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These Things We Do, That Others May Live -Thomas Calabrese

By   /  June 29, 2024  /  7 Comments

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Protect the Terrain At All Costs

Thomas Calabrese -Our bodies are our terrain. Keeping our terrain healthy includes feeding it nutritious food free of toxins, exercising our muscles, rest and repair through adequate sleep and keeping our minds and souls energized through positive influence. This is basically the ‘Terrain Theory’ and the father of this medical movement was French scientist Pierre Jacques Antoine Bechamp best known for breakthroughs in applied organic chemistry.

The other side of the argument is ‘Germ Theory’ which professes that illness is the result of a specific germ and that only by destroying it, can we can become well.

Matthew Cameron was a biochemist, exercise physiologist and autoimmune disease specialist. His philosophy was a combination of both theories, Terrain Theory as the primary focus of good health and Germ Theory as a last resort, but he also incorporated all aspects of health in his private practice located on his small three acre farm in Fallbrook, California. Far Eastern medicine, diet, herbs, acupuncture, Ayurveda, homeopathy, naturopathy, chiropractic and osteopathic medicine. Tai chi, Yoga, Electromagnetic therapy, Reiki and Qigong were also part of his treatments. Matt also used hyperbaric oxygen chambers, sensory deprivation tanks and virtual reality to maximize results.

He was the kind of researcher that would go anywhere in the world to meet with doctors, scientists, health care practitioners and various spiritual leaders including Shaolin and Tibetan monks to learn and share ideas about the attainment and maintenance of well-being. Matt kept an open mind about everything because the attainment of knowledge was a labor of love for him. He had strong beliefs, but his convictions were founded in science, logic and fact and if he was proven wrong or found an error on his part, he’d learn from it and make the appropriate changes. To be a great scientist or even a successful one, Matt knew he could never let his ego get in the way of the mission. There was a quote from Thomas Edison displayed over the front door of the main building as a constant reminder of the value of consistent effort. Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration. Great accomplishments depend not so much on ingenuity as on hard work. 

Matt had two green houses on the property where organic herbs and vegetables were grown in a strictly controlled environment. He also had several beehives and a grove of fruit trees. His gardener, Thomas Martinez was meticulous in the care of the vegetation and his beekeeper was a Chinese woman named Connie Tao who learned beekeeping skills from her father when she lived in Canton, China.

Connie was truly a gifted craftswoman when it came to cultivating and harvesting the highest quality of Manuka honey. Dozens of Manuka bushes were planted around the apiary (beeyard) so that the bees had an unlimited source of flowers to pollinate.  Manuka honey has been found to have various biological activities, including antioxidant, antimicrobial and anti-proliferative capacities. It is also used in the area of tissue engineering and regeneration.

Matt saw clients three days a week and most of them were individuals that had gone to other doctors and had not found relief from their ailments and pain.

Millions of people are suffering from debilitating autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Crohn’s disease, psoriasis, celiac disease, Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and close to a 100 more autoimmune conditions that you may never have heard of. Although the labels may differ, the underlying process is the same, the body is attacking itself.

Matt’s initial statement was the same for all new patients, “You will have to make major changes in your life if you want to get well. If you can do that, I can probably help. If you don’t think you can then you would be wasting both our times and your money.”

One of things that Matt developed was a nutritional supplement for dogs and cats. Initially, he donated several bags of the potent vitamins, herbs and minerals concoction to local rescue groups to see how the animals reacted to it. There was such amazing results from the product that Matt had to open a processing plant in Vista, California and lease additional land in Rainbow to grow the herbs. He hired Cory Robinson an ambitious young biochemist to be the plant manager with the option to be a minority owner. As long as it helped the animals, that was the most important thing to Matt, not making a lot of money.

There were several dedicated health care practitioners at the farm that helped Matt with the patients; Eva Garrison, Carlos Molina and Krista Caseline. Each one was highly skilled in their chosen field and Matt looked at them more as family than as employees.

One of the ideas that Matt spent a lot of time thinking about was what would happen if he applied his innovative theories to a person who was already at optimum health or was an elite athlete. What would happen to them?  It definitely stimulated his imagination.

Two years later, Matt had the unique opportunity to find out the answers he wanted. It would come to him in the form of his nephew, Mike Cameron, an Air Force Pararescueman. Mike received TAD (temporary assignment to duty) orders to work with the Marines on Camp Pendleton on new rescue techniques. He would be in the area for six months.

The process of becoming a “PJ” (pararescueman) is known informally as ‘Superman School’ because it takes a super human effort to complete it. It is almost two years long and among the longest special operations training courses in the world and has one of the highest training attrition rates in the entire U.S. special operations community at around 80%. There are numerous phases to the training including; Special Warfare Preparatory Course designed to give candidates the best possible chance of getting through selection. They are coached in collegiate-level strength/conditioning, running, swimming, nutrition, physical therapy, and other specialties. This is followed by combat dive school, paramedic training, free fall parachuting, special warfare, water survival, martial arts and evasion, survival and escape techniques. Every aspect of the training is designed to push applicants to their physical, emotional and mental limits.

 Being a PJ required Mike Cameron to stay in top physical condition at all times and like his uncle he was always looking for answers and techniques to increase his proficiency in his chosen field. When Mike visited his uncle at his Fallbrook farm, he was like a kid in a candy story. The two professionals spoke about diet and training as they walked around the property. Matt offered, “You’re welcome to stay here while you’re training on Pendleton.”

            “That would be great! Thank you, thank you…thank you. I want to learn as much as I can about what you do,” Mike said.

            “No, I should be thanking you, I want to hear about your training,” Matt said.

One of the first things that Matt did was perform an elaborate set of tests on his nephew to determine if he had any vitamin or mineral deficiencies in his system. After that he developed special supplements and a course of treatment and unique exercises to maximize optimum health. One of the studies that Matt was working on was muscle fibers. The main differences between fast-twitch and slow-twitch muscle fibers is that slow-twitch muscle fibers also known as type I muscle fibers rely primarily rely on oxidative metabolism and aerobic energy production. Slow-twitch have a higher density of mitochondria, which are the “powerhouses” that convert fat and carbohydrates into ATP energy. Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is the primary source of energy for muscle contraction. ATP is a nucleotide that’s found in all known life forms and is often called the “molecular unit of currency” for intracellular energy transfer. When ATP is broken down into adenosine diphosphate (ADP) and phosphate (Pi), energy is released.  Slow twitch muscle fibers contain myoglobin which helps utilize intramuscular triglycerides. This process allows slow-twitch fibers to sustain prolonged, low-to-moderate intensity exercise.

Fast-Twitch Muscle Fibers also known as type II muscle fibers rely more on anaerobic, glycolytic metabolism. They have fewer mitochondria compared to slow-twitch fibers and contain less myoglobin but more glycogen (carbohydrate) within the muscle fibers. The stored glycogen can be quickly broken down and utilized for short, high-intensity bursts of activity. The differences in fuel storage and metabolism allow the muscle fiber types to be optimized for their respective functions. Slow-twitch fibers are better suited for endurance activities that rely more on aerobic fat metabolism, while fast-twitch fibers are better equipped for powerful short-duration movements that rely more on anaerobic glycolysis.

One of the greatest discoveries of Matthew Cameron’s career was the creation of an organic substance that dramatically increased the capacity of both the slow and fast twitch muscle fibers. He needed someone to try it on and Mike was a perfect candidate. He harvested stem cells with a syringe then placed them in a centrifuge with the organic substance and spun until they were combined. Matt injected them back into Mike’s body and monitored the results. He did this every four days for three weeks then compared the samples of the muscle fibers before the first injection and after last one. The difference was startling, “Take a look at this,” Matt said.

Mike looked through the microscope, one slide was on the right and the other was on the left, “What I am looking at?”

            “Your muscle fibers were already strong and flexible, but now you are literally off the charts, You can see how much they’ve changed,” Matt said, “The main thing is how are feeling?”

            “Great.”

            “Are you ready for some exercise?” Matt asked.

            “I’m always ready for a workout,” Mike replied.

Matt and Mike drove down to Fallbrook High School and went out on the track, A few people were exercising. Matt suggested, “I’d like to do some time trials.”

            “Sure, what distances?” Mike asked.

            “Let’s start off with the 100 yard dash,” Matt suggested.

The world record for the 100 is 9.58 seconds and Mike ran it in 9.7 without the benefit of starting blocks. He ran the 200 in 20.49, the 400 in 44.39, 800 in 1minutes 42 seconds and the 1500 in 3 minutes 41 seconds.

After the running was completed, Matt asked, “How are you feeling?”

            “Good, I can definitely tell the difference,” Mike said.

            “Do you want to take this to the next level?”

            “How so?”

            “The Chula Vista Elite Athlete Training Center rests on a 155-acre complex adjacent to Lower Otay Reservoir. It has facilities for summer Olympic sports and cross-training for various winter sports. Typically, elite athletes are selected to train there by their respective sports federations. I know an exercise physiologist who works there that I’d like you to meet.”

            “I’ve got training with Marines on Pendleton for the rest of the week, How about Saturday?” Mike asked.

            “I’ll set it up.”

On Saturday morning, Matt and Mike drove to the training center and Matt introduced his nephew to Bill Massali who asked, “Which college did you go to?”

            “I didn’t…I went in the Air Force after graduating Vista High School,” Mike replied.

            “Your uncle says you’ve got great athletic ability and potential,” Bill stated, “Is that true?”

            “I don’t know about that.  Why don’t I let you tell me, sir.”

After beating groups of elite athletes in a variety of races and events, Bill sighed in amazement, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my entire life. You never competed or trained at a high level, is that true?”

            “I competed in high school and I train regularly for my job,” Mike smiled.

            “The Paris Olympics are coming up in six months and before that we have the trials. The American team could use you,” Bill said.

            “I’m on active duty, I’d have to get permission,” Mike said.

            “We’ve had some military personnel before so I’m pretty sure that we can work things out,” Bill said.

Mike had the speed, endurance and strength to compete at the highest level, but what he could use was instruction on his technique. He received special orders from the Air Force after Bill made a personal request to the Secretary of the Air Force and it was granted.

Two weeks later on Saturday afternoon, Mike was running wind sprints at the facility when a small group of female and male athletes walked over to him. Lacy Ventura, a pole vaulter spoke, “Hey Mike, we’re going to Mexico to celebrate Gina’s birthday. Her uncle has a restaurant in Rosarito Beach. You’re invited to join us. It’s going to be a hell of a party.”

            “I appreciate the invitation, but I’ve already made plans to have dinner with my uncle. I’ll see you on Monday.” Mike said, “Tell Gina, happy birthday for me.” 

Even if he didn’t have plans, Mike would not have gone to Mexico. He was a few years older than most of the other athletes and partying was not was really one of his favorite pastimes. When he returned to the training center on Monday, the place was filled with law enforcement and government officials. Mike walked over to Bill Massali, “What’s going on?”

            “Steve Lewis, Brock Griffin, Lacy McNellis and Gina Fernandez were hijacked coming back from Rosarito Beach. Steve was badly beaten and is the hospital and they took Lacy and Gina,” Bill said.

            “What about Brock?”

            “Last that I heard he was down at FBI Headquarters,” Bill guessed.

            “I’m going to need a few days off from training…last minute military commitment,” Mike said.

            “Duty calls,” Bill responded.

As he walked back to his car, Mike dialed a number on his cellphone. The voice on the other end said, “Access code.”

Mike responded, “654, doubleback slash, Bravo, Hotel, Tango…starburst lower case,”

            “Confirmed, how can I help you?” Voice said.

            “Need all Intel on a recent kidnapping in Mexico, victims are Lacy McNellis and Gina Fernandez,” Mike requested.

            “Affirmative,”

While driving back to Camp Pendleton, Mike called his uncle, “I’ve got a situation, I’ll brief you when I see you,”

            “Anything I can do to help?” Matt asked.

            “Maybe.”

When he got back to Camp Pendleton, he went to the 51 Area armory and showed his Special Forces identification to the Sergeant, “I’ll be doing some weapons training today.”

After getting an HK 416 assault rifle and two Glock 19’s and sufficient ammunition, Mike drove to his uncle’s farm and explained the situation, “In these kinds of situation, the first 48 hours are the most crucial, that’s why I have to move quickly.”

Mike and Matt met two former Special Operators in Otay Mesa and the two vehicles went to the border checkpoint. They showed their identification to the agent and were waved through. They drove to Camino Verde, a very dangerous area on the eastside of Tijuana and Mike calmly explained, “Satellite photos show that Lacy and Gina are inside the compound with several other women and a dozen cartel soldiers. I need overwatch on my exit portal.”

One of the men responded, “Roger that.”

Mike checked his weapons, put a mask over his lower face and got ready to leave. Matt was shocked, “You’re not going in there alone…are you?”

            “This is what I do…besides I’m never alone…I have God and my training.” Mike said.

Upon entering the building, Mike saw one guard and came up behind him and stabbed him through the heart and dragged him out of sight. Moving further into the den of evil, Mike knew that once he started firing, he’d lose the advantage of surprise. He was able to kill two more men with strategic knife strike. Once he located where the women were being held, Mike walked up and killed six men with his assault rifle before they could react.  He told the girls who were sitting on the floor, “Let’s go..now!”

Once they exited the building, several Cartel soldiers tried to intercept them, but the two Special Operators had their sniper rifles ready and they killed five more men. Mike waved in acknowledgement and led the girls to the van and put them in it. Mike told his two comrades, “You can get them across the border,”

            “Roger that,” One man replied.

Right about time, two vehicles approached with more Cartel soldiers and Mike and the other Special Operators instinctively reacted to the threat and riddled the vehicles with deadly rounds to neutralize them.

 A week later at the training center, Mike approached both rescued female athletes and commented, “It’s good to have you back.”

Lacy responded, “The guy who rescued us looked very familiar?”

            “Really, I thought he was wearing a mask?” Mike said.

            “I never told you that,” Lacy said.

            “It is standard procedures in the military for personnel to wear masks on rescue operations.”

Lacy smiled, “Has anybody ever told you that you have unusual green eyes?”

            “Not that I recall.”

            “Maybe it’s just me, I must very sensitive to certain colors under stressful conditions,” Lacy quipped, “I know I’ll never forget the color of the eyes of the man who rescued me,”

Bill Massali called out from across the track, “If you two are done talking…how about some training? The Olympics are next month.”

            “On my way,” Lacy ran off and called back to Mike, “Thanks, Green Eyes!”

Mike whispered his code of duty under his breath, These Things We Do, That Others May Live, then added, Protect The Terrain At Costs.

                                                                        The End

Epilogue -Mike won nine gold medals at the Paris Olympics and three weeks after competing, he was in the Persian Gulf fighting against overwhelming odds to rescue a downed American pilot. Mike was proud be a Olympic champion and even prouder to be a Pararescueman.

            “

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7 Comments

  1. Tom says:

    An excellent tale of mixing scientific and spiritual elements to improve one’s health and overall existence. And where else but in California! I am reminded of the advertising slogan of DuPont: “Better Living Through Chemistry.” Our hero better watch out: that young lady he rescued has designs on his emerald green eyes!
    Cheers

  2. Lloyd M Thorne says:

    Another great and timely story. I have green eyes so I liked it even more.

  3. bob wolf says:

    enjoyed it
    thanks for the fast and slow twitch muscles class

  4. John Michels says:

    nice story happy 4th Tom

  5. Robert says:

    Really good story. Enjoyed reading it.

  6. Thomas says:

    I want to be like Mike

  7. Skip says:

    The educational buildup to prepare for Mike’s one-man assault was a lot of fun for a science guy, like me! Another great story of heroism and derring-do! Good job!

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