Important ConceptsInjuryPrevention


We’re always in such a big hurry! We need to take a lesson from the animal kingdom. Animals aren’t in a hurry unless it’s to go kill something to eat or to get away from something that’s trying to kill it for dinner.

So let me first say that if something’s trying to kill you…RUN!

But otherwise, please slow down. As always, I don’t just pull my recommendations out of thin air. Over the course of my career, it has become painfully obvious that we often hurt ourselves because we’re in a hurry. When we are rushed, we pay less attention to our surroundings. We move faster. We change directions quickly. And we get hurt.

So, starting with the obvious slow-down recommendation; start your day a little earlier. Set your alarm earlier. Leave a little earlier so you don’t have to speed. I can’t tell you how many times I have had extra time in the morning to get to work, yet I choose to answer just one more email, empty the dishwasher or make a new To-Do List. And now I am in a hurry. I drive a little closer to the car in front of me. How many times have you rushed to the airport when you had plenty of time that morning to get ready? Have you sworn to yourself that you would never do that again?

Elderly women with broken bones tell me “I was just in too big a hurry.” They were in a hurry to vacuum, to get dinner for someone, or to get to the phone. And they just slip and twist their ankle or break their hip!

Here’s a common scenario. He went to the refrigerator and twists around on one foot after closing the door. There might be water on the floor. There might be a cat underfoot. And there might be nothing there at all! But down he goes. Broken ankle, wrist, hip or nose. Temporary or permanent life changer.

No bee lines. Go in a leisurely fashion, rather than making a bee line toward something. Again, a common scenario leading to broken bones.  We’re just in a rush to get somewhere. Anywhere.

So slow down!

When you get up to go somewhere, stand first. Quickly assess your surroundings. Then start moving.

When changing directions, take it slow. Look where you’re going. Make a gentle turn. Don’t turn on your heel.

Walk in a leisurely fashion. In other words, take a stroll. Why do we have to power walk to the grocery store?

For those who have been following my blog, remember my caveman blog.  The hunter/gatherers were in a hurry only to get away from danger. They gathered food in a leisurely fashion. They couldn’t be in a big rush and risk missing something to eat on the ground or in a tree. Once they started relying on meat for sustenance, there was more rushing around to catch and kill the food, but afterwards came needed rest. And there was a cost to chasing prey. If a sprained ankle meant a caveman could no longer get away from danger, or forage for food…he might not survive.

So there was…and still is…a cost to being in a hurry.

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