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Getting Your Second Wind!

When It All Starts to Flow

Jay shares thoughts on ‘Getting Your Second Wind.'

Have you ever experienced this? Putting one foot in front of the other, time after time – beginning to sense exhaustion coming on? Feeling like you just can’t keep moving forward. Then, all of a sudden – almost out of nowhere – everything changes. It all becomes easier. Everything starts to flow? Well, chances are you’ve just experienced getting your ‘second wind.’ In fact, this is such a well-known phenomenon, that we not only talk about ‘getting our second wind’ in regard to our physical activities, we also use it to describe experiences in our daily lives – like getting our ‘second wind’ in our work or in pursuing any of our personal goals.

As one example, the other day, I was out for a run on a perfectly crisp fall New Hampshire day. Leaves under my feet every few steps and clear blue skies, I couldn’t have asked for a better way to start my day. Then, about half-way through my run, I started to feel fatigued. My muscles tensed up, my breathing became heavy, and I thought it might be time to head back home. Then all of a sudden, I got a second wind. My adrenaline kicked in a little bit and my body responded to my fatigue so much so that I was able to complete my intended distance. It felt incredible, not only because I was able to complete the run, but because it reminded me that sometimes, we have to keep pushing in life, even when it gets tough, to accomplish our goals.

In the world of running, a second wind is physiologically used to describe the moment a distance runner, such as a marathoner or triathlete starts to lose their energy, but suddenly feels the energy to continue on. Doctors and researchers haven’t been able to truly figure out this phenomenon and its origins. Some contribute it to your body’s ability to regulate the build-up of lactic acid. Others suggest it’s your body switching from burning carbohydrates to burning fat. Yet the most substantive research and what seems to be most agreed upon by experts is that a second wind is not purely mental, a moment where our body tells us that in fact, we can accomplish what we set out to do.

During COVID, a family friend of ours came down with an almost fatal case of COVID. A ‘larger than life’ personality and incredible human all around whose life work is about building businesses and helping family and friends succeed, the virus almost took his life. His road to recovery was difficult as doctors diagnosed him with ‘Long COVID and the mental struggle became as difficult as the physical. As an entrepreneur, he wasn’t able to do much of what he loved because he’d become so fatigued with even the simplest of tasks. Then one day, he took a painting course at the suggestion of a friend. He immediately took to it and began painting almost every day. Painting became a second wind in many ways, a reminder of who he was at his core, that his diagnoses would not stop him from his own goals. Today, he’s successfully selling his art and sharing his story with the world.

So, whether it’s a run or finding a new calling, we each can accomplish what we set our minds to, it may just take a little belief in ourselves. And the faith that your ‘second wind’ is just about to arrive!

The ‘Dinner Train’ Makes a Comeback

I was looking through old editions of the ‘Wall Street Journal,’ and I stumbled across a 2014 article which talked about dinner trains and to my surprise it mentioned the Lafayette Dinner Train of North Woodstock, New Hampshire. Piquing my interest, it caused me to dig more into this unique dining experience, and I found some fascinating stories about this train and others like it.

In the late 1920’s and 1930’s when rail transportation was at its peak, the competition among rail lines to attract and please travelers was intense. Railroads hired ‘5-star chefs’ to run the kitchens of their dinner trains intent on providing one-of-a-kind culinary experiences for the passengers aboard. People from around the world flocked to take part in this luxury experience and fortunately for those who now flock to Exit 32 in northern New Hampshire they can once again experience this very special treatment.

Today, the Lafayette Dinner Train is in its 33rd season. From May to October, patrons can board the 1950’s vintage passenger rail car and enjoy a 5-course meal as they take in the views along the Pemigewasset River and timber trails that date back to the 1800’s. Those aboard can enjoy the music of Sinatra and other big band classics as they step into the yesteryears and truly live the life of culinary luxury like those in the 1920’s and 1930’s.

I've enjoyed hearing stories from friends, especially about some of the passengers they have met on board the train. One such story was of a friend and his son who were sitting at the same table as a retired Quaker pastor and his wife - who had recently come back from a trip around the world and had the most fascinating of dinner conversations.

Who knows who you might meet on one these experiential trips. I would encourage you to hop aboard this “A” train in New Hampshire’s North Country for its one-of-a-kind experience.

It Takes a Village - a Tuscan Village

Rockingham Park was a horse racing track that used to be a central attraction for the residents of Salem, NH and really the whole state of NH and beyond. As horse racing began to decline, the track fell on hard times. Efforts were made to save it but would ultimately fail. However, in a sense, the track has now gotten its ‘second wind,’ and the site on which it was located has experienced a marvelous transformation.

Tuscan Kitchen is the product of our friend and highly successful entrepreneur, Joe Faro. Opened in 2010 as the first authentic Artisan Italian restaurant in Salem, it has grown to something that even Joe may not have expected at the time. Tuscan Kitchen turned into Tuscan Brands and now has locations in Burlington and Boston. Moreover, it has expanded beyond restaurants as Tuscan Brands now includes Artisan markets, a wine bar and chophouse, and a robust catering company.

Going even further, this success gave Joe the impetus to purchase and repurpose Rockingham Park. Joe brought a whole new vision for the park – seeing it not just as a ‘park,’ but as a Village. Today, Tuscan Village includes high-end apartments with local shops within walking distance. It has over 4 million square feet of developed property where Rockingham Park used to stand and has brought new life to a formally declining location.

Never one to sit idly by, Joe’s next project is the Tuscan Brand hotel which will undoubtedly become a ‘must stop’ location in Southern New Hampshire. The Artisan Hotel is slated to have over 150 rooms and is a perfect complement to the other attractions at the village such as the stores, restaurants and even an ice-skating rink in the winter.

From a small restaurant, to repurposing a horse racing park and now a terrific hotel on the way, Joe Faro has shown that with hard work and a positive can-do attitude, big dreams can become big realities – as a tired old location gets an exhilarating second wind!

Positive Profile of the Week: Zack Mannheimer

This week we are delighted to highlight a great friend and highly accomplished entrepreneur – who shares our vision of revitalizing America – and has been making huge strides in that direction – Zack Mannheimer.

I have had the pleasure of traveling the country and meeting with numerous people over the past several years as we’ve been on our mission to help small towns and communities find renewed life. I can honestly say that no one has impressed me more than Zack. In developing his venture, Atlas Studios, Zack had already provided guidance and leadership in the revival of numerous communities largely in the Midwest when I first met him several years ago.

Interestingly, at the time, Zack was also just getting started in the innovative method of 3D printing of homes. How does one get involved in becoming one of the leaders in 3D-printed housing? Already curious about 3D printing, Zack decided to create his own venture, Alquist 3D, to engage in 3D printing because it’s a fast and efficient way to help the housing crisis facing America. The first 3D-printed house by Alquist was in collaboration with Habitat for Humanity in Williamsburg, VA. and was the first livable such home in the United States. They have many more houses in the works as you can imagine interest is growing rapidly. What’s even more exciting is that they are working with some of the leading research universities to ultimately 3-D print the entire house and its contents!

Getting to know him better, I found out that this new method of construction was not his first passion. A theater major, Mannheimer worked in New York City in the theater and restaurant business for about eight years before deciding to go on a twenty-two-city road trip to find a new place to spread his roots. He settled on Des Moines, Iowa, because of its up-and-coming arts scene. Once there, he founded the Des Moines Social Club, a non-profit to engage the community in arts. One can see his theater roots in the name ‘Alquist,’ because the company is named after a character in a 1920 satirical play on robots.

The Sunshine Initiative has had the pleasure of working with Zack, Atlas Community Studios and Alquist here in New Hampshire. We are greatly enthused by his efforts, passion, and leadership in the revitalization of our great small towns across America. Thank you, Zack, for all that you do!

Quotes of the Week: Flow

“The idea is that flowing water never goes stale, so just keep on flowing.” - Bruce Lee

“Be the flow.”- Jay-Z

“I feel safe in the rhythm and flow of ever-changing life.”-Louise Hay

“Surrender to the flow.”- Mike Gordon

“You must let life flow naturally, for life’s secret is patience; you must stop pushing for change and allow things to unfold.”- Leon Brown


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