Saturday, March 08, 2008

No Meds Streak Ends at 17 Months

Today I visited the doctor for an upper respiratory issue, and promptly filled and used prescriptions for antibiotics and cough medicine. Desiring health more than pride, I ended my personal record of 17 straight months without having to go on meds for an illness.

The streak began after a dinner conversation with Orlando area physician Don Colbert, author of several books on nutrition and the focus of a cover story I wrote for New Man magazine in January 2007. He mentioned that he hadn't had a cold in years, and since I could not make the same boast I asked for his secret. The secret weapon was 'Nucleotides,' strands of RNA and DNA captured in slippery little capsules that sell for about $30 per bottle. Take one or more when you start to feel run down, the good doctor said, and watch how it boosts your immune system.

And Dr. Colbert was right. Perhaps it was the psychological knowledge that I was taking the supplement, or the capsules themselves-or both. I really haven't cared. I have fought off several colds and flu-like symptoms, and enjoyed great health in 2007 except for when I had some back pain related to, as another doctor diagnosed, "tight as hell" hamstrings.

Then, this past week, I started getting "run down" on a business trip to Tampa. I popped Nucleotides and sipped green tea like mad all week, but this morning had to throw in the towel and go to a walk-in clinic. Defeat.

My faith in Nucleotides has not wavered, however. I ordered a fresh supply. Once in a while, even the best system you have in place hits a snag. The past several months have brought a lot of change, stress and cold temperatures. We're living in a rental house for now, and who knows what's in the carpet. Everyone in my family was sick for the past week, and so the perfect storm of the creeping crud descended upon me and I fought the good fight but lost.

I'm sticking with my strategy toward future illness. Too often in business, politics or relationships, we abandon our strategies when difficulties arise. We forgot the victories of the past and get caught up in present malaise. The past several months, as I have sought to get into a rhythm in my new leadership position with T-Mobile USA, there have been many moments when I have forgotten my own professional successes of the past because my learnng curve has felt so steep. I have had to remind myself--and others who know me well have been kind enough to assist--that I have strengths and talents that are still within me, even if half the time I still don't know if I'm making a difference in my new environment.

Each of us has a core set of talents, cultivated into strengths through perseverance. Society puts enormous pressure on us to compromise them or seek success in areas of non-talent, for the sake of what is expedient. There are times when we have to give a little for the sake of the larger picture--such as getting some anti-biotics to whip a nasty infection because you've got all-day workshops to teach the following Monday and Tuesday. But expediency should be the exception, and ongoing growth in self-awareness, talent-driven competencies and vital relationships the rule.


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