23 October 2013

keep it natural, keep it real

i continue to chuckle at and about myself when i think of the lifestyle changes that have come about as a result of running.  some friends and i were collectively scratching our heads about where the 'old pat' went to when we were discussing this subject after church this past sunday.  the fast food days are almost non-existent, late night brainless tv is no longer on the radar, and a weekly/monthly/yearly training and racing regime now dominate the calendar.

a couple of days ago i watched two engaging and insightful videos from ultrarunner and fruitarian michael arnstein and among the things that i took away from them was the importance of regular, long, quality sleeps.  i've certainly taken to trying to make my sleep pattern and duration more predictable during training cycles (and found it immensely easier to get up each morning to run - even as the days get shorter), but after listening to michael's recommendation of a sleep mask i decided to give that a shot as well.
shamelessly stolen borrowed from one of my daughters

i will have to see if it ends up that i sleep more soundly with a mask on, or if i will just be providing hours of entertainment to the rest of my family as i lay unconscious.

as i think of some of the other 'natural' adaptations that have contributed to a me v2.0, i can't miss mentioning the role of chiropractic in my life.  for about five years now i've been seeing my friend and chiropractor dr. brad norman.  it was in response to a thoughtful gift card shared by another friend of mine (brian) that i began exploring the chiropractic journey through New Life Chiropractic - not having any back problems, headaches, or nagging pains to speak of.  at the same time i discovered that i was the ideal candidate - as i've always believed, it's better to practice the fire escape before you smell smoke.

you can also watch the progression of spinal degeneration in this video provided by my friends at New Life Chiro:

dr. brad is a practitioner of the gonstead technique, which targets specific adjustments in an effort to restore the flow of communication and energy between the brain and the rest of the body (vis-à-vis the spinal cord).  his mission and approach is all about facilitating what the body is designed to do best - restore itself - rather than mask/medicate/poison the presenting problems. 

one of the reasons that i'm a believer in chiropractic is partly because brad is my friend - but moreso because he and his team share a compelling vision of how God has intended the body to be a beautiful collaboration of science and art.  there are so many medicinal recommendations that want to introduce artificial ingredients to interfere with that.  i've done my best to stay away from all of that - so much so that aside for gravol to deal with my occasional onset of vertigo, i've not taken any other medications in the last several years.

so nutrition, sleep, exercise, chiropractic - some of the key pieces to my current state of health and fitness.  what are yours?


  1. Regular sleep and running for sure! I've never taken any medicine either, not even when giving birth to my children, because I believe that our body can cope on its own...

    1. wow - you truly are a warrior! my wife didn't have any meds for the birth of two of our kids, but that's because they arrived quicker than expected ... :)

    2. So your wife is a warrior too, Patrick! Is she a marathon runner too? We had our kids at home, and the midwives were great, they let me be and breathe... I still think those moments were my first marathons, even though I wasn't a runner yet:)

    3. no doubt anna! we have four kids, and combined time spent in labour for all four equals 93 hours! my wife is not a marathoner, but does spend time treadmill running. i'm encouraging her to try to target running a 5k sometime next spring.

  2. Hi Patrick, I am so thrilled that the Christmas card that Brian and I sent led you to come into Dr. Brad's office. I first came to see him in Dec. 2006 when I received a Christmas card from a friend of mine. He has been a great help to me and was the one that encouraged me to take up running as a sport. When I started to see him I was very overweight, sedentary, depressed and in a lot of pain. I remember being skeptical that I could run at first and only being able to do so for a couple of minutes at a time. I was able to run though, and ran a 5K in June 2009 at the Teen Challenge ranch in Aurora, a 10k on Canada day in Barrie in 2011, a half-marathon in Sept. 2011at Wasaga Beach in 2011 and last winter I did the Santa Shuffle 5k in Barrie, so much fun wearing my Santa hat. I have lost over 60 pounds and more fit than ever. Chiropractic has been a godsend to me and I am privileged to call Brad my friend. He was able to help me out when I experienced nausea, dizziness and confusion after I recently fell while running and landed hard on my knees, wacking my head on the pavement in the process.
    I also find that I must take really good care of myself. I have arthritis and multiple allergies to foods and the world around me. I am still learning to take care of this unique body that God has given me. I can't eat gluten or dairy, I have however discovered that I really like bok choy, LOL :) and yams and all kinds of things that I never dreamed of eating before. Sleep is essential and trying to reduce stress (We can always try.). I have found myself in a flare up lately, due largely in part to being sloppy with my diet, I now think that corn is in part the the culprit. (And a fondness for cheese and yogurt. Whoops)
    So what have I said so far. Yes chiropractic, eat well, get good quality sleep, nourish your body, oh and also your mind. I have found it wonderful to read this blog and I now follow so many others that I have learned about, Don Miller, Peter Rollins, Stan, Rick Ball (I have been following through our local paper and now his blog), Rooted in Health ( a naturopathic office that I recently visited.) among others. Most of these I learned about through reading your blog. Lastly but definitely not least be grounded spiritually. I think it is essential to believe in something larger than ourselves.
    I might not run as fast as I want to or as far as I want to but I'm still persevering and I am so happy to see that you are to. 9 days left. Best wishes. I am looking forward to reading about it. Didn't mean to write a book.

    1. so great to read about the changes that have come about in your health and life! the fact that you are persevering means that you are on exactly the same journey that i am - and i'm happy to be your equal, and your friend!