#ManlyOzarks II


Victory Chiro

“Community. An under-appreciated word filled with meaning. I didn’t realize this until I was sitting in the Victory office one afternoon. Family and friends were getting adjusted and chatting. An itty-bitty girl was being carried through the office by Tami.

Victory Chiro

Dr. B0 & Tami Bandy

(417) 337-7077
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“A sense of belonging. The power of worth. Victory Chiro impacts our little Ozark world one person at a time. But in so doing, Dr. Bo and Tami improve the lives of countless others. They create community.” — Joshua Heston

Victory Chiro

Aspire Spa

We are the Tr-Lakes area’s first premier Medical and Day Spa dedicated to aesthetics and well-being in an integrated approach with an experienced and highly trained medical and technical team. Our goal is to achieve your personal goals!

Aspire Medical Spa

Where A New You Begins

(417) 336-2150
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We offer Botox®/Xeomin®, Permanent Make-Up, Medical Microdermabrasion, Dermal Fillers, Micro Pen Cit and Facial Peels, along with Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (by David Shuck, D.O.) and massage (including Neuromuscular and Trigger Point, Deep Tissue and Pregnancy massage).

All Access Branson

We offer only Branson show tickets. No timeshares. No vacation clubs. Best of all, no cancellation, delivery or other fees! When you buy tickets from us, you receive competitive vacation packages customized to your personal needs.

All Access Branson

Branson Show Tickets

(417) 332-2121
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We will help you with your family reunions, church or youth groups, military reunions, and more. Old-fashioned work and great relationships with entertainers, theaters, restaurants and hotels have made us the toast of Branson.

“Awesome service. Recommended to all friends and family.” BeBe Patton

Victory Chiro

“I had always been skeptical of chiropractic but after major surgery I found myself barely able to walk. A friend recommended I try Victory Chiropractic. I was ready to try anything.

Victory Chiro

Dr. B0 & Tami Bandy

(417) 337-7077
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“Dr. Bo was very careful with me and I began seeing him regularly. Two and a half years later, I now can move pain-free. I’m back in the gym lifting weights and doing yoga. Dr. Bo and his lovely wife Tami have helped me get back into life!” — Dale Grubaugh

Victory Chiro
Joshua Heston November 29
I have a messy garage and rusty weights. And, as it may show, I just enjoyed Thanksgiving. November 29, 2017.

An Ozark Workout

by Joshua Heston

“I’m sitting across from Joshua Heston, editor of the impressive StateoftheOzarks.net. We are in the cozy Vintage Paris coffee shop in downtown Hollister, Missouri. The winter air is brisk and Joshua — he insists on my calling him Josh — is wearing a faded Bass Pro hoodie and Old Navy jeans. He smiles when I ask about the new blog “An Ozark Workout”  and finishes his favorite drink — “a traditional espresso macchiato,” he notes wryly — before answering.

Nice start, huh? I’ve always wanted to sit down for one of those self-indulgent puff pieces where the journalist takes note of what you’re wearing, what you like to drink, or what you’re listening to on iTunes (it’s Mumford & Sons, since you didn’t ask), before graciously firing off not-particularly difficult questions:

“What is it like, being world-famous and rich and handsome and wonderful and all?”

But alas, I’m not world-famous or rich so that interview never occurred. Still, I am a spectacular writer and I can at least imagine how that might go. And so, feeling very wry indeed, I wrote the paragraph above.

And that brings us to the real beginning. Yes, I am Joshua Heston. I am editor of StateoftheOzarks. Spectacular writer (I think I already mentioned that), darned good graphic designer (which I had not mentioned), and someone who loves donuts. Also potatoes. And donuts made from potatoes.

Did I mention I work long hours at a desk?

All of which resolves itself into another spectacular reality:

I’m fat.

Now, mind you, I wasn’t always fat. And many people today might not even call me fat — trust me, it’s all in how you dress — but yes, yes, I am fat.

I am also in shape, which is an interesting reality as well.

Of course, pear-shaped is indeed a shape.

This journal is about raw honesty, which is usually missing from these types of published diatribes. And also about humor, which is equally missing from said published diatribes.

And let me just begin (again) by saying this isn’t about selling some sort of magical product or mystical machine which will turn you — yes, you! — into a lean, shredded, fat-burning machine in only 30 days or your money back!

No, this is me sharing my journey because I hope you’ll find it inspiring. And if not inspiring, at least funny.

So, let’s turn back the clock.

The first time I was aware of my body in any meaningful way was when I was about three years old and my mom gave me a compliment:

“You’ll grow up tall and all the girls will want to date you,” was the gist of it and I remember —  like Adam in the Garden — becoming suddenly aware that I was wearing no pants.

And, while having no pants might be a way to get dates when you’re tall, I wasn’t tall, and so the information was both enlightening and embarrassing. Strange how moments like that stick in your head.

Or, perhaps, just my head because you’re not necessarily troubled and neurotic.

Great genius comes with a price.

Fast-forward to age 10 or thereabouts. After years of being skinny (don’t worry, I did start wearing pants), my pre-adolescent body prepared for a yet-unforeseen growth spurt without consulting me first.

And I got fat.

Not horribly fat, mind you, but certainly chubby. My belly stuck out. My cheeks were round as little apples. And I was at a loss of what to do about it! I became severely self-conscious. I insisted on wearing a shirt whenever swimming. I retreated into my favorite hobbies: building model airplanes, reading books about World War II and Disney World, and obsessively watching Ducktales (“Woo-oooh!”).

Also, I was once forced to compete in a swing-across-the-monkey-bars game in which I, with a heavy middle and not-much-for-arms, struggled on the first rung before slipping ignominiously to the ground while everyone else watched. Several small, strong boys effortlessly swung across as though they’d been born monkeys and thus they became heroes. I resolved then and there to be smart rather than strong or fast.

Then I went back to reading the encyclopedias and eating Little Debbie Swiss rolls.

And thus began my bi-polar relationship with food.

As a suddenly plump 10-year-old, my mom resolved to help me diet, limiting portions and even buying a desperately chunky “weight loss shake” I choked down after it had been blended with ice cubes. “Tastes just like a chocolate malt!” cheered the marketing starburst on the canister’s silvery label.

No. No it did not. It tasted somewhere between chalk and poop — or how I would imagine chalky poop to taste as I confirmedly (and relievedly) have no objective experience with either. Regardless, it was disgusting and ineffective.

I think my mom realized the whole diet thing wasn’t working the night I — snuggled into bed and from behind my Campaign for Guadalcanal book — politely asked for a glass of water and some crackers. Also, the salt shaker and the leftover beef roast sitting quietly in the refrigerator.

My second cousin George — in his 50s and more like an uncle — finally put the nail in the Josh-should-diet coffin when he, speaking of his son, said, “Andy did the same thing when he was a kid. Got chubby and then started growing like crazy. Don’t worry about Josh. He’ll just end up being tall and skinny.”

And I did.

For awhile.

Adolescence was a harsh and jarring experience. I’d never been particularly short — for my age, mind you! — but I was, well, average. At age 13, I was still average.

At age 14-and-a-half, I was six feet tall and string bean skinny at 140 pounds! I still have the stretch marks on my back to prove it. You would have thought that instant height would take care of my self-consciousness but you’d have thought wrong. I was suddenly aware I didn’t have muscles or abs. This was worse than being chubby! Being chubby meant solving a problem through subtraction — just take something away and you’ll be fine. Or get a bigger shirt. Now, this was a problem through addition. It was time to add some things that I hadn’t thought about before, like bulging biceps and a thick, powerful chest (just like the guys in the workout magazines).

The only problem was I had absolutely no idea how to do this kind of math.

So, for awhile, I retreated into towering stacks of National Geographics and episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, In The Heat of the Night and Darkwing Duck (“Suck gas, evil-doer!”)

Adolescence and burgeoning manhood is an unpleasant experience in our postmodern society. We find ourselves yearning for belonging and intuitively seeking an initiation of some sort. But like an expected but anonymous dinner guest who never arrives, we’re left with a weird kind of open-ended emptiness. We know there should be something happening, a moment in which we are gloriously welcomed into what it means to be a man, but we have no idea what that something is, and neither does anyone else. Loneliness ensues.

We want to be accepted. We want to know what the rules are. We want the initiation to be difficult, yes, but we also want to succeed magnificently and walk through a mystical gate beyond which we confidently know we are men. A kind of elemental, even pagan, bar mitzvah, if you will.

Late-20th century society offered nothing of the sort. Just a tepid set of rules about being nice (this was the ‘90s after all) along with the expectation that — if you’re smart and I was— there would be a rigorous battery of tediously boring college entry tests persistently accompanied with the expectation that I should magically know what I wanted to be “when I grew up.”

Hell, I was having a hard enough time trying to figure out what I was right now, let alone what I was going to be 10 years into a gray and abstract future! And why would a course of study determine what I was going to be? But I smiled politely and said veterinarian and that left everyone reasonably satisfied.

For awhile.

For years I hoped I could find the “owner’s manual” to achieving goals that were as inescapable as they appeared unattainable. This journal is my path. I hope you find it inspiring. And if not inspiring, then at least funny. Because it is.

Back about 1981 when I loved cheeseburgers and didn't wear pants. Come to think of it, little has changed since those days.
Eleven years old and at the height of my self-consciousness.
Twenty years old and now self-conscious for completely different reasons!
March 1, 2017. Two weeks into eating and training under Terry Sartin's guidance.
March 13, 2017. One month into training.
I've traded my Razorback shirt of a Screaming Eagle shirt and misplaced my weights, but things are starting to feel a little more natural.
With Terry Sartin. If there's one man who has the owner's manual figured out, it's Terry. October 2, 2017.

In the end, I had the opportunity to interview Terry Sartin in September 2016. Hands down, Terry is one of the most inspiring men I have ever met. We kept in touch and I asked him if he would consider directing me in nutrition and workouts and allow me to document the results to be published on SOTO. And thus we begin…

#ManlyOzarks II

Boundary Water Camping by Rob McDonald.

Boundary Waters

by Rob McDonald (from Modern Wild Man)

This past summer was full of wild adventure and wilderness travel.  One of my favorite ways to see the wilderness is by paddle, canoe paddle specifically.  From a canoe you can travel efficiently and comfortably in remote waters, providing a sort of segway to simpler time and place.

One of my favorite places to paddle and explore is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) of the far north United States.  The BWCA is a magical place full of pristine water, clean air and boundless wilderness.  Time spent in the north woods makes a man’s soul spring to life and offers a firm grasp on what is real and timeless away from a reality built by men and machines.  There is a purity there that can only be found in unspoiled wilderness, the earth as God built it.  Finding a place among a vast wilderness to camp and cook and watch and listen and to know that none of it depends on men or tools or money is both humbling and reassuring.

This last trip to the north woods and BWCA was one of many for me.  I spent time there as a young man: learning wilderness travel, camping and finding oneself.  I have paddled the north as a boy, as a man leading boys, in fellowship with friends and with my father.  The north woods continually calls me back.  Each time I visit, I find myself planning my next trip before the last one has ended.  Evenings in the north woods on a distant lake far from paved roads and power lines and listening to the call of the northern loon bring thoughts and emotion out of a man’s conscience and into ink stains on paper.  One of the easiest places I’ve found to write and put down clear thoughts from my hand is by fire light in the north woods.

The north woods calls to me with the soft voice of my mother, a voice I have not heard for years since her passing, but when I am in the northern wilderness surrounded by silence her voice is clear.  Gently calling me, whispering to my soul, the lake country of the north sings its own song that is like none other I have known.

The smell of the northern pines and fir trees cleans a man’s resolve like a sort of astringent, and adjusts perspective.  The lake county is made up of elemental blocks of stone and soil, water and timber, air and sun and wind and rain; it is nearly impossible to not feel and find a root and nourishment to oneself.

Far from the reaches of concrete and steel, hidden away from roads and bridges there are deep lakes filled with the purest waters melted from ancient glaciers.  Vast lakes sometimes taking days to paddle in length, fill the landscape and somehow hold up travelers as they slide slowly along the top of another world, suspended in a gliding canoe like a cloud in the sky.  Shouldered with sharp granite cliffs, the lake edged are varnished with majestic old growth conifer forests.

Fog hangs heavy on a crystal mirrored lake.  The deep water sits silently on a breathless morning, the surface tension pulled tight like a bedsheet at the corners, .  The first breathe of a sunlit breeze ripples and dances across the glass of morning water.  Sunrise in the Boundary Waters and a hot cup of coffee boiled on a wood fire in a camp kitchen is a cherished time.

Wilderness travel and time spent in the BWCA is bigger than any post or online blog, but I hope in the next few Boundary Waters Volumes the Modern Wild Man can bring you a sense of time spent and cherished in the north woods.

Rob McDonald, author of Modern Wild Man

#ManlyOzarks II

Modern Wild Man Elk Steaks

Steaks on the grill are pretty darn hard to beat.  These elk steaks were cut from the rib eye, or back strap, as it is often referred to.  This recipe could easily be adapted to venison, bear or even antelope. 


4 or 5 rib eye elk steaks 8 to 12 ounces each

1 T olive oil

1/2 C Worcestershire sauce

1 t liquid smoke

1/4 C balsamic vinegar

1 t seasoned salt

1 gallon zip top bag

Steaks should be cleanly cut and trimmed of any excess fat and connective tissue.  Start with steaks that are completely thawed.  Add the steaks to the zip top bag and all the marinate ingredients.  Give everything a nice shake, mix, rub.  Stow the bag with the steaks in a bowl to catch any leaks in the bottom of the fridge for at least four hours, overnight is better.

When you are ready for grilling magic, set the bowl with the steaks in a bag out to bring to room temperature.  Heat your grill to 400 – 500 degrees and lay those beautiful slabs of goodness on the grill with a sizzle.  Lay them on the grill and don’t touch them, flip them, push or poke them.  Let em grill that side down for a good 3 to 5 minutes depending on how well done you like them.

I prefer my steak rare to medium rare.  Three minutes on one side and a flip for three minutes is about right for me.  Depending on how thick you cut your steaks and how hot your grill is and stays will determine your cooking time.  My advice, pull them about a minute or two before you think they are done.

Put the steaks on a plate or cookie sheet that has been warmed in the oven at 200 degrees or so and cover the whole thing with foil.  Let those delicious medallions rest, all those incredible juices will redistribute in the meat and not run all over your plate.  Set the table, dish up the sides, say grace, have a toast, but let those steaks rest for a minute or two at least.

Here is the key to serving wild game that is grilled well.  If you can, try and set the table with warm plates right from the dishwasher.  You know when you first open a finished dishwasher cycle and steam rolls out like a volcano.  Grab a clean hot pad or tea towel and set your dinner table with hot plates and slide gorgeously grilled steaks that had resting time onto them.

Serve up a side like steamed or grilled veggies, a sweat potato and maybe some course grated horse radish on the side and you have a meal fit for a king.

The next time you are processing the gift of a filled big game tag, save those steaks.  Use this recipe to grill up a family favorite!  You can thank the Modern Wild Man later ~

~ Eat Wild ~