Life In Balance – for Good
Achieving balance in life is a concept we may associate with the ups and downs, stress and bliss, highs and lows of daily living, as well as the integration of mind, body and spirit. We usually aim for an overall state, based on what happens over the course of days, weeks or months. Canyon Ranch homeowner Tim Collins has experienced the extremes of lifestyle, loading up on the risky, indulgent end in the first part of his life, then turning a healthy corner at Canyon Ranch.
Tim spent years in the music industry and managed the rock band Aerosmith in the 1980s and halfway through the ‘90s. While it was an exciting time, the excesses took their toll.
“That lifestyle – that whole world – was so indulgent,” Tim says. “There was always someone handing you drinks and drugs. It was all so lavish and decadent. I weighed three hundred pounds. My life was out of control.”
In August 1985, a concerned friend called Tim and urged him to go to Canyon Ranch. Right away.
“I said no at first, that I wasn’t going to ‘rehab,’” Tim recalls. “My friend explained that Canyon Ranch wasn’t rehab, that it was a healing place. I went there the next day.”
Planting a seed
Tim found himself in an environment unlike what he’d been accustomed to. Canyon Ranch offered a fresh taste of serenity, good sense, healthy choices and moderation. Maybe a little too much at first.
“I thought the food was terrible!” he says. In those days, Canyon Ranch meals were strictly limited, and 1,000 calories a day did not please Tim at all. “I would have left then, but
I had already paid for my stay.
“I was anxious over the lack of alcohol at meals, too. I told my waiter, ‘Okay, then bring me wine.’ He told me again, no alcohol. I said, ‘Alright then, bring me a beer.’ He said, No alcohol! I just didn’t get it.
“Luckily, I met another guest who told me I should start hiking, because ‘you get more food that way.’ I wound up staying three weeks and lost a bunch of weight!”
Tim came back to Canyon Ranch many times over the years, joined a spiritual 12-step program and famously helped the members of his band achieve sobriety and a great musical comeback.
“Every time I came to the Ranch, I would work on one thing,” Tim says. “One time it was about eating sugar, another about diet soda. Once I was dealing with depression and a therapist gave me good advice about allowing myself to feel that.”
In 2007, Tim decided to make Canyon Ranch in Tucson his permanent home. He was excited about creating a new community of friends in this healthy environment. “Living here is like learning a new language by immersion. I eat healthier here, and I’m almost never sick. Life is simpler, which is good.”
Tim credits Mike Siemens, Director of Exercise Physiology, with teaching him about moderation and consistency in fitness. “He changed my life with that.”
Tim did not move to Canyon Ranch alone, and his constant companion is well-known and highly popular among guests. “I had a severe a form of sleep apnea and at night I would tear off the mask I needed to use. A Canyon Ranch doctor informed me how dangerous my condition could be. I couldn’t take sleeping pills, so we got the idea of a service dog.”
Finnie Finsta is a black English Labrador Retriever who was too friendly toward strangers to be useful as a guide dog. On the other hand, he’s perfect as a companion – accompanying Tim on travels to other cities and to Canyon Ranch in Lenox and Miami Beach – and he’s always there to guard Tim as he sleeps. Many fellow Ranchers and staff members look forward to their furry hello time with Finnie and his person.
Balanced & happy
Tim has balanced his earlier years with a deep appreciation for all he has now. He gladly encourages other people with their sobriety when asked, and shares his positive spirit with all.
“My first visit to Canyon Ranch planted a seed in me,” he says. “That’s what brought me to this healthy place today.”