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Fitness Motivation: Final Update on Major Christopher Story

Major Christopher Story & Family

In previous posts see here and here, I shared with you a motivational story about my friend and NRGTRIBE contributor Major Christopher Story.  As I described in previous posts, this Marine Corps Major was preparing to perform his yearly PFT on or near his 40th birthday.

Major Story set a personal goal to acheive a perfect 300 score on his Marine Corps personal fitness test.

As mentioned this was no small feat and at age 40 he boldly shared his vision and goal as motivation for his men and readers on the NRGTRIBE.

Over the first two posts we explored his training approach, challenges, and expectations.

What unfolded during the months since I shared this journey is truly remarkable.

PFT Results

Total Points= 250/300

Pullups= 14 

Situps= 100 / 2 min

3 mile run @ 21 min

Each event was performed back to back.

For those unaware anything over 200 is considered FIRST CLASS for a 40 year old Marine Officer!

The Rest Of the Story

The results speak for themselves.  Major Story made lofty goals, applied strong work ethic, and acheived excellent results. But I share this triumph not merely for the athletic motivational aspects but for what Chris accomplished while “Life happened.”

Life happening included a car accident (Back / Neck strains), elbow hyperextension injury during hand / hand combat training, and a sprained ankle while trail running.

“Life” also included helping raise 3 kids under six years of age and serving / leading 700 marines as their Executive Officer.   And, physical and normal social challenges aside, Chris stood by his wife who is recieving treatment for and overcoming a cancer diagnosis.

As a physician I deal with illness, trajedy and various human woes on a daily basis.  I’m amazed by the range of response to adversity both good and bad.  Regardless of age, the human experience and the personal response to “Life Happening” varies tremendously.  I can attest from my interactions with Major Story, despite obvious opportunities to make excuses or bow out from his initial goal, he never waivered or complained about his plan, his personal situation, or the challenges he still faces.

Major Story, his wife, and family serve as an example to each of us facing challenges in our lives.   I thank them for sharing a small inspiring part of their life’s journey.

Ponder some of the key lessons:

1.  Life Happens

2. Attitude shapes our experience and outcomes

3. Goal setting is essential for success

4. Flexibilty and adaptation are key life skills

5. Sometimes we don’t reach our ultimate goals…perseverance is both necessary and noble

6. Even as we age, our bodies are capable of 20x what we imagine

7. Personal Faith, belief in mission, and integrity can move mountains

8.  The only easy day was yesterday

I thank Chris for his service to our Country and for the example he sets for each of our readers.



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Recipe for Health: Willpower & Desire

I’ve taken time off lately from posting to collect my thoughts and refocus  my approach to patient care and health care messaging.

I’m often suprised by the lack of concern my patients display when confronted with serious medical conditions.

Clinically I am most surprised by the dismissive attitude some patients have when I share knowledge about diet and exercise as a choice for alleviating their diabetes, hypertension, or weight issues.  It’s almost as though they can’t be bothered with that type of advice.  Their lives are too complicated, inextricably involved, or unbalanced to conceive of even minor changes like not drinking a 12 pack of soda weekly.

Exercise?…ridiculous.  Diet?….sorry don’t have the time.

A colleague once told me “Sometimes people are beyond help.” Sadly to some extent he’s right.

In my experience, each individual has their own motivations.  Their personal willpower and desire for wellness varies seasonally and longitudially throughout life.

While constantly searching for the right words or solutions for each patient, I’ve come across a trait that seems universally important and motivational for those taking the necessary steps to improve or develop their health.

The trait = Focus

Focus of mind and body to a task. These individuals have a clearly defined reason why they eat properly, exercise routinely and attempt to balance stress in their lives.

These motivated patients consistently build goals, seek ways to overcome obstacles, and succeed because they know why they strive.

They wake each morning and realize health isn’t guaranteed.  Health requires activitiy and persistence.  Health doesn’t come in a bottle.  Whatever their passion a strong healthy body and mind give the greatest possibility of success.

I challenge you to look at your motivations and purpose in life.

What gives you the willpower and desire to change?

Can you start somewhere small?

Can you build on minor successes and keep improving?

Stagnation = death.



Motivation of Day

Love this…..


Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.

                                                  –Thomas Edison



Tips for Healthy Kids

Summer time got me thinking about children.  With school ending the calender fills up as we seek activities to keep our kids happily busy during their break from regular class.

Sorting through the various options I began wondering about how to define “Healthy” in children.

Is health merely the absence of disease or more?

Health in my opinion implies balanced physical, mental, and emotional states.  I further believe health implies a general sense of wellbeing, stable energy, quality sleep, and a absence of ailments which limit growth, exploration, curiosity and learning.

Read on to explore the pillars of health for children and ways to encourage “Health.” [click to continue…]


Personal Growth / Renewal


Spring and summer seasonally means re-growth and renewal.  Rebirth, vigor, vitality, hope, and abundance come to mind.  New Year’s resolutions come in the dead of winter.  Some resolutions stick and many  do not.  I find spring and summer seasons the best time to work on oneself.

The warmer weather and energy from the sun naturally compel us change–hopefully grow.

Periodically I re-set myself by focusing on my general purpose in life.  I re-define goals and overall take stock of my mental, physical, and spiritual health. Modern life has so many complications and distractions that years can pass without attention to rebooting.

Spiritual Renewal

In my experience whether one is “Religious” or not, spirituality plays a role in not just our health but the quality of our existence.  Finding a peaceful, centered place within one’s own mind can pay huge dividends.

Do you know what you want?  Does your current direction in life fit with what your inner voice requests?  How often do you stop and focus on which way your going at all?  Do you have a purpose/mission?

Many never contemplate these deeper questions.  We often blindly make the coffee, drop off the kids at school, and punch the clock but never stop to ponder the bigger picture.

I find solace in refocusing my efforts and reconnecting with my spiritual side.  I feel more balanced, creative, and energetic when I keep a steady connection with my inner voice.

Prayer, meditation, studying philosophy, and goal-setting are my primary tools.  A focused, happy spirit is the first important step to health, productivity, and quality in my daily life.

Renewing the Mind

I love bookstores and learning.  Every Spring/summer I find myself searching out new areas of interest.  This behavior reminded me of a huge factor in maintaining health–keeping the mind active and engaged.

Renewing the mind means constantly exploring new concepts and expanding our understanding.  Of course as a physician I explore medical, health, and nutrition topics a great deal, but I also enjoy history, current events, and agricultural topics.

Having interests and hobbies allows the mind to creatively work problems, gain greater skill, and generally make us more interesting people.  I am surprised by how many of my patients never read.    Even those who don’t like to read can still renew the mind through audio/video podcasts, cable/television documentaries and free educational programs.

But renewing the mind need not center on academic approaches.  Engaging with interesting people, traveling, and participating in community activities can serve the same purpose.  From the dawn of time we learned through oral tradition–that means talking to each other!

Now more than ever society is both more connected but simultaneously disconnected.

I think renewing the mind, charting new areas of learning, and continual growth are important ways to maintain vitality.  Social connectivity (Not FACEBOOK) can spur us to new heights of understanding and growth.

Spring is a great time to explore.

Physical Renewal

Like checking the oil and tire pressure during a long trip, the physical body deserves a check-up periodically.  I think spring also reminds us to take inventory of our physical reserve.  Energy, mobility, strength, flexibility, appetite, mood, and libido all give us indicators of our current physical status.

Waning energy?  Gaining weight? Poor stamina or flexibility? Low sex drive?

Answering yes to any of the above can indicate advancing disease or at least serious warning signals underscoring the need for correction.

The human body was meant to move 12 miles daily.  For optimal health, aging, mental function and immunity our physical body requires activity.

Regardless of limitation, some activity is better than none.

I enjoy resetting physical goals each spring.  All ages and levels of ability can make new goals.  Examples might  include:  eating healthier, increasing my hydration, beginning a strength or flexibility program, eliminating extra stressors,  completing a detoxification program and improving sleep habits.

A couple years back I went all out pushing myself through a brutal exercise regimen to determine how far my body would progress (Olympus Project).  One doesn’t have to go that far…but our body demands renewal, proper fuel (food), and consistent activity for optimal performance.


Mind, body, spirit.  The triad of being.  The trinity of health.  Ignore one and unbalance the others.

What have you done to renew any or all of the three?  Are you making the most of your ability?  Have you taken the time to plan where you’re going, what you want in life, and how you will maintain your physical vehicle?

I look forward to learning how others renew.  Feel free to submit comments and encourage others…I think that’s why we’re all here.