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Healthy Minds Healthy College

In Penny Lane

March 5, 2013

there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he’s had the pleasure to have known

Turn on your audio before you click play to hear Allison Crowe’s cover of In My Life, and see if you are one of the many heads that have given me pleasure over the years.

I don’t listen to the Beatles that much anymore, but I stumbled upon Penny Lane in my iTunes library while going through photos of some of my RRC connections over the years. What could be more appropriate? And what could be more freaky than hearing Penny Lane again in SuperStore the very next day? 20 years without hearing a song and then it pops up twice in 24 hours? Clearly a sign. So I went back to my pictures and started counting. 100 faces I could put a name to, never mind all the mugs with no handles! I was amazed.

So what does this have to do with wellness? Well, my official retirement was January 11, and my RRC friendships have gone way beyond just keeping me well these past 17 years. They have helped to make me a better, richer person. Like the song days, “some are gone and some remain”, but I will remember most of them fondly for the rest of my life.

Sure, some of those faces are tied to physical wellness (the badminton ladder, the running club, ultimate frisbee, the annual MS ride). But most are more linked to my core well-being, my sanity, the “fun” part of my life: camel riding in Tunisia, walking Navy Pier in Chicago, lunch in Provence, boating on the Winnipeg River, touring in Brazil, unwinding at the King’s, cycling to the headwaters of the Mississippi, volunteering at Siloam Mission, and on and on.

The 2012 Red River Rebel Riders (rrrr...)

So if you and I have connected in some way and your head is missing from my video, then please send a photo to, especially if I am in the shot, .

And my parting advice to all of you is to add an RRC network to your wellness plan. Join a toastmaster’ group, join the annual Great Grain Relay on March 9; get crafty at a Thursday afternoon Red River Rebel Crafting Hour; ride with the rrrr… in the MS Riding Mountain Challenge (2013 is our 10th year!).

“those connections… they give back in strength and comfort and joy, believe it or not, and the more connections you make, the happier you are, the more point there is to getting up and getting through the day.”

Gregory Galloway, The 39 Deaths of Adam Strand


“There are moments when I wish I could roll back the clock and take all the sadness away, but I have the feeling that if I did, the joy would be gone as well.”

Nicholas Sparks,
A Walk to Remember

“If you want to be a new man you have to stay in new places, and do new things, with people who never knew you before. If you go back to the same old ways, what else can you be but the same old person?”

Joe Abercrombie, Last Argument of Kings