Lexington Life Magazine - January 22'

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Life Renewed.

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Do your New Year’s Resolutions include preplanning your final wishes? Have you talked with your family about your final wishes? Without your input, your family will be left to decide whether you are buried or cremated, where you are laid to rest, and how you will be celebrated and remembered. Preplanning your funeral and cemetery arrangements ensures your final wishes are fulfilled and allows you to plan a celebration that is as unique as you are.

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Features 16 Nurses Honor Guard 22 Online Habits That Put Your Identity at Risk 27 Create an Exercise Program You Can Live With 32 Training to Protect at Lake Murray 38 Living for Friday

Happy New Year! Welcome 2022 to the present, as the year 2022 is no longer the future, it is now. Recently, we moved our Lexington & Irmo Chapin sales office to a new location. We had been at the past location for six years and it was time for a change. During the moving process, I was amazed at the amount of stuff that had stockpiled through the years. Basically, it was just stuff taking up space. Thankfully the trash dumpster was located right by the front door, since I got rid of over half the stuff we had accumulated. I’m not going to sugarcoat it, moving was a big pain in the rear end. The move was close to six months in the making and now we are settled in our new downtown Lexington location at Victoria Square, by McDonald’s. The change in office space has been extremely refreshing for the entire team. Actually, the difference has been so profound that I decided for the year 2022, “less is more.” I’m going to try and implement that mantra in both my personal and business life. Less food, less stuff, less clutter, less noise, less stress, less bitterness, are just some of the things I plan on focusing on. What plans do you have for 2022? Hopefully your plans will materialize and 2022 will be the best year ever! I encourage you to take some risks in 2022. Italian author Rafeal Sabatini said it well, “Regret of neglected opportunity is the worst hell that a living soul can inhabit.” And actor John Barrymore said, “A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams.” So, here’s a toast to us, having a wonderful 2022 with no regrets and our dreams coming true. Happy New Year and thanks for reading! Todd Shevchik

Columns 11 Faith Matters 47 David Clark

Departments 9 10 13 44

From the Publisher Calendar of Events Lexington Leader Spice of Life



PUBLISHER & EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Todd Shevchik toddshevchik@gmail.com

DIRECTOR OF SALES Donna Shevchik shev26@aol.com 803-518-8853

EDITOR Kristi Antley lexlifeeditor@gmail.com

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE Tracy Tuten tracy.tuten@outlook.com 803-603-8187



CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mary Ann Hutcheson, Renee Love, Jackie Perrone, Marcy Roberts, Kim Becknell Williams STAFF PHOTO BY Clark Berry Photography

CONTACT US: 114 HAYGOOD AVE., LEXINGTON, SC 29072 • 803.356.6500 • info@lexingtonlifemagazine.com


January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 9

JANUARY Saturday, January 15th and Sunday, January 16th Gun and Knife Show Jamil Shrine Temple, 206 Jamil Rd., Columbia, Saturday 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m., Sunday 10:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Come out to look, learn, and experience your favorite guns and knives first hand at this annual festival. Adult admission- $10, Military admission- $8, children 12 and under are free with an adult. For more information visit scgunshows.com. Saturday, January 15th Beethoven & Blue Jeans Koger Center for the Arts, 1051 Greene St., Columbia, 7:30 p.m. This is a concert you won’t want to miss! The audience and musicians are encouraged to wear their favorite pair of blue jeans for a comfortable experience with world-class music. The concert opens with a contemporary piece by Carlos Simon. Guest artist Rachel Lee Priday is the featured soloist for

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Barber’s Violin Concerto followed by Beethoven’s 7th Symphony. Virtual and individual tickets available at scphilharmonic.com. Sunday, January 23rd World of Musicals THE HIT BROADWAY REVUE RETURNS Harbison Theatre at Midlands Technical College, 7300 College Street, Irmo, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. The World of Musicals brings the very best of musical theatre to life and will return to the HT@MTC stage after wowing the audience in 2018. This musical revue is a stunning journey through the great world of your favorite musicals – with beautiful and emotional ballads from Evita to Les Misérables, along with great upbeat favorites from Rock of Ages to Mamma Mia – the World of Musicals is a performance for the entire family. Get ready to sing along to all your favorite and beloved musicals! Tickets: $40, Student/Senior/Military: $35; for details visit harbisontheatre.org.


Have a Happy and Safe New Year!

Pastor Jim Glatz Saxe Gotha Presbyterian Church 5503 Sunset Blvd., Lexington (803)359-7770 | Saxegotha.org


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The light shines in the darkness but the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5) Many are looking forward to closing the door on 2021 because it has been a dark year for many. Even though darkness is a reality, and the pain and hardship that accompany it are real – the Light still shines! The Light blesses those enduring the darkest valleys with hope. Yes, there is discouragement. Yes, there are tears. Yes, there is the question why are these things happening to me? But, nevertheless, the Light brings hope because the Light has defeated evil and death. The darkness has not overcome the Light. Some bring an unrealistic view to the Christian faith – “If I have enough faith, then God will spare me the pain and suffering of this life.” The truth is life – even the Christian life – is not always filled with tinsel, presents and candy. Rather, life can be hard. The good news is that we worship and serve a God who became flesh and experienced firsthand what it means to be human and dwell in the darkness of evil. Darkness did not overcome the Light, but rather Jesus, the Light, overcame the darkness through his life, death and resurrection! Yes, we suffer in life, but we suffer with tremendous hope that sin, evil and death will not have the last word – God will! As followers of the Light, we possess the assurance that the Risen Christ walks with us in life and in death! We possess the assurance that nothing in all of creation can separate us from his love. We possess the assurance that death does not end in nothingness but with life – life in the light of God’s presence! n Sunday Worship Services: Traditional 8:30 a.m. Contemporary 10:45 a.m. | Traditional 11:00 a.m.

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2022 is Here! Have a Safe and Happy New Year!

John Barrier 173 Corley Mill Road, Suite B Lexington, SC 803-399-7588 john.barrier@allstate.com

Adults can develop allergies too! Call today for a consultation if you are experiencing allergy symptoms.

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by Jackie Perrone

Jamie MacDougall “Honored” and “Blessed” are words that Jamie MacDougall uses a lot. A few others that could be added are “dedicated” and “loyal” and “humble,” as she lives her mission of helping others, leading colleagues, and battling the pandemic which has disrupted so many lives. She says her family moved around a lot during her childhood, (Georgia, New Jersey, Oklahoma), eventually landing in Irmo; Jamie was in one of the first classes to graduate from Dutch Fork High School. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, and attended the University of South Carolina, Midlands Tech, and The Medical University of South Carolina. When Jamie married Steve MacDougall 21 years ago, neither had any thought of taking on a political career. Yet here he is serving as Mayor of Lexington, while Jamie supports his community service. She says she is his sounding board, while also sometimes offering different perspectives for him to consider. She tries to shed the difficulties of reading things she knows to be untrue about her husband in public life. “My strength is to help keep Steve on track, and not be distracted by the naysayers.” “Steve and I met when we worked together in the bar/restaurant industry,” she relates. “After we married, I completed my nursing education and started work at Richland Memorial Emergency Department. Three years later I took a position at Lexington Medical Center ER. For the past 16 years, I have worked weekends so that I could be at home with our daughters Kamryn and Addison during the week.” At LMC, Jamie is a Clinical Coordinator, which is similar to assistant manager or department charge nurse. “I love my job!” she says. “I am able to be a leader within my department, a caregiver to my community, liaison to EMS and law enforcement. I am so honored to be present on what is often the worst day of a person’s life, and hopefully am able to provide the smallest bit of comfort and compassion.” Kamryn is a senior at River Bluff High School and Addi is in 7th grade at Lexington Middle School. Their mom has been actively involved in fundraising for the schools. Being “flocked” means waking up one morning to discover your front yard hosting 30 plastic flamingos! Thousands of dollars were raised with this stunt. Here is how Jamie MacDougall sums up her position: “While I grew up across the dam, Lexington has truly been home. I am proud to be a part of the hometown feel community. I am honored to work at the best hospital in South Carolina. I am blessed to be able to raise my family and help make a positive impact on our community. “I’m a healthcare working mother who’s been battling the front line of the pandemic for almost two years, a mother trying to raise good humans, and a wife that tries to complement her husband’s role in the community.” n lexingtonlife.com

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Working as a Nurse Is More Than a Job; It Is an

HONOR by Mary Ann Hutcheson

Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina

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he level of dedication from our nurses, especially during the pandemic, has gone above and beyond all expectations. Nursing is a vocation, not just a job. Those who perform the tasks of a nurse did not sign up just for the paycheck. Midlands Nurse Kerry Glasser says she was never without her play doctor’s bag and stethoscope as a child – and her strong desire to serve as a nurse has never wavered. Today, she works full time as a nurse while also volunteering for a worthy cause. Several years ago, Glasser learned of the South Carolina chapter of a national program, called the Nurses Honor Guard. The South Carolina program was established in 2019 in the Greenville area of the Upstate by Registered Nurse Stormy Shealy. The program is a recognition ceremony performed by nurses who wish to honor their fellow nurses by paying tribute to them at the time of their death. An Irmo native and full-time registered nurse (RNC), Glasser traveled to the Upstate to attend Honor Guard tributes and was deeply moved by the impact the ceremony had on loved ones’ families as well as on participating volunteer nurses. The 501© nonprofit program eventually extended to the Midlands, Grand Strand/Pee Dee, and Low Country areas of the state. Glasser, now the Lead Guard Member for our Midlands area, has been working hard locally to build participation and recognition for this volunteer organization. Glasser’s tireless efforts to get the word out to prospective Midlands volunteers included writing letters to local churches and media services. Dressed in full uniform, she visited over 50 funeral homes in the Midlands to acquaint them with the Nurses Honor Guard. One of our local radio stations mentioned the organization during a recent broadcast. She notes that, whenever the Honor Guard has provided a service in this area, the contact is often through word of mouth and/or colleagues. Her tireless dedication to building our local chapter is exceptional. “Many locals don’t know we’re here.


Sometimes, one of our colleagues has heard about us or attended a funeral we were at,” she says. The local group is looking to spread the word. The organization welcomes active or retired male and female nurses, licensed in good standing, in the State of South Carolina, and volunteers are needed for the Midlands chapter. Occasionally, when there is a shortage of volunteers from this area, volunteers from the Upstate and/or the Low Country have been asked to fill in and help perform a service here.

Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service. This service, steeped in tradition, is similar to a military tribute and officially releases the nurse from her nursing duties. The Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina attends all services wearing the traditional white uniform, cap, and cape. The volunteer nurses stand guard at the casket, or urn if requested, and provide a presence at the services. They place a white rose on the casket or urn to signify the nurse’s devotion to her profession and to show appreciation for their nursing colleague. They then

“We give them the lamp to let them know that their loved one made a difference, and that we recognize the sacrifices they, as the supportive family, made as well.” Student nurses can also join but cannot participate until they graduate. After they perform their first service, nurse volunteers earn a nursing honor guard pin at a ceremony as a small but important reminder that they are valued and respected. Kerry Glasser says that a firsttime volunteer only has to attend one ceremony to become drawn to return. What Is the Nurses Honor Guard? The ceremonial tribute is offered free of charge for any South Carolina resident who has been an RN, LPN, NP, CRNA, or CNM who holds a nursing license, active or retired, from the state of South Carolina. The ceremony pays tribute to nurses at the time of their death by performing the

recite the Nightingale Tribute at the funeral or memorial service, followed by the presentation of the Florence Nightingale lamp to the family. “We want the family to have those good memories,” Glasser says. “We give them the lamp to let them know that their loved one made a difference, and that we recognize the sacrifices they, as the supportive family, made as well.” Glasser shares the significance of the Nightingale Lamp: The Florence Nightingale Lamp used in the service represents Florence Nightingale, who was known as the “Lady with the Lamp. She earned this title because she would visit soldiers at night with a small lantern in her hand to tend to their injuJanuary 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 17

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ries during the Crimean War in the 1850s. Many wounded soldiers were saved due to her pioneering nursing works and laid the foundation for professional nursing today. The lantern is a symbol of comfort and courage and of lighting the way to modern, professional nursing. This lamp will be given to the family as a memento, similar to how every veteran receives a U.S. flag. The final – and most poignant part of the ceremony – is what is called the Last Call to Duty. A Nightingale Lamp is lit in the nurse’s honor and her name and is called out with a request to report to duty. The name is called out three times, and a bell is rung after each call. After the last call, the lamp’s flame is extinguished, symbolizing that the nurse’s tasks are complete, her duty is done, and she can now go home in peace. Glasser shares that the ceremony creates profound emotions in the room for everyone present, including the nurses. The family members are not alone in their loss; the nurses are there in fellowship. In her presentation about the Guard, Glasser writes: You may see us shed a few tears as we bid farewell to one of our own, but for us it is an honor and a privilege for the Nurses Honor Guard to be able to give tribute to a nurse who gave her whole life to caring for others. We not only want to show our respect and appreciation to our fellow nurses, but we also want to honor the families that gave in their own ways. We want them to know the impact their loved one made. Join the Nurses Honor Guard of South Carolina If applying to join, please fill out the form at the bottom of the Honor Guard webpage. (https://www.nurseshonorguard. com/) Without these answers, they cannot process your request for membership. The organization offers its services throughout the state of South Carolina and

The Nightingale Pledge I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully. I will abstain from whatever is deleterious and mischievous and will not take or knowingly administer any harmful drug. I will do all in my power to maintain and elevate the standard of my profession and will hold in confidence all personal matters committed to my keeping and all family affairs coming to my knowledge in the practice of my calling. With loyalty will I endeavor to aid the physician, in his work, and devote myself to the welfare of those committed to my care. is a 501© (3) nonprofit organization. It is staffed strictly by volunteer nurses. Volunteering is not just for retired nurses. It can offer a satisfying way to tap into the caring, emphatic, resourceful, and compassionate natures that carry nurses through a demanding and challenging profession. Request a Ceremonial Tribute for a Family Member This ceremonial tribute is offered free of charge for any South Carolina resident who is a registered nurse, nurse practitioner, nurse anesthetist, licensed practical nurse, or anyone active or retired, and who holds a nursing license in good standing with the Board of Nursing from their home state or


the state of South Carolina. Check out our short video: (https://youtu.be/MMibMk863MY) To request our services, please visit our webpage at (www.NursesHonorGuard.com), scroll down the page, and fill out the online form or contact one of the following: Regional Leads: • Kerry Glasser RNC and Toni Crawford LPN, Midlands • Stormy Shealy RN, Lena Warner RN, and Julie Schlecht RN, Upstate • Beth Edwards LPN, Charity Herring RN, Pamela Sims DeRuvo RN. and Pam Stroud RN, Grand Strand/Pee Dee • Lynne Malden RN and Adrianna Fox Deise RN, Low Country/Charleston n January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 19


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The online world is truly a wondrous expanse, offering everything from research journals to the latest in cheap celebrity gossip to making shopping and education streamlined and convenient. If you spend time online, you already know about the amazing benefits and information it has to offer for both personal and business purposes; however, such a wondrous expanse also comes with hidden dangers.

Common Online Habits That Put Your Identity at Risk by Marcy Roberts

The risk of online damage affects all ages – just a few include cyberbullying, invasion of privacy, identify theft and financial scams, phishing emails, and malware downloads as well as accidentally viewing offensive material and messages. This article will shed light on how you can best take advantage of online opportunities without compromising your identity. 1. Sharing Too Much on Social Media Social media is all about sharing, but some things should be off-limits. A simple rule of thumb is that, if a part of your password is included as a personal password recovery question, you should never share that information online, whether with 22 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022

your social media friends or elsewhere on the web. Those off-limits nuggets of information can include things like the name of your high school or college, your address, hometown, the names of your kids and pets, and anything else that has already found its way into a password. If you must share those details, be sure to change your passwords to exclude them. 2. Using the Same Password Everywhere If you are using proper password hygiene, removing personal details that have already been shared on social media will probably take some time. Unfortunately, many people end up using the same

password over and over again, setting up the same credentials for everything from their bank and brokerage accounts to the long-forgotten website where they bought that winter coat. Using the same password in multiple places is one of the most common habits that put online identity at risk. It may be more work, and it will surely take more effort, but setting up a separate password at each online site you use is the right thing to do from a security standpoint. You can make the process of creating and remembering multiple passwords easier with a password manager program, but it is important to check the reviews and understand how the credentials will be lexingtonlife.com

stored and who has access to them. Not all password managers are the same, and it is important to pick one with a solid reputation and a dedication to security and privacy protection. 3. Storing Your Credit Card Information at Online Retailers From Amazon and Etsy to the thousands of smaller sites scattered all over the web, online retailers want to make it easy for customers to buy their products. As a result, many online retailers offer the option of storing credit card numbers and other payment methods, which may be convenient, but it can also be risky – and make it easier to overspend. Even if it means each transaction takes longer, keeping your credit card account secure is well worth the extra effort. 4. Responding to Unsolicited Emails, Phone Calls, and Text Messages Another common habit that can put your identity at risk is responding to unsolicited emails, phone calls, and text messages. Scammers are getting better at crafting messages that look authentic, complete with fancy graphics and convincing fake websites. You can never be too careful, so never respond to emails, phone calls, or text messages that come to you unsolicited. Even if you think the communi-

cation is authentic, contact the sender direct to find out what is going on and what kinds of information are required. It only takes a few extra minutes to look up the actual phone number or support email address for your bank or other financial institution, and it will be worth it for the peace of mind you get. 5. Not Having Robust Virus and Malware Protection in Place The final online habit that can put your financial life and your identity at risk is failing to have the right kind of protection in place. At a minimum, you should have robust antivirus software and malware protection on every device you use, including your smartphone, which is actually a tiny computer masquerading as a telephonic instrument. It may also be worthwhile to pay for additional protection against ransomware attacks, a growing risk for not only businesses but individuals as well. You can never have too much protection, so check what is in place and upgrade those firewalls if necessary. When you go online, you gain access to an entire universe of information and resources that are just a click away. At the same time, you open yourself up to an equally large range of threats –from viruses and malware to identity theft and ransomware attacks – that could hold your files, photographs, and savings hostage. If you want to enjoy the good side of the internet while ramping down your risk, breaking the five unhealthy online habits listed above is a good place to start. n

January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 23

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Create an Exercise That You Can




by Kim Becknell Williams Starting an exercise program is a step in the right direction toward good health and wellness. The New Year is a typical time for people to make health and fitness resolutions, intentions, or goals – but honestly, any time is a good time. So how do you get started? Plans and Trackers Before beginning an exercise program, make sure to get your family physician’s approval. Once you’re cleared to go, write down a plan. Writing it down sets the intention. Use it as a reference to see how you’ve stayed on track. Do a Google search to print out workout plans and calendars to make it easier. Numerous fill-in-the-blank logs and books are also available, or use a notebook as an exercise journal. Write which days of the week you plan to exercise. Three to five is a good average, allowing a couple of days of rest, as muscles need rest to recover. Figure out how much time you can allot to exercise. Start small and build up as you go along. On busy days, consider small amounts of time in spurts. Just 15 minutes of exercise five times a day makes a difference. You can do a little before work perhaps, a walk during lunch, and a light workout at the end of the day. It doesn’t have to be a big block of time all at once. If you’re a morning person, set the alarm a little earlier to ensure you get your workout in. If you work out at night, block off the time to ensure nothing gets in the way. Realize your plan might get altered. That’s okay. Revise if necessary. Just keep moving. Trackers are popular to keep up with workouts, steps, and heart rates. Watches, fitness apps on smartphones, and pedometers are convenient ways to do this. Explore options to see if this suits you or keep with your handwritten plan.

blisters, injuries, and foot strain. Shoes are oftentimes categorized as cross-trainers, running, exercise-specific (Zumba, tennis, trail, etc.). Minimalist shoes, which are close to barefoot, are trending right now. Whatever you decide on, you’ll need to try them on to ensure the right fit. Walk around in them to make sure they are comfortable. Make sure you have good exercise socks, too. Many brands are designed specifically for exercise. Some designate left and right to conform to the shape of the foot. Most come up high on the heel to prevent blistering. Like your exercise shoes, wear clothing that is comfortable and lets you move freely. If you’re thinking of buying exercise clothes, wicking fabric keeps moisture away from the skin and dries quickly. Off-brand stores carry a lot of high-quality, name-brand clothing at discount prices. Make sure you feel good in what you choose to wear. You’ve got the plan, the clothing, and the shoes. Now what? Walking and Biking Walking is ideal for beginners and doesn’t require any equipment. You can walk around the neighborhood, in a mall, or at a park. Having a treadmill or access to one makes it possible for an indoor walk. Treadmills have adjustments for speed and in-

Footwear and Clothing You don’t need to make a big financial investment, but having quality workout shoes is key. Proper footwear can help prevent lexingtonlife.com

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cline, so you can customize your walk depending on your personal needs and strengths. Some have built-in TVs for watching programmed shows or for viewing virtual routes. Walking outdoors has a lot of benefits, including fresh air and convenience, but weather can interfere. Fortunately, in the South, we have a moderate climate all year. Be prepared for changes in the weather. Have rain gear for rainy days, jackets for cooler days, and light clothing for hot, steamy days. Walk for distance or for a set amount of time. Increase as you feel ready. Many people aim for 10,000 steps a day, which calculates to about five miles depending on stride. If you have a bike and like to ride it, you’ve already got a builtin cardio routine. Find a safe place to ride and enjoy the great outdoors. Wear a helmet for safety. If you have a stationary bike, you can ride anytime regardless of the weather. If you’re looking to purchase one, there are several types to consider, e.g., dual bikes move arms and legs simultaneously or separately, recumbent bikes allow the rider to sit back in a semireclined position, upright bikes have the rider seated more upright. Features might include TVs, adjustable resistance options, and pedals for bike shoes to snap in or straps to secure footing. Look for adjustable seats, water bottle holders, and adjustable handlebars. You can convert your outdoor bike to indoor by purchasing a bike stand, which raises the bike up off the ground to allow you to bike indoors. Strength and Stability Incorporate strength training into your plan to complement your cardio and to gain strength. Certified personal trainers have the expertise to show clients how to use equipment properly. If that’s not an option, YouTube videos and instruction booklets that come with some of the equipment can be of assistance. There is a long list of various types of exercise equipment for home gyms/ workout rooms. Some of my favorites include: • Half-domed ball (BOSU® is one brand) used for balance work and strength training. • Kettle bell, which is similar to a dumbbell but with a handle for swinging motions. • Jump ropes for serious cardio and very little expense. Good quality is important, however. • Dumbbells come in various weights and are ideal for strength training. • Mats for stretching and floor work. • Bands with handles for resistance training and stretching. • Stability ball (also called balance ball, physio ball, and Swiss ball) used for lots of variations in exercises. Sports consignment stores offer reduced prices on exercise equipment. Since the equipment is used, check for wear and tear before purchasing. Online stores like Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are other options as well as sporting goods stores and large department stores. Yard sales are another option for finding used exercise equipment at a fraction of the cost.

Bodyweight Exercises Bodyweight exercises build strength and don’t require any equipment. You’re simply using your own body to do the work. Be sure you’ve been cleared by your doc to do these and that you use proper form. Like learning to use exercise equipment, hiring a trainer is the safest way to learn how to use bodyweight for exercise. Exercises to consider include: • Squats • Lunges • Wall-sits • Planks • V-sits • Pushups • Crunches

Group Classes Consider taking an exercise class. Many gyms/studios allow participants to take a class without purchasing a membership or long-term agreement. Arrive on time or a little early to get situated. Most instructors don’t allow late arrivals for safety reasons. Bring any necessary items (usually these are listed on websites or handouts). In a yoga

Balance Balance is important at all ages but especially as we get older. Having a good sense of balance helps with posture, prevents injuries or stumbling, and gives an overall good feeling. Ways to work on balance include standing on one foot while you do everyday activities like washing the dishes, brushing your teeth, or folding clothes. Be sure to have a wall close by to catch yourself if neces-

28 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022

class, you’ll probably need your own mat. Bring a towel to water aerobics and a bathing cap if required. Let the instructor know you’re new, so he or she can help with any questions and alert you to anything you should know ahead of time. Classes to consider: • Yoga (avoid power or hot if you’re a beginner) • Pilates • Zumba • Water aerobics • Spin (biking with music and sometimes with strength training included)


sary. If balancing is difficult, focus your eyes on one stable object. Overall balance is likely to improve by exercising more and stabilizing your core area. The core is basically the abdominals, back, and glutes. A strong core is optimal for good balance. Stay Motivated Maintaining an exercise program has ups and downs. Some days you’ll feel like exercising longer and harder than usual. Other days you might not want to lace up the shoes at all. How do you stay motivated? • Set small and big goals to recognize your achievements. • Notice subtle changes like increased energy, muscle definition, and better sleep patterns. • Use the buddy system. Exercise with a friend who will hold you accountable. • Give yourself healthy rewards. An example would be buying a new pair of exercise socks or a new refillable water bottle after walking X number of miles in a week. • Shake up your exercise routine with variation to prevent boredom. Do something different. This will keep your brain and body engaged. • Try a new exercise class to feel inspired via exercising with others. • Make a list of what you’ve accomplished. Look back at your original plan to see how far you’ve come. • Remember why you started and where you want the exercise plan to take you. • Use sticky notes or reminders to help you stay on track. • Find a motivating mantra and repeat it to yourself when you need it most. n About the Writer Kim Becknell Williams has been a writer for more than 25 years and a certified personal trainer for 10. She is an NFPT-CPT and a functional training specialist with a Master Trainer level certificate for resistance, endurance, and sport nutrition. She writes fitness blogs, human interest stories, and has published two books: Gym Etiquette 101 and Puzzle Pieces.



January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 29

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Training to Protect:

Post-Blast Investigator Training on

LAKE MURRAY by Mary Ann Hutcheson

Locals know Lake Murray as a major recreational area. Covering an area of 78 square miles, the lake provides more than enough room for everyone’s favorite water activities, e.g., water-skiing, boating, swimming, picnicking, bird watching. The lake also offers some of the best fishing in the nation and is the home of abundant bird species, including the Great Blue Herons and migrating Purple Martins. There is something else Lake Murray provides, of which many residents are unaware. It is the perfect place for law enforcement and FBI training exercises. Part of their job is to provide counterterrorism support and protect the large amount of critical infrastructure located on South Carolina’s coastline. 32 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022


pecial Agent Bomb Technician, Carl Cuneo, began his career with the FBI 22 years ago and was assigned to various field offices before moving back to South Carolina in 2011. It was during that time that Cuneo became involved with the Law Enforcement Maritime Community. The Program In 2016, a training program called the Underwater Post Blast Investigators Course was brought to our own Lake Murray site here in the Midlands. The FBI, in conjunction with the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED), as well as the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, trains divers for evidence recovery in an underwater environment. The purpose of the course is to teach divers techniques on proper law enforcement evidence recovery in a maritime environment. The training itself instructs certified public safety divers. That means divers from various law enforcement agencies around the country – whether it’s FBI divers, Lexington County Sheriff’s Department, or divers from public safety law enforcement agencies in

California or around the country. “We run two courses a year around the United States – one of which is here in South Carolina; the other usually in California,” Cuneo says. “It is somewhat of an exclusive skill in that there are not a lot of divers who attend this training. They offer it a couple of times a year to train people in these skills. This year was actually the fifth time in Lexington that they have done this training. It would have been the sixth year were it not for the arrival of COVID-19 in 2020.” Although the program started here in 2016, the FBI has been doing the training for many years. Cuneo says they actually begin their planning for the upcoming training exercise as early as April each year. Lake Murray provides a great training environment – it is also a great place to dive, offering the perfect environment for divers to train and work on skills without worrying about tides or wildlife or other dangerous features that a larger body of water, like coastal waters, would present. Divers can dive safely with little distraction from their focus skills. Cuneo says, “You have to be in a place, for example, where you can park your boats, lexingtonlife.com

that provides training points where the divers can assemble and go into the water. You wouldn’t want to conduct training in a pool, for example, which doesn’t simulate the actual conditions of a natural body of water. You have to balance all those factors out.” Creating Realistic Scenarios In law enforcement, evidence recovery is conducted all the time, separate from an explosion. That would include situations like

al area where the witness saw the explosion. Trainee divers know where they’re supposed to go and begin their work. To create additional realistic scenarios for the divers, a submerged boat, car, and a small Cessna (drained of all oil, and with the cooperation of and authorization from Dominion energy) are submerged in the lake. After class is over, the objects are retrieved and beached for use the following year.

“We run two courses a year around the United States – one of which is here in South Carolina; the other usually in California. It is somewhat of an exclusive skill in that there are not a lot of divers who attend this training.”

body recoveries, or recovering a fire arm that may have been thrown in the water to conceal. This class is specifically designed for evidence recovery after an explosion occurs. The training focuses on specific situations like an explosion over water, where pieces of the explosive debris land in the water at the bottom of whatever body of water it might be. The diver’s job is to go in and retrieve that debris. There is an established process for detonation that is used in the training; nothing is detonated in Lake Murray. An improvised explosive device (IED, or bomb) is detonated beforehand in a safe location, and the debris collected. On the morning of the class, the instruction divers transfer those pieces to the bottom of the lake. One scenario might be the dive instructor telling a group of four or five divers that a bomb was exploded on a boat at a specific location, and a witness said he saw the explosion happen in that location. The instructor then indicates the gener-

Requirements and Training Included in the course are classroom sessions where instructors teach improvised explosive devices (IED), what to look for after an IED blows up, and what kinds of pieces are left behind, so divers know exactly they are looking for. The debris includes a wide variety of different sized pieces, some very small. It depends on how powerful the explosion is and the composition of the material. Different devices have been detonated at each established point in the lake. After everything is collected, the students group together to study each device so they can become familiar with the different types of explosive devices. The students, all law enforcement divers, want to be in the course. They are dedicated and interested. Those who travel across country to participate in the training wouldn’t take a week off from their regular jobs and travel across the country if they weren’t committed to mastering the skills involved in protecting our critical infrastructures, i.e., they definitely want to be there. Cuneo points out that getting into the class is competitive and is not offered on a frequent basis. In addition, there is a waiting list to get into the class. Each class has 24 students; each team is assigned a boat. Two or three boats patrol the immediate area and ensure that pleasure boaters steer clear of that area. The training takes place on weekdays at the end of September, when school is back in session and the lake is less crowded. Cuneo says, “People on the lake are very cooperative. Usually, they see a police boat with a flashing blue light and tend to January 2021 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 33

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keep their distance.” The process requires a good bit of equipment and personnel to provide the training, which includes boats, dive instructors, and dive safety officers, as well as a way to refill the air tanks after every class each day. There is a lot of organization involved in putting on this kind of training. The Lexington Sheriff’s office has a full scope marine patrol with many boats and many good boat drivers who provide support. The group also receives support from SLED (South Carolina Law Enforcement Division), which provides several boats, as well as law enforcement boat drivers and boats that come in from around the state from places like Charleston. They also help during the week. Support Makes the Difference Cuneo says, “We would not be able to do this without the collection of agencies to assist us. SLED and the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department are there to support us. Sheriff Koon has been a strong and dedicated supporter of this class from the beginning. There are a lot of resources from his office that go into this training. He is definitely a physical presence at the training itself and is a huge supporter every year. This is a limited law enforcement skill set. But in the event that we ever need it, it’s really important.” “Our training in this business is very important,” says Sheriff Koon. “It’s not something you do every day, but something you prepare to do when you need it.” That’s why there’s only two classes a year around the country. Many things have to come together to make these classes successful. There are wonderful lakes throughout South Carolina, but Lake Murray itself provides the best possible site for this operation. The FBI wouldn’t be able to conduct this training by themselves. Cuneo is thankful to have people who are willing to support the training. “A lot has to occur from one end to the other to execute the training,” he says. If you have evidence in water, and you have to recover it, whatever the case might be, this training is definitely going to assist in that regard.” We are most thankful for all the people and their agencies who work together to get the job done in this class. They include Mark Keel, chief of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED), Sheriff Jay Koon, Lexington County Sheriff, Susan Ferensic, FBI agent in charge of its Columbia Field Office, and Captain Adam Myrick, public information officer from the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department. n lexingtonlife.com

January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 35

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Are you living for by Renee Love


his morning, my son Gray said, “I wish I could make every day feel like Friday afternoon.” I smiled because I understood exactly what he meant. Granted, if every day were Friday, then maybe Friday wouldn’t feel as special. But I think Gray was referring to that wonderful sense of relief and freedom he feels on Fridays. After he completes all of his homework assignments, he feels temporarily “released” from the pressures of school and more light-hearted for those few, precious days of weekend. We all can relate to that feeling. How can we make more days feel as easygoing as Friday? While every day can’t literally be Friday, we can manage each day better – rather than allowing projects to pile up, cause stress, and weigh us down emotionally. Consider these strategies for goal setting, so you can achieve more and remain motivated during the New Year.

Part of the problem… Many of us operate within the Monday through Friday “framework” and are “slammed” with work, school, family, and extracurricular responsibilities during the week. Even for those with weekend or shift schedules, we can still fall into procrastination habits – living for our next “off weekend,” so we can catch up on all the tasks we have put off during the work “crunch.” Our work loads and “to do” lists are like emotional CrossFit exercises, where we almost feel the weight of mental burdens. In my imagination, sometimes my “to do” list swirls around me like the little dust cloud that follows the character Pig Pen in Charles Schulz’s “Peanuts.” Sometimes our responsibilities feel similar: No matter where we go, we have our “to list” swirling in our thoughts, reminding us of the many tasks that need attention. The weightiness of our responsibilities is invisible but paradoxically heavy. As philosopher William James said, “Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an unfinished task.” In the setting of school and the much-anticipated Friday afternoon, my son Gray is a senior in high school, and most of his assignments are due on Fridays. Gray tends to procrastinate until at least Wednesday – then he has to complete the majority of his work in a rush. By Thursday, Gray feels completely distressed, hurrying around in crises mode trying to complete everything on time for Friday due dates. After Gray submits his work, relief washes over him; he feels a “new lease” on life, a brief respite from the burden of school: this is why Friday afternoons are Gray’s favorite time of the week. Of course, the Monday cycle will start all over again for Gray, compounded by the high cost of not having submitted his best work. Gray is learning that how one manages time and projects can make each day feel more or less stressful. He realizes that if he had worked a little each day on projects, he could actually get more 38 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022

accomplished – and produce higher-quality work – than if he waits until the last minute to tackle assignments. Gray is looking for new strategies that will allow him to work smarter and with less anxiety. I would like to think that intermittent and frenzied work habits exist only in our children, but most of us have experienced similar procrastination and relief cycles. As my own confession, I probably accomplish the most in my yard if I am expecting the arrival of company. Although I could have worked on sprucing up my porch planters at any time, somehow only when the arrival of guests is imminent do I feel powerfully motivated to tame the potted plants near the front door and trim the overgrown ivy.

“Your life is designed by the choices you make every day. Even the small decisions have an impact. The small actions taken daily bring structure to your life and will help you meet your goals.” – Cheryl Hale How can we turn these projects for the week (or month or year) from stressful thoughts and frantic spurts of productivity into consistent work habits and accomplishments? Part of the solution … With the New Year upon us, reconsider your project management habits, and learn to view New Year’s “resolutions” as weekly, monthly, or yearly “goals.” Somehow, even the phrase “New Year’s resolutions” seems lofty or unachievable, so rather than thinking of goal setting as something grandiose that one does annually, this year, consider outlining “goals” not only for the year but for each week and month, too. The process is easier than it sounds, and here are some tips for constructing achievable goals. lexingtonlife.com

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1. Brainstorm on goals you would like to accomplish. I outline family, personal, and professional goals. If I’m outlining goals for the New Year, I like to treat myself by purchasing a new calendar and going out for dinner or coffee, so I can work on my list. One of my goals last year included a beach trip with my children, and we wanted to stay at a hotel that had an ocean view. The goal may sound silly to seasoned travelers, but we had never stayed at a hotel where there was an ocean view, so this was a special vacation and a new experience for us. I also include my children in the planning stages. Watching a project go through the various stages – from brainstorming, preparing, revising, to completion – helps children learn how to set and achieve goals.

“When it is obvious that the goals cannot be reached, don’t adjust the goals, adjust the action steps.” – Confucius The children helped me do online research about various places where we might stay and the amenities available at each location. I included them in age-appropriate stages of the preparation process. Having the children help with family goals also teaches them how to manage their own projects more efficiently. 2. This is the most important part of achieving your goals: When you decide on your goals, write down the goals somewhere – on a napkin, on paper, in your calendar, on the notepad in your phone. Writing down goals helps you stay focused on the targets and increases your chances of achieving the goals, especially if you review the goals periodically. Psychologist Dr. Gail Matthews “found that by writing down goals, people become 42% more likely to achieve the goal” (qtd. in Marie Forleo’s CNBC “Self-Made Millionaire: The Simple Strategy That Helped Increase My Odds of Success by 42%,” September 2019). That statistic is staggering yet proven: Perhaps writing down goals helps us change what is abstract (the goal idea) into something concrete (the actions needed to achieve the goal). 3. Be as specific as possible with goals. For instance, “walk around the block three times a week” is a more specific goal than the abstract version “get in shape.” Be specific with goals, so you can measure progress. I use a similar process for managing weekly goals. I write down a short, informal list each day (or week) that covers important topics. Depending on the needs of the week, I may have goals from going to the post office or to the DMV to making sausage balls for a tail-gating event or attending my son’s football game. Whatever I don’t complete on Monday, I move to the next day’s list. I cross off each completed task as I go, which gives me a small sense of accomplishment that allows me to move on to the next goal. 4. Break down larger goals into smaller steps. With our family beach trip, I also had to divide the goal into several stages during the year. I had to save money for the trip; coordinate the schedules of three children; hire a house/pet-sitter to take care of the homefront while we were out of town. Larger goals often need to be lexingtonlife.com

planned in smaller stages, and, by dividing a project into smaller steps, I also avoid getting overwhelmed with the details. 5. Check goals at least monthly; make corrections as needed. With our beach trip, we had to revise the dates because of my daughter’s work schedule; sometimes changes are necessary to achieve a better outcome. Try to achieve a balance between staying focused on the goal while also remaining flexible enough to make revisions. 6. Have a variety of goals – smaller and larger, and consider goals in terms of different areas of life (i.e., family, professional, and personal goals). Not every goal has to be a big trip or major adventure. As an example of the variety of goals I had last year, one of my small personal goals was to visit an Asheville bookstore that serves champagne and to have a champagne toast with a friend. This was a frivolous goal but so much fun to complete. The difference between setting a goal and achieving a goal is action. Some people talk about goals and set goals, but they lack discipline, and they don’t follow through on the steps necessary to complete the goal. I can have all kinds of grand ideas about various dreams, but if I don’t take concrete actions, my dream will remain a dream – existing only in my imagination. To transform a dream into a reality, one must take concrete actions. My son Gray is learning how to manage his goals better. He is leaning first-hand that, by waiting until the last minute to complete work, we not only create stressful situations, we also forfeit the opportunity to do our best. Even more concerning, if we wait until the last minute to tackle a significant project (a college application or scholarship, a work project, a presentation, etc.), we may even shortchange ourselves of the opportunity to achieve a dream. You can imagine my delight when my youngest son Colt (who is 12) suggested our family’s first goal for the 2022 year: He wants our family to construct a Koi pond in the backyard. I have no idea how to make a Koi pond, but we have a big yard, and with books and internet research, we can determine the steps, write our goal and plans, and make this idea a reality. Every day can’t be Friday, but with concrete strategies for managing our time and workloads, we can become not only more productive in the New Year but happier and lighter in spirit.n

January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 41

42 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022



soup CURRIED BUTTERNUT SQUASH SOUP 2 tbsp. butter 1 c. finely chopped onion 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 c. chicken broth 1 (2 lb.) butternut squash - peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch pieces 2 tsp. curry powder 1 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. ground cumin 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper 1/2 c. half-and-half 2 tbsp. honey 1/4 c. sour cream, or to taste (Optional) Melt butter in a large pot over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and garlic in hot butter until softened and browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir chicken broth, squash, curry powder, salt, cumin, and cayenne pepper into onion mixture. Bring mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir half-and-half and honey into squash mixture. Pour squash mixture into a blender no more than half full. Cover and hold lid down; pulse a few times before leaving on to blend. Puree in batches until smooth. Ladle soup into serving bowls and top with a dollop of sour cream. ITALIAN SAUSAGE TORTELLINI SOUP 1 (3.5 oz.) link sweet Italian sausage, casings removed 44 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022

1 c. chopped onions 2 cloves garlic, minced 5 c. beef stock 1/3 c. water 1/2 c. red wine 4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and chopped 1 c. chopped carrots 1/2 tsp. dried basil 1/2 tsp. dried oregano 1 c. tomato sauce 1 zucchini, chopped 8 oz. cheese tortellini 1 green bell pepper, chopped 1 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese for topping Place the sausage in a large pot over medium high heat and saute for 10 minutes, or until well browned. Drain the fat except for about 1 tablespoon, add the onions and garlic and saute for 5 more minutes. Next add the beef stock, water, wine, tomatoes, carrots, basil, oregano and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, skimming any fat that may surface. Add the zucchini, tortellini, green bell pepper and parsley to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes, or until tortellini is fully cooked. Pour into individual bowls and garnish with the cheese. CREAMY MUSHROOM SOUP 2 c. chopped fresh mushrooms 1 small onion, chopped 2 c. chicken broth 3 tbsp. butter, melted lexingtonlife.com

3 tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 1/2 c. milk 1/2 c. heavy cream 1 pinch salt and pepper to taste 4 slices white bread, toasted 1 tbsp. softened butter 1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese In a large saucepan, combine the mushrooms, onion and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then simmer covered for 15 minutes over low heat. Stir together the melted butter and flour to make a paste. Stir the paste into the pan with the vegetables. Increase the heat to medium, and gradually stir in the milk. Continue stirring constantly. When the mixture thickens and begins to boil, stir in the cream. Cook over low heat without boiling for about 10 minutes, or until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Ladle the soup into bowls, and trim pieces of toast to fit the bowls. Butter the toast, and place on top of the soup. Sprinkle the cheese over the bread and serve. WILD RICE AND CHICKEN SOUP 3 (10.5 oz.) cans chicken broth 2 c. water 1/2 c. wild rice 1/2 c. chopped green onions 1/2 c. chopped carrots

1/2 c. butter 3/4 c. all-purpose flour 3/4 tsp. salt 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper 2 c. heavy cream 2 c. cubed, cooked chicken meat 1 (4 oz.) jar sliced pimento peppers, drained Combine the broth, water, and rice in a large soup pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and cover. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, until rice is tender. Saute onions in butter or margarine in a medium saucepan, over low heat. Stir in flour, salt, poultry seasoning, and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly and thick. Stir in cream. Cook for 6 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly, stirring constantly. Stir into broth. Add cubed chicken and pimientos. Heat completely and serve! n

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Denial is First I first saw her when I was a kid. I fell in love with her on the spot, even though I had no idea at the time what love meant. As a little boy I was awed by her flowing robe as she walked confidently. A blowing wind caused the Stars and Stripes to wave behind her. I wondered at the oak and laurel branches she carried in her left hand, and marvelled at how her outstretched right hand seemed to call forth a brightly shining sun. She gazed intently at something beyond the sunlight. Following behind her was a statement of trust in God. Her image shined. The image had a weight to it unlike any other. I have never gotten over this first innocent memory. I feel its strength plainly in my old man’s heart. A little later I saw her in a flowing French robe. Now the sun was upon her head, and she held a torch high for all to see. It wasn’t long before I saw her stepping on snakes and monsters, or leading men as she carried the Stars and Stripes. She was always strong, and this was in an era that supposedly viewed women as weak. I played fast and loose as a young man with my respect for her, though one could say I fully exploited her principles in a fast and loose sort of way. As I grew into what’s called “middle age,” I began noticing different men abusing my first love. I was disgusted by this abuse, but did not know how to counteract it. When acts of abuse and neglect aren’t stopped cold, they tend to grow and get worse. Human nature seems to always lexingtonlife.com

translate to nobody wanting to get involved and thinking “someone else will deal with it.” This inaction is fertile ground for expanding abuse and neglect. Once a woman is seen publicly with a black eye, it’s not surprising to see her with another one. Next thing you know, her robe’s fabric begins to fray. We shrug our shoulders: “Well, that’s to be expected from a woman who has black eyes a lot.” We turn our face and look away from the black eye and the torn robe. We have our own lives and wives and daughters to take care of. We decide the woman with the torn robe and black eye is somebody else’s problem. We revert to childlike thinking and believe if we don’t see it, then her problems really don’t exist. We’ve been told denial is the first stage of grief. This truth reminds me of holding Daddy’s cold, clammy hand in the funeral home. I believed Daddy would open his eyes if I just cried hard enough. Lady Liberty was the first love for many. We’re hearing she’s been violated and pushed into a ditch somewhere. An awful lot of people are concerned at the rumors. But it appears an awful lot of us are in the first stage of grief.

David Clark writes and works in Cochran, GA. Connect with him at cw.w4trj@gmail.com.

January 2022 | LEXINGTON LIFE | 47

48 | LEXINGTON LIFE | January 2022


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