New Sea­sons, New Op­por­tu­ni­ties

Modern Pioneer - - From The Editor -

IF YOU SUB­SCRIBE TO MOD­ERN PI­O­NEER OR HAP­PENED TO PUR­CHASE A COPY OF THE FE­BRU­ARY/MARCH 2017 IS­SUE, you may re­call that I sus­tained a left-shoul­der in­jury in sum­mer 2016, which re­sulted in my in­abil­ity to hold even a 5-pound dumb­bell out in front of me. Heck, I couldn’t even lift my left arm to shoul­der height with­out any weight in my hand.

I avoided medicine and surgery to treat my in­jury. In­stead, I opted for laser treat­ment, PEMF treat­ment and chi­ro­prac­tic care. I also con­tin­ued eat­ing healthy foods and work­ing out. Of course, much of my work­out rou­tine had to be tweaked to fa­vor the in­jured shoul­der. I also be­gan some self-pre­scribed, ul­tra-light­weight re­ha­bil­i­ta­tive shoul­der ex­er­cises to keep the shoul­der mo­bile.

In­evitably, the in­jury hap­pened only a few weeks be­fore a highly an­tic­i­pated Idaho elk hunt last fall. Surgery would’ve meant my en­tire sea­son, and all of the money I had in­vested in hunt­ing li­censes, would be sac­ri­ficed. It was dif­fi­cult to do, but I didn’t even touch my bow for a cou­ple of weeks. I knew the chi­ro­prac­tic care and other treat­ments had to be­gin work­ing be­fore I at­tempted draw­ing and shoot­ing it.

Amaz­ingly, two weeks later, I was draw­ing back my 70-pound bow with min­i­mal pain. But, I still had to fa­vor my shoul­der. Heal­ing con­tin­ued, and by the end of my elk hunt—un­for­tu­nately I didn’t get a bull—i put up my se­cond best bench press ever at the gym. I went from not be­ing able to hold a 5-pound weight in front of me to bench-press­ing 275 pounds. This would not have been pos­si­ble that quickly had I re­sorted to ro­ta­tor-cuff surgery.

The in­jury un­ex­pect­edly resur­faced last Novem­ber. Once again, I had lim­i­ta­tions in the gym and with my bow. Back to laser, PEMF and chi­ro­prac­tic treat­ments, and my self-pre­scribed re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion ex­er­cises.

To­day, my shoul­der is do­ing well. I can draw and shoot my bow all I want pain-free, and my work­out rou­tine is un­hin­dered. Thanks to God and a care­ful, nat­u­ral ap­proach to heal­ing, my shoul­der is in good work­ing con­di­tion and get­ting even bet­ter.

To that end, it’s a new sea­son. I’m more fired up for the up­com­ing hunt­ing sea­son than I’ve been in a while. As I write this, Septem­ber can’t come quickly enough. And while my an­nual elk hunt is nor­mally in Idaho, I’m try­ing out Colorado this year. I’m a lit­tle ner­vous about it, but fear can’t hold me back. As John Muir said, “The moun­tains are call­ing and I must go.”

I’ve been through Colorado—more than 20 years ago—but have never hunted there. Whether I do or don’t kill an elk, it will be a new sea­son, a new op­por­tu­nity. And by the time this is­sue hits your mail­box, that hunt will be com­plete. Send me an e-mail at dar­ron­m­c­dou­gal@ya­ if you’re won­der­ing how I faired.

On another note, my wife and I are also cur­rently pur­chas­ing a home. If you’ve been fol­low­ing my writ­ing, you know that we’ve spent the past two years liv­ing on the road in our fifth-wheel cam­per. The full-time, no­madic life­style is end­ing now, but we’ll con­tinue trav­el­ing on more of a part-time ba­sis. It’s bit­ter­sweet; we’ll love hav­ing the ex­tra space of a home and the abil­ity to plant a gar­den in our back­yard, but we’ll miss the con­stant ad­ven­ture of life on the road.

Pur­chas­ing a home au­to­mat­i­cally in­sti­gates a new sea­son of life and new op­por­tu­ni­ties. I have a sta­ble per­son­al­ity, so new sea­sons of life make me slightly hes­i­tant, though I know change is good. I be­lieve it’s healthy for a per­son to try new things oc­ca­sion­ally. Sure, it pulls us from our com­fort zones, from what we know, but that’s a good thing, so long as that which we’re do­ing was well thought out and won’t put us or oth­ers in harm’s way.

Life has many new sea­sons, and with them come new op­por­tu­ni­ties. Wouldn’t life be bor­ing if that weren’t true?

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