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and college football teams—anywhere large numbers of people work hard in the heat. “You’ve got a football team with five linemen, and there’s always one kid,” Haile says. “And so you have five monitors on the five guys who might have a problem, and one of them looks, based on our numbers, much different from everybody else. You pull him out and the rest of those guys keep practicing.” In the same excited tone, Ruby goes on to describe the Christmas dinner where Hailes presented him and Cuddy with the paperwork to incorporate PhysioZing. They always get great surprises at Christmas, he says, noting that last year it was “sweet copper mugs.” If his enthusiasm recognizes a distinction between the kind of surprise that launches a new technology company and the kind that makes a good Moscow mule, he doesn’t show it. It’s the Ruby Effect again: Developing consumer technology to predict heat injuries is sweet, and copper mugs are also sweet. His enthusiasm is consistent and omnidirectional, so that he is constantly running into new projects. In 2010, he was training for Ironman Coeur d’Alene and wound up launching a company that makes energy bars. A friend from the Grizzly triathlon introduced Ruby to a rancher who was looking for new markets for his beef. The two met at a coffee shop, where the rancher said he was thinking about jerky. Ruby wondered if getting into the jerky business was worth it. “Right at that time I thought, Jo Ruby okay, I have a 3.5hour ride planned for the day. I am so freaking sick of foods that I take all the time,” Ruby says. “Every day I eat this crap. It tastes like peanut butter cookies and fake flavors—just gross, and I was so tired of it. I just want regular food.” The result of Ruby’s sudden desire for regular food was Omnibar, a natural, beef-based energy bar. As a slow-digesting protein, the beef provides for muscle health while serving as the foundation for complex carbohydrates like brown rice and sweet potatoes. Since November 2013, a facility in Columbia Falls has produced 20,000 Omnibars a month in flavors like cranberry rosemary and mango curry. He describes the thrill of seeing Omnibars at Orange Street Food Farm, noting that he “loves that grocery store.” It’s another collision of expertise and enthusiasm, of the things Ruby researches and the things he does. He loves cycling and independently owned grocery stores and the human ability to convert organic substances to ATP and metabolic water. He is hard at work on the science of his play, gradually making those two areas into the same thing. “It seems like the job changes every six months,” he says. “We may get a phone call today. Can we collaborate on a project? Probably.” Montana Headwall Page 37 Summer 2014


Montana Headwall