The following is Dr. Jeffrey Tucker's thoughts while listening to Michael Phelps in person as one of the keynote speakers at a recent Chiropractic conference.
Michael was open about suffering front anxiety and depression and that he was taking Ambien daily for about 15 years of his life.
He described himself as a very talented athlete as a young boy. His swim coach suggested to his family that he could “prepare and take Michael to the Olympics in 4 years” (age 16-ish). Together they achieved going to the Olympics, but he did not win any medals. He came home with the sense of “I hate to lose” and “I want to be the first to make it happen.” He spoke about “Control” and for Michael this meant “I collected tools – routines, doing it every day” (working out).
His specific advice was “Self-care” first, “Work out” every day, “Be ready to take a step forward every day”, and “Write goals”.
I’ve asked many of my patients when was the last time you wrote out your goals? About 75% have not. How about you? He reinforced “Don’t be afraid to fail.” Like many of us biohackers he used the “trial and error plan” to achieve optimal performance.
Phelps suggested, “The one word we need to remove from our vocabulary is CAN’T”.
See if you can stop and catch yourself from using this word.
I found it very admirable that he gave tremendous credit to his coach. He “prepared me for the worst day” and reinforced “staying calm and relaxed in the most stressful situation.” He described the moment during one of his Olympic medal races when he dove into the pool and his goggles filled up with water and literally “I couldn’t see -- My coach and I were so prepared I started to count my strokes. I knew how many strokes it was to the wall and when to make my turn and how many strokes I had to do to beat my competition.”
Listening to Michael Phelps in person tell us about how he won that race, his most challenging Olympic moment, gave me goosebumps.
Phelps said something very cute and jokingly, “When I gained weight after the Olympics (he was used to all those calories going in but he took a long recovery and rest after the Olympics), I was trying something new!” It’s a great way to re-frame a negative and start anew again.
When asked “Who humbles you?” He said, “My wife.” And you?
Don’t give up!
- Jeffrey Tucker, DC