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.
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.
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.