Sharing Wellness In The Community

For those who saw my Sunday Facebook posting, this will be a bit of a repeat. But repeats/reruns are worth seeing again if they’re good, right? Will leave it to you to decide how well I do.

This past weekend, I was privileged to be a part of the Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness team that shared the gifts of wellness, movement and a living a healthy lifestyle in the community. On Friday, Dr. Marrs, Kim Marrs, Nicole Holt and other staff took the message to a community health fair for those of us who would be considered to be in the “Mature” stage of life.

On Saturday, Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness sponsored Superhero Day. Children ages 5-14 and their parents were provided information about the benefits of chiropractic care, a healthy diet and regular activity. A big reminder for me came when the kids were brought outside to get active…You don’t need loads of fancy equipment to make being active fun. I’ll share one example. I was stationed at an obsticle course Nicole created using chalk, plastic cups and plastic water bottles. Simple but effective. The kids would have had no problem working the course over and over again had we not had to move on to other activities, including LUNCH!! (Kids and adults were served a healthy lunch, by the way.) I’m sure those who assisted at other activity stations experienced a similar response.

A few thoughts/reminders/things to take away from the weekend:

It’s NEVER too late to begin living a healthy, active lifestyle, young or old. (Mature.)

As was demonstrated with activities at Superhero Day, getting active does not require fancy, high-tech equipment. We all have things at home that will serve the purpose.

This is likely a statement of the obvious…there are lots of things one can do to be active and stay healthy. Because Friday and Saturday’s events involved extended periods of moving around and being on my feet, “Working the Room”, as it were, that became my workout. For me, it was a good way to help Dr. Marrs and staff/change-up the workout routine a bit and not overly fatigue my body.

Living an active, healthy, lifestyle requires all of us to TAKE THE FIRST STEPS!!

If you know someone who is having trouble getting started, be an encouragement. Get out there with them. If you want to take kids away from the computer/TV, for example, get outside with them.

If you’re not sure what steps to take to begin the healthy, active lifestyle you desire, ask for help. There are lots of great resources out there.

Leading an active, healthy lifestyle is a combination of healthy diet, movement and rest.

We are all busy people. We MUST MAKE/SET ASIDE TIME to get active and healthy.

If you are looking for a way to take steps toward an active, healthy lifestyle, “Gary’s Project” will be doing our usual thing, 6:30 a. m. tomorrow morning in Gibbel Park…our weekly walk, run, crawl. Get up!! Get out!! Get moving!! You decide the pace that works for you.

An FYI…Beginning Thursday morning, Cheryl and I will have sporadic computer access for an as yet undetermined period of time. Will be blogging/updating you as we can.

Finally, thank you, Dr. Marrs, Kim, Nicole and all at Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness for a great weekend and all you do. Your work and the message you share is so important. Keep doing what you’re doing. I’ll be honored to help in any way I can. I’m just sayin’. Yeah baby!!


In Loving Memory…

I have often said my life is a story of heroes. There are many. But today and every day, the #1 heroes in my life, my parents, Minor (Pa’pa Spud) and Esther (Ma’ma Esther) Oakley are never very far away from my thoughts. But as some who will read this know, this day/this week, are more than a little special. Today, September, 16, is a day to remember Ma’ma Esther’s birthday. Thursday (18th) will be the day to remember Pa’pa Spud and his birthday. And let’s not forget Cheryl’s dad, Louis. We paused to remember and celebrate his life on September, 13.

As hard as this will be for many to believe, this will likely be one of the most difficult postings I have ever written. Not because I don’t know what to say about the two people who formed and shaped any and everything that’s good about me, the good I aspire to be and do. It’s hard because whatever I say is not enough. I suppose the most important thing to say is THANKS BE TO GOD!! THANKS BE TO GOD not only for giving me the best family and friends the world has ever known but also THANKS BE TO GOD for giving me the most AMAZING/INCREDIBLE people I have ever known to be my parents!!

As you look down from heaven, I hope you are smiling because your “Little boy” (As Ma’ma Esther introduced me to people more often than I can remember even after I had long ago left the nest.) is still trying to live life just the way you taught him…guided by the principle of “When you fall down you get back up.” You knew very early in my life I would face many challenges. But you left no stone unturned in your efforts to be sure I would be the best person I could be. You left no stone unturned when it came to making sure I would live life to the fullest. I’m certain you were guided and directed to do what you did not BECAUSE of my having been brought into the world with cerebral palsy. Rather you were guided and directed to do all you did IN SPITE OF cerebral palsy!! In short, you taught me to live life as “GARY OUR SON” versus “GARY OUR HANDICAPPED SON”. Thank you for teaching me that difference, showing to me and to the world I’m “JUST GARY”. (Or “Yeah Baby” if you prefer.) Thank you for having the insight/wisdom to know I would, “Never make it diggin’ a ditch” or as a garbage man. You knew there would be people far more capable than I when it came to performing these important tasks. Ma’ma Esther…Glad you never followed through on your promise of, “George!! I’m gonna flush you down the john.” when I was out of control.

Thank you for setting the bar high!! I pray I will always have whatever it takes to keep on living life the way you taught me. And thank you, Louis Arcuri, for having confidence in me to share life with your Cheryl as her husband. Hope I’m getting at least a little of the married life thing right.

We will continue the celebration of life in honor of those who molded and formed the foundation for living life/keep the half-marathon training progressing (It’s going well, by the way, in spite of triple digit heat and the normal aches, pain and stiffness. Dr. Marrs, Nicole, Kim and the entire staff of Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness are keeping close tabs on and taking good care of me. Thanks to those of you who have asked.) again tomorrow by meeting in Gibbel Park for our 6:30 a. m. “Gary’s Project” walk, run, crawl. Come on out and join us if you’re anywhere near Hemet. Can’t think of a better way to love and honor my heroes than to get outside and keep moving forward just the way I have been taught. I’m just sayin’. Yeah baby!!

” Gary’s Project”… First Meeting, Two Morning Workouts

The “Gary’s Project” group had a first brainstorming session Wednesday September, 3 at the offices of Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness. A number of good thoughts were shared about how to move forward. We’ll be able to use some if not all the suggestions that were made though it will take people, some funding and time to get them into a manageable framework/put them in place. Several folks expressed regret they were not able to join us for the first meeting but want to help. It will be exciting to have them join us for future meetings.

The one thing we can do right away and which we have done is get some folks out and get moving. A small group of us met at 6:30 a. m. on Wednesday September, 3 and again this morning, September, 10. There were three of us the fist week and five of us this morning. Small but mighty!! You have to take the first steps and start somewhere.!! Each of us moved at our own pace but were close enough to smile, laugh and cheer one another on.

We have taken the first steps forward and that’s more than a little exciting!! For now, we are meeting Wednesday mornings 6:30 a. m. in Gibbel Park for a one hour workout/”stroll”. The park is at the northwest corner of Florida Avenue and Kirby Street in Hemet. Each participant is encouraged to get out and get moving at his/her own pace. Notice two key words in the workout location schedule/time…FOR NOW!! This day and time is NOT etched in stone/dipped in concrete. We are open to other possibilities as we grow and evolve.

Thank you to everyone who has helped to get “Gary’s Project” up and running. Thanks to Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness, specifically Wellness Director Nicole Holt, Dr. Jeff Marrs and Kim Marrs for taking a lead role in helping to do what this one person is not able to do alone. And, as always, thank you, Cheryl Oakley for your never-ending love, support, unwavering faith and belief that this is worth doing.

We have not yet set the date and time for our next meeting/brainstorming session. If you are interested, please do not hesitate to let us know. Nicole is taking care of the planning and scheduling. I know she would be delighted to hear from you. She can be reached at 951-929-0100.

Will end for now by inviting all who are interested to come join us next Wednesday morining, September, 17 6:30 a. m. for the weekly workout/stroll in City of Hemet’s Gibbel Park. We’re growing every week. We’re outside. We’re each one moving to the best of our ability. We’re encouraging and supporting one another. We’re having fun. And we’re getting healthy. I’m just sayin. Yeah baby!!

“Gary’s Project”

One of the last things I shared a couple of weeks ago was news of an upcoming project. I am excited to share what’s up now that the first steps have been put in place. Think the announcement and information released by Nicole Holt of Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness speaks for itself. So here you go:

Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness is co-sponsoring a weekly movement group with The Gary Oakley Gaining Forward Momentum Foundation. The mission of the Foundation is to promote health, fitness, and a healthy lifestyle through physical activity such as: running, walking, jogging, and related educational activities and publications. In support of its Founder, Gary Oakley, we are calling this movement group, Gary’s Project. Our goal is to get people up, out of the house and active. Among other things, Gary’s Project will schedule a weekly time where other community members will have opportunity to participate in physical activities at their own pace.

Gary “Yeah Baby” Oakley was born with cerebral palsy and has faced significant life challenges every step of the way. He has accepted every challenge head-on, becoming stronger and more independent than one might ever imagine. He is now a marathoner having completed five marathons, including the 2010 New York City Marathon. Gary is also a motivational speaker and educator. He has been a featured speaker for community based organizations, local service clubs, not-for-profit groups, and public and private corporations.

We recognize your involvement in the community and your interest in staying physically fit and active. For that reason, we would like to offer you an opportunity to be on the committee to get Gary’s Project off the ground and moving forward. We will have our first committee meeting at Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness on September 3, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. I hope you will be able to attend to find out more about being a committee member for Gary’s Project and what it entails.

I look forward to meeting with you personally at our first committee meeting to further discuss your involvement with Gary’s Project. Feel free to call me if you have any questions or if there is another community member you would like to invite to attend. I can be reached at 951-929-0100. Otherwise I will contact you early next week to schedule a time to discuss this further. Thank you for your time and attention to this matter. I look forward to speaking with you soon.


Nicole Holt

Wellness Director

Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness

“No matter if you walk, run, or crawl, our bodies just need to stay in motion.” ̴ Gary Oakley

Many know it has been a long-time dream/goal of mine to “Pay It Forward”. That is to assist others in Going Forward in their efforts to be physically/functionally active/lead a healthy lifestyle. So many have supported and continue to support my journey, it’s time to give back. Wednesday’s meeting will be the first steps toward bringing this to reality. If you live in or around Hemet and would like to join us in getting started, Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness and I invite you to join us. I know Nicole would be delighted to hear from you; and me too. If you are not able to attend but would like to help/be kept in the loop about what we are doing or perhaps would be available to help/participate in future meetings/activities, let us know that too.

Thank you, Lifestyle Chiropractic and Wellness, Nicole, Dr. Marrs, Kim and all who have agreed to get “Gary’s Project” in motion. I pray we will be able to serve those who need to get up, get out and get moving no matter the level of fitness, ability, the challenges you face, in a positive, encouraging and meaningful ways. Don’t know where this journey is going to lead. But as we celebrate this Labor Day weekend, it will be fun to see where taking the first steps/putting this labor of love in motion will lead. I’m just sayin’. Yeah baby!!

Thank You Christian Business Partners

I mentioned in the last posting I would be speaking at the August, 21 meeting of Christian Business Partners in Hemet. Thank you for the opportunity to share. It was an awesome morning. One of the ladies attending said I have a powerful voice/message and could see me as the head of a major corporation. Wow!! That’s quite a compliment. Thank you. Don’t know about being the head of a major corporation at this stage in life. But I always consider it an honor when invited to speak and am thankful the message was meaningful.

I also mentioned in the last posting I have been doing without coffee to see if there would be any change in blood pressure that had been borderline high for the last several week. Have thus far gone without morning coffee for two and one-half weeks. And thus far, so far so good. Readings have been within normal ranges. Get-out-of-bed pain levels continue to be down as well. Don’t know if abstaining from coffee has a direct correlation. Might seem like a little thing. Not easy for me though. LOVE morning coffee. But going to stay the course for at least another week or so.

My long-time partner-in-crime, Mark, has issued the Ice-Bucket Challenge. Haven’t done it yet. But I promise it’s on!! Some folks have said they would like to do it with me. So we’re going to find a time when we can do it together. If there is anyone out there who would like to join in, send me an email, leave a posting or private message on Facebook or you can leave a note in the comment section of the blog page. Will get the details out as soon as I know. Like I said, IT’S ON!!

And to Cheryl, who remains in Florida working on the final details leading to getting a “For Sale” sign in the front yard of the Brooksville property, I know there have been several unexpected bumps in the road. Really proud of the way you are working through it all. I know it’s going to be all good when you are finished. Can’t wait for you to come home. There will be many happy people when you come back west, especially ME!! I’m just sayin. Yeah baby!!

Short And Sweet…Maybe

This post will be short and sweet compared to most of the others. I know. You’ll believe it when you see it, right?

Training has been going well. Enjoyed another hike in Idyllwild with Sky, Nicole, Dr. Marrs, Kim and others last weekend. Great training experience. Great fellowship with friends. Can’t wait to do it again.

Will be speaking to the Hemet/San Jacinto chapter of Christian Business Partners Thursday August, 21. Rise and shine early if you plan to attend. The fun starts at 8 am at the C&L Coffee and Deli 4210 E. Florida, Hemet. As always, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share “Life Is Not A Sprint-It’s A Marathon”. Will do my best to share news of where I’ll be speaking and running on future postings. That way, if anyone wants to join in…

Have been conducting an experiment the last ten days or so. Long story short, Dr. Marrs and staff have been checking blood pressure from time-to-time the last several weeks. It had been registering borderline high. Who knows why. So decided to see what would happen if I went without the usual cups of morning coffee. Have gone without since August, 8. At last check on August, 14, BP had returned to what is considered to be normal range. And… early morning, get-out-of-bed pain levels are down since taking this step. As much as I love/miss the morning Joe, we’re going to continue this tact for a while and see what happens to both blood pressure and pain levels. Wondering if I’ll have to learn to live without coffee. We’ll see. Stay tuned.

Speaking of stay tuned, another potential project is in the works. Not ready to share the details yet. Like I said, stay tuned.

On last thing…Cheryl is currently back in Florida working hard to complete final details leading to putting house in Brooksville on the market. She’s sorting, packing and juggling a lot of details. I know there are times she’s feeling overwhelmed. If you live in or around the area, she could use encouragement and help. Hope those of you who know her will not hesitate to check on her.

Well, so much for a short posting. Maybe next time. Stay tuned to see if I can really do it. I’m just sayin. Yeah, baby!!

Choose To LIVE!!

Some thoughts that are in my head/on my heart today…Those of you who know me one way or another…family, friends, meeting at a race, hearing me speak, following this blog, are aware I don’t just jump out of bed and “hit the ground running”. Like many people, I have to give myself time to get the body parts moving…let the WD 40 kick in. Depending on what I have been doing during the week or even the day before, this can take more time on some days than others. Stiff, sore muscles and restricted soft tissue generally are not happy being told you want them all to cooperate with one another to move first thing in the morning. And as I have shared previously, sometimes there are days this body isn’t pleased with moving at all no matter when you ask it to go.

We all know my body doesn’t have the exclusive corner on the market when it comes to what I described above, right? We all have experienced pain in some way, along with the physical, emotional, psychological and financial challenges that come with it. Many of us have come to a place where we can’t recall the last time we lived without some level of pain during the day.

At this point in life, seems as though I’m guaranteed this body will get out of bed more than a little unhappy I want it to move. What to do? What to do? For me, the answer comes with knowledge of three things:

1) I want to live/experience each day to the fullest…Simply put, be the best I can be. That means YOU GOTTA MOVE!!

2) There is a second choice…Just sit down.

3) Whether I choose to move or not, MY BODY WILL EXPERIENCE PAIN!!

Conclusion/reminder to all; especially to ME…If we choose to sit, THERE WILL BE PAIN!!. If we choose to move and live life, THERE WILL BE PAIN! The pain experienced across the years, by many of us, will likely never be eliminated. But it can be managed if we NEVER GIVE UP!! Continually look for answers/strategies/help. Seek out supporting cast members that will hold us accountable to being the best we can be!! So whether we walk, run or crawl, let’s keep moving and CHOOSE TO LIVE!! I’m just sayin. Yeah baby!!