I got out of New York just in time. Poor Matt Harvey, the Mets’ phenomenal young pitcher and only glimmer of hope for a baseball organization with historically bad luck. The starter of this year’s All Star game just found out he tore the ulnar collateral ligament in his elbow. That’s the one that requires Tommy John surgery and takes over a year to heal.
It’s heartbreaking to see this happen to a great young athlete like Harvey, but the media coverage has been downright laughable, especially when TV and radio commentators weigh in on the physical side of a UCL tear. Everyone’s talking about how Tommy John surgery isn’t a big deal. Hell, most guys throw harder after they get the surgery and go through rehab.
The assertion that surgery improves arm strength and throwing velocity is an absolute joke. It’s a textbook case of accepting correlation as causation. Did anyone ever stop to think that maybe it’s months of physical therapy, new attention to arm care and a reduction in constant arm abuse that actually makes the pitcher come back stronger? That maybe slicing and dicing your elbow isn’t the direct performance enhancer?
Too many people are REactive instead of PROactive when it comes to health and performance. They don’t make a change until they’re hurt, sick or dying. Why not be proactive and prevent the setbacks in the first place?
But wait a second. It’s not uncommon these days for high school pitchers to get Tommy John surgery proactively in anticipation of a future UCL tear. Then the kids come back throwing harder without every getting hurt.
But wait another second. Instead of thrusting 16-year-old elbows under the knife, maybe your 78-mile-per-hour-throwing junior-varsity-pitching kid should learn to take care of his arm, lift some weights, eat like a man and stop throwing 11 out of 12 months of the year. That’s responsible proactivity.
I firmly believe in controlling what you can control. This requires a certain degree of reaction in the sense that you must react accordingly (i.e. with calmness and confidence) to things you can’t control. But being proactive about what you CAN control can help steer you away from bad things in life.
Reactive people start exercising when their doctor tells them they need to move their ass or they’re headed to the cardiologist. Proactive people start exercising before they get old, fat and sick.
Reactive people eat garbage until they’re diagnosed with hypothyroidism, diabetes or Celiac disease. Proactive people eat organic meats, fruits and vegetables because humans were designed to eat real food.
Reactive people train like idiots (e.g. bench pressing every day, never stretching, never training legs, never doing cardio) until they get hurt. Proactive people attack their weaknesses every day (e.g. squat form or shoulder health) so they can train like animals (even bench press three times per week!) and set huge PRs.
Reactive people procrastinate, avoid the daily grind and scramble at the last minute to produce half-ass results. Proactive people make lists, set goals, hold themselves accountable and do great things.
Reactive people wait around for success to find them. Proactive people attack success and make it theirs.
Don’t sit around waiting to get old, fat, sick and unhappy. Be proactive and take control of your life.