And why not so fiercely cling to a one-day-at-a-time mentality? This time last year, Helton didn't know how much of a future he had as a player, much less that the future could include another postseason berth.
Last Sept. 30, Helton underwent a delicate lower back surgery to relieve pressure that a bulging disk was placing on a nerve. The pain and decreased mobility had led to the worst numbers of Helton's career -- .267, seven home runs, 29 RBIs in 83 games.
Dr. Robert Watkins, the noted California surgeon who performed the arthroscopic procedure, has a list of high-profile success on players such as the Dodgers' Rafael Furcal and the Giants' Randy Johnson. But it was anyone's guess what would become of Helton, who would turn 36 on Aug. 20.
But Helton has stayed faithful to his rehab program, and the results are startling to those who saw Helton struggle for extension and power in his swing all last season.
Helton entered Thursday night's game against the Padres batting .317 -- fourth in the NL. His .409 on-base percentage was sixth-highest in the league. The 40-plus homer performances of the early part of his career are well-behind him, but his 14 home runs, 80 RBIs, 35 doubles and three triples represent a productive season from the No. 3 spot in his batting order.
His year has gone so smoothly that he can snicker about a slump.
During the Rockies' last road trip, a nine-gamer, Helton went 2-for-24. Toward the end, he shaved his now-familiar beard and goatee. The public story is he made a mistake shaving, but it could have been a slump-busting move.
"It's not the first time ... it happens," Helton said.
Then he laughed. "I don't want to peak too soon."
The biggest place Helton's health shows is in his defense. His career .996 fielding percentage is tops among active first basemen. This year, he has returned to making acrobatic plays on hard-hit balls. His ability to handle off-target throws allows his fellow infielders to play with abandon.
Helton acknowledges that being healthy has unlocked his defense, and health has played a role in that. But don't ask him to compare the difference in how he feels.
"I'm just worried about playing the game," Helton said.
For him, that's too much like looking to a painful fast. He likes that even less than talking about the exciting future.