Hello, Charlie Rea here,
My parents Dennis and Cheryl started Nature’s Outlet in 1976, and in a few years, we will be celebrating the amazing feat of being in business for 50 years. Looking back, I am proud of everything that Nature’s Outlet has achieved and of our strong standing in the community. More than anything I am thankful for our incomparable staff and fiercely loyal and supportive customer base.
On occasion, people will ask me why I decided to join the family business and eventually come to own Nature’s Outlet with my brother Rob. My quick answer, in an attempt to be funny, is to answer that, “If you know Rob and myself, you would know that we would otherwise be unemployable”. While there might be some truth in that, the real answer is different and was no laughing matter at the time.
At Cave Spring High school back in the 1980s, I was a typical high school kid. I loved hanging out with my friends, playing sports, and studying and working hard. However, at some point in the middle of my junior year of high school, everything changed. I started feeling tired and weak all the time. Everything started taking tremendous effort. Doing homework was a chore, and I noticed that just getting through a work shift became a marathon. At first, I thought I was just worn down, or maybe getting the flu, but as days went by, I started experiencing dull pain in my muscles and joints. But mostly, my tank was just empty. I didn’t have the energy to do ANYTHING.
This went on for days and then the days turned into weeks. My parents were understandably concerned and took me to the doctor, but none of the testing would provide a single clue about what was wrong. After many futile trips to the doctor, I started to feel hopeless and frustrated. I missed school, my friends, and the things I loved doing. I had no energy left to even watch Family Ties and Cheers on TV. I recall a time when the TV was blaring and I didn’t even have the energy to grab the remote to turn it off. I was 17 years old and almost completely incapacitated.
I was 17 years old and almost completely incapacitated.
Things took a turn for the worse and I became bedridden. I couldn’t move without putting forth maximum effort. I felt trapped and hopeless. I was living in a nightmare. The only thing that kept me going was the support of my family and the hope that one day I could feel better and return to a normal life.
Weeks and weeks turned into months. I felt like I was living in a constant state of exhaustion, with no end in sight. Until one day, Mom asked me to try a nutrition protocol that involved what seemed to me like an insane amount of vitamins. My mother sought out a custom nutrition protocol from a company called Enzymatic Therapy. The plan was developed by Terry Lemerond, the owner of the company, and Dr. Michael Murray, a top Naturopathic Physician. They suggested that I flood my system with nutrients and had me try an intensive nutrition protocol that could help my body heal.
When I say intensive, you have no idea. I was taking twenty different tablets or capsules every two hours. I was skeptical at first, I wasn’t getting better and no doctor up to that point had a clue, but Mom had done a lot of work on my behalf, and I really had nothing to lose.
So I started following the protocol, taking tablets and capsules of seemingly every size, shape, and color, and to my complete surprise, within two days, I started feeling better. Almost instantly, my energy returned slightly and my mood improved dramatically. I almost felt euphoric. I started sleeping better, and in less than two days I wanted to read and hang out with my friends again.
Now I’m not going to tell you that I was playing soccer the next week, but I was ecstatic. I felt alive again and even dared to hope for a recovery. Heck, maybe I could still go to college. I was fascinated by all of these little pills and couldn’t believe how much better they helped me feel.
Next thing you know, I was up at the pool reading every scrap of information I could about these products. In less than a week, I was walking to the end of the street and reading some books. Each day I felt better which increased my motivation and determination to do more. Eventually, over the course of a few months, I was almost completely back to my old self.
My six months in bed taught me a lot. I learned the value of perseverance and hope. It helped me realize that life is a precious gift and that I should never take my health for granted. When I look back at those dark months, I felt grateful for the support of my family and friends and the amazing impact that nutrition had on my health. The impact of those nutrition pills not only saved my health, but it also became my calling.