Lasting Impressions: Take this book on your next hikeLos Angeles Post-Examiner

Lasting Impressions: Take this book on your next hike

A picture truly is worth a thousand words, even to a prolific author.

Ron Irwin, author of 13 books so far, is now publishing one that focuses not on words, but images. These images, ranging from wildly expressive to quietly contemplative, make up his latest work, entitled Lasting Impressions.

“The goal,” he explained, “was to excite and generate deep feelings of awe and beauty and love.” He added that some may even incite a bit of fear. The pictures include abstraction and reality within the binding of one publication, including warplanes, scenic views, large-eyed mammals and more mysterious imagery. At their core, these images speak to the humanity within all of us that longs to feel something.

After all, one sign of depression is a complete numbness. Art, and the ability to enjoy it, hint at a lust for life lurking beneath the surface of even the most demure seeming worrywart. Irwin’s life work could not be more about scratching the itch that is the desire to live freely, to live well, and to just live.

This work varies from past writing in that it is “the first book in which I feel total invested as an artist,” wrote Irwin. “I have many books on many topics including one very cool little novel entitled One and a Half Pinoy.  But also boring stuff like The FAA Will Kill which exposes the weaknesses in our nations flight safety.”

Recently, Irwin published a similar book called Whimsical Trees, which inspired this new work. It contains 50 photographs edited into digital images, and those whimsical trees merely planted the seed for a larger field. “I have a collection of thousands of images from all over the world, many of them I believed to be suitable for a dedicated art book in a style not unlike Van Gogh or Monet, but my brush is a keyboard and my canvas is a screen.” Thus, the beginnings of some Lasting Impressions.”

He began his work on a more practical note, with legal research. Now known for writing novels and well-respected health articles, Irwin said that his beginnings prepared him in many ways.

“As a lawyer every case requires intensive research,” he wrote, in an email interview. “For example, how could a lawyer successfully prosecute a medical malpractice case without learning at least the basics of the medical question involved?” Earning his JD from ITT Chicago School of Law not only gave him a career in law, but practice in how to apply meticulous research skills on any topic imaginable.

To illustrate, Irwin’s health articles began rooted in personal experience but quickly launched him into a passionate plea with his country to cease and desist their unhealthy (lazy) ways.

In his own words, he “like virtually everyone else” had put more effort into self-defense and denial then addressing his health concerns.

Citing rare cases like Winston Churchill, who “drank a bottle of cognac and smoked several cigars every day,” he simply shrugged off gentle “hints” from his wife. That is, until he landed in the hospital for over a month due to nothing but than his own lifestyle. After hearing that he was not expected to live or function independently again, much less walk, he became determined to stay out of a bed and literally back into action.

Walking over a half marathon daily, Irwin has transformed his life, but that isn’t enough. He has also written well-research pieces on health, fitness, diet, and the obesity epidemic in numerous articles published by the Santa Monica Observer, Gilmer Mirror Newspaper, The Reporter Magazine, Business Life Magazine, The Los Angeles Post Examiner, The Baltimore Post Examiner, and SPLASH Magazines.

Sub-topics have ranged from issues like heart disease to telomeres to practical ways for any person, from any walk of life, to build and maintain good physical habits.

Works like Live Lose and Live, Die. Live Again best illustrate his health research, giving insight into both the personal and the objective nature of his work. Understanding the struggle but not endorsing the excuses used to negate physical fitness is pretty much Irwin’s forte.

For him, it was a matter of life or death.

“Actually, as I slowly emerged from my coma it became abundantly clear to me that I NEVER wanted to repeat that experience,” he wrote. “It was no longer a challenge but an essential part of my daily life.”

Though not everyone has had the same life experience, everyone has the same bag of “reasons” why they simply can’t improve their health. To excuses such as “I don’t have time,” the Marine Corps veteran retorts: “Consider the time you have when dead – eternity. But even more to the point, weight loss and maintaining proper weight is 80 percent diet and only 20 percent exercise, so let’s stay focused on the bigger problem and the rest will fall in line over time.”

Whether you’re poor, busy, tired or obese, his writing focuses of finding ways to remake your reality by acknowledging the one staring you right in the face. Walking instead of taking the elevator, or parking farther from the door, are two suggestions he gives to “busy bodies” that have trouble finding the time to move. Online sites and fitness apps are a suggestion he gives to track eating habits.

Like any true lover of facts and expression, he has worked hard to combine these in books like Lasting Impressions and events like the annual Hollywood Health Hike.

“I was coming up on my 70th birthday, something that I had come damn close to never doing and I wanted to do something kinda cool to celebrate.” This was the beginning of the Hollywood Health Hike. With no more than a self-manufactured t-shirt and one accompanying walker, he hiked a route that will be coming upon its third year. This year, on April 30th, the hike will begin at the Kangan Water World in Burbank, CA and end at the Delphine Restaurant.

Walking with friends including
Hollywood legend Johnny Crawford (left)

Last year, the trip included some celebrities, including the legend Johnny Crawford — who, fittingly, hiked the over 14-mile stretch in cowboy boots. Now, the hike has increased to 29 miles, covering Hollywood and Beverly Hills and into Santa Monica, for those who are interesting in touring, hiking, or just improving their health while getting the word out.

Irwin welcomes any excitement generated for this event promoting good health. And while getting out the message of healthy living is the goal, that message makes it out on a loudspeaker with endorsements given by the rich and famous. “If Ron Irwin says, ‘Lose weight or die a young and miserable death,’ he wrote, ‘they just shrug it off and keep on with their bad habits. But if Jessica Alba and Matt Damon say lose weight or drop dead folks pay attention.’ ”

With Hollywood Health Hikes, novels about personal journeys, health advice, books on flying regulations, and now a book celebrating the diversity of life and expression through amazing images, Ron Irwin has proven himself to be a bit of a pioneer himself. To be further inspired, be sure to check out his available books at Lulu.com or on Amazon.com and BarnesAndNoble.com.

You can purchase his new book today.


About the author

Megan Wallin

Megan Wallin is a young writer with a background in the social sciences and an interest in seeking the extraordinary in the mundane. A Seattle native, she finds complaining about the constant drizzle and overabundance of Starbucks coffee therapeutic. With varied work experiences as a residential counselor, preprimary educator, musician, writing tutor and college newspaper reporter/editor, Megan is thrilled to offer a unique perspective through writing, research and open dialogue. Contact the author.
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