Chris Everard from Vistage joined me recently to share his success around his tiny wellness habit that he put into place since we last saw each other at a retreat that I hosted for his leadership peer group.
Watch our video interview right here or scroll down to read his story.
In a nutshell this is just one of the benefits Chris has experienced after putting one easy, tiny wellbeing habit in place … “So my back hasn’t been as good as this for a long, long time. And also last year in June my knees were hurting and I went to see a knee specialist as you do, and he said that my right knee is going to need a partial if not a full replacement. And I don’t know how, whether it’s psychosomatic or actual, but my knees, along with my back, are no longer hurting me. I’ve cancelled the procedure. It’s only a tiny thing. It’s 10 minutes, maybe 15 if that, a day. It’s nothing, really, but it makes such a difference.
People have said to me, “Chris, you’ve lost weight. You’re looking better and fitter.”
Hello Chris, please introduce yourself and share what that new wellness habit is?
My name’s Chris Everard. My primary role at the moment is being a Vistage chair. I’ve been Vistage chair for five years.
I run three groups and part of being a Vistage chair is going on retreat with your group, and a retreat is a couple of nights’ overnight stay in somewhere different, and part of the retreat, probably the greatest part, is the ability to work with speakers on a longer basis, on a wider basis. So a speaker session of Vistage normally is three hours, whereas a retreat speaker could be with you all day and really drive the difference.
We were absolutely blessed and honored to have Celynn as our speaker this year. We went for a walk in the morning and there she was, sitting on the wall, waiting for us to come back, because we got a little bit lost. And then she shared with us, showed us, explained to us, wellbeing, little changes, drink more water, have at least five colors on your plate, eat moderately, eat a balance, take exercise, be kind to yourself, be good in your relationships, make all the fundamentals and principles in your life align, and look after yourself. And then we did the very opposite. We went for the retreat dinner at Bay’s food, and drank far too much wine, but we did have some champagne…
So we finished off the speaker session with two large bottles of rose champagne, as selected by Celynn. So a great time, and then in the morning before breakfast we went outside and we did, under the guidance and tutelage of Celynn, the Five Tibetans. I’d never heard of the Five Tibetans. None of my group had heard of Five Tibetans. And they are basically a series of five, simple, easy to do, low-demand stretches.
So you start off doing maybe five of each stretch very easily, very gently, and then your body gets accustomed to doing stretches. I do mine every morning. I do something called my ‘gratitudes’. The first thing I do in the morning when I get up is I make myself a cup of coffee, have a glass of water, and then if it’s a nice day, I’ll stand up outside, but if it’s not, I’ll stand inside and I’ll just think about what I’m grateful for and who I’m grateful to and what I’m looking forward to most in the day and get myself framed for the day. That takes anything between three and maybe sometimes 10 minutes, but that’s unlikely.
And then I do my Five Tibetans, when in fact I do four, because the first one makes me feel a little bit giddy and slightly nauseous, so I’ve stopped the first one. So I do my Four Tibetans first thing in the morning. Takes between eight minutes up to maybe 12, at most 15 minutes.
So the timing’s set by me and at the end I have a shower and then make a cup of tea for my beautiful wife and then my day’s kicked off. And the difference it’s made, (the retreat was in September this year, 2019)…Up until that point and for a number of years I had a sore back largely caused by too much rugby and poor posture and a little bit of overweight. All the usual things.
But doing the Tibetans, I could honestly say my back has transformed. My core is definitely stronger. I feel much more purposeful after I’ve done my Four Tibetans. I feel relaxed. I feel quite grounded. I never take myself too seriously, so I do giggle at myself as I’m huffing and puffing and stretching and bending. But each time you do them, it gets that little bit easier and even do a little bit more and it just sets you for the day.
So my back hasn’t been as good as this for a long, long time. And also last year in June my knees were hurting and I went to see a knee specialist as you do, and he said that my right knee is going to need a partial if not a full replacement within the next couple of years. My left knee was not too bad. And I don’t know how, whether it’s psychosomatic or actual, but my knees, along with my back, are no longer hurting me. I can walk a lot further. They were occasionally keep me awake at night, but they don’t do that anymore at all, and quite frequently I’ll forget. I’ll forget I’ve got sore knees.
The presentation was informal and highly informative. It was challenging and engaging and I’m pretty safe in saying that seven or eight group members are doing their Tibetans. I know a young guy called Ben is now a very strong advocate and getting his friends and family into it. When we meet, we are much more mindful of what we eat. There’s always water on the table. There’s always fruits on the table, and it’s referred to as the greatest retreat, the best retreat, the most meaningful retreat that the group’s ever been on in the five years they’ve been together.
I knew when I saw you and I asked when you were going for your knee procedure, and you said, “Oh no, I’ve canceled it because it seems to be working.” And that was enough for me to feel like I wanted to get your message out there. But I love that you’ve shared that the stretches make you feel purposeful.
Yes, they do. Just about a year ago my dad died and I was with him quite a lot before he died, and he said, “The most important thing is to do the right thing. Just do the right thing and only you know what the right thing is.”
When you’re not sure about something, just ask yourself, “What’s the right thing?” So doing my Four Tibetans, I think of my dad, and I think this is the right thing. I’m doing the right thing.
That sets me off with at least one thing today, I’ve done the right thing. And the second right thing is to make my beautiful wife a cup of tea, so if I can get two right things done before I’ve even started work, that’s all right. It just gives me a sense of pride as well… It’s only a tiny thing. It’s 10 minutes, maybe 15 if that, a day. It’s nothing, really, but it makes such a difference.
I talk about it quite a lot, because people have said to me, “Chris, you’ve lost weight. You’re looking better and fitter.” I said, “Yeah, it’s my Tibetans.”
And that’s the key, to start with something small and to be consistent rather than erratic. What an amazing story. Thank you for sharing.
It’s an absolute pleasure. No, thank you. Thank you for encouraging me to do more Tibetans.
Please share this story with anyone else who you feel would benefit from reading about Chris’s experience.
Do you have a story to share? I would love to hear about it. After all, we all feel more courageous when we are championed! Leave a comment or direct message me and I will be in touch.