Certified Athletic Trainer | Educator | Motivator
Sandy Krum


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Sandy sits down the Chris Lenker /ATC @ATPodcast  to discuss his journey and the future of Athletic Training!


For additional podcasts please visit:  ATPodcast

NATM - Chicago with Mayor Emanuel & Ald. Tunney

NATA Month

“We’ve got your back!” is the theme for this year’s National Athletic Trainers Association (NATA) Athletic Training month, proclaiming March as “NATA MONTH”.  I like it, but the statement could also read ‘we’ve had your back and will always have your back!’

The profession of Athletic Training is so much closer to conquering the due recognition the field deserves but as close as it is, that’s how far off it just may be. To remedy this, my message today includes a few tips about what you yourself can do to help promote the profession.

The 45,000 members of the NATA all strive to increase recognition for the profession and ethically represent their profession at the highest regard. The message, sooner or later, has to get out. Right? That message?

NATA Coverage for ALL

NATM 2014

The mandatory presence of a Certified Athletic Trainer at every high school sporting event Nationwide is paramount. This is the only way to prevent the mounting injuries and unnecessary deaths that occur each and every year due to the lack of qualified medical attention present, ready, and prepared to care for our athletes. Having the information in hand on how to treat concussions is one thing. Having top notch ATC medical care at the ready is another. It is our job as ATHLETIC TRAINERS and members of the NATA to effortlessly promote the profession and educate the public on the roles we assume each and every day. Athletic training has changed so much through the years and has advanced to such wonderful levels. Folks, we can go higher and achieve greater. The mission of teaching has to take place daily by each and every one of us. Spread the word, inform others, engage in dialogue, and reach out to your local legislators. Similarly, continue to let people know the difference between an Athletic Trainer and a personal trainer.  Be proud to be a member of the NATA.

Respect the Path of the Profession

As advanced as we think we are today, we could only have ‘achieved’ our present position through the hard work and desires of our predecessors. Be it Pinky Newell or any one of the innovators, the NATA has become what it has through the tireless efforts of so many. Have you thanked and or shared the message of your predecessors? Personally, I thank the endless number of mentors I had as a child growing up wanting to be an athletic trainer. “Thank You” Larry Starr, Kent Biggerstaff, Larry Mayol, Jeff Cooper, Bill Buhler, Gene Gieselmann, Tony Garofalo, Dave Pursley, and many more! Your influences on the profession deserve kudos in many regards and I personally want to thank each of you for sharing your guidance and wisdom with me and so many.

The NATA first met with about two hundred members.  Some 64 years later the profession has grown leaps and bounds.

My other question to you: Have you done all you can do to help promote our profession? This is National Athletic Training Month. This, of all months, is your opportunity to reach out and become involved. Many of you are saying you have no time and you already do enough to help promote the profession. Au contraire!

I offer several possible scenarios with each involving little to very little effort!

*   Pick up the phone and reach out to a media outlet in your hometown and offer to draft a PSA recognizing March as NATA month. Call the sports department of your local newspaper or the beat writer of your high schools sports team. Have them write about the profession calling special attention to members in the local community, thus further helping us educate the public.

*    Write a blog post similar to this writing for your local newspaper or media outlet.

*    Write and post social media entries promoting the month of March and our profession.

*    Call local legislators, town committee members, mayors, and government officials. Show up at a city council meeting and offer a resolution proclaiming March as Athletic Training Month.

The onus is on us to further educate and our jobs are not done until each and every person knows who and what Athletic Trainers are! Just as we challenge our athletes and ever-growing patient populations to be the best they can be, this month (and every month for that matter) the challenge is ours. The challenge is about each and every athletic trainer promoting the NATA and advancing our profession.

Assorted Rolls Of Tape…

Chicago City Council - NATM Resolution

The above photo is from the March 5, 2014 City of Chicago Council meeting held at City Hall. I simply reached out to a local alderman and asked that a resolution on behalf of the NATA be introduced into City Record.  Athletico  accompanied us to City Council that morning as Alderman Tom Tunney presented the resolution for record to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the rest of the Aldermanic body. Congratulations are in order to the NATA and its members.


Time to make the Change!

With a time change happening for many of us, how are you going to adjust with an extra hour of sunshine? I always love this time of year as it sends a message to get outdoors and become active. As active as we are, it’s also important to ensure we don’t lose track of our current sleep patterns. Are you currently getting enough rest? Just checking…

Enjoy March everyone. No need to worry, “we’ve got your back!”


Reference: NATA.ORG

Photo from the left: Todd Nettelhorst, Mallory Mihalov/ATC, Sandy Krum/ATC, Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Lindsey Otte/ATC, Tony Garofalo/ATC, Payten Gerjerts/ATC, Alderman Tom Tunney

New Year, Better You!

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2014 Checklist

Happy New Year!

The New Year is fast approaching and the energy and excitement is grand. Shall I say we’re all walking around with a swagger this week, excited, as we know the possibilities a New Year can bring. Most everyone I encounter these days is upbeat, outgoing and genuinely excited the New Year is upon us. There is a true excitement ringing in the air, almost as each of us is self- reflecting and discriminately planning our attacks as 01/01 approaches. Some are saying it’s a time to wipe the slate clean and start a fresh while others are simply to looking to REFINE themselves. Can we even dare to say NEW YEAR, NEW YOU? Right? Whatever the case, lets take a closer look.

“In with the new, out with the old. “New Year, New You.”

Often, I’ll hear these phrases or phrases similar. Does this make one healthy or just the opposite? Are we setting ourselves up for failure with these mundane exercises and thought processes?

The answer lies within you. ONLY YOU CAN MAKE THE CONCERTED EFFORTS TO MAKE THE CHANGE LONG LASTING. Research from the various studies I’ve read show that only about 8% of us will achieve our new goals, or should I say ‘desires’.  Let’s make a resolution to do better with this and in so doing, continue to climb the ladder towards Self Actualization.

Research has shown that new exercise programs brought on to make a change are unsuccessful for various reasons. The first and foremost reason has to be the change is only directed at one or two entities of the old you and not the numerous changes you need to address. A half ass approach will only bring half ass results. So in turn, I suggest we enter the New Year with a mindset that says, “ Enough is enough! I am not going to make any more subtle changes, I am going to make real change.”

Want to stay on your current course and in trouble? NOT having the proper plan in place and supporting TEAM is a recipe for failure. Are we after the quick fix, with a guns drawn type mentality or are we making the change for the long haul? Some of us just jump right in and have no plan of attack, just filled with angst and excitement. We realize we need to exercise, but this may be the only component we address. We fail to address the nutritional aspect or psychological components as well. This is the bank customer trying to make a deposit without taking the time to fill out a deposit slip. We all want the instant gratification without stopping and addressing the BIG PICTURE. The crash is coming, but we can’t see the road ahead.

What does all this mean? It means planning out your course of action and implementing an ACTION PLAN in advance, a plan consisting of your TEAM of supporters, . This is where your Primary Care Physician, your family members, a Registered Dietician/ Nutritionist, a Certified Athletic Trainer, and a Psychologist will all come together with YOU and formulate the best for you! Without, you’ll be leading yourself to failure. Often, what hasn’t changed is the foundation. Without addressing what’s wrong with the foundation prevents us from making the REAL CHANGE. In retrospect, it’s not a “New You” that you will be getting; rather it’s a BETTER YOU with a BETTER plan and approach!

So this is the time to resolve to formulate the WHOLE TEAM instead of implementing wholesale changes. It’s the time to address the upcoming year as a whole instead of going gangbusters 01/01 then to only come crashing back to our old selves. Take the right time to ensure your support team is in place and detailed PLANS are written out versus just talked about superficially. For those of you that are having problems completing a task, a goal, or devoting enough time, I recommend reaching outside the box and “creating” more time to accomplish the goals. Are your time management skills hurting and off base? Here’s a perfect opportunity to address and right the ship. We all want to achieve “X “ but do we all have a plan how to go get it? How many of you have heard this phrase, “Proper Practice Prevents Poor Performance?” Now is the time to execute, revise, review, continue and discontinue. Whatever the case, it starts with proper planning and practice.


Before we get on with the 2014, let’s ensure we have checked our checklist.

*I’m journaling both exercise and nutrition -CHECK

*I’m within the Caloric Limits and Budget as set by myself and my TEAM, – CHECK

*Daily exercise routine planned and executed , CHECK

*All my team members are in place and working as a whole, CHECK

*All my medical lab values are “Within Normal Limits”, CHECK

* My Sleep is on point and I’m getting quality rest, CHECK

* I am treating my injuries, not ignoring them, CHECK

*I’m generally Happy and Energetic, CHECK

*I have new Goals to achieve, CHECK

*I have allotted ample Time to achieve my Goals, CHECK

*My time management is on point, CHECK


If you are in a routine that is working, heck yes, continue what you are doing but always have one rhetorical question on the burner: “What can I do to make my routine BETTER?  If your routine needs retooling, then make those corrections. Mix it up and once again don’t be afraid to reach outside the box. Keep learning! Keep challenging yourself and know that investing in others is an investment in you. If your routine is simply not working, now is the time to rewire the protocols.

As we move ahead, clean out your TOOLBELTS. Are you carrying excess useless “equipment and supplies?”  If something is working for you, embrace it and protect it. If there is stuff you’re retaining or trying to implement and it’s just not working or applicable, get rid of it! No more being blogged down with minutia. There are too many more quality tools that can fill that space! Go find them!


We may or may not have conquered each and every goal and challenge we set out for this year ending. Regardless of your level of success, I want to take this opportunity to wish each of you all the BEST in the coming year. Staying on point and ON THE HIGHWAY takes commitment, desire, and a well thought out plan. The Route is wide open and the possibilities endless. Here’s to the “BETTER YOU!”


Reference: http://www.forbes.com/sites/dandiamond/2013/01/01/just-8-of-people-achieve-their-new-years-resolutions-heres-how-they-did-it/

Walter Hall, Ohio University Oct 11 2013

Sandy Krum speaks with the Athletic Training Students of Ohio University during Homecoming weekend about his journey, the future of ATC’s, and the profession of Athletic Training.



A Holiday Message…

thank youWith the winter months and Thanksgiving fast approaching, I want to extend my best wishes to each of you for a happy and healthy Holiday Season. Similarly, I want to share some thoughts that come to mind as the festivities are about to begin.

The holidays are mostly happy times spent with families and friends, attending of social gatherings, and the ubiquitous running from here to there with hustle and bustle. Many of you will be sprinting to stores for Door Buster deals that await while others will be running to their “caves” to catch every moment of the NFL’s Thanksgiving Day edition.

ABUNDANT food and drink await and the assortments and platters are mostly overflowing. Our friends join us with sweets and wines, all the while sharing in the festive occasion of the Holidays. Challenges indeed!

Of great concern to me is the many around the world who are not as fortunate and those not able to enjoy the festive occasion with grandiose pomp and celebration. We need to take time and ensure we have done all possible; to make sure we have done our parts to ensure ALL others have the opportunity to enjoy the season just as we do.

We hustle to the market for the healthiest turkeys, the perfect floral arrangements, the festive tablecloths and all the components that fill our holiday with family, friends, and cheer. With all the hustle and bustle to take care of “ourselves”, I offer the following premise: What can we do this HOLIDAY SEASON to help the less fortunate?


volunteerThere still is plenty of time to think of others at this time of year and I offer the following suggestion: Call a local charity, food bank, or shelter and arrange to volunteer part of the day or weekend.  It may mean clearing tables at a senior center or park district meal, serving the homeless, or delivering meals and visiting with the homebound. Whatever the case, dedicate part of your day to someone in need. (Remember- This good deed doesn’t need to be exhibited solely on Thanksgiving!)

The characteristics of Health and Wellness include not only what you can do to better yourselves, but also what you can do for others. It’s a balance! This is the time of year to give back and send thanks, a time to reflect on what others are doing and sacrificing on our behalves.


Many of us will be traveling to spend time with family and friends. We also are questioning our workout routines and whether or not they are going to be compromised. Au contraire! The only thing that may change is the location! If you are a runner, find a new trail or turkey trot. If you are a spinner, attend a new class. If you are a hoopster, find a new court with new mates. If you’ve never walked the neighborhood, do so. Venture outdoors and over to the local park for a game of soccer or tag football. The key is NOT to take the day off because of the holiday, rather reach outside your comfort boxes and try something NEW from hikes in the mountains to biking the beaches… Regardless of the environment, the mission has to and can be accomplished! Remember, Holiday workouts should be fun filled and whenever able, should incorporate the whole family!


Control and Discipline often are thrown out the window this time of year. I challenge you to enjoy the holiday season even more so by exhibiting your inner controls and putting them into play, just like the quarterback about to hand off the ball in a well-practiced play or a goaltender using his or her reflexes to stop a blistering shot. You have practiced and practiced well being and discipline throughout the year and I’m certain that implementing these controls and plans during the holidays can continue. Persist in implementing portion control. Make a plan and understand the temptations that may present. Discuss your plan of ‘Healthy Eating’ with your husbands and wives, children, boyfriends and girlfriends. Whatever the case, having and executing a plan to stay within caloric budgets is going to be one of your keys to success for the Season.


pilgrim_hatIf you are attending a potluck type meal, prepare a healthy dish that compliments the season. Plenty of nutritious, colorful foods are available this time of the year and now is a great opportunity to be creative, yet smart in preparation. Similarly, the holidays and festive occasions are great opportunities to share new food ideas with one another. Embrace healthy preparations. But people, let’s be real! This is truly going to test you and Temptation.Trust me, you aren’t going to offend anyone if you don’t try a “full entree” portion of everyones preparations. A little taste may be all you really want anyways? Right? This is where your same discipline and control come into play.This is your chance to ‘Master’ them!

Additionally, do you have a recipe to share or are you looking for one? You can search and or post these online. Often, local community newspapers have a section devoted solely to holiday recipes. Where needed, make the appropriate substitutions with ingredients. This is also a great place to get a ‘taste’ of what others are doing.

On a personal note, this year I’m even more grateful and thankful to my supportive family and friends! I’m also grateful for something we often take for granted and seldom take time to acknowledge and recognize: the wonderful foods each of us has been afforded. If this is you as well, I challenge you to make someone else’s Holiday season as cheerful as yours. What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving and how can you have a positive impact on others less fortunate?

I wish you and yours all the best during this festive time of the year. Happy Holidays.






“The Way A Team Plays As A Whole Determines Its Success. You May Have The Greatest Bunch Of Individual Stars In The World; But If They Don’t Play Together, The Club Won’t Be Worth A Dime. ” –  BABE RUTH


Having spent many years of my career as a Certified Athletic Trainer in professional baseball, at the Minor League and Major League level, I understand the importance of the TEAM concept and what it takes for a TEAM to be successful. For example, a baseball team is comprised of 25 players, the manager, coaches, and a Certified Athletic Trainer ( NATA / BOC ). For today’s game, the major league level has a greater auxiliary and coaching staff.

Typically in the United States, a season lasts from Spring Training reporting in February and runs until late September or early October (if you’re fortunate). Most teams play the requisite 30 or so spring

 training games and then march right into the 162 game regular Season. The drills of spring training would only be played out in the ensuing months, although no two games were ever the same or would you know when that muscle memory would have to “kick into gear” to successfully throw the runner out from various positions in the infield or outfield. Training meant the endless bullpen “sidelines” with the pitching coach correcting mechanics or saying nothing. It also meant endless time in the batting cage with the hitting instructor doing soft toss drills. Yes, the players were all trying to hone their skills, fighting to become the best they could become to progress to the level above and ultimately the Major Leagues.

The same 25 players and staff  had to come together day in and day out and perform as TEAMMATES. No successes would come from the individual stellar pitching performance, if indeed an offensive catalyst or

two were absent. Conversely, a great offensive night by 8, combined with poor pitching by several, spelled trouble and bellyache for the Manager.

What really makes up a great TEAM?

For the purpose of this writing I turn to Wikipedia to give us the textbook definition of TEAM: A team comprises a group of people or animals linked in a common purpose.

Teams are especially appropriate for conducting tasks that are high in complexity and have many interdependent subtasks.

A group in itself does not necessarily constitute a team. Teams normally have members with complementary skills and generate synergy through a coordinated effort, which allows each member to maximize his/her strengths and minimize his/her weaknesses. Team members need to learn how to help one another, help other team members realize their true potential, and create an environment that allows everyone to go beyond their limitations.[1] A team becomes more than just a collection of people when a strong sense of mutual commitment creates synergy, thus generating performance greater than the sum of the performance of its individual members.


Taking the definition alone back to our baseball team, a pitcher couldn’t perform if indeed he/she didn’t have the catcher guiding them or having the position players playing in unison. The synergy generated by this coordinated approach allows just what the definition states: maximizing the strengths and minimizing the weakness. Going beyond one’s true potential can only happen when the team performs together on the same platform, thus allowing the individuals to compliment one another and reach this ultimate level of competition. The combined synergistic energies are what makes a team just that. The classic definition says that the mutual sum of these combined efforts are much greater than the individual accolades.

Success was not a given and true commitment to helping the team was paramount. Incredibly, I came across many players with the “I-I-ME-ME” mentality. Everything was about them! When talking of the team they would often emit “I did this or I did that” VERSUS “we did this and we did that.” This meant they were truly more impressed with their individual successes and the team concept never entered their equations.

It is the greatest feeling when a team comes together and becomes so good together, almost great. Many in the game term this as a “Push Button” club. The manager’s role becomes limited to showing up to the park and pushing a button, if you will, and the TEAM goes out and performs, day in and day out without fail. No change in chemistry is needed as all systems are go! The team is winning games, Players are in the positions they’re supposed to be in, the correct pitch is thrown in the most crucial of situations, timely hitting occurs daily, and the manager sits and watches the fruits of success ripen from the intense daily instruction and practice.

This is a great time for me to introduce you to an article I read on playing together as a TEAM. From my perspective, and as one that has witnessed thousands of games from the dugout perspective, this writing is pretty on point! It comes to us from a blog post entitled THIS OLE GAME: http://www.theoleballgame.com/baseball-teamwork.html. THIS post stands out for me because it reminds me of the Championship Teams I had the honor of working with! All eight components were ever present with those clubs, the philosophies were the same if you will. Thats why I believe they’re applicable! Here they are:

8 Concepts For Teamwork, Or Playing Together As A Team

  1. We can all count on each other.
  2. Accept your role on the team.
  3. Finding a way to win.
  4. Be willing to make some personal sacrifices.
  5. Help each other out.
  6. Understand what we can control and what we cannot.
  7. Anyone ~ Anytime.
  8. Walk the talk.

Unfortunately, the TEAM didn’t always come together. The individuals continued to star, albeit not in unison. One player shines one day, another the next, and the result more often than not is not enough to beat the opponent. This group, for whatever reason, just doesn’t seem to work in harmony. This is when It was tough to come to the park every day! Defeated attitudes filled with negativity. Even “one’ could spoil the whole bunch. This is what player development was about. It was survival of the fittest in the baseball world, with the cream rising to the top. Work approaches were either so finely tuned or so off. More often than not, “The successful” had their routines and went about their business quietly, unnoticeable but oh so productive. Those who struggled, struggled! On and off the Field! “Poor work ethic. Not focused. Negative attitude. Not having the ability to complement their teammates.”

Athletic teams are driven to the ultimate, the championship of that given sport! The NFL’s Super Bowl, MLB’s World Series, NHL’s Stanley Cup, . You get the point. These are the ultimate, the pinnacles! These are the Goals all good teams strive to achieve. From the family perspective, are all the necessary components in place to achieve a similar goal?

What’s in it for Us?

My message here is presented and revealed in the form of several self questions:

  • Are you doing your best to be a team player?
  • Are the players around you complimenting you and your play, day in and day out or are they hindering your progress?
  • Are you all on the same mission?
  • Do your “teammates” all have the same goals in mind or are they playing for themselves?
  • Is your Support Team of Coaches, Physicians, Certified Athletic Trainers and Personal Trainers “on point”?
  • Are family members on board and if not, why not?
  • What can you do to better this situation?
  • Am I too much “I-I-ME-ME” versus “US-US-WE-WE”?

Remember, constant re-evaluation of your “team’s roster” is paramount to achieve continued success for yourself and the franchise.








Nagging Injuries Series One: Issue One


I’m often confronted with injuries that I know are debilitating and simultaneously keep us from performing at Peak Performance day in and day out. Musculoskeletal injury along with associated soreness is the greatest detractor from continued participation.
The NAGGING INJURY Series will focus on one particular injury and provide prevention and treatment tips for each.


DEFINITION: Acute pain in the shin and lower leg caused by prolonged running and jumping, typically on hard or uneven surfaces.
Running and jumping, especially when carrying excess weight, can cause a great deal of pain about the knees and in so doing the referred inflammatory stress comes about at the anterior Tibia, hence the term shin splints.
One can experience pain along the inner part of the lower leg, tenderness, swelling, or numbness form swelling and the inability of associated nerves to “fire” freely.
Simple long distance walking, as exhibited and studied in the Army (BOOTS) and its contingent, can lead to this debilitating syndrome. Fractures associated with the Military were termed “Marcher’s Fractures”.
HOW TO DIAGNOSE: A physician will take a thorough history of your condition, inquiring about such factors as distance, surfaces, shoe wear, vitamin usage (D) and possibly diet. He or she will order diagnostic testing to rule out the dreaded Tibial stress fracture, usually through MRI or Tomography. Dr. David Geier, a well respected Sports Medicine Physician, shows significant Hot Spots on the attached radiological views: http://www.drdavidgeier.com/injuries/tibial-stress-fracture/
WHAT TO DO: Acute anterior shin pain is a message that your activity level has been too great, the inflammatory response has also been great, and the result must be a change in workout protocols to allow for the inflammation to subside. If persistent and no change of course is taken, the resulting diagnosis will more than likely be a pre stress fracture or Stress fracture. Change in activity is first and foremost. All pounding activity must be removed from your training, necessitating you to train in alternative modes and removing your body weight from the equation. Box Jumps and aggressive body weight lunges need to be avoided as well.  This may mean exclusively swimming for cardio or simply walking & exercising in shallow knee high water. The water itself will take all stresses off the anterior leg(s). Creativity in water exercise can give you just as great a caloric burn as running on a treadmill. Think Treading in the deep end for 30-second intervals. Obviously, it will take a little longer to reach the intensity level, but the leg is healing while not being stressed. Hard intense kicking is not indicated while treading. Rather, slow quiet leg movement is best.
Use of a night splint is also indicated. Your physician can make this recommendation. In severe cases, your physician may elect to protect you by placing your lower leg in a walking boot, in essence locking down and avoiding any impact or loading to the lower extremity.
Ice is indicated and will greatly help reduce the inflammatory response. I’ve found the use of Ice Massage via ICE cups to work the best, directly attacking the area! Simply fill several Styrofoam cups with water, place in the freezer until frozen, remove from the freezer and peel back the top of the cup. This allows you to have a better grip for your 10 minute ice massage. If this method doesn’t work for you, use a bag of frozen peas or corn. They will work just as well. Just be certain to place a wet towel between the bag and the area to be treated. Treatment time here increases to fifteen minutes. Consult with your personal physician on his or her recommended treatment times.


 Simply adjusting the surface you train on can make a huge difference! If you are a street runner or walker, the pavement is almost certainly going to catch up with you. A better solution would be to find a local high school or public park with a TARTAN, spongy surface. This will make a big difference. Checking the bottoms of your shoes for wear patterns is another tip. If you see worn surfaces about the heel regions of your shoes, it’s time to replace them. Similarly, your training shoes should have a stiff rigid sole. Being able to bend your shoe in half usually is indicative of a shoe not driven towards providing maximal support. Once again, a proactive approach to prevention through the use of Ice (Regardless of Activity) is greatly indicated.


Physician protocols vary. For me, repeat radiological studies are not always indicated. I often defer to the patients pain level (Use a scale from 0-10, with ten being excruciating pain and 0 being free of symptoms). This reporting method works well here. For discussion, if your pain and soreness are above a level two, you’re not ready to reinvest in that activity. Grade your pain twice daily and mark those findings down somewhere. Re access, along with your physician and Athletic Trainer to come up with the best course of action.





Often I reflect on whom I am accountable to and what steps and procedures I need to accomplish successfully to stay on point. Am I going to be on time for a meeting or appointment? How am I communicating with my peers? What are my exercise habits? Often we rely on others to assist us with this accountability. Today, I propose another format. Lets take a look at what I believe is the groundwork needed to succeed in any model or plan.

 What Is Accountability?

Accountability is viewed as being responsible or giving an explanation of your actions.  But this is only ONE form. I want to turn the focus to you. When you hold yourself 100% responsible for holding YOURSELF accountable: YOUR relationships will flourish, your personal market value will soar, people will respect you more, you’ll be a greater example for others to follow, and your self esteem will grow. Notice here the common word is YOU and now the focus turns inward versus outward or towards others.

I’ve found a great read on accountability and want to share the same with you. The book is titled Little Things Matter Book | 100 Ways To Improve Your Life Today and is written By Todd Smith (littlethingsmatterbook.com) In it, Smith speaks of accountability and breaks the broader definition into 3 forms.

Smith’s Three Forms of Accountability

1.     Your Actions and Choices- These include how you communicate with others, how you spend your time, the consideration you show others, and your exercise and eating habits.

2.    Your Responsibilities-These include returning calls and emails, being on time for your appointments, and doing things you agree to do when you agree to do them.

3.    Your Goals-This could include financial desires, your fitness and health, or your personal family objectives. Accountability is nothing more than the follow through of YOUR Commitments and Responsibilities.

The How To

How are YOU going to change the focus of your Accountability and directly take responsibilities? Here are some of Smiths’ tips: 1.Use a Website to track Food and Exercise 2. Use a paper journal 3. Hire a personal trainer 4.Workout with a friend or partner 5. Sign up for classes 6. Rules need to be established beforehand 7. BE FLEXIBLE TO ALLOW COMPLIANCE.

I love introducing Abraham Maslow’s Philosophy on reaching Self Actualization and this is a good place to refer to Abe. Remember the Pyramid? Take a look at this link and it may shed a new light on where I want you to go with this thought process. I’ve attached a couple quick links for you here :



I propose small steps on your behalf to start to take the onus of accountability off others and direct them on to yourself. Achieving small steps in this transitional phase will enhance your overall well-being.   SAK

Having a morning coffee after a rough night trying to sleep. I could NOT get comfortable and my mind continued to race. It was almost as if it was time to count sheep but every time I started to count , I had to reposition myself and start again at number one.  How many of you have had racing minds and were unable to sleep? I’m sure several of you have your hands up.  For me, this was an unusual evening.  I usually let my mind wander a little and then I’m gone.  Three days without going for a run probably has a lot to do with it.

What are your triggers for poor sleep? Here are some key triggers that I feel precipitate unhealthy sleep patterns:

wine_and_glassLate Night Eating and Drinking Alcohol send poor messages to the body. The digestive system starts to work overtime and the alcohol does not allow for restful sleep cycles. The average American sleeps 7.5 to 8 hours per night according to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. * The alcohol may induce a faster TO SLEEP time but the quality of the rest turns out to be poor. Interruptions occur cycle after cycle and in the end the total slow wave sleep (SWS) and REM periods are shortened.

In regards to food, our bodies start the digestive process as soon as the food hits our mouths. Eating late at night is not a NO NO as it was once thought. The key is which foods are more ideal prior to sleep. Late night snacks are ideal if they are in the 100-200 kcal range. (Ex: ¼ cup baked popcorn). Watch your hunger cues, be mindful to not attempt to sleep on a rumbling stomach as this will deplete your AM energy stores and more than likely induce greater kcal intake later in the day.

CPAPNot Using a CPAP (CONTINUOUS POSITIVE AIRWAY PRESSURE)? A CPAP is used best to treat obstructive sleep apnea. The mild pressure from the machine will prevent your airway from collapsing and becoming blocked.   Have you had a sleep study done to determine the quality of your sleep?  An apnea is described as a sleep disorder characterized by pauses in breathing or instances of very low breathing during sleep. Each pause in breathing, called an apnea, can last from at least ten seconds to minutes, and may occur 5 to 30 times or more an hour. Are you getting full oxygenation during the same? The only way you can get the restful sleep indicated is with the assistance of a CPAP sleeping device. A mask covers the nose and mouth and is connected to the machine via a plastic encased hose. Based on your results from the study, pressure levels are set. Most machines now have self setting sensors. Continuous monitoring with a trained Sleep Specialist will keep you on point and ensure quality oxygenation throughout the entire rest period. Similarly, your energy levels will increase exponentially if indeed you’re compliant!

Family or Personal Conflict often lead to sleep pattern disruption. Anxiety and depression are the leading causes here and the best avenue to resolving these issues is by addressing them with your physician and or therapist. All involved parties should be part of this counseling process and your physician will advise the best ways to incorporate all parties. Avoiding the conflict is not a choice!

medicationMedication Interactions and Increased Caffeination can also cause sleep disruption as well. If taking new medications, consult with your physician if your sleep is interrupted by the same. Caffeine based drinks prior to sleep will cause you to lessen your sleep time, reduce SWS time,  and increase the time needed to get to sleep. The message here is to learn your individual Caffeine Half-Life…the time it takes our body to rid the caffeine. Is it the normal 3-7 hours or are your levels skewed?  Use non caffeinated beverages as well, such as a warm lemon water.

The exercise portion of the equation is a constant. For me personally, this is what q’d my poor restless sleep. Respect the need for quality sleep! The bottom line here is our bodies need proper rest to replenish and repair! To bring your “A” game every day, your body needs plentiful restful sleep.