Several years ago, my sister Jana asked me to participate in a Central Park marathon for women sponsored by More magazine. As the event was to take place in April and we could walk instead of run – and as I am a prodigious walker – I said, What the hey. So Jana and I walked and walked – in what turned out to be 96-degree heat and humidity.
Fortunately, race organizers wisely reduced the event to a half-marathon, a mere 13 miles. Women were prostrate along the route. But we persisted, finished, received our medals for completion – Yeah, I know, it’s like getting an attendance award, but let me tell you that after looping around Central Park in that heat, you would’ve wanted a medal, too – and headed to Starbucks and home. Whereupon I had one of my restorative bubble baths and a plate of pasta, then put up my feet – which were so blistered that I had to slather them in antiseptic cream and swath them in homemade gauze booties.
“You’re a nut,” Aunt Mary said, though I noticed she didn’t refuse the medal when I presented it to her. Oh, the things we do for health and fitness, sometimes taking one step forward and two blistering steps back, n’est pas?
In this month’s WAG, we’re all about putting the best foot forward as we empower you to wellness. Before I begin, let me say we’re all for traditional medicine and testing. If you have medical problems – or more important, want to prevent them – start with your primary care physician, ask questions and don’t stop until you get the answers you need. In this issue, you’ll meet people who represent traditional Western medicine as in Jane’s stories on heart surgeon-turned-lung cancer specialist Avraham Merav and on John J. Connolly of Castle Connolly Medical Ltd., which offers an array of resources on the nation’s top doctors.
But we at WAG also believe in keeping an open mind. Our cover girl – and we mean that literally as she’s a professional model with mags like Vogue and W in her portfolio – Old Greenwich’s Donna Bunte, had a number of health issues that belie her loveliness. As Patricia tells us, Donna healed herself with Traditional Chinese Medicine, which she now practices. Olivia talks to Connecticut chiropractors Brett M. Carr and Lisa Clyne about alleviating back pain. We visit Breathe Easy in Mamaroneck to try halotherapy, or dry salt therapy, and consult Joan Carra, the new psychic-in-residence at Wainwright House in Rye. Health is about the integrity of mind, body and spirit.
It’s also about what you eat. Patricia, again, checks in with Dr. Jeffrey Morrison, who shows us how to detox with the right foods. But as former Yankee strength and conditioning director Dana Cavalea, owner of ML Strength in White Plains, notes, it’s not just what you eat, but how much you eat. “Eat less. Sleep more. Move more,” is his mantra.
So we got moving. Audrey reports on doing tai chi in China. (And speaking of Audrey, how proud are we of her, receiving an award for her new book, “China Mission.”) Resident foodie Andrea took her husband’s recent business trip to New Orleans as an opportunity to eat but also walk her way around that fascinating city.
I myself – clearly a glutton for punishment – got into the act, heading out on the “Road to Fitness,” as we call it. I’d like to thank the folks at YogaSpark in Mamaroneck, Physique 57 in Scarsdale, ML Strength and Crunch Fitness in White Plains and Studio 14 in Port Chester for helping me to jump-start my regimen. I’ve learned a lot, which I’ve incorporated into my daily routines.
But mostly I learned that exploration is the first step to Empowerment.