April's CR Diary

A diary of a 30 year old woman following CRON, or Caloric Restriction with Optimal Nutrition, for health and life extension.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

What the CR Society Is Really All About

Wow! Was I happy when I got to my computer today and saw that I had extremely supportive comments from Michael, and that Mary had dedicated an entire issue to setting the record straight re: accusations of anorexia! www.crdiary.blogspot.com

Tall MR and Little MR to the rescue, as has so often been the case.

It got me thinking about what the CR Society is really all about. We argue with each other, we disagree, we can even get into some knock-down drag-out fights. But when it comes down to it, we support each other. And we go to great lengths, spending our time and energy on people who live far, far away, to do so.

The CR Society provides a wealth of information about how to CR, the science, the practical advice, etc. But the most important thing about it, in my opinion, is the support. We are strange people: we believe that we can live longer, and that we can take action right here and now to achieve that goal. We experience all sorts of struggles, from dealing with hunger to the whole range of social struggles that we've discussed at length on list and on-blog. When I went to the conference, I felt an amazing sense of instant connection with so many of the people there. It was like we had known each other all our lives, and just didn't happen to live in the same city. It was so hard to leave!

The other night, I was in the middle of an absolutely horrible argument about another topic with another of the brothers on the phone, and I started to cry (something that contrary to popular belief, I actually don't do that much anymore.) When I told him that on top of everything, I was dealing with issues with my friends thinking I'm anorexic, we immediately stopped arguing and he talked me through strategies to help my friends understand me. After my tearful post to CR Community on the topic, I got a message from another CR friend with whom I've had some pretty serious disagreements lately, saying that he was there if I needed to talk. Sure, we all go back to arguing, and we can disagree pretty bitterly. But when it really matters, we're there for each other. Two of my CR brothers even called me, offering to be a shoulder to cry on should I need it. It's just amazing that people from such different backgrounds are willing to drop everything to help each other. It makes me more committed than ever not just to the practice of CR but to the CR Society itself.

I know that CR would never have been possible for me without the CR Society. I learned things on the list and in the archives that I could never have found in any book. The people in the Society, especially Michael, are able to explain things to the non-scientist in a way that makes sense, and gives us ways to use the information in our lives. I wonder if back in the days when Brian Delaney and Roy Walford founded the Society, they had any idea that it would grow to be such a huge and supportive community. It will grow even more with the publication of Brian and Lisa Walford's book this winter. Certainly, Brian's ten year commitment (remind me to tell you sometime about how Aubrey de Grey taught me how to spell commitment, something many people had tried to do unsuccessfully before) to making the CR Society a place where people feel welcome and safe has made it accessible in a way that sci.life-extension might not have been for me.

CR isn't easy, but the CR Society makes it possible. Even accessible. Even fun. Let's face it, the CR Society has been the fairy godmother that I now feel has turned me into Cinderella. Not even a year ago, I was unhappy about my health, seeing signs of aging, and fearing that I was sliding into the despair that most American women live with every day. Now, I am in the best health of my life, and the CR Society has opened up a whole new world for me.

Some of us have had some pretty serious disagreements lately, but to me, one thing is very clear. We have to stick together, even when we disagree, because in the end, we CR'd life-extensionists may be the only ones of our generation around to see the dawn of radical, life-extending biomedicine. As some of you already know (and more of you will soon find out) I've recently made a commitment to dramatically change my own life in order to bring about that day. If it weren't for the example of those in the CR Society who have blazed the trail, I would have never even been able to dream that such a thing was possible.

Besides, who else is going to laugh at our jokes 100 years from now?


  • At 5:38 PM, Blogger Mary Robinson said…

    The CR Society is an an example of the power of the internet to bring together a group of people that are truly on the same wavelength. I came back from the conference even more convinced of this. This is a group of truly kindred souls. My home is open to any of them. As April says, we are all like the oldest of friends, without ever meeting each other before.

    The most interesting example to me at the conference was my last restaurant meal. We had separate checks. Three of the four of us pulled out the same identical Quicken Visa card. We looked astounded and one of the other guys said - "Yes, I've had this forever - I like the way it ..." and I said "yes, downloads transactions". We all nodded. What are the chances?

    Yes, we share many traits. We are analytical, slightly compulsive, disciplined, adventurous, open, empirical. We all love, love, love life and wish we could live forever. There is never enough time for us. We are never bored. As April says so touchingly, we are brothers and sisters.


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