The bird man of the Manzanitas
Not far from Alford's house is a ponderosa pine that has a dead spot in it about 15 feet off the ground.
"But for some reason or other, it has sprouted limbs on either side of the dead spot and has got to be a large, healthy tree," he says. "It got to a point in life where it had to make a change."
Alford, who admits he perceives lessons everywhere in nature, sees this tree as a metaphor for his own life and changes he has made.
He has been sober for 16 years.
His diet today is mostly vegetarian, he runs several miles three or four times a week and hikes up the mountain above his home on those days he doesn't run.
His weight, once close to 200 pounds, is down to a trim 152 stretched over his 5-foot-9-inch frame.
"There were times in my life when I treated my body like a toxic waste dump," he says. "Now, I consider the great gifts in my life to be my body and the planet it lives on.
"And the way I express my appreciation is by doing everything I can to sustain the health of both."
About eight years ago, Alford joined Forest Guardians, a Santa Fe environmental advocacy organization. Today he is vice president of the organization's board of directors and an active supporter of its programs - especially Forest Guardians' ongoing battle to save New Mexico's public lands from overgrazing by cattle.
[ more of his story ]
It sounds like the life for me, and no hate groups
posted by Cyndy