In Touch with Hank Bjorklund

Former Princeton Tigers record-breaking running back and 1970s New York Jets player Hank Bjorklund discovered Canyon Ranch in Lenox by chance, soon after it opened. He and his wife, Victoria, “stumbled on” the Ranch when looking for a place to stay after a hiking trip in 1989.

“It was a revelation to me,” says Hank. “I’m a gym rat. We have a gym in the house and a gym membership. We work out, do resistance training, stairs or cycling six days a week. Canyon Ranch is just a workout paradise that offers so many other things. It’s become a tradition for us to go during Presidents’ week, to celebrate our anniversary and my wife’s birthday. I always find it restful – and the food is spectacular.”

Checking in on health

Hank and Victoria, who are both retired lawyers, recently completed their 22nd visit to the Lenox property. “It’s a wonderful place,” says Hank. “And several things are not well known – like the fact that Canyon Ranch offers state-of-the-art medical treatment. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Dr. Cindy Geyer saved my life. She discovered I have hemochromatosis, a genetic blood disorder that can lead to liver cancer, heart disease or diabetes. It becomes a real issue in the mid-40s. We were there for an annual physical and I told her I’d been feeling tired. She discovered it right at the time when it could be treated before any organs were damaged. Without her having taken the initiative, I would be in very serious difficulties.

“I go back for a physical and consult every year. We talk about my health history for an hour – where else are you going to get that? My wife and I are very proactive about our health. We want to live as long as we can, and we’re doing it for each other.”

A visit to a Ranch physical therapist 10 years ago resolved an issue with severe back pain, he says. “It was my sciatic nerve. Jerry Link diagnosed and treated me, and gave me a series of exercises to do. I haven’t had back pain since.”

Fitness, hiking & more

Despite his background as a professional athlete and certified personal trainer, Hank regularly touches base with exercise physiologist Richard Butler for workout ideas. “This year, he suggested I reduce my number of sets and reps, but increase weight. Building muscles is important as you age; also, for a man, that kind of lifting promotes testosterone. I know about health and fitness, but I can pick up a huge amount of information. I think it speaks to the expertise at Canyon Ranch.”

He and Victoria love hiking, and have hiked all over the world, including Norway, Iceland, Scotland and Spain. “We once hiked Mount Greylock three days in a row when we trained in Lenox for a difficult hike in the Swiss Alps. I can’t say enough about the outdoor program. And we love snowshoeing every time we visit.”

Over the years, he’s enjoyed kickboxing, movement and dance classes, cooking demos, and much more. Biofeedback and meditation have proven useful skills to combat occasional stress.

“If your life is lacking in some way, or you have to make a change, it’s a wonderful place to effect that change. If you’re looking for relaxation and a chance to slow down and gain some perspective, Canyon Ranch offers things you wouldn’t even imagine.”