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Lyme Epidemic Clock is Tick-Tick-Ticking
Happiness, Health, Nature, Wisdom

Lyme Epidemic Clock is Tick-Tick-Ticking

The two brothers lived to deerhunt. It was a major annual family ritual like no other. Like most of us deerhunters, they lived it year round, always scouting, planning, strategizing, exploring, looking for that perfect backwoods, outback, way-back swampland ambush stand location in our beloved great outdoors.

Their efforts not only paid dividends in the fun, sport, meat, trophy sacred backstrap department, but like pretty much all deerhunters, this aboriginal hands-on conservation lifestyle cleansed their souls and fortified their families’ overall quality of life.

Serious stuff this deerhunting life.

About 20 years ago they celebrated the dream deerhunt when both brothers killed two fine bucks on opening morning. They recall that as they gutted their kills, each deer had more ticks on them than they had seen previously, but they didn’t think much of it.

Turns out both brothers discovered embedded ticks on their bodies the next day, but merely removed them and never gave it a second thought.

Coincidentally, one of the brothers had a nagging flu-like condition at the time and was prescribed a pretty heavy dose of antibiotics, while his brother did not.

Within days, severe headaches and body aches and intense flu-like symptoms rattled the brother that was not prescribed antibiotics, but he just plowed through it not knowing anything about this “rare” and nearly universally misdiagnosed Lyme disease that was ravaging his body.

Horror of horrors, he became increasingly debilitated, weak and sickly until finally a doctor identified Lyme, but it was too late.

Restricted to a wheelchair and basically helpless, his hunting days are over and his condition is irreversible.

The brother that was prescribed antibiotics is just fine.

Thank God the medical community has wised up over the years and Lyme is now much better understood, though still very difficult to accurately diagnose since its symptoms mirror those of so many other illnesses and conditions.

So last week when I extracted a clinging tick off my ear, I was much more prone to pay attention, and though I have encountered ticks most of my fulltime outdoor life, this time it hit me.

Within 24 hours I experienced pounding headaches and body aches like never before and immediately knew my symptoms were lick for lick those of Lyme.

Fortunately our doctor friend is a Lyme specialist and my antibiotic regimen began right away.

I am up in beautiful Wawa, Ontario bear hunting with Rick Dickson and some buddies right now, and am relieved to say that the symptoms are dissipating incrementally nicely each day.

Whew! That was a close one!

So I am here to share with my deerhunting BloodBrothers the reality that 2017 is going down on record as the worse tick year and the worse Lyme year across America.

In my daily outdoor wanderings in Texas and now in Michigan, I have never seen so many damn ticks!

We must be ever vigilant to treat our clothing with bug deterrent and look more carefully for ticks after each day afield.

Lyme is real as a heart attack and comin’ to get ya! It can have devastating health effects and prevention and early accurate diagnosis is critical.

Communicate this health emergency with family, friends and hunting buddies. Ticks are everywhere this year and the little buggers can wreak havoc on us. The clock is tick-tick-ticking!

Emotional Wellbeing, Finding Strength, Fitness, Happiness, Health, Inspiration, Meditation, Mindset, Nature, Spirituality, Uncategorized, Wellness, Wisdom

Tearful Yoga

The room was completely dark except for the illuminated “Exit” sign.  As I lay on the floor in a supine position, sweat streamed down the side of my face, arms and legs. Toxins and stress drained from every pore.  It had been fifty-eight minutes of the most strenuous stretching, balancing, and hard-core strength exercises a body can tolerate, but as I lay in my own pool of sweat, I felt elated.  Yep.  Elated.

The instructor, Michael, taught an intense power yoga class which included traditional yoga postures combined with a series of faster paced moves which called for a bit of mental gymnastics.  When a difficult pose ended, another began. There was very little rest. When we were instructed to hold a challenging balance that required muscular strength and stretching limbs and torsos beyond what was once imaginable, my mind played its usual tricks:  leave now and go get a cappuccino…why are you working so hard on a Sunday when you could have slept in and read the paper….there’s a woman at least ten years older than you bending like a pretzel…..c’mon…you can do this, etc…

At times, there was no music, just the sound of the instructor’s voice encouraging us to go deeper into the pose, or take just another “sip” of breath. Serious and seasoned yogis use a diaphragmatic breathing technique that’s supposed to bring attention back to one’s breath, maintaining calm and focus amidst chaos. The mind continually races, however, with thoughts of “I should have worn the black tank top….what am I having for lunch….to…I bet I’ll lose three pounds of sweat from this class…”

While there are many different kinds of yoga, including Hatha, Vinyasa, power, gentle, and everything in between, yoga has evolved from thousands of years ago. Today, yoga is a culture of its own. There are people who do (it) and people who don’t.  You either fall into one category or the other.  There’s little flexibility because many gurus are so serious about their craft. Although I’ve been in the fitness industry for more than thirty-five years as a choreographer, program developer and instructor, I often feel as though I’m out of my league when I attend a yoga class.  It’s a feeling akin to sports fanatics.  You either like to watch games or you don’t.

The yoga culture extends to manners and clothing, as well.  Be prepared to speak in a whispered voice and be cognizant of your space when entering a yoga studio. Smiles are given freely and often, except when walking on someone else’s mat or (gasp!) when a cell phone buzzes. Anger is simply not welcome.

Stretch pants previously reserved for the gym and only the gym are now seen on both hockey moms and dads in and out of yoga studios and worn as a statement; “I can do the splits and I eat kale.”

The lights dimmed with just a hint of radiance from the gorgeous chandelier above me and the music became so loud I couldn’t hear myself or the person inches away from me breathe, or fart, although I’m quite certain that happened to at least one of us during the hour.  It felt like a nightclub scene, but without any alcohol or pick-up lines.

The instructor never demonstrated any moves, and as an intermediate yogi, I was unfamiliar with the sanskrit terminology, so I cheated by looking at those nearby including my son, Rocco, who is currently attending yoga teacher training.  Not realizing we would have to remember sequences, I simply played “follow-the-leader” as I mimicked those around me in the shadows of the dimly-lit room.

At the end of the class, when it was so dark I could only see the ‘Exit’ sign, we laid on our sweaty yoga mats, exhausted and exhilarated at the same time. It was quiet, with only a faint sound of deep, relaxing sighs.

Then, with the first sound of the piano notes, it started.  I felt a tightening in my throat, and heavier, more intense breathing.The music blasted, but this time with a more peaceful, poetic combination of Gaelic, New Age and classical sounds that both calmed and comforted me.  The volume of the music grew along with its intensity to levels that I felt in my bones. Suddenly, a persuasive, emotional wave took over me and within seconds, tears filled my eyes and streamed down my cheeks.

I began to weep.

Salty tears of elation mixed with my hard-earned sweat.

And it felt so good.

Feeling blessed to be healthy! #4minutes2happy #yoga #healthyliving #fitness #exercise

Feeling blessed to be healthy! #4minutes2happy #yoga #healthyliving #fitness #exercise

Inspiration, Nature, Spirituality

The Spiritual Vortex of Sedona

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It is a place where roads are named Lizard Head, Broken Arrow Lane and Devil’s Pass. It’s not unusual in this stunning, mountainous region to see cars parked on roadsides for mountain bike riders (young or old) to get their groove on in the valiantly hilly topography of Sedona, Arizona. Through the red, rocky mountains, the stars seem closer than usual at night and the air is cool, crisp and fresh. It’s a place where the mountains are so high in the sky, you have to tilt your head back to see the peaks. It’s a place where peace and serenity abound. Where it seems as though God took a little extra time in painting the scenery. Continue Reading

Health, Inspiration, Nature

The Spirit of the Wild

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The art of healing comes from nature, not from the physician. Therefore the physician must start from nature, with an open mind. Paracelsus

There is nothing more peaceful than being surrounded by nature and enveloped by its healing power. The sight of colorful birds and trees, the symphonic sound of crickets and birds singing, the gentle kiss of wind on your face, and the smell of freshly cut grass or a fragrant gardenia can be an instant stress reducer.  The Great Outdoors is also a place where we can be alone with our thoughts and feelings.  Have you ever gone for a walk to ‘clear your head’ and suddenly came up with creative thoughts about how to solve a problem or design something new?  Inspiration takes place in many forms and in many places. Being in nature can do more than just enhance our sense of vitality. 

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