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Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit


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A guest article by Rob Wynen on Babyboomers and health

by Rob Wynen (guest editorialist)

You are old therefore you are sick.

Catchy titles are always a great way to pull in readers but this one I think pretty much sums up our attitude towards aging.  Feel tired, why not try a Viagra, got some wrinkles, try our newest Botox therapy, got some pain in your joints, hey why not get a new one, they are made out of titanium these days didn’t you know?  It seems like every time we turn on the tv there is an ad letting us know how we can, or should I say should, be living like we were when we were teens, minus the acne, low bank account and teen angst of course.  With a growing baby-boomer population the snake oil businesses are in full bloom.  Even amongst my colleagues the language surrounding aging has changed, “take this health survey and get your true physical age”, in my books if you are 50, you have the body of a 50 year old no matter how much you exercise; aging is not something to be avoided even if we could.

One of the greatest benefits to  my job is that I get to meet lots of seniors.  Seniors have been there and done that.  Why reinvent the wheel? I might as well learn something from someone who has been around the block and save myself the trouble.  What does depress me is the increased focus on making our seniors feel like they are inadequate and in need of intervention, whether it is glucosamine supplements (they don’t work by the way) or the almost unrelenting focus on getting all men over the age of 50 to take some drug which will make them feel like they are the new alpha male in town.  I hope that as I age, I will find something new to enjoy at every stage of my life, that the aches and pains in my body will send me a signal to take it easy, make sure I remember to take care of my body and appreciate all the experiences my body helped bring my way.  My hope is that I won’t be looking back at my lost youth but looking forward to enjoying my well worn body.

Rob Wynen

Fitness Centre Supervisor.

 

note from Ed+: While working out at the John Braithwaite Gym in North Vancouver, I ran across this interesting article written by our Fitness Centre Supervisor. As I found it thought-provoking, with his permission I posted this as a guest article on my blog. Let us know what you think about Rob Wynen’s point of view.

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-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.



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The Remarkable Legacy of Chief Dan George

By The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird

Like Chief Joseph Brant, Chief Dan George has left a remarkable legacy across Canada. In the 1990 North Vancouver Centennial book, Chuck Davis describes Chief Dan George as one of North Vancouver’s most famous citizens.  Born on July 24th 1899, Chief Dan George died at age 82 on September 12th 1981.  His birth name was Gwesanouth/Teswahno Slahoot, meaning ‘thunder coming up over the land from the water.’  He memorably said that “A man who cannot be moved by a child’s sorrow will only be remembered with scorn.”  In getting to know and pray with his son Robert/Bob George, I gained a glimpse of the deep spirituality and humanity of his father.

I recently had the privilege of attending the fifth Annual Tsleil-Watuth Nation Cultural Arts Festival held at Cates Park/Whey-ah-Wichen. This year the festival celebrated the 30-year legacy of Chief Dan George.  While there, I attended the Legacy tent where I was videoed sharing my understanding of Chief Dan George’s legacy.  Afterwards, the Legacy Tent leader Cheyenne Hood agreed to be interviewed for this Deep Cove Crier article: “…My mother is Deborah George, who is the daughter of Robert George, who is the son of Chief Dan George. He is my Great-Grandfather.  A lot of people while I was growing up used to ask me what it was like to have Chief Dan George as your Great-Grandfather. To be honest, I never really knew of his fame, the things that he had done, because I was a fairly young child. To me, he was always just Grandpa Dan, or Papa Dan. I didn’t know that he was a movie star.  I didn’t know that he went to Hollywood. I didn’t know that he was a writer or a poet.  He was just a grandfather.”

“‘My best memory of him’, said Cheyenne, “is after his wife died.  He used to take turns with different children and spending time in their homes.  His daughter Rosemary used to have an old house that had a steep set of stairs. It faced the Burrard inlet. They had a swing in the backyard.  We were over visiting my grandparents and we went trucking over there to see who was at the swing, to see who I could play with for the day.  I saw Grandpa Dan sitting on the porch, facing the water. He had his face up to the sun, and he kind of reminded me of a turtle on the rock.”

“My curiosity got the better of me, so I walked up the stairs and said: “Grandpa, what are you doing?’ He took a few minutes to answer me and said: ‘I am sitting’. He said: ‘Do you want to come sit with me?’ So I climbed to the top of the stairs, and sat down there beside his feet. He was sitting there with his face to the sun. I said: “Grandpa, what are you doing?” He said: ‘Do you feel that?’  And he leaned his head back and he had his eyes closed.  I kept looking at him: ‘What is he doing?’ So I mimicked him, copied him and closed my eyes with my face to the sun.  He said: ‘Do you feel that?’ After a few minutes, I said: ‘Yes, I do.” He said: “What is that?”  I said: ‘That is the sun on my face.’  Then he started to talk about the importance of the sun and what it does for mother earth, and what it does for nature, and nature’s cycles. I sat there feeling the warmth of the sun spread across my face.”

“Grandpa Dan said: ‘Do you hear that?’ So I listened quietly.  I said: ‘Yes, I do.’  I said: ‘What is that?’ He said: ‘That is the wind blowing through the trees.’  Grandpa smiled, a really faint kind of smile.  Then he started talking about the importance of the wind and the role that it plays with the trees and the music that it makes.”

“Then he said: ‘Do you smell that?’ I am still sitting there with my eyes closed. I said: ‘Yes, I do.’ He said: ‘What do you smell?’ I said: ‘I smell the salt from the inlet.’ Then he started talking about the role that the water and the inlet played for our people and our nation, and how when the tide went out, we were able to go out and feast and eat. We had clams and mussels and crabs and we could fish, and we could harvest sea food.  He said: ‘Do you hear that?’ I sat for another few minutes listening, and then I said: ‘Yes, I can hear that.’ He said: ‘What do you hear?’ I said: ‘I hear the waves crashing against the rocks.’  Then he started talking about the history of the Tsleil-Watuth Nation people, and how we came to be, and how we moved through this life and this world.  I sat and I listened and we were quiet for a few minutes, and then I opened up my eyes.  He was looking down at me and he was smiling. I said: ‘What are we listening for now, Grandpa?’ He said: ‘Nothing’. I said: ‘What are you going to do now, Grandpa?’ I just wanted to be near him, I just wanted to be with him.  He said: ‘Now we are going to go inside and have tea and bannocks’. And we did.”

Chief Dan George once said: “I would be a sad man if it were not for the hope I see in my grandchild’s eyes.” Chuck Davis of the Greater Vancouver book commented that Chief Dan George “embodied the dignified elder.”  As one of eleven children, he became a longshoreman, working on the waterfront for twenty-seven years until he smashed his leg in a car accident aboard a lumber scow.  Chief Dan George also worked as a logger, construction worker, and school bus driver. He formed a small dance band, playing in rodeos and legion halls. His instrument was the double-bass.

In the original Deep Cove Heritage book ‘Echoes Across the Inlet”, it speaks about how Chief Dan George gave his historic Centennial ‘Lament for Confederation’ address in 1967 to 30,000 people at the Empire Stadium in Vancouver.  Memorably he commented: “I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land.  So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation.  So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.”  Sent to residential school at age 5, Chief Dan George never lived to see the day when Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the Government of Canada apologized to the First Nations people for the trauma many experienced in the Residential Schools.

He first acted in the 1968 TV Series ‘Cariboo Road’ which became the movie “Smith”.  He went on to win the 1970 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in the hit movie Little Big Man.  Chief Dan George made famous the phrase: “It is a good day to die”.  Dustin Hoffman commented “I was amazed at his energy (he was in his seventies); he was always prepared with his lines; it was a six-day week; we were shooting thirteen hours a days.” Helmut Hirnschall noted that “His quiet assertion, his whispered voice, his cascading white hair, his furrowed face with the gentle smile became a trademark for celluloid success.”

From there, he went on to act in many films and TV shows, including The Outlaw Josey Wales, Harry and Tonto, and the TV series Centennial.

Many honours have been given to Chief Dan George including being made an Officer of the Order on Canada in 1971.  In 2008 Canada Post issued a postage stamp in its “Canadians in Hollywood” series featuring Dan George. Schools and theatres have been named after him.  In the opening ceremonies of the Vancouver Olympic Games, his poem “My Heart Soars” was quoted by Actor Donald Sutherland. To me, Chief Dan George was a Benjamin Franklin of the indigenous world.

His poetry and prayers are gripping and unforgettable.  As Chief Dan George said; “…I am small and weak. I need your wisdom.  May I walk in beauty. Make my eyes ever behold the red and purple sunset. Make my hands respect the things that you have made, and my ears sharp to hear your voice.  Make me wise so that I may know the things that you have taught your children, the lessons you have hidden in every leaf and rock.  Make me strong not to be superior to my brothers but to fight my greatest enemy –myself.  Make me ever ready to come with you with straight eyes so that when life fades as with the fading sunset, my spirit will come to you without shame.”

The Rev. Dr. Ed Hird, BSW, MDiv, DMin

-an article previously published in the Deep Cove Crier/North Shore News

-award-winning author  of the book Battle for the Soul of Canada

for better for worse-Click to check out our newest marriage book For Better For Worse: discovering the keys to a lasting relationship on Amazon. You can even read the first two chapters for free to see if the book speaks to you.

 

-The sequel book Restoring Health: body, mind and spirit is available online with Amazon.com in both paperback and ebook form.  Dr. JI Packer wrote the foreword, saying “I heartily commend what he has written.” The book focuses on strengthening a new generation of healthy leaders. Drawing on examples from Titus’ healthy leadership in the pirate island of Crete, it shows how we can embrace a holistically healthy life.

In Canada, Amazon.ca has the book available in paperback and ebook. It is also posted on Amazon UK (paperback and ebook), Amazon France (paperback and ebook), and Amazon Germany (paperback and ebook).

Restoring Health is also available online on Barnes and Noble in both paperback and Nook/ebook form.  Nook gives a sample of the book to read online.

Indigo also offers the paperback and the Kobo ebook version.  You can also obtain it through ITunes as an IBook.

To receive a signed copy within North America, just send a $20 cheque (USD/CAN) to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5, Canada.

– In order to obtain a signed copy of the prequel book Battle for the Soul of Canada, please send a $18.50 cheque to ED HIRD, 102 – 15168 19th Avenue, Surrey, BC, V4A 0A5. For mailing the book to the USA, please send $20.00 USD.  This can also be done by PAYPAL using the e-mail ed_hird@telus.net . Be sure to list your mailing address. The Battle for the Soul of Canada e-book can be obtained for $4.99 CDN/USD.

-Click to purchase the Companion Bible Study by Jan Cox (for the Battle of the Soul of Canada) in both paperback and Kindle on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca