Monday, January 18, 2010

Extraordinary Jewel

Last Sunday, I attended a local brunch at which Canyon Ranch was honored as an “Extraordinary Jewel” in the Tucson community for its committment to philanthropy. The organizer of the women’s event asked me to give a give a brief introduction of the history of the Ranch and my grandparents’ inspiration – something I was happy to do. I tried my best to bring a personal touch to the Ranch and what it means to me. It was also very meaningful to have my family in the audience- my grandmother, Enid, my mom, Jill, my aunt, Amy, my great-aunt, Paula, and my cousin, Robyn.

After my nerve-wracked words, three of our own Canyon Ranch professionals gave brief presentations on how to get healthy and stick with it. Lisa Powell, our Director of Nutrition, gave tips for eating clean, nourishing food. Her advice included eating foods as close to their natural state as possible, i.e. avoiding highly processed food saturated with additives and chemicals.

Stephanie Richardson, an Exercise Physiologist at the Ranch, charmed the audience with her southern accent and encouraged the women in the audience to “crawl, walk, run”: begin an exercise regime slowly, trying to fit exercise in your life where it works for you. For example, go on a 20 minute walk and lift some weights after you brush your teeth! Slowly you can increase the length and intensity of these workouts. A great example she gave of an exercise you can do anywhere is sitting at the edge of your chair, feet in front of you under your knees, and simply standing without help from your hands. We all did this about 10 times at our tables – and trust me, we felt the burn!

Ann Pardo, our Director of Life Management, wrapped up the discussion, emphasizing the importance of “focus” in one’s life. She encouraged us all to look around the room to recognize the beauty in the simplest things – the design in the chandelier and the pattern of the clouds out the windows. It’s important to take some time for yourself and soak it all in.

Following the presentations, the attendees flooded the presenters with questions. At least two women announced that they now lived in Tucson because of Canyon Ranch – they visited the Ranch years ago and fell in love with the beauty of our desert city, and now here they are, local Tucsonans. We also heard stories from a lady whose husband used to stay at the old Double U Ranch with his family before it was Canyon Ranch and still has 16mm films of the Double U in its heyday.

It was great to meet many of the influential women in the Tucson community and hear their stories. I even ran into my old high school student council advisor, Mrs. Green. Wow how time flies!

To Your Good Health!


No comments: