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Chapter 5: A New Beginning

Lynda and I could see the writing on the wall, and began making preparations for a life outside the health club.

We contacted some of our old clients, and meet some new connections through the club that would help us reinvent ourselves. We now focused purely on installation work, and connected with a more discerning clientele. Again the chemistry between Lynda and I was clearly an advantage for us. We quickly established a growing clientele, and found ourselves with plenty of work. However everything wasn’t rosey.

We managed to stay in our house long enough for both kids to graduate high school, and our son to get established in college, but found ourselves faced with the prospect of losing our house. With a little luck and the help of an angel, we found a motivated seller that helped us relocate without too much fuss.

Lynda and I quickly settled in to her new surroundings, and found that it put us in a very lucrative part of the state. Between our skills and personalities, we quickly build up our new service business.

However with her children out of the house, Lynda and I settled into some bad habits to deal with our stresses. It started out innocently enough. We both loved to dance, but we also liked to let loose, and what better way to do that, tequila! The fact that we looked & felt much younger than we were went to our heads, and found ourselves staying up much of the weekends drinking, dancing, and just having a grand old time, not realizing we were undermining all the hard work we had done.

We felt great, were still eating better than most, taking our supplements, and working out. We thought that gave us a free pass to abuse ourselves a little. We would be wrong.

Over the next 10 years many things would happen to cause a considerable amount of stress in our lives, but at the same time, there was much joy as well. Both our children had gotten married and started blessing us with grandchildren. Lynda and I were enjoying success with our business, and still enjoying reasonable good health. We had rebuilt our lives and credit, but things were about to change.

The first major change was the death of my dad, and caring for my aging mom. Not too long after that, the housing bubble burst, and we watched a lot of new work dry up, along with savings and equity.

Six months after my mom moved in with us, Lynda would loose her youngest brother in a horrific event. This was pushing her stress levels to new heights. To add to this, we were watching her parents, who had moved quite a distance from us, go through a rapid decline in health.

At one point, her dad was on over twenty prescriptions! No surprise he eventually succumbed to kidney failure. She would lose her mom a year or so after to lung cancer. It was also during this time, we had our next AHA moment.

At 50 years of age, while I felt good for the most part, I couldn’t understand why I was having some negative health issues. Then one day, while at the health food store, I saw a book that caught my attention. “Nutritional Cleansing Made Easy” I picked it up and started browsing through it. I liked the author’s style and the content intrigued me. It introduced us to the concept of whole food nutrition. Lynda and I were ready for a change so we decided to give it a shot.

This was our first exposure to juicing and cleansing. I must admit the idea of going 28 days without animal protein, dairy or bread was a little scary at first. It was also the first time I had ever heard of oat groats, quinoa and millet. For 28 days, we had fresh vegetable juice every morning, oat grouts or quinoa, lots of vegetables, nuts, seeds and beets. What’s with all the beets?

I was now learning the importance of whole food nutrition, organic farming, and the source of our meats, eggs and dairy. I learned that beets helped cleanse the blood and liver. This was a major shift in consciousness for me, and steered my education in a whole new direction.

We were now juicing carrots, apples, beets and greens on a regular basis. The results of the 28 days was astounding! I was sleeping better, aches were disappearing, my energy was through the roof, my eyesight had improved, and my digestive track was clean as a whistle. LOL!

I had also lost about 15 pounds without experiencing any hunger. We also met a naturopath that did some testing on us, taught us about the benefits of raw milk, fish oils, and healthy fats. He suggested I read the book Good Calories Bad Calories by Gary Taubes that totally turned what I had been taught about fats and cholesterol upside down.

This was also the first  indication that something was brewing with Lynda. She was showing elevated inflammatory markers and rheumatoid factors, but had no visible indications of illness. But this started us on a new path.

We realized there was a difference between being fit and being healthy. We were extremely fit, had now switched to more organic foods. At 50 years of age, we went on our first backpacking trip on the Appalachian trail. It was a four day adventure with our son and 5 year old grandson,  a great experience which got us more involved in outdoors activities. Over the next few years, we had tried cross country skiing, snow shoeing, and was doing more hiking and walking than we had done in our lives. All our exercise before that had been confined to the gym.

But…unbeknownst to us, a major crisis was brewing.

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