Welcome to My Family, Exercising Together, More
Welcome to the newest edition of The Hunker Games. Dave and his wife Laura of ActiveMSers are hunkering down in isolation for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic—these are their stories (cue the L&O dong-dong) ... along with helpful advice, necessary levity, and, most crucially, hope.
Greetings, I’m with you. I’m so OVER this dang pandemic thingy. The vaccine delays. The double masks. The variants, oh the variants! I started The Hunker Games newsletter nearly a year ago, thinking I’d help pull you along for those rough few months. Well heck, now I think after all this time we might as well be family. You know, exchange cards for the holidays, the works. So I’ll start. I’ve done a family Christmas letter since I married Laura in 1993. Because these cards are a recap of our lives, they can be a bit personal. I write them mainly for us, a record to look back at our lives. But other than our parents and a few friends, people aren’t that engrossed in the annual goings-on of the Bexfields. So, I make it interesting, creative, and entertaining—every year there is a different theme to highlight the events of the past 12 months. They often include fun bonuses, like that prize in a box of Cracker Jacks (OMG, I got a miniature comic book!!!). Our holiday letters have now become legendary; indeed, many recipients collect them. Without further ado, here’s a goofy one from 2016 done in the style of Ripley's Believe or Not. When you finish laughing at my random run-ins with Demi, Charlize and Jonathan Banks (really, I don't usually have that many brushes with fame!), scroll down for the next edition of the notorious HG!
// OUR EXPERIENCE: Taking Down the Tree
Yes, I fully realize it is late February, months after a certain someone’s b-day. Yes, it’s already been up since November, making it a full quarter of the year. And yes, I’ve been ENDLESSLY HARASSED BY FRIENDS WHO FRANKLY NEED TO SHUT THEIR YAPPERS. Bottom line: it’s legal to break rules during a pandemic. But finally we took down our tree, safely tucking our pair of Covid-19 ornaments into a hermetically sealed box to prevent community spread among our other ornaments. (And doggone, after all that time, we miss that darn tree!)
TIP: Exercise Together. Psychology and exercise researchers know that working out with others can turbocharge motivation and can be immensely rewarding. That’s why I’m urging you to join me on the ActiveMSers (and Big Horn Racing) virtual race team for America’s Shamrock Run this March. WE NEED MORE MEMBERS! Here’s how it works. Select your distance during registration (from a 1 mile walk to a 20-mile bike) then compete virtually, on the honor system, any day during March, logging your results. We are also raising funds for the Accelerated Cure Project for MS so don’t forget to donate! Register ($40) by March 1 to ensure your swag bag arrives on time.
// WARNING: Dave, Live and Uncensored!
Throwing caution and common sense to the wind, I’m doing a LIVE virtual show with funny YouTuber Damian Washington as part of an MS Views and News special event Using Chatter, Entertainment & Humor to Help Battle Pandemic Blues. Register today for the March 4 virtual experience (7:30 p.m. EST). It promises to be epic! And, uh, goofy. Because DUH. But wait, that's not all the Dave news! Dan and Jennifer Digmann, popular bloggers who run A Couple Takes on MS, just posted their 7 Questions with a Couple featuring yours truly. They asked all sorts of revealing Qs—you’ll even discover just how overweight I was (!!!) before I started exercising regularly. And the retro song I recommend listening to right now.
// NEW BLOG: The Monster Wave of Getting Diagnosed
Getting diagnosed with MS (or any significant health issue)—when you were expecting your doc to say something like "it's just a pinched nerve"—can utterly flatten you, throwing you into a terrifying tailspin. That monster wave of discovering you have an incurable disease suddenly makes you question everything about your future. But guess what? You are hardly alone. Keeping it all in perspective, even years after your diagnosis, matters. Read on for the craziest of crazy stories, one involving a real monster wave … and a surfer lucky to be alive. And one MSers keen observation on the power of those waves.
Since my exercise and MS video debuted the other month—the one 236,000 people have already seen—I’ve gotten more than a few questions. Please just watch it already. In three minutes, you will learn far more about me than you might realize. Since we are now “family” (I’m like the fun cousin!), I’ll share a bit more personal info. Right off you’ll see my backyard (:05), which is surrounded by what is known as a coyote fence, which only works so-so since I’ve seen coyotes back there. This is also where I once married good friends (among my many tricks, I'm also an ordained minister). My fave bike trail (:18), the office where ActiveMSers magic happens (:21), the street I live on in blazing fall glory (:28), and Albuquerque’s ADA off-road bike trail (:37) make quick cameos. From the shot in the living room (:42), check out the background. The hanging round brass lamp was found by my mom in an Egyptian souk nearly 60 years ago. The painting you see (along with most of the other art in our house that is visible) was done by Brandon Crotty, who was one of my closest friends. A savant and immense talent, he tragically committed suicide at 36—you can read my eulogy to him here. Then you get to tour my over-the-top home exercise studio (1:36), complete with lots of fitness toys including a stretching table. That scary mask you see is one we picked up in Kenya along with one of the canes (pre MS!). A dear friend gave me the other cane (also pre MS!). Hungry? The next scene enters my kitchen (1:53), where viewers will notice a vintage gravy boat, china hand painted by Laura’s grandmother. Finally, you get to check out my bedroom (2:24) and my bed. It doesn’t get any more personal than that! I’m so glad we’re family (and not in a weird uncle sorta way), or else this would have been really awkward. While we anxiously await the vaccine (hope to get mine soon), be active, stay fit, and keep exploring!

Dave Bexfield

p.s. Fear of falling on the floor and being unable to get up without the help of the fire department may be a thing of the past for MSers. We are actively testing the innovative IndeeLift—picture a miniature dolly crossed with a forklift. A full review will be coming, but early impressions: we’re impressed!
be active - stay fit - keep exploring