I cleaned out my truck last week. Even ran it through one of those car wash things. I do that about once a year, whether it needs it or not. The accumulated junk is massive.

I started with all my medical stuff. I have a big suitcase-looking thing that holds most of my athletic trainer supplies and tools. I keep a red backpack thing that is for real emergencies. It also holds the AED that I always carry. And then there is my splint bag to use in the event of broken limbs.

Then I pulled out bicycle gear. There were things in that part that I had forgotten I even had. I laid everything out on my garage floor and stored away the winter things. Just organizing all that stuff should help me find what I need.

There were three umbrellas in there, two of them broken. A mostly broken folding chair. A variety of clothing items. Several empty coat hangers. Way too many food wrappers. A booster chair for the grandchildren that still need it.

Then there was the loose change and food scraps. More than one bit of orange peel. A dried and blackened banana peel. Too many Frito (my main diet vice) bits — I needed the vacuum for all that. And more than a few of the turf bits from the artificial turf that I find myself on regularly.

I recycled what I could and trashed a bunch of stuff. Bought a new, full-sized umbrella. That cleanup and some sermon notes that a friend shared with me got me to thinking about how we need to clean up our lives from time to time, get rid of the junk.

So what junk do you have that you need to get rid of? You probably clean your vehicle on a regular basis but what junk do you have in your life that you need to discard?

Trying to please others all the time? The pursuit of perfection? Busy-ness? (Those came from my sermon-sharing friend.)

For me, the answers fall into two categories, deep and shallow. On the shallow side, I’ve always got work projects that need my attention. I don’t need to discard them…I need to finish them. I’ve got a presentation to do in June that is going to require a lot of attention. I just need to put those things behind me. I probably should sleep more. Well, yeah, I definitely should sleep more.

On the deep side, I need to give up some bad habits (oh, you didn’t realize I had some bad habits?). I eat too much junk. I work too much. I take on too much. I shortchange some important people in my life because of my tendency to overcommit.

So let me put this in a sports perspective (since this is the sports page, after all). What is getting in the way of your sports performance? What is getting in the way of your training?

Is it a lack of full commitment? Is it habits that you need to let go of that are keeping you from being the best that you can be? Are you eating right? Do you find excuses too easy to come by? Are your priorities in order? Are you too well acquainted with your snooze alarm?

Empty those things from your trunk. Get rid of what you don’t need. Lose those traits that are keeping you from being everything that you can be. As for me, I’m going on vacation.

Joe Black, PT, DPT, SCS, ATC is a physical therapist and athletic trainer at Total Rehabilitation and is Manager of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Blount Memorial Hospital. Email joeblackdpt@gmail.com to write to him.

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