Family, life, Pain

Thoughts from Throwing my Back Out

About 10 days ago I threw my back out and have been largely immobile since. OK well maybe that’s a stretch as I have been able to get around, but very slowly and painfully. Accepting this injury was difficult at first. I had trouble coming to terms that this could happen to a young, 36-year-old guy! Of course, when I was around 8 years old I chipped a huge chunk of my permanent front tooth in a skateboarding incident and asked my dad, “Why me?” I guess I still haven’t grown up.

But I eventually did face it head on, my lower back issue. The pain of lower back spasms, at the intensity I was having them, surprised me. At times it was excruciating and in regards to sleep, forget about it. I will say, behind the complaining and disbelief, is a yearning to get moving again.

I miss walking normally, without pain. I miss picking up my kids. I miss helping Nikki bring the groceries in. I miss taking the trash out. And boy do I miss working out. When I am able to return to my daily activities, I will certainly have a renewed appreciation for just the opportunity and privilege to move around freely, expressing myself. But for now, I am choosing my situation and making the most out of it, learning as much as I can.

Despite my old man woes, I was still able to hobble around the kitchen in the mornings to fix Nikki’s coffee. We wouldn’t want to find out what might happen if she had to start a day without caffeine.

The lesson for me is next time on a run, when the dissatisfaction creeps in that my pace is slower than I think it should be that day, or whatever, I will smile and look around at nature, and enjoy the actual movement of running and the fact that I get to run for another day.

Be well,


Family, life, Pain

What I Learned about FTP in HypnoBirthing class

It’s possible that you found this post hoping to learn something about “Functional Threshold Power”. While that’s not the FTP I’m referring to, in a roundabout way I’m confident you just might learn something about that too.

Nikki and I are expecting our third child in August. As a change-up, we decided to not find out the gender and to use the HypnoBirthing method to deliver the baby.

What exactly is Hypnobirthing?

Nikki was really intrigued by the idea of placing herself in an ultra-calm state using visualizations, music, self-hypnosis, and relaxation techniques, to give birth. She liked the thought of going through the process in a gentle and relaxing way. And without an epidural.

So she asked for my support and got it. Then we dove into a comprehensive training course. The course was designed around “The Mongan Method”.

Nikki was never under the illusion that childbirth won’t hurt; she’s gone through this twice and knows the reality! But, what if it was up to her to choose how she wants her body to handle the pain?


There have been a lot of funny moments in the class. For example, I learned from the HypnoBirthing instructor (aka “doula”) that the doctor doesn’t deliver the baby; he receives the baby. The mother delivers the baby.

I immediately liked the approach of empowering the mother by using language. At the same time I couldn’t help but chuckle! Why?

Because my dad is an OB/GYN and has been practicing medicine for about 36 years. It makes me smile when I think about correcting him in a future conversation, saying “No dad, you didn’t deliver five babies last night…you received them.” Haha!


The most memorable class was when we learned about the FTP syndrome.

It suggests that when a woman is in “Fear” this causes “Tension” in her body, which then results in “Pain”.

But that’s not all. It’s a vicious cycle as the pain then triggers more fear.

Interestingly, the abbreviation is the same as “failure to progress” – words used by the medical profession regarding labor.


I think it takes a lot of guts to approach a pregnancy this way.

I’m proud of Nikki and all the women in the class that have risen to this challenge – to face the “fear” head on and to equip themselves with techniques to use when the time is right. It’s been a great experience so far.

A takeaway: your fears (hidden or obvious) may be sabotaging your capacity to access your full potential.

Look within.