Tuesday, December 06, 2005

It's that Wonderful Time of the Year...


It starts innocently enough: a slight cough, gentle sneezes and an uncomfortable feeling. But, after 24-hours the battle is on! Green and yellow snot particles seem to ooze out of every opening of your head. That once gentle cough turns in to what you believe is an escape attempt by your lungs. As you look in to the mirror, you don’t even notice your nose, as the constant tissue rubbing as all but eliminated the surface areas. You have a serious cold, if not, the flu! It is that time of the year and you have to be ready.

Athletes are a little more particular about being overcome with sickness. As you might have read from a previous post, they can be subject to exercise addiction. Thus, a cold, which can inhibit training, can vanquish the suffering athlete. Although bed rest, plenty of fluids and a lot of cookies seem obvious to most of us; many athletes will do whatever they can to continue training. A downward spiral of unhealthy and performance limiting symptoms are the only outcome of this behavior.

I am guilty. For many years, I have continued to train with serious colds. I’ve also raced with a fever. The outcome of my conduct was nil. I did not feel faster, nor did I win any race while suffering from an illness. As a result, I have learned to take time off to get well. However, I have made a firm commitment to self-medication. What I mean is I created a mixture of herbs, vitamins and teas that I believe help me recover quickly. I feel that my mixture works. In fact, I believe I can thwart a cold once I perceive it’s coming. Below are the compounds I use. Think of this as a guide.

Day 1: Perceived Cold
The battle begins. My first line of defense is Yerba Mate’, which is made by Guayaki. If you haven’t heard of Yerba Mate’ you are missing out. In my opinion it is more powerful than coffee, non-addictive and full of amino acids, vitamins, anti-oxidants and spiritual well-being. It has the ability to knock out any cold and is my preferred supplement every day. However, with a cold front building, I drink more than usual. Five to six cups of pressed Yerba Mate’ is what the doctor orders. Make sure the tea is brewed for more than a couple of minutes. Let is steep for a long time (10 minutes).

Day 2: The Cold Front
Digging the trenches. Today is vitamin day. I try to concentrate on consuming as many vitamin supplements as possible. I start with a Solar Ray multi-vitamin in the morning; followed by 30 oz. of hot water. After watching Office Space for the second day in a row (the only video I own), it is time to hit the Body Balance. This whole food supplement contains, I think, every known element on the planet. It is Aloe Vera based and tastes like plum juice. A half cap is all I take. One hour before I go to bed I drink a cup of Yerba Mate’ and follow it with another cap of Body Balance.

Day 3: Outflank and Destroy
Raging alchemy. At this point, the cold has to be suffering. So, you might as well give it the death it deserves. I repeat the regimen of Day 1 and Day two. Then I add the secret weapons. Immense Defense is a mixture of herbs, spices and homeopathic compounds created by Dancing Willow Herbs in Durango, Colorado. Fifteen drops in a glass of water in the morning and fifteen drops in the evening should kill those nasty cold bugs. I follow this with two packets of Emer’gen-C by Alacer Corporation. This fizzing drink mix is a super energy booster and multi-vitamin. It tastes great and feels good on the throat. Naturally, I drink lots of hot and cold water to continuously flush out the water-based vitamins and to re-hydrate my system.

Day 4: Looking out on the Enemy
The retreat, or regroup. If the cold is at bay then you should congratulate yourself with a big bowl of soup. However, if the cold is a persistent jerk, you might want to consult your doctor or rent another movie and get some real medicine.

I’m curious about your cold remedies. I’ve heard about mixtures, but I’d like to get the real juicy details. Send me a comment…

By the way, as always I do not recommend anyone using these substances without the permission of their doctor (disclaimer).

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