In 2005, Michael, a former competetive runner, decided to make a big return to the sport by competing in the Master's World Track and Field Championships in San Sebastian, Spain. After several months of frustration he thought about throwing in the towel.
The effects were nearly overnight. "We could do this for a week!" proclaimed a rejuvenated Michael. A week became two. Two weeks became a month, and before you know it, it was a complete lifestyle change. Books were read, lectures attended, and everything pointed to this being a new lifestyle.
As the weeks progressed, I developed new cooking skills and Michael raced, and in each race his times improved - significantly. Knowing that we were heading to Spain, and not knowing what the food availability would be, I decided we would have new blood work done before traveling.
The results were astounding. The improvements we had experienced were now measurable by lab tests as well as running times. This was for real.
A whole lot of "where do I get my (fill in the blank nutritent?)" ensued and I was put to task to read studies and investigate the answers. (I have a background as a research assistant at a medical school.) "Don't worry," were the findings. "You are getting everything you need and more."
part two - The Hungry Ghost
A friend of Michael's suggested we head to Mohonk Preserve to do some long training runs. True to form, we hopped into the car for an adventure in the mountains of New Paltz, NY; (we love adventures.) Two weeks later we returned to the mountains and I was smitten.
That afternoon, Michael was able to get an audience with his old running coach from the City who is a bit of a hermit. Now George is a bit of a character and has a penscient for naming his old runners when they have stuck around for decades. After listening to Michael's plan, George dubbed Mike the 'Hungry Ghost'; he was back from the past and hungry to win again.
Twelve days later, we bought the house.
What we found out later, is that, in Bhuddism, the Hungry Ghost represents greed, want, desire, and an all-around insatiability.... A fire in the belly..... Our belly fire is Passion.
Should we keep the name? Guests overwhelming said yes! One guest even went so far as to say that:
(15:54 5K; 32:30 10k 43yrs.)
"The guests are the Hungry Ghosts. We can't get enough, and we keep coming back."
Michael's responsed, "What we would do for work?" ... I attempted jokingly, "I don't know. Open a bed and breakfast for people who want to go on healthy active vacations?"
Petra, Michael, and the story of Hungry Ghost
part three - Hungry Ghost Guest House
Michael chose the name. I was resistant. In the end, it was perfect.
On the way home that magical day, I picked up some local flyers for restaurants and homes. I rapid-fired: "Do you realize that they have vegan food in every restaurant? Even the bars?" ..."There are hundreds of miles of trails?" ... "We should just sell everything and move here! Everything that we are passionate about is here!"
Meanwhile, I was struggling with non-descript health issues that seemed to go nowhere with the classic medical establishment. I decided to try a cleanse by eating just fruits and vegetables for three days; Michael jumped on board with the idea to see if it could help him with his running perfomance - the former diet being a Franco-American diet (real food, but lots of meat, cheese, butter, eggs) with me doing the bulk of the cooking.