By Socrates Rosenfeld
As a child of the 80s, I grew up thinking that to achieve health and wellness all one had to do was drink whole milk and do some jazzercise. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jane Fonda were the gold standard.
My relationship with personal health and wellness has evolved over the decades. In high school, I joined the wrestling team. That’s when I began dieting and eating for performance. The emphasis was on physical ability – getting my body to perform the task at hand.
I entered the military at age 22, directly after West Point, and served as an Apache helicopter pilot. As part of the daily routine, an integral focus was on a soldier’s physical fitness. What we ate and when we worked out was regimented – and for good reason. Our bodies would be stretched and stressed to their limits, so that routine helped to keep some semblance of balance and consistency. We ate, worked out, and rested according to the next task at hand. Drinking an energy drink with breakfast was pretty common. It was not good for my body, but it served a purpose.
I completed my service at 29 years old, and when I returned home, I relied on the habits I had formed in the military. I would eat and workout to accomplish the next thing on the agenda. To have my clothes fit well or to stay awake studying for the GMAT. The focus was always external. How my body felt physically and how I felt emotionally was completely overlooked – and perhaps avoided on purpose.
It wasn’t until a few years out of the Army that I realized the way I was operating wasn’t sustainable. Returning to civilian life afforded me the joy of being with family and friends, but there was always an undercurrent of stress present throughout my day. That stress was affecting my physical health, relationships, and emotional wellbeing.
I worked out harder and ran further to improve my health and fitness, but nothing seemed to reach to the core of the matter. It was like the harder I worked out, the less progress I made on improving my overall sense of wellbeing. Then, my wife encouraged me to try cannabis as a way to relax, and it changed everything.
With cannabis, I started to realize the connection between my physical, mental, and emotional health. Though I was working out less intensely, I was making and feeling more progress. I was able to better navigate through everyday life situations, manage my stress, and reconnect with the present moment.
Research has proven the healing properties of cannabis for post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression. Moreover, society is realizing that a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health are not mutually exclusive – they are one and the same. Cannabis allowed me to reconnect with how I felt physically and emotionally. To decompartmentalize. It elevated my understanding of wellness from an aesthetic or results-driven concept to an internal one – something that was just for me.
Today, cannabis is incorporated into my daily wellness routine which consists of things like yoga and hiking. It provides me with an awareness far beyond what other drugs or supplements can deliver. In the past, I may have downed an energy drink before doing physical exercise. Now I consume cannabis flower or edibles before activities like surfing to quiet the noise and get me out of my head and into my body. I’ve also begun to use tinctures and topicals for rest and relief – an extremely important, yet often skipped aspect of a wellness routine.
As I start my fourth decade of life, my personal definition of wellness encompasses my physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. In these uncertain times when stress is high, cannabis helps me stay with my feelings and process them with clarity and perspective. Being able to reconnect with myself allowed me to experience my body in a new way, and with that deeper connection to self, I can experience the world present and whole. It is a more true and complete wellness in my perspective.
About Socrates Rosenfeld
Socrates Rosenfeld is the Co-Founder and CEO of Jane Technologies. After leaving active duty in 2011 as a U.S. Army veteran and Apache helicopter commander, Socrates turned to cannabis to re-acclimate to civilian life. Frustrated with the lack of information on products, coupled with minimal access to cannabis for his fellow vets, led Socrates to co-found Jane Technologies with his brother Abraham.