I’m what most people would call extreme.
I jump from cliffs on mountain bikes, snowboards and ropes. And when I hike, it’s across entire states or countries. Over the years, I’ve suffered many injuries while playing; including broken bones, concussions, contusions, lacerations and torn ligaments.
Three years ago I suffered a light head injury while snowboarding. My lifestyle was already what most people would consider natural, but to me it was S.A.D. — the Standard American Diet. Instead of taking Ibuprofen and going to the doctor, I ate pineapple and turmeric then took a long hot bath. During this soak I decided to completely upgrade my lifestyle.
When I came back inside — my bathtub is outside under the stars — I began telling my significant other about all of the things I thought of that we could do that would not only improve our health but the environment too.
She instantly looked at me like I was crazy, but I continued. I explained that by eating healthfully we wouldn’t need pharmaceutical “medicine,” and that the production of healthful food is actually good for the environment.
I went on further to say that as a “healthy couple,” I wanted us to become a source of inspiration and wisdom for others who are looking to transition to a less-chemical based way of living. Then, we could make a living while traveling as motivational speakers and product endorsers. So, it was a bit of a business plan too!
When I finished all of this I was expecting to hear, “Wow, this is wonderful,” but what I heard was, “What is wrong with you?”
Dinner was served, and life went on. The good news was, only 72 hours later I was back on my snowboard at Mt. Ashland; when I came home that afternoon though, my partner of several years had vanished. Everything in our home had been taken. It was completely empty. A moment like this is called a traumatic event. These kinds of events do not lead to health, they lead to illness.
Afterward, I experienced intense emotional suffering and spiritual pain. Because of my grieving, I was physically harmed. This happened to me because the emotions of confusion, anxiety, depression, helplessness, fear and worry are hormonally taxing and debilitating to the immune system. I ultimately had to change my viewpoint of the conflict.
I find it ironic that I initially set out to help people with health issues then wound up having them myself.
Before this conflict however, health to me was purely physical. I now see that wellness is a reflection of the emotional. I also realized that previously my life was all bliss, and I was healthy despite an imperfect diet; but with conflict at the forefront of reality, despite health food I became ill.
The important lesson here is that no matter what, it’s up to you to always maintain your bliss!
Aria Zoner lives in Ashland.