I should go talk to that person. Right? They change the pattern, in a willingness to change a pattern, they get new information. And for some reason, because they were in enough pain, they were willing to incorporate some new information, and then they got a new result. Hmm. All right. And we do that, we do that all the time, in life.
The problem is that most of the time, those deeper patterns of I’ve got it under control, I need to be able to, I need to be able to hang a label on it. I need to be able to objectively, sort of Name something before I’m willing to accept it. Usually what happens in those moments where we have, we’re like, you know, what, I asked the question, I asked for help. I got some help I incorporate incorporated that help, I got a different response. And now I actually feel better. Most of the time, because there’s no atheists in foxholes, right. Most of the times, then when the bomb stop dropping, we get out of it. We get out of the foxhole. And right. All right, God, who Thanks, I’ll take it from here. And then we go right back into those same patterns. My experiences and I’ve had a number of these experiences, I think I’m very lucky. Because I have had these experiences have been
I’m not going to forget that.
I’m not going to forget the fact that I was willing to listen, I got new information. For some unknown reason, I was willing to implement that information. I got a different outcome. I feel differently. Now I’m hold on to that. Like, okay, those that’s that’s what I you know, what I call like a god shot. You know,
Colby Pearce 1:54:37
this is growth,
a growth, something changed, but it comes but it came as a gift, essentially. Because my own best thinking got me right into a corner. It is not my own best thinking that is going to get me out of that corner. Or the solution doesn’t come from the same level of consciousness as the problem. Right, right, right. It can’t. It can’t happen.
Colby Pearce 1:55:04
There’s an Einstein quote about this.
Yes, that was Einstein. Yeah. Okay. Yeah. Yeah, um,
I don’t remember your question.
Well, we were talking about why we got onto that.
Colby Pearce 1:55:18
I think I was just talking about that balance between the ship the analogy the ship. Oh, right. Right. Right. He says you can take away and replace before you’ve completely lost the soul the same? Yeah. Vehicle a person.
Right? Well, I mean, we’re not the same physical person that we were three months ago, correct. All of ourselves have completely gone through multiple iterations. Yeah. of themselves. Yeah, you know. And we used to think that even our central nervous system was somehow fixed and rigid and couldn’t be changed. And now we’ve got reams and reams of evidence that shows that that’s just not, that’s just not the truth. It’s constantly go undergoing new growth. But something has to happen in order for new growth to happen. There,
a pattern needs to be broken. And that’s
the great thing about a pattern is that it doesn’t matter where you break a pattern. Once you break it, you get a different outcome. Right? And the opportunity, then to have a different perspective. And if we take the opportunity to look with different eyes, were going to see different opportunities. It can’t happen any other way. That is, that’s the gift. But I think that’s what, that’s really what manifestation really is. It manifestation results in a gift. It doesn’t result in some material thing that happens, because we did it to make it happen.
Colby Pearce 1:57:00
Ron, I really appreciate you taking the time out of your Sunday to come. Come chat with me today. And I want to be respectful of your time because we’re running pretty long here. But I’ve just got one final concept I want to run past you to close on. Yeah. And that is the idea of ritual. And how it applies to our discussion. In the one hand, you were saying the starting point, when you’re when you’re near bottom, or you’re at bottom, and you’re little lost can be to start with simple things. Start with small questions. Do I brush my teeth and brush my teeth? Do I put on pants or walk out the door without pants? Probably in most cases, wearing pants is probably the right call just like no. But
But when we’re at that place at the bottom, those are monumental decisions for sure.
Colby Pearce 1:57:47
Absolutely. Yeah. They’re not trivial. Yeah, when you’re really at bottom. So So in that sense, you’re you could say that we’re building a practice of ritual, perhaps, right. And you get that familiarity with your day, you start to adopt that I’m gonna get up and have tea. That’s what I’m going to do every day. It helps me helps guide me What do I do want to get up? First, I say a prayer, I say I’m grateful for being alive, then I go have tea as an example. Mm hmm. But then on the other hand, ritual is the building of those same constructs those same scaffoldings of belief systems. Mm hmm. I’m the guy who I have to have my tea every morning. Right. And to take a very simple example, like if I get up one morning, and I’m rushed, because my alarm didn’t go off, or I forgot I had an appointment or whatever, I get woken up by a siren or a crack of lightning or train, and I forget my tea, then my whole day is ruined, because I drink tea every morning. And now I don’t have my tea and I don’t have my green tea, caffeine or I don’t have my polyphenols or whatever my belief system is about why tea is the thing that I do. So there’s, I mean, I suppose part of the human experience is about having ritual. It’s about building up that scaffolding of preferences. And maybe that’s the question is, the question is your talk, you’re asking about ritual? Where’s the balance? Where’s the balance in ritual? Like, so? What’s the most powerful thing and ritual?
That’s, that’s the question. And the most powerful thing in any ritual is spontaneity.
Colby Pearce 1:59:15
Aren’t ritual and spontaneity juxtaposed are opposites?
Or right? That’s fine your belief system, okay.
Right. If I get stuck in this ritual, and my definition, my operational definition of ritual is that a has to come after has to come before be which has to come before see and ultimately before it can arrive at an end game, there needs to be a construct that needs to have been gone through. Then ritual has lost a lot of its power that has that is now me, deciding to take control. But if the spontan if you look at so You know, if I loosely quote, quote, Jesus, right, the power of prayer is not in the words that are said. Power of prayers and the feeling behind the prayer. Right. So Meister Eckhart said if the only query over said was Thank you, that would be sufficient. Right? If you mean it, the intent is everything comes down to Yes. comes down to intent. What is it that I really mean? You know, if I can have the most profound words of positivity, leave my lips. But if they are coming from a place of doubt, they’re nullified before ever before they ever leave my lips,
huh? All right.
So ritual becomes, I think, more a part of an intention of getting to a place of surrender, getting to a place of sort of worshipping something that we have no idea what it is. This idea is like, I don’t know how it works. I just know that it works. You know, if, if my if my day is destroyed, because my ritual didn’t go the in the order that it needed to. And then that ritual has become a fairly unhelpful thing. It’s become a very rigid system. But if I get to this point, where it’s like you what, like you said, You walked out the door, and you and, and, and you forgot your tea. And then something happened later in the day, you’re like, well, that everything fell apart, because I didn’t have my tea. What a beautiful opportunity. That is to just just step back, take a breath, because that’s where the magic is in that space. And be like, that’s so funny. I think that just because I didn’t have a cup of tea. Yeah, that that has somehow caused this. Wow, that came from? That’s crazy. Why would I think that? Oh, I think that, because at one point, I did something and it worked. And just because I did something one day, in no way means that it’s a formula for every other day. If I overwater a plant, the plant dies, if I’ve put the plant in too much sun, the sun, there’s it’s constantly dynamic, right? We’re a gardener, essentially, of our of our own soul. And a gardener has to pay attention. What does the soil need? Does it need to get weeded? Does it not need to get waited? What does it need in terms of nutrients? What does it need in terms of water? What does it need in terms of sunlight? It’s been particularly cloudy for a few days. So you know, maybe there’s plant needs to get moved to a place where it gets more and you get the idea. But all of a sudden, then ritual starts to become part of the flow. He’s like, you know what, I missed my tea this morning, or I’m gonna get it this afternoon. But just because I miss my tea doesn’t mean that I have to miss my breath. Doesn’t mean that I have to lose sight of my intention doesn’t need doesn’t mean that my, my mission, my purpose has somehow been affected. No, it just means that the structure got
it got affected.
But, but that I think we only arrive at that level. Once we’ve had all these other levels in place before us. You know, I think initially, I mean, my my own path was my initially sort of God or the universe or my higher power was something that was outside of me. At some point, it became something that was inside of me.
And then as it grew, it became something that worked
from inside of me out. And then at some point, it just became something that worked through me.
And then at some point, it just became something that is me.
But can’t start out
at this place. Yeah, I was like well, I am God. Okay, chances, the chances you’re gonna make a lot of mileage off of that is not great. Right? Right. There’s there’s a process. That’s that’s involved.
And the secret of the practice practice.
Colby Pearce 2:05:05
A man has to define is know before he can know is Yes. Is that that’s integral integral to that line of thought to a degree, right? You have to kind of make mistakes, learn, understand what doesn’t work, and then you slowly figure out the formula that does
kind of create except for one it doesn’t.
Right, while separate when we wake up one day and just shit just arrives in the mail. Something changes. Yeah, like, wow, whoo, damn, I don’t know where, right. I mean, that’s it. I mean, I would I better be lucky than good any day of the week? You know? Absolutely.
And I love learning.
I can’t stop myself from from learning.
But because of them lucky enough to have the, the teachers along my path that I’ve had, they’ve all been willing to tell me that, like, Look, your job as a student is to become better than me. Yeah, if the student doesn’t lead probe the teacher, then we devolve. And to be able to learn from people that that have that level of humility, that becomes that then becomes a template. So now in all the teaching that I do, that’s one of the first things that I tell my students, it’s your job to become a better therapist than me. Right? You know, and they may be new graduates in a residency, or they may be students that are coming and work with me, is that
what doesn’t matter if they remember it?
You get these little pieces of truth, these things that we’ll never forget, we’ll never forget.
And at some point, they start to make sense.
Colby Pearce 2:06:47
That’s really powerful. Because you can imagine, I mean, I know my own life experiences starting study of any new kind of area that you can’t, you barely getting your head wrapped around the basic concepts. If you have a teacher that says to you, who just seems godlike in their knowledge and their experience, their wisdom, their ability to apply all that information, you’re learning from them, and you’re drinking from the firehose and for them to say to you, oh, by the way, your objective is to be better at this than I am at some point in the future. I think that’s a simultaneously probably a mind blowing experience, but also beautiful carrot to give that person to kind of go for it to a huge gift. Yeah, huge gift. Yeah, because it expands. It expands their awareness of what they can do in the future. But it also demonstrates that the teacher has faith in the student and the teacher believes in their ability to grow beyond them. That’s Yeah,
yeah, that is a second. No, the first, the very first, a meeting that I walked into when I was 25 years old. I heard a guy say, you were already everything that you were ever going to be Hmm. never forgot it. I was angry when I heard it. Because I walked into that space, a broken, broken person. And to have somebody sit across a room and say you’re already everything you’re ever going to be the only way that I could interpret that was through my own limited consciousness, my own limited experience that I’d had in my life up to that point. Everything that I had ever happened to me was influencing my ability to understand what God said. Right. So it made me angry. But I also knew that I just heard something that meant something. And so it got stored away, fall away. And I never forgot it.
Colby Pearce 2:08:39
Powerful. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, that’s a big theme for me with a lot of my clients that I work with is kind of trying to deliver this subtle, but ultimately very potent truth that they already are. What they need to be there, they’re there, everything that they can express in the sport is contained within them, their goals to express it, it’s to have the journey to let it out of them. Right, and stop looking for external, especially in the sport of cycling. It’s so externally focused, I mean, that’s culture. It’s endemic in our culture, but in cycling is so externally focused on equipment, you know, what bike Am I going to buy? What wheels Am I going to buy? What What power meter Am I going to use? What coach Am I going to hire? What strength program Am I going to use to do all these things that and it automatically sets up a paradigm of less than like, or of, you know, I’m not good enough the way I am. So I have to add all this stuff to me to become better,
right? We put our we put ourselves on this sliding scale of better than or less than depending upon the company that we happen to be on. Yeah, right.
Colby Pearce 2:09:48
Yeah. Man, that’s so psycho stories. Yeah. of people
that accomplished way more than they were supposed to accomplish with way less than at their disposal now than they were ever supposed to be able to deal with. Mm hmm. And, and I think if we all serious if we all, again, turn that Looking Glass back on ourselves, we have, we all have moments in our life where we have that same experience. So I was moving forward with inadequate information, not knowing what was going to happen with the equipment that I had on hand. And lo and behold,
Colby Pearce 2:10:34
somehow I got it done somehow got it done.
Yeah. You know, yeah. And then at some point, somebody said, it’s amazing. But it was amazing. You’re able to do that. Yeah. With what you had at your disposal. Mm hmm. Imagine what you’d be able to do. If you had this. Yeah. And then you had this and you had these clothes and this bike and you, you know, you, you had these components, and you follow this training. Imagine, imagine them and, and that wonder, that trust that faith, that that sort of manifested that goal out of us. Now all of a sudden gets turned into? Well, I need to get this and I need to get this and I need to follow this. And now I need to make something happen. I didn’t need to make anything happen before. Because I
Colby Pearce 2:11:19
can’t hit the next level. Unless, yeah,
it’s like my friend, you know, so they kind of got pulled into cycling. Yeah.
Colby Pearce 2:11:35
Excellent. That’s a perfect place to talk us up. Thank you so much for your time, wisdom. Really appreciate you coming in and sharing with my audience. I think a lot of people really get a lot out of your words.
Colby Pearce 2:12:00
Well, if you’ve made it this far, that means you’ve really enjoyed the conversation I had with Ron today. Thanks for listening. If you did enjoy our conversation, you’ll want to check out Ron Dickinson, which is the mechanics of spirit, they put a link to that show notes, so you don’t have to go searching for one aspect of our conversation that I felt was particularly powerful was the tension that Ron talks about, in the athletic paradigm of listening to the body, versus listening to the mind, or really having the mind overcome the sensations of the body. And I think that rings so true for many of us, it’s so easy to fall into a belief system to sign up for all of it and believe that the only path to success the path to winning races or being the best cyclist, or the best athlete in general, is to be of strong mind. And that means disassociating from the signals that the body gives us. You know, shut up legs, as I said, That’s Nzs motto. I mean, what is the entire series of Rocky movies all about? It’s about being a tough guy, and during suffering, pain, and we glorify that, as athletes, we glorify that. That toughness, that ability to not listen to the body or disconnect from those signals. And fundamentally, that’s exactly what it is. It’s a disintegration, a disconnection from the body. It’s moving mind and body farther apart. It is intentionally ignoring what your body is telling you. And as Ron points out, in order to succeed as a high level athlete, to a certain degree, you have to come out of balance. But I think that’s part of what being in practice means is recognizing that you’re intentionally coming out of balance at times and then seeking to restore balance at other times. You’re not going to turn yourself into a world or athlete by ignoring what your body says for months or years on end, you’re just going to grind yourself down into dust. So being realistic about your performance ceiling and honestly accepting what you can do. That’s part of the practice of being an athlete, not mindlessly, repetitively, endlessly or extremely choosing to simply forge ahead because you think it’s the best path in spite of the damage you do to your body, your hormones. Your muscles, your tendons. This is not athletic practice when you when you choose this path. For me at this point, my movement practice is more about integration of mind and body. It’s about union of those two aspects, synchronicity. And that means that I have ideas about how I like to move, but I also carefully listen to what my body tells me about my movement practice. How is it serving me? I have a luxury to do that because I’m not getting paid to ride my bike anymore. But most people who listen to this podcast also are not being paid to ride their bikes. I have a lot of gratitude for my audience. And for the comments. I get good better otherwise, so. Thank you. Listen up space monkeys. A few final notes and disclaimers. I’m not a doctor or lawyer. I don’t play one on the internet. So do not misconstrue any advice given on this podcast as Dr. Lee or lawyerly advice. Also, during our show, at times, my guests and I will express our opinions. These opinions do not necessarily represent those of Fast Talk Labs of Chris case, Trevor Connor, Jenna Martin, for anyone else associated with Fast Talk Labs. If you want to reach out and tell me something good better otherwise, feel free to email me at cycling in alignment at Fast Talk. labs.com. Thanks for listening. much gratitude.