It all began after I dropped dead briefly from Congestive Heart Failure and while lying in a coma in ICU when some obese medical doctor came into the room and announced to my family that IF I survived they would have to put me in a home because I would never walk again. That is all the motivation I needed.
So after 26 days in the hospital on that issue and after 42 radiation treatments to cure my prostate cancer I decided the very best way for me to celebrate both my 70thbirthday and my loss of 140 pounds was to gather up some friends and walk to Hollywood. And began my annual health hike.
This year was the 5thsuch event and the second year we kept entirely in Burbank which is as it happens to be the real Hollywood. This year’s hike was also one of the most fun and filled with exciting surprises.
Once again we all gathered at a local business Kangen Water World in Burbank. I arrived a wee bit before 9 a.m. and not long after the amazing Christina Andersen came in. Christina recently wrote a book entitled Love Devotion Hellwhich is getting rave reviews. She is always fun to chat with and there would be plenty of that on this walk. By the way should you want to know more about her book you can visit here.
Next to arrive all the way from San Diego County was Lauri Smetona the owner of an amazing line of awesome skin care products under the brand of RevealU. You can find out more about Lauri and RevealU here. At that web address you may also listen to a radio show where I interview Lauri and her colleague Marilena Dalbey who also made the hike.
Once everyone was present we stepped off at 9:35 a.m. and headed straight down San Fernando Boulevard to First Street then on to Olive Avenue. As we crossed the bridge over the I-5 freeway we had our first studio sighting, Nickelodeon. Soon we reached Keystone Street and headed straight to the magnificent Disney Studios.
Immediately after Disney we went right passed St. Joseph’s Hospital, a place very much a part of these annual Health Hikes for it was at St. Joseph’s where my family was told by a very obese medical doctor that if I survived they would need to put me in a home because I would never walk again. So to honor that pronouncement we paused while I gave an appropriate salute to the good doctor by extending just one finger on each hand and then continuing my 5thannual Hollywood Health Hike.
Next we passed Burbank Studios, formerly NBC, before arriving at the massive Warner Brothers. Yeap, there was no doubt about it we were deep within the trenches of real Hollywood and we were hungry so we crossed over to Whole Foods Market for a midday meal and that is when we encountered a totally unexpected and very much appreciated surprise.
I grabbed some food and a beverage quickly and then went immediately to the outside dining area with an unobstructed view of studios including several recording studios. That was magnificent, but then something totally unexpected happened. As all of my fellow hikers gathered at our long large table a singer by the name of Danny Mills showed up, set up and began singing several Frank Sinatra songs.
He was truly awesome and even more charming was the fact that his daughters and granddaughters were there to support him. Could it get any better? A fantastic view, great company, awesome food and the musical talents of Danny Mills. Then just one more very happy surprise.
As we began working our way back to our starting point we happened upon the home of a very dear old friend of ours and the lady of the house greeted us in complete surprise. This was a moment of true joy for my lovely wife who joined me and many others on this hike. After a brief pause and many hugs, we continued on eventually working our way to our starting point
The whole purpose of these hikes is to promote good health and to have a great time doing it. By those standards this 5thhike was undeniably the best yet. So if the idea of good health and lots of fun appeals to you come join us again next year on Sunday April 26th, 2020.
We will always enjoy many of the major delights of Hollywood, of course, and the joy of being surrounded by like minded people who enjoy good health and having fun and who knows, maybe Danny Mills will show up again. But then again in this town even Beyoncé is not out of the question. Just to stay informed just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org I will keep in touch.
Know that there is never any cost or obligation for the hike whatsoever. No entry fees,, no gimmicks just pure reality and joy in a place best known for its fantasies.
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For a great read visit here.
All photos by Ron Irwin
Top photo: Statue in front of Warner Brothers Studio
Ron Irwin was born in Chicago, Illinois a long time ago. He served in the Marine Corps in Vietnam, became a trial lawyer, TV and radio host, CEO of a public company and once held an Emmy. He never won an Emmy he just held one. Ron has written and published twelve books. His most important book to date is “Live, Die, Live Again” in which Ron tells of his early life and his unexpected and very temporary death in 2012. That experience dramatically refocused his life and within the pages of that book Ron reveals how he achieved a much healthier life, ridding himself of Diabetes, Cancer and Heart Failure. Now Ron enjoys writing about many things including health topics, travel [he has circled the globe several times], adventure, culinary experiences and the world of performing art. Ron’s motto is “Live better, live longer and live stronger because it feels great and annoys others.” Contact the author.