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‚Äôm 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 ‚Äì we don‚Äôt 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¬Æ 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‚Äôs 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 ‚Äúfree time‚Äù 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‚Äôm at the NEWSTART¬Æ 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‚Äôm delighted with how caring and personable he is.¬† He takes the time to explain my health improvement program.
I realize I am getting hungry as I return to the NEWSTART¬Æ 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‚Äôs 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‚Äôm 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.
Supper comes early here.¬† At 5:30 pm the NEWSTART¬Æ 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‚Äôs events.¬† I‚Äôm surprised by how at ease I feel here surrounded by new friends.
With thirty minutes to spare before the ‚ÄúLet‚Äôs Get Acquainted‚Äù 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‚Äôt usually hit the sack by 9:00pm but it‚Äôs 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.