Good morning! It’s taken me a long time to sit down and gather the strength to write this, but here it goes. I’ve been very blessed to work with some of the best scientists, researchers, physicians, and most importantly, patients, in the world.
Every day of the last 18+ years has been a gift. At some point, there comes a time to sit back and take inventory. Where am I now in my life? Am I positioned to where I want to be for, G-d willing, the next 40 years?
Thanks to staying active and eating well (thanks to my wife, Krissy) – I feel great.
Let’s fire up some more avocado toast, hummus, and celery, and please, somebody give me a 5-foot brick wall to run through – I’m ready! Those good fats and fiber from all that fresh avocado are DRIVING ME! For those of you who are curious about my avocado obsession, fresh avocados are basically the only fruit with good fats AND they give you a good source of fiber (check it out). Both of these nutrients are important to me because they support the heart. Fresh avocados are unique when it comes to the fruit family and if you’ve learned anything about me, I appreciate uniqueness. (Editor’s note: David, please take it down a notch, this is a newsletter, not a High School Musical pep – for Pete’s sake – get a hold of yourself).
Anyway, this emotionally intense introspection had me isolated for 2 weeks in a dusty, remote 1950’s motel 56 miles southeast of Albequerque (where 41 and 55 intersect). I spent most of my time in a sand-colored plastic chair on the backside of the motel gazing out at Bosque Peak, a massive tree-covered mesa rising 4,000 feet above the valley. I thought about having turned 50, the self-fueling pandemic, the arc of my cardiology career, and of course WWAD. I called on respected family members, friends, patients, and (mostly retired) colleagues to get as close to a 360-degree view as possible as I took in one avocado smoothie after another (thank you blender for being an accomplice for this heavenly treat).
Anyways, it made me realize, on a much deeper level, how fortunate I truly am.I was packed/prepped to be gone for four weeks, but on the 12th night, after 2 days of meditation, running, and living on my favorite fruit in the drenching New Mexico sun, it happened.
January 8th, after gazing for hours at the countless stars in a clear desert sky, I must’ve dozed only to awake to an impossibly loud thunderclap. This literally knocked me out of this plastic onto the concrete. I just whacked my left elbow but was grateful to not hit my head.
Making my way inside to my room/sink, I pulled off the paper lid to the 8oz glass and filled it halfway not wanting to know what was making it cloudy. Maybe it was the explosion, maybe it was the unknown solute filling my glass, but after that first sip, my future direction could not have been more crystal clear.
I am/was intended to be a fashion clothes designer for rabbits.
I do believe everything I’ve done up to this point has prepared me for this next challenge.
I say that as the similarities in the two fields are eerily similar. My previous field of cardiology, many say was pioneered by English physician William Harvey (1628) with the publication of his observations on the physiology and anatomy of the heart.
Well, maybe this is a bad first comparison. There are others, though. For example, it takes 11 years after college and hundreds of thousands in med school loans to be finally ready to practice cardiology.
Designing rabbit clothes – the same.
I have no pretensions that I will climb to the top of this field, I know it’s crowded. I’m just going to work hard every day doing the best I can. Like medicine, it is a labor of love. For those of you willing to stick with me, oh shoot I still need to tell my wife about the career change…
I’m not going to get on here and grandstand that I’m the next (insert famous rabbit celebrity here), but I do know this: rabbits take time, they need love, and they need to feel they are being listened to and appreciated. I’ve spent these last 3 days in NM researching and developing some hard and fast rules.
1. I insist on using the word ‘rabbit’ (as opposed to ‘bunny’). To me, ‘rabbit’ describes the more intense, serious nature of the profession. Bunny, too whimsical – doesn’t give our craft its due
2. Dressing a guinea pig is 100% NOT the same as styling for a rabbit. I do understand how this can be difficult for those outside the field, but you must be with me here. There’s too much history to unpack in this newsletter, but I wouldn’t be caught dead dressing a guinea pig. NO GUINEA PIGS EVER! I’m serious.
3. You really have to know the rabbit that you are designing for. Often this will demand weeks of uninterrupted time, getting a feel for their personality so you can display that with the proper outfit. All patients are different; all rabbits are different.
4. Neither I nor any of our team, will dine at restaurants with you-know-what on the menu. (I have to be careful here because I think my Sherlock Holmes rabbit can read).
5. Finally, never circle a rabbit as it “could be interpreted as courting behavior” and many of us here know what rabbits like to do on dates.
I spent a lot of time at a fabric store in Albuquerque (thank you Diana and Cindy). I believe with all my heart that when you have a goal you need to put yourself out there. I have a long way to go, but here are my first attempts.
Ever since we met ‘I should’ve been a fireman, you know that, right?” The excitement, the bonding, the trucks… so, as I entered my next phase I wanted this to be my first go. This is Rampart, and the cutest rabbit I’ve ever laid eyes on. I chose him because I feel of all my models, we have the most in common.
You know my wife, daughter, and I are huge fans of avocados. With the impending 5,400% drop in my salary, I wanted to engender some excitement from Krissy for this next phase. Just look at Ariel – how could she not absolutely love this rabbit. As I look at Ariel, it reminds me of all the nutritional foods and nutritional research that have empowered me to make this switch. Did you know there are scientists out there studying avocados every day to grow our understanding of all the reasons why avocados are healthy and good for us (learn more here)?
This is my smartest rabbit – Alex. I didn’t even have to help him with his tie. He’s not only the brightest of the crew, but also the most pensive/studious. Can’t you see it in his face. Casting Sherlock was a no-brainer and I’m grateful Alex stepped up. I wanted him to use the pipe, but he was concerned with the message that would convey. You know? He’s right.
You’re not supposed to have favorites in this field, but Buford T. Justice is mine. In rabbit fashion design the nights can be long and for my own mental health, I needed to fold in some fun. Named after my favorite movie character, portrayed by Jackie Gleason. BJ just nailed this look (although I wish he wouldn’t have stuck out his tongue).
Beatrice was having a bad day and fought me all along on this one. Despite her love for the seas, she’s always been sensitive to being photographed. We told her repeatedly that it was in her contract. I’m sorry she appears so resistant, but I thought the navy complemented her beautiful color.
Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.-David
Heart Health Physician Panel
Walk with a Doc physicians gather in honor of heart health to share tips and strategies for heart-healthy living. As we’ve seen an increase in heart-related issues with the surge of COVID, finding attainable ways to support a heart-healthy lifestyle is important to us and our followers. We’ve rounded up a great panel of physicians who will also share how they personally prioritize health.
Celebrating Black Champions of Movement
To celebrate Black History Month, we’re highlighting 5 Champions of Movement who have inspired their communities through the power of walking together! Click here for the full blog post.