Well, not really, but kinda. You wanna know how to live a long life? I’ve only made it to 42, so far, but I can tell ya’ it’s been a great 42 years. I honestly never thought I’d live to see 40 but I feel I’m well on my way to 100. Here’s how I’ve done it so far.

  1. Tobacco Use. Yep, good ole Carolina tobacco. The first time I had a chew I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. I was with my lifelong buddy, Jeff. We were at the Dick brothers’ house hanging out. That was really their last name, Darren and David Dick. They were older so naturally they were way cooler than we were. They were all spitting long beautiful brown streams of spit all over the place and we wanted to be just like them. So, we partook in the joy of chewing the leafy deliciousness of Redman Chewing tobacco. Things were going well for a while until we decided to leave due to things not going so well anymore. Once we rounded the corner from their house, we sat down on the curb and puked our guts out. Pure Sandlot movie scene. Anyhow, ever since then I’ve dabbled and became a habit dipper in junior high. Back then you didn’t have to be 18 to buy chew. Lucky for me, I haven’t gotten the cancer yet. It’s a nasty habit that I wish I never would’ve started but maybe it’s saved me so far somehow. I believe it’s more of a mixture of what’s to follow.0
  1. Alcohol Consumption. Now I’m no drunk so don’t get the wrong idea. Like most kids in high school I drank beer with the boys and once I joined the Army it was on like Donkey Kong. I enjoy beer but don’t really drink much because it just doesn’t do much for me unless it’s a good import. I enjoy the taste of a finely brewed beverage. Having lived in Germany for 3 years I got spoiled on the earth’s finest bubbly. I lived about 15 minutes from Kreuzberg which has been known to be the best beer on the planet. The beer has been brewed by the monks at the monastery for hundreds of years using their super-secret special recipe. Nowadays, I’m more of a dark liquor kind of guy. I’ll have a drink a few times a week but not more than one before bed. I like to savor the flavor of Tennessee’s finest nectar. I recently came across a bottle of Rum that I thoroughly enjoy. It’s called Ron Barcelo and I picked it up down in Republica Dominicana. You have to say that in a low voice with a strong Spanish accent. I believe the years of chew spit and some good whiskey have kept the gut critters at bay. Helps you think better, too.download
  1. Now, if you’re gonna drink much alcohol you have to offset that. EXERCISE!! Yep, find a good program and stick with it. I started exercising in high school after checking out a book at the public library on weight lifting. I was quite the animal. Naturally, being in the Army kept me quite active via miles and miles of walking long distances with heavy loads, lifting literally hundreds if not thousands of 100lb artillery rounds, climbing, running thousands of miles, doing thousands of pushups, etc, etc. I still serve but not on active duty. Owning a CrossFit gym for 6 years kept me pretty active as you can imagine. Now? I enjoy pulling a weighted sled around my property. With a chew in my mouth and a camelback of Evan Williams. (not really but I may have to try that)
  1. Live like it’s your last day. Take risks. You’ve all read the stories about people on their death bed saying they wish they would’ve done more. One of my greatest fears is looking back when I’m 85 and saying, “I wish I would’ve”. Well…do it. You gotta take chances and live like you were dying or you’ll never truly appreciate life. Running around foreign countries dodging bad guys and bullets was always quite a rush to me. Having bullets WHIZ and SNAP past your head is quite exhilarating. So is a good ole mountain climb. Afraid of heights? GREAT!! Go stand next to the edge of a cliff. Drive fast, jump off a cliff, launch a bottle rocket from your hand, ride a bull, ask that hot dude or young philly for a dance, blow something up, cry in public. Do something that forces you to be bold and courageous. Keeping in mind state and local legalities. Don’t be so conservative. Let loose in life. You only get one chance on this rock. LIVE!!!
  1. Take good multivitamins. You’re gonna need something to help you heel of all the injuries you’ll acquire from number 4. So, find a good multivitamin and take them daily. Most people are Vitamin D deficient. Get your fair share. I’ve taken vitamins since the Flintstones were popular. I don’t take those anymore, probably because of the red dye but they were delicious, but I still take some of the best vitamins you can get. I can totally tell a difference when I take them vs when I don’t. My wife sells them so I’ve got a good hookup.2052_US_AE_DailyPowerPacksMen
  1. Eat well. That doesn’t mean eat a lot. That simply means be mindful of what you put in your mouth; food wise. We all know, or maybe not, that food nowadays is not what it was 30+ years ago. With all the additives, preservatives, genetically modified blah b blahs, you need to pay attention. Honestly? Organic is the best way to go. I’m pretty sure that’s a fact but since I’ve never been to college and don’t have a degree it’s probably not. Regardless, you need to eat well. The old food pyramid is junk. Just remember to have a balance load of fat, protein and complex carbs in each meal. Popcorn, wine and strawberry shortcake do not count. Meat and potatoes is fine as long as it’s from a good source; meaning grass fed hormone free cow, deer, bear, neighbors’ dog or some other source of lean beef. Eat plenty of green leafy plants like spinach. Keep your fruits in moderation.paleo-primal-food-pyramid-mark-sisson-marksdailyapple
  1. Numerous unnecessary shots. That has also seemed to work well for me. Soldiers nowadays have more than likely been injected with Small Pox, Anthrax, Flu, Chicken Pox or some other vaccine. Back in the 90’s they’d hit you with the GG or Gammaglobulin shot before heading overseas. Basically cold peanut butter in your butt cheek. I’m also pretty sure all those have played a part in my mortality.anthrax vaccination
  1. World travel is also a must. Experiencing all the world has to offer on the many continents our planet houses is another way to boost your youth. It rejuvenates and refreshes you. Unless you’re getting shot at but even then, refer to number 4. I miss the days of traveling to another country by myself with only a backpack of goodies on my back and traveling around some third world paradise. It’s the knowledge you gain from watching other cultures do life.1484526_10153119891259738_2340388076737325614_n
  1. Don’t act like a grown up. Play and be like a kid foorrrreeevvvvvverrrrrr. I know it drives my wife nuts at times and I love her to death for being so tolerant. I can’t remember how many times in the past 10 years I’ve had to visit the emergency room for jumping my 4 wheeler, trying some sort of new CrossFit trick or simply trying to out bench press the other guys. Regardless, you gotta have fun. Being serious is not very fun. Just the other day I was building a small chicken coop butt naked up in my shop. I’d walk down the hill a bit to talk to my wife or check on my food plot then back into the shop. Just like a 5 year old, I was naked as a Jay Bird and I loved it. My wife will often make some comment about taking care of 4 boys in our home. We have 3 sons.c6b6d249d6a6c6d1c6eb5716b29a1c7a15675690_10154831437264738_7983626786487474822_o
  1. Good genes. Now that’s kind of a funny one cause the knee gene in my family sucks. Besides that, we Hood’s age pretty well. At least by looks we age well. My grandpa was killed by a bull when working cattle so we didn’t get to see how long he’d live had he had a full ride. I’m thankful for the strong genes I have. In the end, after writing all of this, the one true force I can be thankful to for keeping me alive through all my shenanigans is God. Our Father in Heaven has been having a real hoot watching me do life. I know I let him down at times but I also know he’s forgiven me for my crazy ways and mistakes. We’ll see how long the old man will let me keep up my song and dance.
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    Gotcha!!!