yvon chouinard and the germ

And then the lesson: “You know, I absolutely forbade my children from washing their hands before they ate. Weakens their immune system. You have to learn how to handle germs. I drink from every stream I fish for the same reason.”

I asked him if he’d ever had giardia.

“Oh, God,” he cackled. “So bad the farts would clear out a bus. But that’s not the point. The point is, I’m trying to adapt myself to the environment. Not the other way around.”

Everybody here has the flu.

Maybe it’s not the flu…maybe it’s a cold with flu-like symptoms, I don’t really know.

But all of us have been under the weather for about a week or so.

They tell us on the television that it’s going to be a bad flu season…you better get your flu shot, get ready for being sick.

I can’t help but think of Yvon Chouinard and his philosophy on germs.

yvon chouinardI don’t have any sports stars who are heroes , I don’t really have many musicians who are heroes, maybe a couple of artists who are heroes…I don’t really know.

Yvon Chouinard is a hero.

If you don’t know anything about Yvon Chouinard, you might want to google his name.

He was the founder of Chouinard Equipment…and later the Patagonia clothing company.

Here’s an article from Outside Magazine that is pretty good…gives a good feel for what he’s all about: http://www.outsideonline.com/outdoor-adventure/climbing/rock-climbing/King-of-the-Dirtbags.html?page=5

Anyway…back to the germs.

He doesn’t wash his hands.

I guess that eating over at his house if he’s serving a salad might be too much of an adventure for some folks.

His philosophy is that we need to build up our natural resistance…don’t over medicate or “anti-bacterialize”  or any of the things we do in our modern society.

Just get plenty of exposure to the natural world and the germs it contains…and let your body get used to and take care of it all.

I can hear some of the gasps from people I know if I was going to share this philosophy with them…or if I was going to prepare a salad for them while I was sharing this philosophy.

“Adapt myself to the environment…not the other way around”.

How often have you heard people express that sentiment?  Don’t we have dominion?  Aren’t we given, as our birthright or something, the right and ability to change the natural world to suit our needs?

What’s a bulldozer for, anyway?

(full disclosure…we had some grading work done at our place and we love it…changed our place for the better, for sure.  So I guess I am sort of a hypocrite…)

We’re working our way through whatever it is that we have right now.  No Z-Pak (what is that?)…no antibiotics…no Dr. visit.  It didn’t get that bad.

Maybe we just need to stop washing our hands…drink from some streams?

Check out Yvon Chouinard.  He’s worthy of some investigation.

Stay healthy.


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