Lizard brain will survive!

"I will survive", by Cake, is bringing up memories of kayaking the McKenzie River, Oregon. Perpetually in my CD while driving up the river, I may never have progressed as far without the help of that quirky music. And friends. What a change for me, from working with horses 24/7 to playing with friends and everything outdoors. I had been a class IV river guide on the Kern River, California, but not one of your better ones. I preferred creative food buys and driving shuttle. And the people. Always seems to come back to the people in my world. But that was near ten years earlier. My life had been horses, period. Time for a change.

My love hate relationship with water I knew no other feeling. Those beautiful moments, the ones where my brain clicked off and let my instincts go, will forever burn in my mind. The green water of surfing the ocean outside Florence, Oregon, window shades and stern squirts, creeking, floating. The moments it clicked there was nothing like it. One with nature.

A beautiful spring day, friends around, sun shining. McKenzie river refreshing after a day in the corporate dot boom. Clover at just the right level. Side surfing, moving it around, relaxing, rolling, playing with river otters. Yeah, that's one with nature.

Those are the memories I want to hold onto. Because the other memories, the fears and anxiety of not feeling one with nature. Of feeling in such discord that the slightest roll left me swimming and freezing on our annual News Years Day float trip on the icy upper McKenzie. Or the time I entered the Redsides White Water Rodeo - 1997. Old-school boat was fine with me. Redsides already ate my lunch earlier that season. Luckily a nearby friend anchored my skirt down as my hands were barely able to grasp my paddle with anticipation.

Let me go first, I'm ready. In other words, get out of my way before I panic and run in front of all these people. Luckily my lizard brain took over, instincts ruled and I had an awesome run. Even the Patagonia rep was clapping, good sign. Unfortunately my thinking brain kicked in. By the 5th round I lost it. Missed my roll and swam. Too freaked out to go back in I forfeited my round and lost the tournament.

That is what we trainers call hot and cold. Not a competitors winning strength. But it was a push for me, to be in that rodeo. I loved kayaking. I hated kayaking. I loved the lizard brain. Detested the thinking brain. of all things it was great for my multiple sclerosis.

The water therapy alone was enough to keep my MS at bay for several years. Rolling in the McKenzie is a bit of a breath-taker when there's snow on the ground and you are layered in fleece and dry-suit. My friends were another therapy. Especially the one I didn't listened to that much. my chinese doctor.

Kidney yin deficiency. Follow the diet. Follow the life style. But did I? Nah. I kept burning along, literally. Until I burned out.

Thirteen years later and how am I finding ways to survive MS? By following a kidney yin deficient diet. After two more diagnoses and research it became obvious that the answer for me was right in front of me. And had been for years!

So, what is a Kidney Yin Deficient life-style? That will come in another post. Lucky my fingers have lasted this long...

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