A New Beginning- My Story

What’s the most difficult moment you’ve experienced in your life? (I know, we’re starting off with a tough one.) Take some time to visualize and truly feel that instance. Drop into the moment…

This could be (but is not limited to) the physical act of giving birth to a child, losing a loved one, working toward graduation with an undergraduate/graduate/post-graduate degree, or making the choice to end an unhealthy relationship. (Are your palms sweaty and cold, heart racing, or maybe a slightly elevated breathing rate while you relive this moment? Or are you having a hard time feeling it because it’s been suppressed for some time?)

We all have moments that seemingly occur out of nowhere that stop us in our tracks. Then we spend the next days/weeks/months/years rebounding, if we ever fully re-establish our footing with confidence. What emotions came up as you were reliving that moment? How long did it take you to rebound, or if you haven’t, what’s stopping you? Finally, what could you have done differently in this scenario to change your response and recovery time? 

In my experiences through life, a few constants continue to ring true:

1- Small, daily habits to CREATE energy lead to a reserve on hand when times get tough and I need it. 

2- Daily check-ins with myself provide the clarity to notice when my internal state shifts, allowing me to regain my focus more efficiently.

3- Finding a partner that is aligned along the same path gives me the courage to be vulnerable and face the difficult moments head-on.

I mention these 3 aspects of my life because each of them has allowed me to speed up my response time to a given event, and instead of reacting with fear, I go within and determine the best course of action to right the ship. Too often we are so disconnected from our true essence that we fail to communicate properly in a given scenario, leading to more suffering. If we can’t interpret the language in which our true self speaks, how can we expect to act rationally when pain inevitably arises?

These are the thoughts that I ponder when given the time to sit down and check in with myself. I was listening to Russell Brand’s podcast “Under the Skin” just today when he was interviewing Brene Brown. She had a quote that has stuck with me up to this moment: “Pain that is not transformed, will always be transmitted.”- Fr. Richard Rohr. It is my belief that the underlying reason for most pain and suffering is misunderstanding. To me this quote is referring to us, the human race, and our inability to discard fear from our lives and instead do the work to uncover why we’re here in the first place. We then live with that fear and it breeds more fear, hate, discrimination and ignorance. 

I say all of this to reiterate the idea that we ALL suffer from time to time, in one way or another. Our ability to communicate more effectively with ourselves and others is often a missed opportunity to to transform pain into reason/hope/faith/love. 

Now, to provide more insight into who I am and some of the things that have shaped my perspective as of this moment, I am going to break down my life into 3 segments: 

1- before Chiropractic school, which I have coined “the unknowing”

2- Chiropractic school, or “the Awakening”

3- Post Chiropractic school, aka “a new beginning”

My hope is that providing insight into my past, present and future will allow you to connect with me, even if we have never physically met.

“Unknowing”

Growing up in a blue collar family, we didn’t grasp the concept of conservative health care. I’m not sure if anyone in my family had ever gone to a Chiropractor for general health and wellbeing prior to me starting at Cleveland Chiropractic in 2014 (including myself). Both of my parents worked away from home, my dad as a police office and mom as an insurance agent. Neither had spent much time in college, but they wanted us to have the best education possible near where we lived. My sisters and I attended private school from early grade school through high school, where I then went to a franciscan undergraduate college in Sioux City, Iowa. 

I received dual undergraduate degrees in 2011 while studying Business Administration and Marketing. Upon graduation however, I wasn’t sure where life was headed. I had played sports my entire life, including playing soccer at the collegiate level and this would be the first time since YMCA soccer at age 4 that I wasn’t involved in athletics. Couple that with finding a job sitting behind a desk pushing papers and sending emails all day, and I was headed toward an uncomfortable time in my life filled with heartache, depression and lots of fear. As fate would have it, I was rooming with a good friend of mine from college and he just happened to be attending Chiropractic school at the same time. The rest, as they say, is history. 

“The Awakening”

 As you can imagine, someone with a business degree starting Chiropractic school is fairly uncommon. Before beginning the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) program at Cleveland Chiropractic College, I first had to take prerequisite courses to prepare me for the academic rigor I would soon face. The undergraduate courses would take 10 months to complete, and during this time I was working at a local grocery store to pay my way through school. Stocking shelves from 10pm-6am and then getting to class in time for my 730am Anatomy & Physiology course, with a few others after that was a bit of a stretch. 

After pushing hard to complete these pre-requisite courses in a timely manner, I was “ready” to start the DC program. Emphasizing ready is important here because I wasn’t ready. Not physically, mentally, emotionally, or intellectually. Walking into grad-school science courses on zero sleep, no confidence and a lack of foundational science proved to push me harder than anything had before in my life. I equate this time in my life to drinking out of a firehose. (insert gif here) I had experienced physical pain from athletic training, but had never felt the stress that accompanies nearly failing out of the program. Which is what almost happened. I am open about this part of my life because I have been healing for 5 years. Once the initial shock of the first few trimesters had worn off, I didn’t have time to worry about that anymore. It was time to work. 

After over 4,500 lecture hours, what feels like 200,000 tests and quizzes, 5 national board exams and 5 long years, the journey to a new beginning was about to begin.

“A new beginning”

 Although this is a very new reality for me; having just graduated less than 2 weeks ago, I’d like to think I have been preparing for this stage my whole life. My involvement in athletics has allowed me to have a deepened appreciation for a healthy body and mind, coupled with an ever-evolving love of whole foods and the health that comes with a complete nutritional plan. Having a business degree may not have served me well when trying to adjust to a science laden program, it has given me the clear perspective of wanting to start my own Chiropractic wellness center. Once the first year of school was behind me, I could focus more of my attention on post-graduation life. Having completed my business plans and laying a foundation for the clinic of my dreams before graduation gives me a leg-up going into the preparation stage prior to opening. 

My partner-in-life Meghan and I have a 15 month old son, with a baby girl on the way in 5 months time. We are both committed to building a stable home, while providing everything our children need and more. She and I are both on the path toward true understanding and awareness of what it means to live a truly fulfilling life. Each day contains its own challenges, as well as its triumphs. The key for us is to learn from the challenges and maximize the triumphs for as long as possible. We both have dreams we wish to accomplish professionally, individually, spiritually and as a family; these dreams continue to evolve every day as our perspective shifts from daily experiences. 

Graduating as a Doctor of Chiropractic has provided me with something I had been missing all along: CLARITY. Clarity of purpose to follow my dreams no matter what and to connect with amazingly enlightening people along the way. Life is meant to test us, but is also meant to be LIVED. Make the most of the hours you have, for we never know when our time will be up. 

This turned into a much longer post than I originally expected, but I truly appreciate you sticking through to the end and hopefully learning more about me, as well as yourself. I have included a list of topics to be covered in future posts, as well as my intention in starting this journey in the first place. Be sure to check the “About Me” section of this site for more information on how to reach me with questions, comments or inquiries for future services. 

With love and gratitude,

Dr. Zach

Intent behind the blog

  • Hold space: My vulnerability to open up holds the space to allow your vulnerability to shine through. 
  • Eat well. Move well. Think well. Be WELL.
    • Conscious choices to level up our perspective in all ways on a daily basis has a high likelihood of creating wellness in our lives. 
  • Providing my perspective in regards to health care, spirituality and life in hopes of  “evolving toward a healthier future, together.”
  • 1 post every month

Future blog topics in the pipeline:

  1. Before you can get there, you have to know where you’re going
  2. What’s with the name? CAVE explained.
  3. The keystone elements of wellness: Chiropractic, motion, presence, nourishment
    • Chiropractic 101
    • Motion is life: Sustainable practices-> unconscious function when you need it
    • Presence: The power of the mind: creating dis-ease or health?
      • Cultivating a vision- the potential that rests within
      • The physiology of chronic stress
      • Plan- Changing the conversation
    • Nourishment: How to eat right without going broke
    • How to supplement your foundation using a morning routine
      • Building a foundation with daily R&R
  4. Above all else, SERVE
  5. Technological revolution, or de-evolution? It’s all about how you use it.
  6. Health: an investment or an expense?
  7.  Eastern practices of wellness vs. western medicine of sickness
    • Wellness vs. Sickness
    • Evolution vs. experimentation
    • Progressive vs. invasive
    • Treating the CAUSE vs. eliminating SYMPTOMS
  8. Parenting 101: Carpenter or Gardner?
    • Conscious involvement
    • Technology
    • Nutrition
    • Communication
    • LOVE
    • Patterning for the future
    • Evolution of a human being
    • Choice Theory
  9. Cultivating health in a culture of sickness
    1.   The profitability of sickness of America

And MORE.

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