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Please buy Uninsured Motorist coverage; 23.8% of Florida Drivers have No insurance!!

August 23, 2016

n 49 states and the District of Columbia, it’s against the law to drive without car insurance. Nevertheless, more than 12 percent of all U.S. drivers are uninsured.

In 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available, uninsured motorist claims totaled $2.6 billion, a 75 percent increase from the previous decade, according to a recent report by the Insurance Research Council (IRC). Those costs, largely borne by insurance companies, are passed on to insured drivers in the form of higher premiums.

States have tried a variety of ways to get motorists to buy car insurance. Some states require drivers registering their cars to show proof of insurance. In many states, uninsured drivers face stiff fines, but some of the states that have such penalties on the books often fail to enforce them. Furthermore, researchers have found that states with stiffer penalties, which can range from a maximum of $200 for a first offense in California to up to $1,500 for a first offense in New York, do not necessarily have the lowest uninsured rates.

Patrick Schmid, the IRC’s director of research, cited a variety of possible reasons for the apparent ineffectiveness of the penalties. “If the uninsured don’t know the penalties are harsh, how would the penalty sway them?” Schmid said. “Alternatively, perhaps some states with harsh penalties installed them because they already had high rates of uninsured motorists.”

In some cases, states don’t have the resources to implement the mandates, according to a study by the Financial Responsibility & Insurance Committee, a working group of the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

Ten states (Alaska, California, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Jersey, North Dakota, Oklahoma and Oregon) have “no pay, no play” laws that limit an uninsured driver’s ability to claim damages if he or she is in an accident with an insured motorist. But the IRC found that “no pay” laws had only a modest effect on uninsured rates, reducing them an average of 1.6 percent.

Other states require insurers to provide data on all insured drivers, so that the state can match registered cars with insurance policies. But that strategy tends to produce numerous errors, resulting in law-abiding drivers being flagged for not having insurance.

In 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union challenged a 2010 Indiana law that allowed the state to randomly target drivers who had previously driven without insurance and require them to provide proof of insurance or face suspension of their license. The case was brought to court after a mother of six had her license suspended when she could not prove that she had insurance, even though she did not have a car. The state’s Bureau of Motor Vehicles eventually reinstated the licenses of 4,000 drivers.

“There are all kinds of schemes out there” to get drivers to comply with state insurance laws, said Mike Chaney, the Mississippi Insurance Commissioner. “But they haven’t found one that works.”

Major Barrier is Poverty

There is no “typical” uninsured driver. Some don’t have car insurance because they resent the requirement—“Live Free or Die” New Hampshire is the only state that does not mandate it. Others don’t have it because they are undocumented immigrants who lack driver’s licenses, which are needed to get insurance in many states.

Most of the uninsured, however, don’t purchase car insurance because they can’t afford it. The number of uninsured drivers peaked at 29.9 million in 2009 during the Great Recession and then dropped to 29.7 million in 2012, the last year for which data are available.

Car insurance rates have risen more slowly than other expenses in recent years, but insurance ranks below necessities such as food and housing for drivers struggling to make ends meet.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, a New York-based organization that tracks the insurance industry, overall expenditures for car insurance increased by 10 percent between 2010 and 2011, while food expenses increased 21 percent; housing costs increased 29 percent; public transportation costs increased 29 percent and health care costs increased 52 percent.

“It’s not a racial or immigrant issue,” Chaney of Mississippi said. “It’s an issue that people cannot afford to pay the money upfront. That’s also true for health insurance, which tends to go hand-in-hand (with car insurance).”

“When you have a large Medicaid population, you have an increase in the number of folks who are living on the edge. They have to make choices about grocery money, buying a car, paying the light bill or paying the rent.”

State Variations

Uninsured rates vary greatly from state to state, but they tend to be highest in states with high poverty rates.

“Auto insurance has gotten more affordable over the years, but it can still be a difficult purchase for a low-income household,” said James Lynch, the Insurance Information Institute’s chief actuary. “Auto insurance affordability is correlated with the percentage of uninsured motorists. States with lower rates of uninsured motorists tend to have more affordable insurance. States with higher rates of uninsured motorists tend to have less affordable insurance.”

Oklahoma, which has a poverty rate of 16.8 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, has the highest percentage of uninsured motorists, at 25.9 percent. Florida’s poverty rate is 17 percent and 23.8 of its motorists are uninsured. Meanwhile, in Mississippi, which has the highest poverty rate in the country at 24 percent, the uninsured rate is 22.9 percent.

Massachusetts has a poverty rate of 11.9 percent, and only 3.9 percent of its motorists are uninsured, the lowest rate in the nation. In Maine, which has a poverty rate of 14 percent, 4.7 percent of its drivers are uninsured, while in New York, which has a poverty rate of 16 percent, 5.3 percent of motorists lack insurance.

Uninsured Drivers

But there is not always a strict correlation between poverty and the uninsured rate. Louisiana, which has the third highest poverty rate in the country, at 19.8 percent, has an uninsured rate of 13.9 percent, only slightly above the national average and considerably lower than its neighbor, Mississippi. Louisiana’s “pay or play” law might have helped keep the uninsured rate down, Chaney suggested.

California, which has more licensed drivers than any other state, also has the highest number of uninsured motorists—between 3.6 million and 4.1 million, or 14.7 percent. (Its poverty rate is 16.8 percent.) The state has tried since the 1990s to entice motorists to sign up for insurance with the nation’s only state-run program for low-income motorists. But relatively few low-income drivers have taken advantage of the program. The average Californian pays $1,962 per year in auto insurance.

Last week, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that his department would step up its recruitment efforts, as the state prepares to offer new licenses to nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants who were previously barred from getting licensed. This year, new motorists signing up for driver’s licenses under the “Safe and Responsible Driver’s Act,” or “AB60,” will be handed a fact sheet advising them that auto insurance is mandatory in the state.

(This week’s injunction blocking President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration will not affect implementation of the California law, according to a staff member with the California State Assembly.)

“We want everyone to have auto insurance,” Jones said. “It helps the individuals who are driving and provides protection for their families. But it also helps those who might be in an accident with them.”

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The truth about Sweeteners

July 9, 2012

The Truth about Sweetners; Mostly taken from Scientific sources and Dr. Janet Starr Hull’s Alternative Health & Nutrition newsletter.

Sugar: Over the last several decades, sugar has become a villain in the modern American diet. A general fear of sugar has led to a sugarphobia, which can lead to a dependency on chemical sweetener substitutes, which then creates a craving for “replacement foods.” Sugar is blamed for causing many health problems including heart disease, diabetes, anxiety, fatigue, depression, hyperactivity, and even criminal behavior. But:
* Is this accurate information?
* Are we blaming the “right” form of sugar for our health problems?
* Has dis-information over time created a fear of sugar?
Don’t panic – I’m not advocating eating refined processed, “white” sugar. The key here: consuming normal or moderate quantities of UNPROCESSED sugar, and avoiding an even more dangerous issue – turning to artificial sweeteners as a solution for avoiding refined sugars! People seeking to avoid harmful, manufactured sugars are turning to an even more harmful solution – chemical sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are not the solution to avoiding refined sugars.
Artificial Sweeteners

Saccharin aka Sweet n Low (Pink Package) I know I am recommending an “artificial sweetener” most people think causes cancer, but saccharin is the safest of the “traditional” artificial choices and is actually one of the safest alternative sweeteners to use (if you insist on tearing open a colored packet, that is). Natural sugars such as Sucanat® and stevia are preferable over saccharin of course, but saccharin has less harmful side effects than the more modern artificial sweeteners (especially for the diabetic) and is readily available.

I consider the original saccharin a natural alternative, not a chemical one. Advertisers have painted a very different picture of saccharin over the past twenty years, though, and the politics behind “sodium saccharide” has left it with a bum rap.

Saccharin is actually a natural plant sugar derivative, and back in the day when saccharin was “accidentally” discovered, it was considered an authentic sugar substitute because it was the only known alternative to traditional sugar.

Unfortunately, today saccharin’s molecules have been reproduced in the laboratory and the pink packet is filled with anti-caking agents and emulsifiers. Saccharin is no longer sourced to its origin, but is still the most natural choice of the “colorful paper packets.” (Choose the pink packets—even if they have different brand names.)

The history of saccharin tells the story of its safety. In 1879, Constantine Fahlberg discovered the sweetness of saccharin by accident. While working on plant studies in the lab, he spilled some chemicals on his hand. Later while eating dinner, he noticed more sweetness in his bread. He traced the sweetness back to the spilled chemical, which he later named saccharin—a spin-off of saccharide (complex sugar).

Saccharin was labeled a carcinogen in the 1960s. It appears saccharin was sacrificed to make room in the market for a new more profitable sweetener, NutraSweet/Equal.

In 1902, Monsanto Chemical Company gained its reputation by manufacturing saccharin, the company’s first product. From 1903 through 1905, their entire saccharin output was shipped to the growing, new soft drink company in Georgia named The Coca-Cola Company®.

According to Monsanto’s company history, the U.S. government filed suit over the safety of saccharin at Monsanto’s request in 1917. Monsanto used the suit as a test case for safety, and the suit was dismissed in 1925. This gave saccharin much-needed government approval for safety early on.

Then, curiously, in 1969 saccharin was suddenly questioned as a carcinogen—out of the blue. No reputable scientific proof was ever presented. Note: this was the year NutraSweet applied for their first patent.

Something most people never realized is the toxicity study was actually done using a blend of cyclamate and saccharin, and the results were “interpreted” as linking cyclamate—not saccharin—to bladder cancer in rats. Researchers fed laboratory mice sweetened water that was equivalent to 800 cans of saccharin/cyclamate every day from birth until death. In this one test, one mouse developed bladder cancer, and the results were submitted to the FDA requesting a cancer warning be placed on all saccharin products. Cyclamate was banned in 1970. No further testing was performed. And why didn’t the manufacturer of saccharin fight back? Read on…

Eight years after the “saccharin/cancer” scare, G.D. Searle & Co. (the original NutraSweet manufacturer) finally secured FDA approval for NutraSweet. Searle purchased Monsanto Chemical Company, the original saccharin manufacturer. Soon, Monsanto Chemical owned both NutraSweet and saccharin, NutraSweet’s only competitor. The FDA finally (at this time) printed cancer warnings on saccharin packets the year NutraSweet came onto the market. So, it appears saccharin’s manufacturer didn’t fight back because both saccharin and aspartame were now owned and marketed by the same company- Monsanto.

Monsanto sold The NutraSweet Company in 2000. In 2001, the cancer warning was removed from saccharin products. Saccharin is now deemed safe for human consumption—once again.

Aspartame aka Nutrasweet & Equal: (Blue Package) Aspartame is 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methanol. The primary breakdown products of these chemicals are formaldehyde, formic acid and DKP (Diketopiperazine) a proven brain tumor agent. Aspartame is actually a drug discovered in GD Searle laboratories as an ulcer medication. The FDA originally examined aspartame for approval as a “drug,” but it was ultimately approved for public use as a “food additive” instead. This switch in labeling made NutraSweet exempt from continued safety monitoring. Therefore, Searle was neither obligated to defend aspartame against future adverse reactions nor was Searle required to submit safety reports to the FDA after approval. As early as 1985, the adverse side effects to NutraSweet were mounting. Researchers proved aspartame’s brain toxicity as early as the 1960s, but the corporations deny any connection between aspartame and headaches, cancer, epidemic obesity, mental illness, childhood disorders, and other degenerative disease.

Studies performed outside of the USA showing aspartame causes lymphoma and leukemia, however, are not recognized by the FDA as credible; hence, these studies have been ignored and debunked. The FDA approval of aspartame is controversial, to say the least. Aspartame was first approved in 1974, but the approval was “postponed” due to the protests from research scientists whose laboratory animals died of seizures and developed brain lesions. From that point in time, G.D. Searle (the creators of aspartame marketed exclusively as NutraSweet/Equal®) launched political campaigns to secure final FDA approval in 1981.

Prior to 1976, independent researchers performed more than 90 percent of aspartame testing submitted to the FDA. After 1976, all independent research took a second place behind the corporate research financed by Searle researchers. Every independent research study performed on aspartame proved it was dangerous to human health, yet the corporate research submitted to the FDA showed aspartame to be perfectly safe. Amid continuous protests from the independent researchers, Searle finally achieved FDA approval for aspartame in 1981 in dry goods.

Pilots must pass a yearly physical, and most pilots know that aspartame can jeopardize passing their medical. While drinking hot coffee with Equal, hot chocolate with aspartame, or chewing aspartame gum, many pilots have indeed passed out in the cockpit during flight (which typically results in losing their medical license to fly). Pilots also know that aspartame can spike an EKG if used 48 hours before a medical exam, and the methanol in aspartame impairs vision – a pilots #1 tool.

Research shows that aspartame stimulates abnormal brain function and it is a well-known fact that aspartame penetrates into the brain. Once inside, it has nowhere to go and no function to perform, so it creates chaos. Some of the side effects are brain disorder reactions such as seizures, epilepsy, Parkinson’s and blackouts. So, any responsible pilot will know to avoid aspartame and ere on the side of caution to protect his passengers and his crew.

It is the primary sweetener of Diet Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Dr. Pepper, sugar free gums and candies.

Sucralose: aka Splenda (yellow package) is created in the lab, using a complex process involving dozens of chemicals you and I can barely pronounce (let alone consume). Basically, the chemists force chlorine (a cancer causing chemical) into an unnatural chemical bond with a sugar molecule, resulting in a sweeter product, but at a price: a huge amount of artificial chemicals must be added to keep sucralose from digesting in our bodies. These toxic substances also prevent (hopefully) the dangerous chlorine molecules from detaching from the sugar molecule inside the digestive system, which would be a carcinogenic hazard.
To illustrate the alarming “chemical soup” required to create sucralose, I have listed here the actual process for producing this sweetener. I highlighted the chemicals in bold type for emphasis.
According to the Splenda International Patent A23L001-236 and PEP Review #90-1-4 (July 1991), sucralose is synthesized by this five-step process:
1. sucrose is tritylated with trityl chloride in the presence of dimethylformamide and 4-methylmorpholine and the tritylated sucrose is then acetylated with acetic anhydride,
2. the resulting TRISPA (6,1′,6′-tri-O-trityl-penta-O-acetylsucrose) is chlorinated with hydrogen chloride in the presence of toluene,
3. the resulting 4-PAS (sucrose 2,3,4,3′,4′-pentaacetate) is heated in the presence of methyl isobutyl ketone and acetic acid,
4. the resulting 6-PAS (sucrose 2,3,6,3′,4′-pentaacetate) is chlorinated with thionyl chloride in the presence of toluene and benzyltriethylammonium chloride, and
5. the resulting TOSPA (sucralose pentaacetate) is treated with methanol (wood alcohol, a poison) in the presence of sodium methoxide to produce sucralose.
And the Splenda marketers stress that sucralose is “made from sugar but is derived from this sugar through a process that selectively substitutes three atoms of chlorine for three hydrogen-oxygen groups on the sucrose molecule.”
While this is true, it is a deceptively simple description, implying that sucrose is a simple benign sugar substituted with chlorine, thereby, safe for consumption. According to research on the hydrolysis of sugars, just the process of inserting chlorine into the sugar molecule (hydrolysis means breaking it into smaller molecules) ultimately allows these chemicals to penetrate the intestinal wall.
So sucralose becomes a “low-calorie” sugar with a complicated process that results in Splenda’s chemical formal: 1,6-dichloro-1, 6-dideoxy-BETA-D-fructofuranosyl-4-chloro-4-deoxy-alpha-D-galactopyranoside.
This is Splenda. And they say it is a perfectly benign sugar molecule.
More Hidden Chemicals In Splenda
Did you know if a product includes an ingredient that is a proven carcinogen but it is less than two percent of its total chemical make-up, it does not have to be listed as an ingredient, nor does it have to be tested for product safety or labeled as a carcinogen? Just as an example, a food product could have 2 percent rat poisons as a minor ingredient, but does not have to name the rat poison on the ingredient list. Needless to say, with the number of chemicals used in manufacturing food products today, the ingredient lists would be too long to fit on any of the labels.

The FDA states in their Final Report on Splenda that sucralose is “produced at an approximate purity of ninety-eight percent.” The other two percent does not have to be reported to the FDA, nor listed as added ingredients. So what’s in the other two percent?
• acetone
• acetic acid
• acetyl alcohol
• acetic anhydride
• ammonium chloride
• benzene
• chlorinated sulfates
• ethyl alcohol
• isobutyl ketones
• formaldehyde
• hydrogen chloride
• lithium chloride
• methanol
• sodium methoxide
• sulfuryl chloride
• trityl chloride
• toluene
• thionyl chloride
Although manufacturing guidelines specify limits on these hidden substances, there are no assurances these limits have been met since they do not have to be reported. In addition, the FDA does not presently require an Environmental Impact Statement for sucralose, so it’s open season for the rules at present.
Now you can see why I particularly do not recommend sucralose during pregnancy or for children, especially after reading this list. It is the primary sweetener in Gatorade, Poweraid, unsweetened teas and many other sports drinks and sugar free energy drinks.

Stevia; (green pack) Dr. Hull has been working with the stevia importers since the 1980 and 1990s when the FDA was burning all their literature. Yep, the FDA came into the Stevita Company in Arlington, TX and literally burned their books on stevia…..this really proves the politics behind safe, alternative sweeteners, doesn’t it? Three books were being distributed by the Stevita Company, who were also the owners of the Brazilian patent on stevia manufacturing. The books described the history and usage of the sweet herb, and provided recipes for stevia use. The Stevita Company was also forced by the FDA to remove all links to their Internet website, which was a clear violation of their First Amendment Rights, but they did remove the links.
Wow, huh? Stevia importers were simply trying to offer consumers a safer solution to aspartame’s 20+ year monopoly. It’s just nasty politics, but who’s surprised?
For YEARS, the FDA ignored the overwhelming evidence of stevia’s benign and beneficial qualities. Over 1500 years of safe use in other countries throughout the world meant nothing to the rickety “regulatory minds” of our government agencies supporting aspartame lobbyists. Hundreds – hundreds – of studies show how aspartame causes serious health defects, yet aspartame ranks above the safety of stevia.
After decades of stevia being kept away from consumers, after decades of stevia suppliers being harassed by the government agencies supposedly protecting our public health, and after 1500 years of safe use in countries around the world, stevia is now GRAS approved in the USA. It goes to show you that the GRAS stamp of approval is just as “manipulated” as the plethora of the many other FDA approvals. Otherwise, stevia would have gotten GRAS decades ago.
Stevia History (Stevia rebaudiana Bertoli)
In 1994 when the DSHEA (Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act) went into effect, stevia remained in “limbo” while the FDA struggled to keep it off the market as a “sweetener.” Stevia had been safely used for centuries around the world as a low-calorie, no “adverse affect” sweet herb. Stevia is like basil or oregano; it’s simply an “herb” that is sweet. Stevia can be found as crushed leaves, as a liquid tincture, or as a fluffy white powder. Unlike aspartame, stevia is safe to cook with.
Stevia is less expensive to use than synthetic, chemical sweeteners, and despite the FDA’s attempts to keep stevia off the American market, more and more consumers began using stevia because they were rejecting the pharmaceutical “versions of sugar.” Consumers will never stop searching for the ideal “healthy” sweetener.
Stevia was a threat to aspartame from the very beginning, and this sweetener battle made it hard for the consumer to simply choose a healthy sugar-free product. As the fight for profits escalated, we were left with no healthy choices.
Interestingly, natural herbs, like basil and stevia, typically do not cause “health problems” like the artificial chemicals created in a laboratory do, but as soon as stevia became GRAS, it began getting scrutinized as unsafe based on “new lab studies.” Hum, will they do this to basil and oregano one day? Only if it pinches someone’s profits…..
The FDA now publicizes two questionable studies as proof that stevia is not safe. A graduate student in South America claiming stevia has a mild contraceptive property did the first study. The other study, published in 1988 in a Brazilian pharmacological journal, showed that stevia might be unsafe by creating a hypoglycemic effect on some individuals.
An interesting point here is that both of these studies were done outside of the USA, yet the studies performed outside of the USA showing aspartame causes lymphoma and leukemia, however, are not recognized by the FDA as credible; hence, these studies have been ignored and debunked.
Hum.
Is the FDA grasping at straws to support their prejudice against stevia as a sweetener, while continuing to promote aspartame to secure profits for stockholders? We have national health care issues flooding the streets of Washington, yet aspartame is allowed to remain in the public food supply without question. Can you imagine how much money our health care system would save if aspartame were just taken off the market? Hum. Do our government agencies and leaders really want to save money within our health care system, or do they prefer to protect their stocks at the expense of the average consumer? None of this makes any sense.

Summary:

If you get confused on which colored packet sweetener is what, which ones are safe, and which colors to avoid, remember this good rule of thumb: Color Matters
The yellow packet (Splenda®) = caution like in a traffic light
The blue packet (Equal®) = makes you feel blue
The pink packet (Sweet’N’Low® or generic saccharin*) = you’re in the pink!
Despite the misleading report over twenty years ago that saccharin causes cancer, in my opinion, saccharin remains the safest of all the artificial sweeteners. Its simplicity may be the key to its ability to be used by the body as a sugar substitute. Saccharin is not a “chemically combined” sweetener like the other artificial sweeteners, it’s not injected with toxic chemicals like the methanol in aspartame or the chlorine in sucralose, and saccharin is the safest choice for diabetics from this group of sugar replacements.
What Are Safe Natural Sweeteners?
Stevia*
Raw, unprocessed sugar (Sucanat®)
Brown Rice Syrup
Barley Malt
Date Sugar
Honey
Maple Syrup
Molasses
Sorghum
*Safe for diabetics. Stevia is similar to saccharin – use it sparingly or it is bitter – otherwise, it’s “naturally” delicious and a much healthier choice!
Secondary Natural Sweetener Choices (Use With Discretion)
Fructose
Fruit Juice Concentrate
Juice Concentrate
Sugar alcohols (Polyols)
Isomalt
Lactitol
Malitol
Mannitol
Sorbitol
Xylitol
Turbinado® Sugar
Tagatose
New natural sweeteners:
Lo Han
Tastes Like Sugar®*
Trehalose

Watch some treatmill olympics

April 23, 2012

Check this out for a giggle.

 

http://now.msn.com/living/0327-ultimate-treadmill-fails.aspx

Sugar

April 19, 2012

We all know Sugar is poisening the country. However, the alternatives being Diet whatever, are made with either Aspartame (blue packet)(Diet Coke, Sprite, and over 6,000 other products,etc.) an addictive excitotoxin which both causes and feeds cancer. A product made with genetically engineered bacteria waste; Or Splenda/Sucralose(yellow packet) a chlorinated artificial sweetner contrary to it’s “made from sugar” claims which has been proven to increase your risk of metabolic syndrome and heard disease and which can actually double your risk of obesity and is akin to putting pesticide in your body; or Sacharin, (pink packet) which is made from coal tar, chlorine and amonia and shown to cause allergies, cancer and increased insulin levels, and yet, they put it in baby food. The only safe sweetner? Stevia and you can only buy it in health food stores, and from which so far only one soft drink is made called Zevia. I have forced Publix to get it for me. So, I have found the enemy, it is us, and we don’t give a shit. Apathy is the last stage of democratic decline, and we are there. Guns and canned goods buddy.

A Bucket list day

January 18, 2012

A Bucket list day

Yesterday, I knocked a significant number off of my bucket list, I got to ride in a P-51 Mustang, WWII fighter plane. Many thanks to Fred and Barbara Telling who own Lady B. Many thanks to them as well as my gracious pilot, Mark Hemby of the Aeroshell Acrobatic Team, who took me through loop, spin, Cuban 8, wingover, barral roll and I neither puked nor passed out. Mark also flies for the Collins Foundation, a wonderful organization dedicated to preserving the beautiful War Birds of our History. If you get a chance, visit them and take a ride in History. Thanks again, I’ll treasure yesterday forever., Brian Toung

Yoga is for everyone

August 17, 2011

I am a 53 year old Personal Injury and Criminal Defense lawyer who if you told me a year and a half ago that I would be featured in a Yoga newsletter I’d surely have thought you crazy. I have always been an athletic, yet not very flexible guy, whether it be little league baseball, junior high gymnastics, high school football, college intramurals, Daytona Rugby club, weight lifting, triathlons, golf, cycling, scuba, water skiing, snow boarding and sky diving. However, since I turned 50 I seemed to have become much more attracted to sports involving my recliner and a TV. I was becoming a lazy spectator. So in March of 2010, I took my crew snow skiing to Utah , and I was shocked to discover on the first day after only 3 weak runs that I was already exhausted and my legs were completely spent. I had allowed myself to get horribly out of shape without even noticing, and suddenly my 14 year old daughter Josie was kicking my butt on the hill. I had to turn it around and quick. So upon my return I stumbled onto the Port Orange Bikram 30 day challenge and decided to give it a try. I began on April 26, 2010, and I did 31 classes in a row. To say that I did NOT enjoy it at first would be a gross understatement. The first day I found myself lying on the carpet in the lobby gasping for air during class. At first I wanted to die, and then I became afraid that I wouldn’t. However, after that day, I never left the room during a class again, except on rare occasions to answer nature’s call.

Though I stayed in the classes, I still didn’t like them. I would have rather entered a nose hair pulling contest. But after about 20 days, I finally left the class feeling better than when I went in. After that first month, I noticed changes starting to occur, my core and leg strength were returning, and I didn’t mind the heat so much, especially if I drank at least 40 ounces of water at least a half hour before class. Coincidentally, I had my blood tested about that time and found that my cholesterol had dropped from 265 to 160 in that month. Before Yoga, I had sore knees, a sore elbow and low back and two sore shoulders. I tried chiropractic and acupuncture. During the summer I had a minor back surgery and toe surgery and had to take 8 weeks off, and while it was hard to get back into it I managed to. Up to now I have completed 260 classes in 15 months which is an average of 4 per week. I still struggle through many of the postures, and I don’t know that my head and knees will ever meet, but my aches and pains are largely gone, my energy level has increased dramatically, and I have gotten back into active things again. I am trying to maintain at least 4 times per week average from now on, and while I still can’t say that I particularly enjoy it, I feel absolutely great afterwards and am certain that I am extending both my life and my enjoyment of it as a result. Give it a try, what have you got to lose? As they say, it’s never too late. See you there!

~Brian

Yoga Mania

August 8, 2011

I am a 53 year old Personal Injury and Criminal Defense lawyer who if you told me a year and a half ago that I would be featured in a Yoga newsletter I’d surely have thought you crazy. I have always been an athletic, yet not very flexible guy, whether it be little league baseball, junior high gymnastics, high school football, college intermurals, Daytona Rugby club, weight lifting, triathlons, golf, cycling, scuba, water skiing, snow boarding and sky diving. However, since I turned 50 I seemed to have become much more attracted to sports involving my recliner and a TV. I was becomming a lazy spectator. So in March of 2010, I took my crew snow skiing to Utah , and I was shocked to discover on the first day after only 3 weak runs that I was already exhausted and my legs were completely spent. I had allowed myself to get horribly out of shape without even noticing, and suddenly my 14 year old daughter Josie was kicking my butt on the hill. I had to turn it around and quick. So upon my return I stumbled onto the Port Orange Bikram 30 day challenge and decided to give it a try. I began on April 26, 2010, and I did 31 classes in a row. To say that I did NOT enjoy it at first would be a gross understatement. The first day I found myself lying on the carpet in the lobby gasping for air during class. At first I wanted to die, and then I became afraid that I wouldn’t. However,after that day, I never left the room during a class again, except on rare occasions to answer nature’s call. Though I stayed in the classes, I still didn’t like them. I would have rather entered a nose hair pulling contest. But after about 20 days, I finally left the class feeling better than when I went in. After that first month, I noticed changes starting to occur, my core and leg strength were returning, and I didn’t mind the heat so much, especially if I drank at least 40 ounces of water at least a half hour before class. Coincidentially, I had my blood tested about that time and found that my cholesterol had dropped from 265 to 160 in that month. Before Yoga, I had sore knees, a sore elbow and low back and two sore shoulders. I tried chiropractic and acupuncture. During the summer I had a minor back surgery and toe surgery and had to take 8 weeks off, and while it was hard to get back into it I managed to. Up to now I have completed 260 classes in 15 months which is an average of 4 per week. I still struggle through many of the postures, and I don’t know that my head and knees will ever meet, but my aches and pains are largely gone, my energy level has increased dramatically, and I have gotten back into active things again. I am trying to maintain at least 4 times per week average from now on, and while I still can’t say that I particularly enjoy it, I feel absolutely great afterwards and am certain that I am extending both my life and my enjoyment of it as a result. Give it a try, what have you got to lose? As they say, it’s never too late. See you there!