Sharpening Your Best Tool!
To be a Truck technician requires a lot of time and energy, and requires a major investment in your physical and mental being. Yet, as with every major investment everyone looks forward to a great return. To ensure the best chance at a great return, you must start with taking care of your best “tool”. You!
As a technician of 18 years I’ve had my ups and my downs, in’s and out’s and jobs that just plain wore me out. With the addition of working straight commission, industry standards can easily take a toll on your body and mind. Skipping a lunch or a break and working non-stop to take that next job adds up and not exactly in your wallet. I used to be “that guy” that didn’t ask for help lifting a transmission or setting an engine in the frame rails. After a few slips and mishaps I learned that I should start asking for more help when I needed it.
Then one day I asked myself, “Why do I need all this help lately?” Then I looked down and saw myself getting further and further out of good shape. I’ve always been known as a night owl, usually continuing to work on a project even after shop close. Just grabbing a quick bite to eat and never looking at the nutritional facts. Why? Because it tasted good and I didn’t have the “time”. Looking around I noticed some of the other techs in the shop appeared to be in better shape than me. Then asking myself how are they staying fit and in better health than I am? Then during lunch I would watch what they ate and quickly noticed that they have been meal prepping and eating home cooked meals. They had meals consisting of salads, half sandwiches, and small healthier snacks and then spreading the food out throughout the day; thus giving their body time to get full all the time. Preventing the binge and starve that I was doing. Also, they would stay away from those notorious energy drinks and not drinking too much coffee.
So I decided that a change needed to happen. I started researching what will help create a good “return for my investment.” I started the same way I did with my career and found taking 1 step at a time worked the best. Starting small creates less shock on your body and mind, and makes those changes more manageable. With proper planning I was able to kick a lot of my bad habits out the garage door, including giving up energy drinks, only eating 2 balanced large meals a day, and ending my day sooner and not being the “night owl” I used to be. Soon enough I began to notice a huge difference in my attitude and ability to complete jobs without assistance. Common sense still prevails in asking for help dealing with injury prevention of course, as safety for you and others is always rule #1. Changing your habits doesn’t go un-noticed. People may ask about it and that’s good for both of you. I started exercising with a partner during down time and thoroughly enjoyed the results.
In conclusion I’ve found you get out what you’ve put in; just like a car. If you take poor care of yourself, then you can’t expect top notch performance results. Also, never be too proud to ask for help when you need it. It helps prevent accidents and bodily injuries. And for help with a truck repair, you don’t have to be wasting unnecessary time with Mitchell 1’s TruckSeries truck repair software by your side.
Below is a small list of points I focused on during my journey to better health.
Start by making your own list and don’t forget that you don’t have to look like Mr. Olympia to be in good health.
- Better sleep patterns
- Mental health
- Physical fitness
- Reducing alcohol and caffeine intake
- Positive social interactions
- Personal hygiene
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