Lightly embossed on the front of my newly designed business card is “empowering you to transform your life”. Facing our fears is a magical part of that process. What do downhill skiing, tree climbing, visiting a holistic practitioner and gluten have to do with each other? Find out here…
At the tender age of 19, at Mt Tremblant, Quebec, I was skiing too fast, caught an edge and instead of my skis, my life took a very different turn. What followed was a hairline patellar (knee) fracture, 6 months on crutches, multiple full length casts, 2 surgeries, years of physiotherapy, and many tears for unwillingly letting go one of my passions, triathlon (especially the running part). Believe me – I have replayed that day over too many times and promised myself a few things, the priority of which was to get back on skis. And if/when I skied, I would:
- listen to my tired legs and rest when needed;
- never drink alcohol and ski (because if I could do that sober, lord knows what could I have done without my full decision making abilities);
- attempt to always ski under control (without my invincible ego running the show); and
- never ski Tremblant again!
I have held true to those promises and have been blessed to ski for 30 more years from that accident in January 1986. Thank you universe! I have still not given up the dream to run again – maybe a hopeless fool, but I live for dreams (and have a wonderful physiotherapist who has not given up on me).
But I did finally break one of this list that was truly based on the superstitious fear of a Tremblant curse. Well, I faced this fear and skied Tremblant and the very run itself this weekend 30 years later, which I thought would be a tough place for me to return. I was inspired to do this from my son Keith, who climbed the very 40 ft tree (minus the top that broke off) that he fell from and injured himself seriously a few years ago – and now he skis freestyle competively?!! Mt Tremblant and I have made our peace and I gave up my Irish/Scottish superstitions and I have actually fallen in love again with this beautiful mountain (all but the microwave tower they put right at the summit. Come to my “Life Hacks for Electropollution” workshop sometime and you will understand why).
I am challenging you to face your fears because it feels so amazing, freeing and ultimately empowering. And my mandate is to empower you.
How can you do that? Here is one way but let me give you some background first. I am discovering that something that holds people back from seeing a Doctor, Nutritionist, etc. is that they might learn that they are not as healthy as they thought. I have been there and had to listen to some crappy diagnoses I could have lived without. But I have also had good news from appointments. Example – years ago I discovered a growth in the back of my throat and panicked. I mentioned it to my wise Albertan chiropractor who replied: “Laura – face your fear”. I listened and went to my doctor, only to learn it was normal tissue – phew! That experience taught me that I would rather know the truth, because positive news brings such relief and negative news brings the opportunity to change it. The unknowing phase only brings anxiety which is detrimental to health in every way.
Another reason that holds people back from seeing a nutritionally-based practitioner in particular is that they worry that they might have to give something up that they currently savour in their life. A classic is gluten. I am guilty, as I put off ordering the genetic testing for gluten for months and even delayed opening the results envelope after it arrived. But I did it and have survived and even thrived! And now I am teaching a full workshop on the subject to help others figure out who is safe to eat gluten, how to live if you are not safe consuming it and how to heal from the damage done.
If I could use skiing as a living analogy, I am using those promises again now with gluten (as one who found out they should not be eating it) by listening to my body and exercising control. The result is my quality of life has improved dramatically with digestion, no lower back pain, a clearer brain and more. And the only alcohol I would drink, of course, is gluten-free ( :
So begin anew by facing your fears in whatever way you can. See a Registered Holistic Nutritionist/Functional Medicine Doctor/Naturopath and find out if you are as healthy as you think. And while you are there, face your fear of giving up yummy gluten-rich pastry, pasta and bread and find out if you should be eating these “delights”. Or come to my workshop sometime“Gluten: the Wholegrain Truth” and be enlightened. There is way more to this story and “ignorance is not bliss” when it comes to gluten. If you are one of those that should not eat it and continue to, you could be setting yourself up for problems with your brain, cardiovascular health, thyroid, joints, bone density, etc. (99% of the gluten issues) and not just the very serious 1% issue in the small intestine called Celiac Disease, that most of us are aware of.
I have spent a couple years researching this topic – save yourself the time and effort and come for my Coles notes version. The detail are on my Workshops Page… hope to see you there!
Laura Kissmann, CD, BSc, R.H.N.
Registered Holistic Nutritionist
“Nothing tastes as good as healthy does”