Universal Gravitation


Law of Universal Gravitation – “Every object in the universe attracts every other object with a force directed along the line of centers for the two objects that is proportional to the square of the separation between the two objects”, better summed up in the equation:


Now, as legend has it, Sir Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree when an apple fell from the tree, and he suddenly exclaimed this law and quickly formulated the equation that led to the new knot forming on his head. I don’t know if that’s how it happened or not, and I certainly cannot even begin to explain the physics behind it, but I bet I can give you a different take on this whole ‘law of universal gravitation’ thing. My understanding of gravity was like the schoolboy who asked his teacher “Is it true that the law of gravity keeps us here on Earth?” to which the teacher replied “Yes.” The schoolboy then asked, “What kept us on Earth before that law was passed?”

I remember as a kid that one of the coolest things to do was to jump from things: roofs, trees, monkey bars, swings, bikes. You name it, and I probably jumped from it, and probably gave some near heart attacks to on looking adults in the process. The crazy thing is that as a kid, I didn’t worry about gravity. As a matter of fact, when I watched stories about astronauts in space, I remember thinking how cool it would be to jump, and keep going; I sort of felt like gravity hindered my potential as a masterful climber and jumper. I also relied on gravity when I was skating or skateboarding, or performing some sick wheelies and stunts on my bicycle. Gravity allowed me to be a really cool teenage boy in the eyes of the girls (at least in my mind), and when gravity wasn’t as friendly, gave me some really cool scars to show the girls as I got older. But somewhere, something changed.


As I got really older, I found out gravity was not just a law, but instead an enemy that needed to be respected. I am 6’1”, and by most accounts, I am pretty coordinated. I worked in high rise construction for several years, and was very respectful of gravity and falling. I also thought as I was older, I could still defy gravity. I called myself roller skating at a party for my son, and suddenly realized it is not something you ‘just remember’. Needless to say, I looked like a pine tree falling on the rink.


But as I was diagnosed with PD, gravity has become a harsh reality for me. I have found that my balance is horrible at times, stumbling from wall to wall like a pinball, thankful for furniture to catch myself on and restore my balance. I wear a medical alert bracelet that instructs first responders to see a wallet card which includes instructions for them to recognize me  as a PD patient, and includes the words “I AM NOT INTOXICATED” in bold letters. It’s legitimate; I am not intoxicated. However, by far the worst thing is the inability of my brain and my right foot to talk to each other. I took a fall in my yard last week because my foot didn’t listen to my brain, and in a hurried fashion, I met my enemy ‘gravity’, and applied Isaac Newton’s equation in the wet grass.


Thankfully, I was just sore. But lying in the wet grass, I definitely understood the importance of moving, of strengthening, and of being patient and taking things a little slower. If you too have been diagnosed with Parkinson’s, take your meds like your MD tells you, but definitely, most definitely, keep moving, keep exercising. While it is true it may slow the disease process, it also helps to keep you from applying the ‘law of universal gravitation’, and making new scars that nobody really wants to see anyway. Eat an apple as you ponder on exercising regularly.

#noquit #justbe  #bike2live  #litwithin  #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons


I Are Proud Rabbit

proud_rabbitLet me share with you a story I read one time. There was this rabbit that lived in a grassy meadow. This rabbit loved being outside of his rabbit hole, out in the warm sunshine. One day, the rabbit was sitting at a little desk typing on a typewriter, not lifting his head once to look around for any danger. Sitting in the edge of the trees was a fox watching the rabbit, and the whole time he was thinking that this rabbit was crazy, and also thinking this was someone who would fill his belly. So the fox walks down, and asked the rabbit what he was writing about. The rabbit replied, “I am writing a thesis on how rabbits can eat foxes.” The fox fell over in laughter, and asked the rabbit how he was going to prove it. The rabbit asked the fox to follow him into his little hole and he would show him. Shortly after, the rabbit came out all alone, and started typing again.

Meanwhile, a wolf had been watching from a distance, and he was hungry, curious about the rabbit’s typing, and also curious about what had happened to the fox. As he walked up, he asked both about the fox and the typing, and the rabbit explained, “I was originally writing a thesis about rabbits eating foxes, but as I have already easily proved that thesis, I decided to change, and write a thesis about rabbits eating wolves.” The wolf laughed, and said “I cannot wait to see you prove that one.” Just like the fox, the rabbit led the wolf into his little hole and in a little while, again reemerged all alone, and started typing away. A closer examination of the rabbit’s hole revealed a pile of fox bones in one corner, a pile of wolf bones in another corner, and a fat lion lying on the rabbits couch picking his teeth. How nice for the rabbit to not have to live in fear because truthfully, he could “eat” any enemy that approached him; he just had to use the lion’s strength, mouth, and body to do it.

I don’t know what your foxes or your wolves may be. You may be facing a financial struggle, a disease, a job loss, the death of a loved one, or even a broken relationship. There are the foxes and wolves of just what happens daily in our world, all you have to do is turn on the news each day to see them.  Just the simple thought that the foxes and wolves are out there lurking, waiting to eat us up at any minute, can simply be enough to keep us in our rabbit hole. If we do not have a lion to help us eat the foxes and wolves, we never have any hope of being in the sunlight.

As for me, I have a whole pride of lions for taking care of my foxes and wolves. My biggest lion is my faith. I am a Christian, and I am never ashamed to say that. I often wonder how people can actually experience any joy; actually get out of their rabbit holes, without faith. Another lion in my pride is my family and friends. There is nothing wrong with letting family and friends stand with you in your corner. With my PD, I have some really good doctors, and I am constantly encouraged by the research into Parkinson’s. They are kind of pricey lions, but still good to have when the foxes and wolves come around. My final lion actually stays inside my little rabbit heart, and he is fearless and self-reliant and committed to fighting every day.

So out of this little story, I want to encourage you to be more than the rabbit who is fearful and hide from their foxes and wolves  in their rabbit hole every day. Know that you do not have to live in fear, be alone in your struggle, not live your life, unless that is how you choose to live. As for me, I am not going to worry over the foxes and wolves, but instead prove my thesis to them each day: rabbits can eat foxes and wolves I choose that. And I also plan to be a “proud” rabbit, one with a huge “pride” in his rabbit hole. And I choose that as well each day. Do you also choose to be a “proud” rabbit?

#noquit #justbe  #bike2live  #litwithin  #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons

Smiling Lizard A/C

Smiling Lizard

On July 17, 1902, Willis Haviland Carrier designed the first modern air-conditioning system. If you live in the deep south like I do, what a truly great day that was. This blog spot is not about the story of air conditioning, or even great days that came out of other life-changing inventions. This spot is about waking up and having a bad day, and how to get past it. Now before you think this is a pity hunt; it is not. You can read many articles on the effects of PD and other chronic diseases to the daily mental outlook of an individual. There are days when you wake up, and waiting right there at your bedside is your disease process, waiting to remind you that today is another day of the rest of your life with this new and unwanted companion.

‘Good morning sunshine’! As you amble into the kitchen to take your pre-breakfast snack of impossibly named medications, you chase them across the counter because you chose to use your hand with the tremor to handle your medicine instead of the glass of water today. One or two hang up because swallowing is a little more difficult with PD, and the taste, well, it is not very appetizing as you try to get them to move on down. You stand there for a few minutes, watching the hand tremor, feeling the stiffness and pain, and waiting on your feet to fall into rhythm with the brain’s instructions to walk, when suddenly, you wake up enough for reality. That is usually when it happens: your day starts a pitiful spiral that is difficult to battle, because guess what; your brain doesn’t process emotions very well anymore, and early signs of dementia keep you from remembering and processing good things. Sometimes, you respond with tears. Sometimes you respond with anger. Sometimes, you just sarcastically laugh at the predicament of it all, because you know you have to have a little something to eat for all of the meds you just took, and you have to really think through what you plan on eating; some things are going to end up everywhere but your mouth. And you also know that because you work, and because you are still somewhat of a social creature, you are about to embark on a day long journey of engaging the people in your world today, all in the hopes of not damaging those relationships or saying or acting inappropriately in some fashion. Oh, by the way, you really hope it is not an ‘off’ day for your meds either because everyone staring at your tremors or wondering if you are drinking by the way you walk doesn’t sound appealing.

So what do you do when your day starts out bad, so bad that even your Rice Krispies won’t talk to you?  First of all, recognize that it is truthfully a new day. Every day has its struggles and problems, some that seem overwhelming and impossible. But those new days also contain limitless possibilities and new opportunities. It is a new day; your eyes opened, you sat up, and your feet touched the floor. Remember that first before the disease wakes up. Think of the strength that you carry inside of you. A small stream running over a rock will smooth out the rough stones not by power, but by persistence. Wake that strength up when you open your eyes, and use it consistently and persistently to smooth out the roughness you will face. Remember also that no matter how perfect someone else’s life looks, they have struggles too. Tree sloths often mistake their own limbs for tree limbs, grab hold, and fall to their death. You haven’t made it to that point. Frustrations may come, but they could be worse. Imagine how frustrated a T-Rex would be trying to make a bed.

Regardless of what you may be facing or dealing with, you are the most awesome you that there is. So remember, bad days come and go, but being awesome is forever. Oh yeah, and remember the smiling lizard picture. Smiling lizards always make you happy (or make you have a heart attack if you are afraid of lizards, in which case, look at smiling kittens).  Be blessed and live life completely each day you get!

#noquit #justbe #bike2live #litwithin #move4PD #teamfox #parkinsons

Toothpaste is the Bomb

atomicfluoride      Isn’t it funny how things that we use everyday can be used for good, or bad, depending on how we use them? And when we use them, sometimes we can’t change how we used them. Take for instance toothpaste. Here is a product that, when used daily, can prevent cavities, provide white and bright smiles, and cure the dreaded morning ‘stinky’ breath. I am most thankful for that last use for sure. But the crazy thing is that when you look at a few of the basic ingredients in toothpaste, you realize that there is an alter ego for the hero toothpaste. Sand, or silica, when moved by air, can remove paint, and even when driven hard enough, eat clean through almost any surface. Fluoride, in one form used in industry, can actually dissolve glass. Another form can be used to separate uranium isotopes for making atomic bombs (don’t click those teeth together). Peppermint oil can actually cause bronchospasm and respiratory arrest, and propylene glycol is used as an airplane de-icer. Finally, sodium laurel sulfate is used in laxatives, giving a whole new meaning to ‘running off at the mouth’. But what this shows you is that anything can be used for really good, or really bad purposes, based on how we use it.

The other side of toothpaste is the tube. I watched a television program that showed how toothpaste was manufactured. They actually make the tubes, screw the caps on, and then fill the tube from the bottom, and finally crimp it shut. What shocked me was that they do not fill it through the hole in the top of the tube. Now, if you have an extra travel size toothpaste around, go get it, take the top off, and squeeze all of the toothpaste out into a pile. Make sure you get it all out. Now, put it all back in the tube through the top. Even if you can get some back in, you can’t get it all, and there is residue left behind from the toothpaste you squirted out. So good luck to you on that endeavor.

So why are we having this lesson on toothpaste manufacturing and ingredients? Well, honestly, our words can be a lot like toothpaste. They can be good or bad, depending on how we use them, and when we use them, we can’t change, or get back, how we used them. Napoleon Hill, a famous writer of personal success literature, wrote “Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” Every word we use, every phrase we utter, every intention behind our conversations can be used to encourage others, or discourage others. Our words can be used to comfort, or cause grief. Our words can be used to calm, or to inflame. Our words can be used to love, or to hate. Our words can be used to cleanse and polish the ugliness, or to destroy and tear down the beauty. Our words, depending on how we use them, can be inspiration and light to the darkness, or the dark rainstorm that puts out everyone else’s light.  Hopefully you are picking up what I am putting down here: guard your words and use them in the best way.

Second, remember your words are like the toothpaste you squirted out. You can’t get them back. You may apologize, buy flowers, and promise to never say those things again, but that will only clean it up a bit. You won’t get them back inside where they came from, and the residue will remain long after the clean up.  So as you brush your teeth today to get rid of the morning ‘stinky’ breath, think about your words that can be just as ‘stinky’, and polish them and brighten them and make someone else’s day better by picking them up and encouraging them. And also remember that fluoride can be used in atomic bomb making; don’t clench those teeth too hard!

#justbe #noquit #parkinsons #litwithin  #bike2live #move4PD #teamfox

Colonist Strong


As we get ready for the holiday weekend celebrating the 4th of July, or Independence Day in the United States, I started thinking about what those folks in the thirteen colonies were thinking about as they prepared to sign the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, 1776. These very same people had just settled in what would become the United States of America, leaving behind safety, comfort, and the security of the British Empire and their homeland. These same people started towns and communities in an unknown place, and finally decided that they should have independence, and become their own country, free to make decisions for themselves, free to live, and free to live for the future, not the past.

I would imagine that they felt unsure, anxious, and most definitely fearful as they faced the uncertainty of their future. I am almost certain that some of what they had left behind or had lost in this effort was looking pretty good at times. But I would also guess that they felt energized and excited as they looked to a more promising future for themselves, and the limitless possibilities that were unfolding as they pressed forward. Often times fear of something (disease, new careers, relationships) can hold us back, Fear can make us question every choice we make, and paralyze us into making no choices at all. Fear, all by itself, can make us give up; never realizing what was inside of us for the battles we face. Fear can steal our independence.

Naturally, when diagnosed with PD, fear landed square in the middle of my arena. There were so many uncertainties, so many inconsistencies, so many emotions, and so many weaknesses that could have led me to stick my head in the sand, and try to pretend it wasn’t true. I could have looked at the things that I may have to give up, and focused on the way my life was in the past, and miss out on  what my future may hold. Persius, a Roman poet and satirist once said “We consume our tomorrow’s fretting about our yesterdays.” I could have spent my days hoping for a ‘secure’ place in all of this, valuing security over fighting for more of what my life has to offer. I could have let fear cripple me, and spent all of my tomorrow’s looking for what I had yesterday. I did not.

There is an acronym for fear that I really love: Face Everything And Rise. My fear became my call to action.  I reframed my fear into a new excitement for my life, my future. I knew me and my heart. I started learning about my new enemy, Parkinson’s, so that I could know the enemy, and battle that enemy daily. Sun Tzu, an ancient Chinese general once said, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles.” March 18th, 2016, is my Independence Day. I was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, but was able to declare my independence from the fear of my future. I do not fear the battles I will face as PD progresses because I know me, and I know the enemy. Parkinson’s has not given me a life to live in a world where I shake, but instead has given me a life where I can shake up the world I live in.

So as you enjoy your 4th of July weekend, if you have a fear of something you are facing, be a colonist and declare your independence from the tyrannical rule of fear. Face everything about your fear and rise to greatness above it. Most of all, shake up the world you live in. This is your moment; live it! Happy Independence Day!

#justbe #noquit #parkinsons #litwithin  #bike2live #move4PD #teamfox