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Whitewater Thrill Ride Learning to Still Your Mind
showers will soon be upon us, and believe it or not, this is my favorite time of year. From my junior year of college until about five years after I graduated, I was an avid Class IV whitewater kayaker. My roommates in college got me into the sport, and for years, Tallulah Gorge on the Chattanooga River was my playground. At the time, the river wasn’t controlled by a dam. Spring would bring a rush of high, fast water that made the Class IV and Class V rapids more fun. Whitewater kayaking has earned its reputation as an extreme sport, but it’s not all wild stunts. If you want to succeed in a kayak, you need to learn how to still your mind in chaos.
When you are flipped upside down while strapped to a kayak, rapids swirling all around you, your instinct is to panic. But the key is to hold your breath and remain calm. Let time slow down and make yourself think things through. Relying on brute strength will get you nowhere, and if you panic, you’re in
“If you want to succeed in a kayak, you need to learn how to still your mind in chaos.”
me, I rolled myself upright and barely managed to paddle to a rock. There, I pulled myself out of the kayak and collapsed. I didn’t wake up until my friends came back to find me. A few weeks passed until I was ready to try again. Unfortunately, I tried to hit the rapids again — my friends and I were young and dumb. We thought it would be cool to go to the Chattanooga River during a flooding stage. Overturned trees floated by and we saw deer swimming in the water, so I can’t say I was surprised when I flipped upside down on the rapids. What I didn’t expect was to be ripped out of my boat and dragged along the bottom of the river. By the time I fought my way to the shore, my kayak was nowhere to be found and I had to hike through the woods to get to my car. This marked the end of the time in my 20s when I thought I was invincible. I realized my head wasn’t where it needed to be anymore, and I sold all my gear. Despite the rocky end to my kayaking career, I don’t regret a single rapid. Kayaking was one of the coolest things I have ever done, and in the end, it taught me an important lesson: Sometimes, it’s better to quit while you’re ahead. -David Brauns
trouble. But when you remain calm and realize you’re going to be okay, then you can get yourself upright again and keep paddling. Kayaking isn’t about physical ability; it’s about the mind and finesse. Kayaking was a big part of my life, and I loved every second. I got to meet the owners of Perception Kayaks, a world-class kayak equipment company, and I hung out with members of the U.S. Olympic kayak team. Once, I went over a 32-foot waterfall, and I had such a surge of adrenaline from the experience that I couldn’t sleep for two days. It was a blast. But all good things come to an end. My end came when I had two near-death experiences back to back. I bit it on a Class IV rapid and couldn’t get back up. The whole way down, I was trapped underwater with my eyes closed, waiting for the chaos to pass. When I finally felt the water grow calm around
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The Importance of Spring Cleaning YOUR UTILITY ROOM
The start of spring brings everyone’s favorite seasonal chore — spring cleaning! As you dust, vacuum, organize, and declutter, don’t forget about the one room that often gets neglected. This year, give special attention to the utility closet. The utility closet houses your furnace, boiler, water heater, A/C junction, and other similar large appliances. Homeowners often forget about these appliances because they are out of sight and out of mind, and this can cost a lot in the long run. Like all the other rooms in your home, this space needs to be kept clean. Dust, for instance, can be hard on HVAC systems. Over time, it accumulates in the HVAC intake and clogs the air filter, reducing its effectiveness and efficiency. This results in a short lifespan for your system, higher power bills, and a poorly heated or cooled home.
Family homes with multiple pets or allergies: one to two months.
In addition to changing the air filter, it’s important to schedule a routine inspection of your home’s HVAC system. This includes an inspection of the appliances themselves and any connecting ducts. Dust, dander, and mold can accumulate in the ducts and spread throughout the home, which can lead to health issues, including respiratory problems. A routine inspection will identify potential problems in your HVAC system. On top of that, you can get these systems professionally cleaned and maintained. These are simple steps that will keep your home’s air systems running smoothly for years to come. Plus, you’ll be ready for the summer months ahead!
How Often Should You Replace Your Air Filter?
Homes with minimal foot traffic (single or double occupancy) and no pets or allergies: six to 12 months.
Family homes (three or more occupants) with no pets or allergies: three to six months.
Family homes with at least one pet or minor allergies: two to three months.
DON’T JUST TAKE OUR WORD FOR IT
“Excellent experience with David Brauns and his team. They took care of everything after my accident and stayed in constant communication. You can definitely rely on
was a fair settlement. I’m so glad I stumbled across Brauns Law online. They went above and beyond for my family. Best part about Brauns Law was that every time I called or emailed them, they responded so quickly. Thank you, David, and thank you to your team for helping out my family.” –Je L.
this A-team to follow through and get the best settlement possible for your situation. Wish I could rate higher than 5 stars!” –Ash A.
“If you’re in need of a lawyer, David Brauns is your guy! Everyone in the office is very
“So glad I met Mr. David Brauns. He is professional, and he truly cares about his clients.” –Amy
attentive and kept me updated. They were understanding, and very helpful. David got the job done, and in the end we got what we thought
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THE SOBERING TRUTH DUIs Risk More Than Your License What’s the Worst That Could Happen? Best-case scenario, you are charged with a DUI, hit with a hefty fine of around $1,000, and have your driver’s license suspended. And worst-case scenario, your negligence takes someone’s life. Every day, accidents caused by drunk drivers mean a mother will never see her son, a husband will never see his wife, or a daughter will never see her father again. Party Smart If you plan on getting a drink this St. Patrick’s Day — or any other night of the year — be responsible. Call a cab, get a ride-sharing app like Lyft or Uber, or check out other options on the National Directory of Designated Driver Services at www.drinkinganddriving.org/ designated-driver-services. There’s nothing wrong with responsible adults enjoying an alcoholic drink, but if you’re going to cut loose, do the right thing. You owe it to yourself and other drivers on the road to do what you can to make sure everyone gets home safely.
Acting as a designated driver is usually seen as the short end of the stick, but “taking one for the team” can help make sure the whole team gets home safe. This is what Daniel Dill, a U.S. Coast Guardsman, had in mind on his wife’s 27th birthday. Having volunteered to act as designated driver for his wife and her friends, Dill was on his way to pick them up when a drunk driver hit his car head-on. The other driver, Melissa Hancock, had been driving on the wrong side of the road before the fatal crash. When she was arrested, officers found she had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.112, well over the legal limit of 0.08. Dill was rushed to the hospital, suffering from a major spinal cord injury, brain swelling, and broken bones. He passed away before the sun rose the next morning. How Much Can I Drink Before I’m Drunk? There’s no “trick” for making sure your BAC doesn’t go over 0.08. Factors like age, body type, metabolism, hydration, and even what bar a drink was served at can influence how impaired a person becomes. Here’s the one rule that applies to every situation: When you reach for a drink, put away your keys. BRAISED CHICKEN AND SPRING VEGETABLES
WORD SEARCH March
This simple and delicious one-pot recipe is perfect for a weeknight. It only requires about 15 minutes of hands-on work, but will taste like you spent all day building flavors. It’s a hearty comfort food that’s sure to delight eaters of all ages.
Directions 1. Heat olive oil in a large Ingredients • 1 tablespoon olive oil • 8 small bone-in chicken thighs • 1 cup low-sodium chicken broth
and stir in radishes, carrots, and sugar. 4. Return chicken to pan, placing on top of vegetables. Gently simmer with lid on pan for 15 to 20 minutes. Finish with chives. • 12 radishes, halved • 4 large carrots, cut into sticks • 1 tablespoon sugar • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, chopped • Salt and pepper
BLOOM CLOUD DANCE FLOWER GREEN GROW LAMB
LEPRECHAUN LION LUCK MADNESS MARCH RAINBOW RAINCLOUD
SHAMROCK SPRING STORM
saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. 2. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brown in pan for 6 to 7 minutes per side. 3. Remove chicken from pan and scrape off excess fat. Add broth
[Recipe inspired by Real Simple]
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The Kayaker’s Secret
Spring Clean Your Utility Room
Will You Have a Drink This St. Patrick’s Day?
Braised Chicken and Spring Vegetables
St. Patrick’s Day vs. the Color Green
Green Dominates St. Patrick’s Day for a Reason
Another theory comes from Ireland’s nickname, “The Emerald Isle,” which was coined because of the plentiful green foliage that adorns the country’s landscape. It also relates to the green in the flag. Each of the three colors in the flag have their own symbolic meaning: green for the Catholics who live in the country, orange for the Protestants, and white for the peace between the two. Of course, you can’t forget leprechauns, the little creatures that have always been affiliated with the holiday. But just like St. Patrick’s original blue garb, these impish tricksters used to wear red instead of green. While green overtook blue as the shade of choice for St. Patrick, leprechauns began putting on their signature green suits.
There’s only one day of the year you’ll be scorned for not wearing green: St. Patrick’s Day. If you’ve ever gone the whole holiday wearing any other color, you’ve probably been pinched by your peers, family, spouse, and anyone else decked out head to toe in green.
Green has become so deeply associated with the St. Patrick holiday that many people are unaware that green wasn’t always its official color. Blue was the first color to symbolize St. Patrick’s Day, and the saint himself is almost always depicted dressed in what’s known as “St. Patrick’s blue.” What caused the shift from green to blue is more speculation than hard fact. Some have theorized that the change happened sometime in the 17th century, when the symbol for the United Irishmen Rebellion became the clover. St. Patrick used the clover to teach the Irish people about the Holy Trinity, and it eventually became a symbol that represented both the saint and the holiday.
You might wonder where the tradition of pinching comes from. We can thank the leprechauns for this one. It’s said that if the gold-loving redheads caught you not wearing their favorite color, they would pinch you. To avoid pinches from leprechauns and people alike, be sure to put on some green this St. Patrick’s Day to blend in with the festive crowd.
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