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The Morning

I awake to the sound of birds singing as the sun begins to peek through the pine trees.  My watch says 5.30am as I open the window a little wider.  I draw in a breath of fresh mountain air (something my lungs are not used to), and I’m glad I made the decision to come here.

I leave my room at 6.00 am to join the Stretchercize class .  I am greeted by other guests along the way.  We are all here for the same reason – we don’t want more medicine . . . more surgery . . . more bed-rest.  We want to live!  We want to live the healthiest life we possibly can and this knowledge bonds me to these people I will come to know.

When I arrive at the NEWSTART® dining room for breakfast at 6.45am, the spread before me looks very inviting.  I fill my tray with a variety of luscious fruit, a hearty bowl of country oatmeal with raisins and a fresh muffin.

About forty-five minutes later I realize it’s almost time for FRESHSTART where the chaplain presents thoughtful strategies each morning for happy, healthy, and hopeful living.

Between 8:00 and 11:30am I have some “free time” and some appointments.  I  decide to first check out a few of these 457 wooded acres.  I enjoy a leisurely walk on the trails with new friends and together we enjoy the peace and tranquility of our new surroundings.

I’m at the NEWSTART® Medical clinic by mid-morning for my first meeting with the doctor who will be my physician during my stay.  He conducts a thorough examination as we discuss my health concerns and goals.  I’m delighted with how caring and personable he is.  He takes the time to explain my health improvement program.


The Afternoon

I realize I am getting hungry as I return to the NEWSTART® dining room around noontime.  I sit down to a feast of lentil soup, bread fresh from their bakery, meatless lasagna, a variety of fresh steamed vegetables and a sampling from a colorful salad bar.  It’s amazing how satisfying these foods are.  As we eat, we chat about attending the cooking class that starts tomorrow.

Between 1:00 and 4:30pm all guests have some free time between their individual appointments.  I’m off to my first hydrotherapy & massage treatment while others in our group are scheduled for exercise evaluation.  I find this hydrotherapy treatment very invigorating and the massage helps to relax and relieve tension.  Next, I retire to my room for a bit of reading, rest and to freshen up before the lecture.

At 4:30 pm we arrive at the lecture room where we listen to lectures each day on topics ranging from secrets for defeating diabetes to achieving optimal wellness.


The Evening

Supper comes early here.  At 5:30 pm the NEWSTART® dining room is buzzing with conversation as I join the other guests.  We all eagerly consume our light meal of soup, toast, and fruit as we discuss the day’s events.  I’m surprised by how at ease I feel here surrounded by new friends.

With thirty minutes to spare before the “Let’s Get Acquainted” gathering, a few of us take an invigorating walk around the beautifully landscaped grounds.  At 7:00 we gather in the comfortable lecture room.  All the guests introduce themselves and get acquainted.  Many have come long distances and even from other countries!

I don’t usually hit the sack by 9:00pm but it’s been a very eventful day.  I bid my new friends good-night and return to my room.  As I prepare for bed I find myself once again drawn to the window . . . enjoying the night air . . . reflecting on my day . . . anticipating tomorrow.

As I slip into my comfortable bed I thank God for today . . . I thank God for my life . . . I thank God for this opportunity.  This truly is the first day of the rest and best of my life.