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My name is Dave. I work in a rural part of eastern Utah as a Nurse Practitioner in a small community health center. I've been in Utah for a little over 6 years. Before that, I lived and worked in a small town in rural (frontier) Alaska called Bethel.

It was difficult to exercise in Bethel. It's difficult to exercise in any small town because the facilities aren't always that great. We do have a nice wellness center in East Carbon. The population is somewhere near 1,200 and dwindling, especially with current national energy policies (we are a coal-mining and natural gas producing area).

As with any town or area, there are some difficult things about living in a small town and working as a health care provider. On the other hand, there are a lot of great people here. Many are really trying to make a positive difference in one way or another. Others just don't know yet that they can make a positive difference too, but what a great day it will be when they discover their true abilities. As a health care provider, I hope that I can help them find themselves and others around them. There are many along the way who have helped me, and in a spirit of "paying it forward", this is why I do what I do.

One great feature of living here is the proximity to the great outdoors. The Book Cliffs ARE my back yard, I mean, I walk through the gate in my back yard into the cedar covered hills that lead up to the Book Cliffs. It is a "half-day" trip to Moab, Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. I am in the middle of all this beautiful landscape, and I don't have to worry about large crowds of people. I don't miss the traffic and the pollution of the city (although the downside of this is that food choices are somewhat limited). The best part about being here is that my wife and children love it too.

My perception is that in the 70s when I was growing up, I was the fat kid. I was active, but I was thick and I couldn't keep up with the other kids. I was always picked last (or 2nd to last) when dividing up for teams. I think I finally discovered that I had exercise-induced asthma when I was 27 years old. I discovered this while I was in nursing school. Since then, I've discovered that I CAN do things that other people can do. As a health care provider, I'm more vigilant over things (like asthma and "learned family behaviors") that might otherwise lead to decreased participation in normal activities.

My goal is to run (or hike? or crawl???) over the Tavaputs Plateau and down to the Green River. I have now calculated the mileage (35 miles) and the elevation (total gain approximately 3,600 feet). I have scouted the path on my ATV, and I won't say it's easy, but it shouldn't be too bad as soon as I make the time to train for it. I've always wanted to run an ultra marathon, and this may be a good goal. My arthritis is getting worse, and it is another hurdle.

Spark People is great. I've always wanted to do something like this for my patients, but I haven't been able to get around to it (this is far better than I could have done on my own anyway). I'm planning to actively Spread the Spark to my patients. I only wish that more people had access to the internet out here. I'm not a paternalistic, smothering, do-all type of provider - I firmly believe that people need to take accountability for their own actions...but it doesn't hurt to have some help along the way. This site will allow me and my patients to take an active part in our own (life) care with lots of help along the way.

I'm very impressed with this site. I've noticed that in rural areas (especially this one) that people sometimes feel isolated, and that makes it difficult for people to take good care of themselves because one doesn't always feel a part of "the whole". This website is a good way for me, and others in this town to reach out and be a part of the larger "community".

Thank you everyone for your honesty and kindness; for sharing your struggles and human"ness", for your positive comments and your stories of motivation and triumph. Keep up the good work.

Member Since: 2/17/2009

Fitness Minutes: 5,676

My Goals:
1 - Yoga 3 times a week (Priscilla's Yoga Stretches on public TV really rocks).
2 - Walking 3 times a week for 30 or more minutes
3 - I back on to losing 23 pounds, my original goal a few years ago.
4 - Replacing some of my food with anti-inflammatory foods to help my arthritis.

My Program:
When I get my goals established in the next 1-2 months, I will set a more rigorous program agenda.

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Read More About SHORTHAIRDAVE - Profile Information moved here. (Updated June 22)

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  • v TRAINOF4
    It's so ironic that you were in Bethel AK. Before I had to have my knee surgeries I was asked to do a 6 mo stint in Bethel as a traveler.

    I'm curious to know what else you thought about Bethel other than the lack of exercise facilities. I looked it up online and thought "I'd go crazy there." I need a bit more stimulation I guess.

    3321 days ago
    Thanks for posting to my blog...and welcome to Spark! I, too, have shared this site with every one of my health care providers. It's a powerful tool! emoticon You've chosen a great profession!
    emoticon Tanya
    3333 days ago
  • v _MAOMAO_
    Wow, I'm glad the Workout Dvd's were so timely! That is Cool. Thanx for the 4 leaf clover, too! I'd have come to comment sooner - but I went to the page for another Dave from our HP team, silly me. Guess I need that 4 leaf clover, hehe. Hey, you're the guy who lived in Bethel. Were you there thru a whole winter? My sis was a VPSO, she started out in Noatak. She said the town stops work & school to celebrate when the sun comes back after 6 weeks. The furthest north I lived was Anchorage. I still miss Alaska & it's been over 30 yrs since I moved to the northwest.
    emoticon emoticon
    3339 days ago

    Comment edited on: 4/30/2009 9:12:52 PM

    emoticon to All Health Professionals SparkTeam.

    I hope you're feeling well soon.
    3342 days ago
  • v DDOORN

    Welcome to the All Health Professionals SparkTeam!

    So pleased you've joined our Team! The Spark is THE place on the 'net for making lasting lifelong improvements in our health and well-being!

    Slow and steady wins the race and helps one to build a healthy and well lifestyle! Taking care of ourselves ROCKS!

    Looking forward to seeing you on our message boards and having you share your Spark! We're looking to SHINE in '09! :-)

    Don, Co-Leader for the All Health Professionals SparkTeam
    3343 days ago
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