Lets Talk Curls – for muscles, for hair, for beer, for life. #2

While enjoying a beer with a close friend and colleague I began griping about how I did not have enough time in the day to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. After a while my friend and colleague stopped me and stated something to the effect of, “It’s not that we don’t have time for something, it’s that we chose to prioritize something else.”  This one line has helped ease my mind when it comes to decision making.

I have always struggled at making decisions, especially when it comes to allocating my time and managing my time appropriately.  I frequently double book myself, skip meals, limit my sleep time (or fall asleep while working), and rarely give myself a set amount of time to accomplish an activity.  My decision making in the last 6 months is much less tormented, while not perfect, I have been able to improve my organization and time management to align with my priorities.

I now recall another piece of advice I received for a college application essay, “You have a finite amount of space to deliver a message, so every line you write down MUST mean something for the message, otherwise they are wasted lines.”  Extrapolate that to decision making in day to day situations, and every action you make MUST mean something to your priorities and bring you a step closer to your long-term goals.

To relate all this back to physical therapy, with my brief clinical experience (still under 5 years), most people do not prioritize their health and are even less likely to do so when ill or injured.  This phenomenon is opposite of what I expected going into PT school.  I attribute this to the socioeconomic stress placed on those that are ill/injured and current societies deeply rooted need for a “quick fix”.  People are much more likely to stick to a regimented pain medication schedule than a regimented diet/exercise schedule (thus the opioid crisis).  A good therapist does not simply “evaluate and treat” a client, but truly helps the client sift through all of life’s stressors and guides them to re-prioritize their health (often times both physical and mental health) as a true successful “outcome”, in my opinion, is a client that is well educated about his/her body and has made a lasting lifestyle change to improve their function.

To keep with my priorities; I am now 1.5 years strong into self-employment/contract (per-diem) work which allows me the flexibility to spend more time with friends and family, I have cleared up space in the garage for the last two weeks to make space for my home gym (still a work in progress but its current state is pictured above), my biology is taking care of the hair growth aspect (I just have to keep up on the maintenance, progress pictured above – about 1 month in), and we have initiated a search for private investors or a business loan to be able to dedicate our full attention on the business and take it to the next level.  I am again, going to use a Steve Jobs quote as it is just too good not to.  Discover your priorities, reevaluate them on a regular basis, and stick with them at all costs.

“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.  Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking.  Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out you own inner voice.  And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.  They somehow already know what you truly want to become.  Everything else is secondary.” – Steve Jobs

Lets Talk Curls – for muscles, for hair, for beer, for life. #1


I am not sure how to really get this blog going, so I will start with a quote:

“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes … the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. … You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. … They push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

–Steve Jobs

As of 11:11:11 a.m. on 11/11/18, I decided to cut my hair and begin growing it out once more for the purpose of donating to an organization that creates wigs for kids who have lost their hair due to any number of health issues. The photo is the first photo of this journey. The first time I donated to Locks of Love (who have since started charging for their wigs – BOO), the second time I donated to Wigs for Kids (which is likely where I will donate it again this time around). The third company that I knew took hair donations, Pantene’s Beautiful Lengths program will stop accepting donations 12/31/18 due to a decreased demand in the population they serve.

This time will be my third, and final, time to grow out my hair for donation, so I decided to record the progress with photos, videos and blog posts about my experience. In doing so I also am committing myself to improve my own health as I am at my worst fitness level and the most overweight, I have ever been. I intend to discuss my experience with the hair growth process along with my health/wellness journey and of course do my best to relate it back to small business ownership and physical therapy.  Don’t worry, I suspect there will be plenty of references to the most recent and most important adventure of all, fatherhood; yes there will be a few photos of Gianna to keep things interesting!

I expect this particular blog to extend for approximately two years as that is about the length of time it has taken me to grow my hair long enough to donate (Wigs for Kids expects at minimum a 14 inch ponytail for donation – this is 2 inches longer than I previously remember, yikes!). I hope those of you that follow along will gain something from the blog aside from another avenue to hear me ramble =).

This is the part where I attempt to make a connection with hair growth and entrepreneurship and physical therapy. I have met with just as much resistance with the decision to grow my hair out as I did with leaving my previous job and starting down the path of small business ownership. Both were decisions that were not made lightly and involved a great deal of discussion, albeit heated at times, with those closest to me. Both are a long term commitments with great personal sacrifice involved (yes I use sacrifice very loosely and do not want to detract from people that have sacrificed much more than I intend to, IE our military personnel – thank you to all those in the armed services that protect my right to speak freely and create something like this). Entrepreneurship has changed my identity more than I could have ever expected or prepared for, and from experience, I know long hair will change my identity significantly (as my family very vocally voice every time I have grown my hair out “Brown skin, long hair and a beard are not good for a person in America, this will make it easier for people to discriminate and first impressions and first judgments will lose you clients and business”).

This brings me to why I chose the quote from Steve Jobs to open the blog post. I don’t know if starting a business and growing my hair out and attempting to lose weight is crazy enough to change the world, but I sure would like to change the world one person at a time, starting with, you guessed it, ME. I hope those of you that have read thus far will continue to read my posts throughout my journey. I do not know how often I will post or what the content will look like from post to post, but I promise it will always be genuine and will always give a little insight into me and my thoughts.

Beren M. Shah