Category Archives: Breathe

Want to Rescue a Dog? First Rescue Yourself From Guilt and Pity

I originally wrote this blog 6 years ago and at a time in our life when we had The Perfect Dog!. Since today is the anniversary of our Dog Hank’s passing, I thought I would honor my buddy by posting this here. Miss you Hank! Adopt, don’t buy!

Written December 2012: 

My last blog focused on misconception, ideology and fear as it relates to dogs, dog rescue, and specifically pitbulls. In accordance with the theme of the blog, I am going to stick with misconception and ideology, but instead of human fear, I am going to take on its nearly as powerful antithesis – human pity and guilt.

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My Personal Experience Healing Chronic Pain

My Chronic Pain Blog has a new home. Visit

I (Jeremy) original wrote a blog called “My Personal Experience Healing Back Pain” on a different site just over 4 years ago and only a couple of months after I experienced a somewhat miraculous healing experience with my problematic lower back. I am happy to report that my results have remained consistent for over four years and I am celebrating an anniversary of sorts. I decided this was also the perfect excuse to justify playing 18 holes of golf at my favorite course in Palm Springs on an otherwise random Monday morning.

Like I usually do, I decided to carry my bag on my back today even though a riding cart was included in the price and even though I have one of those push carts that I left at home and even though I did a 3.5 hour mountain hike yesterday. Considering where I was with my back just 5 years ago, I will never take for granted a completely pain free walk around a beautiful  course like this or any of the other ones I have been playing for the last four years. I felt a sense of gratitude with every single step I took. With that said, it also saddens me to see how few others are celebrating this type of anniversary these days. 

I also realize that writing a travel blog about chronic pain and mind body medicine may not be right up the alley of a typical reader of this blog. But, if even one person reads this, and it leads them out of a lifetime chronic pain it is worth losing any readers that don’t want to hear it but strangely decide to read it anyway. 

my story – the short version

I battled various forms and degrees of chronic pain for years. I have been formally diagnosed with Degenerative Disc Disease in my spine, pinched nerves, plantar fasciitis in my foot, a displaced bone segment in my shoulder from a broken bone that did not heal correctly and that rubs on other bone/nerves, a displaced bone segment in my foot that didn’t heal correctly and that rubs against other bone/nerves, and what I was told was significant neck damage due to a head-on car accident. I was told in no uncertain terms that my conditions were not curable without risky surgery, but that by working the rest of my life with physical therapy, strengthening and treatment, I could at least manage them to some degree. I spent the better part of a year working with a chiropractor, strengthening my core, stretching my muscles, changing my office ergonomics and getting regular treatments and yet my condition was only deteriorating.

Flash forward a few years and I discovered the work of Dr. John E Sarno and I read the book Healing Back  Pain, The Mind Body Connection. Within about 3-6 months I was able to eliminate every one of these painful symptoms from the most minor tendon stiffness to the most debilitating back spasms. I have remained pain-free for a period of over four years. The only thing I did was read and learn. Yes, you heard me correctly and no, I am not selling you anything. What I learned was that my pain was not being caused by the physical condition that I and my doctor were associating it with. What me, and a great majority of others, suffering chronic and even severe pain are experiencing is oxygen deprivation to the muscles and tendons surrounding the perceived injury. I understand that my personal experience and results are completely anecdotal, but I can also assure you that they are far from uncommon.  

If you are interested in hearing my story read on. If you are looking for RV info, or if you are starting to get angry about the basic premise, or if my personal experience is threatening to your livelihood, please click elsewhere. I am sure you can find a great blog about how to clean an RV black tank sensor somewhere but not in today’s blog. Ours hasn’t worked for 4 years so I got nothing for you on that subject. 

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We Said Goodbye to Our Best Friend Today

We said goodbye to our best friend today. Hank died peacefully at home and faced his euthanasia the same way he faced everything he ever encountered in his entire life and the only way he knew how – Head on and WITHOUT FEAR.

We were his rescuers and trainers, but Hank taught us far more than we ever taught him during the last 14 years.  About seeing the beauty in every new place. About never letting fear stand between you and anything. About unconditional love and loyalty.  About living, aging, and dying gracefully. And most importantly about how to live in the present moment and to be happy all the time no matter what!

Hank loved to walk, hike and retrieve more than anything and he could do it for hours and hours without getting tired. He was just as happy and confident navigating around broken glass in a rundown city neighborhood park as he was leading the way to the top of a 14,000-foot mountain in a pristine national forest in Colorado or strutting down the beach with the star’s dogs in Carmel, California. I can’t even to begin to guess the number of miles we logged around City Park in Denver which was probably his favorite place on earth. He was also about the fastest runner of his size that you could imagine, and watching him snatch a tennis ball or frisbee out of mid-air in stride was truly something to behold!

He also really loved to swim. Hank got to swim in the Atlantic Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico and in countless, swimming pools, streams, lakes, and catfish ponds in between. In fact, I like to think Hank is probably locked onto and treading full steam towards a floating tennis ball right now!

If you ever encountered Hank you probably remember his infectious spirit and love for every single person he ever met, even if the same could not be said for every single dog he ever met. His adopted brother Rufus was the unwavering exception. He will be missed by us all and our hearts are broken more than words can say.

If you have a good boy or girl at home, give them their favorite treat and tell them that one was from Hank.

Time at Home in Colorado and Finally Back on the Road

It has been a while since our last blog (well over a year!) and an eventful and non-eventful stretch it has been. We have been stationary for about 15 or 16 months and since this is a travel blog, we didn’t feel overly compelled to keep it up. For those that don’t follow our Facebook site, we had to make a slight change to the end of the 2016 snowbird journey. We were dealing with multiple pet issues including 16 and 17 year old cats with health in general decline. Having pets on the road is tricky but having geriatric pets and having to make five trips to five different vets in five cities in about six months was more than tricky, and as tough on us as it is on the cats. In addition, our old man dog Hank, now 14.5 years old, was having more and more mobility issues including a blown CCL (knee ligament) suffered while hiking in Flagstaff in spring of 2016.

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A Day in the Life – Palisade State Park, Utah

For this blog rather than blogging about a specific location I am going to blog about one epic day in our full-time RV life. It may not be the greatest day we have had on the road, but I think that for a random working Friday in October it was a pretty good day. Sure there will be days where RV living and life in general will be a solid gut punch, but on other days, like our last day at Palisade State Park in Utah, simply living, breathing and moving  through a normal day can feel like poetry in motion. Continue reading

Live, Breathe and Drive a Big@$$ Truck

Written by: Robin

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I have been driving now for 29 years, so I have some experience.  About once a month I speak publicly for 8 hours in front of 40 strangers, so I am not a coward.  So, I am not sure why I have been such a chicken when it comes to pulling our 5th wheel travel trailer.  Last week I had no choice but to jump in and do it.  I cannot remember the last time I felt as nervous as I did the first time I pulled away with the trailer attached.  However, I have logged about 7 hours so far, and made my way through downtown Kansas City in the process!

I am lucky to have a very good mentor in my husband.  Not only has he let me ease in to it by doing only what I am comfortable with, he has given me all kinds of tips and advice, and most important when I am behind the wheel he trusts me completely.  More than I trust myself.  In my mind, I was letting the physical difference between me and this giant rig get the best of me.  He reminded me that it is no different than conquering anything…let go of the fear.  I had to approach it the same way that I approach anything that is scary (skydiving, scuba diving, public speaking, etc..). I had to convince myself that it is really no big deal and that as long as I believe that I can do it, breathe deeply and most of all…allow myself to be a novice, everything will be just fine.

When I work with teachers, I am constantly reminding them what research has taught us about becoming an expert.  Expertise comes slowly (some researchers say it takes 10 years) and only then with constant practice and reflection.  I used to think the opposite of “expert” was “dummy”…now I know that it is “novice”.  To get better at something, you have to practice…a lot.  Then, you have to reflect on your mistakes and figure out a way to avoid them before you practice again.  It helps if you can discuss them with someone else who is learning to do the same thing, as two heads are better than one.  I am lucky that my peer is about six months ahead of me and can help me avoid some of the rookie mistakes.

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Which brings me back to breathing deeply.  You can’t practice something if you are too afraid to try it.  I found myself many times in those first seven hours having to loosen my grip on the wheel (as my knuckles were turning white), slow down and take three very deep breaths.  That always did the trick to help me stay centered and stop freaking out because that semi came too close, or there is a super skinny construction zone for the next five miles. The more uptight I got, the more the trailer would sway; as I loosened up (both mentally and physically) it would settle back down.  Tight but loose.   The tight part is about paying attention; to the many gauges which tell me if my engine is doing ok, to who/what is going on in the lanes around me, to the directions that I need to be following, to the clearance marked on bridges and overpasses, etc… so things do need  to be monitored tightly.  The loose needs to be my state of mind, specifically my anxiety.   If all of the evidence that I am monitoring says everything is OK…then I need to trust in that…and relax.  I might go slightly over the line on the shoulder, I am noticing everyone else does occasionally too.  I might be driving too slowly for some, but maybe I am giving them a chance to practice their patience. (haha)

RV Lesson #3:  My advice for those new to towing an RV is to slow down, breathe, let go of your fear and prepare yourself to not be perfect…yes it’s a huge piece of machinery you are operating, but the power of the mind is much more powerful!