Meet our pal, Justin. After undergoing multiple invasive surgeries and trying over 40 prescription pain meds over the course of a decade, he was out of options and at the end of his tether. Enter Ned. Justin chats with us about how Ned gave him his life back — and how he’s making the most of it!
Name: Justin Ryman
Member since: January 2019
Favorite Ned products: 7500mg Full Spectrum Hemp Oil
Ned: How would you describe yourself?
Justin: In the words of Joe Walsh, “I'm just an ordinary average guy.” So to be asked to do this was a shock, considering who else Ned has covered: A nurse, a Navy SEAL, an Iron Man, a chef and so many other people who help others and achieved so much. Kinda wowed to be amongst all those people.
Ned: Complete the following: “People who really know me, know that I . . .”
Justin: “People who really know me, know that I take time for others. That I do the things I do, not for recognition, but to just help in some way, and I do not expect anything in return. That when I’m your friend, I’m your friend for life. That my family is everything. That I find beauty in the natural world and find peace spending time in the outdoors. That I’m not only a music nerd but know random music history. That I stay busy by turning ordinary wood into usable artistic items. That I can grill and smoke and even cook up a sweet dessert. And that I am also a God fearing man, and my faith has gotten me through the struggles of life.
Ned: When are you at your happiest?
Justin: “I’m at my happiest when I am in the outdoors, around family and friends, or creative writing and or building something.”
Ned: What are the core values that guide you in your daily life?
Justin: Honesty, compassion and being the friend that you yourself would want as a friend.
Ned: What’s your motto or favorite quote?
Justin: “I yam what I yam and dat’s what I yam” Popeye. It's simple and direct. Love me or hate me, I’m just me. I’m not trying to be someone else.
Ned: What brought you to Ned?
Justin: After trying over 40 prescription drugs, two cervical disk fusion surgeries, multiple other medical procedures and having a pain stimulator implanted, all under nine years time, I was out of options. I was at the end of the line. So there I was laying face down on a table with a pain specialist about to get yet another injection in my neck under a live X-ray, and I asked this doctor what he thought about medical marijuana or hemp oil. He hesitated, and I replied that he probably can’t say anything about them, being in Nebraska (where medical marijuana is still illegal), and he said: “I can tell you whatever the f&*k I want. I’ve had other patients use both and they have never come back and to me that's amazing. My job is to get you pain free and not see you again, so if that’s what it takes. Just do your research.” At the time I had heard about a podcast called “Optout Life” and they had just recently released a podcast with two guys (Adriaan and Ret) who started their own hemp oil company after being successful in other business ventures but came together to create something new. On the way home, I listened to Adriaan and Ret talk about the why, the how and the purity of their oil. That was my first podcast and still the only one I’ve listened to. They talked about the health benefits of it and so on. So I got home and started reading about Ned online and researching CBD and Hemp oil. Within a day or two I placed my first order. Once I tried it, the first dose of it, within a few hours I was already not feeling my head hurt. When I woke up in the morning, I had to make sure it wasn’t a dream.
What’s your favorite Ned product?
Justin: I use the 750mg hemp oil twice a day, about 60mL in the morning and again at night for my headaches. I do take my three deep breaths each time and try to smile as I exhale on that third one. Just trying to get in the right state of mind even through the chronic pain.
Ned: Why do you love being a North Star Member?
Justin: I don’t have to remember to place my order on time to get more, it just shows up after a few reminder emails letting me know it’s coming. No fuss, no hassle.
Ned: What’s wellness to you?
Justin: Being mentally in a good place. When you lose friends and aren’t sure who you can trust when you deal with chronic pain, or as I like to call it, “Unseen Pain”, you have to try and find something that keeps you going, a purpose. You have to quit worrying about what others say or think of you. You just have to be true to yourself and find that meaning to stay in that good place. If you let that get to you, mentally it takes a toll, and no matter how far you can run or what you can lift, if you aren’t mentally well, you are not well.
Ned: What’s your best tip for managing stress?
Justin: Well, if you asked my wife Karen, she’d say I don’t do a good job of managing it. But I use sarcasm, probably a little too much, but I like to use anything from dead panned straight faced comments to bad dad jokes to break the tension of the stress. A good laugh or even a smile can get you right again.
Ned: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Justin: Work hard, do it right the first time and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
Ned: What’s a super simple practice you do that’s improved your life?
Justin: I started taking Ned, not kissing up or kidding. It gave me my life back without the headaches that I had daily for 9 years, three months and a handful of days. I am able to do the things I want to, including going back to work, being around friends and family, camping, hiking, just living.
Ned: What’s something you want to start doing?
Justin: Write a book, or maybe try writing more songs. Not sure anyone would want to read a book about my life and overcoming the difficulties of living with unseen pain. I’ve written a few songs in the past or co-written, I guess, but I can’t play an instrument or write music itself so it's just the lyrics and it gets hard not being able to put them to music at times or trying to explain the music you’d like for your lyrics. Maybe I’ll just go for a hike and take on Teton Crest trail or summit a 14’r. So many things I’d like to do, it’s hard to single just one out.
Ned: What’s something you want to stop doing?
Justin: Over eating. I know it should be a simple thing, but it became a crutch when I was fighting the pain so much. It’s not as simple as everyone tells me it is. Maybe just stand under the Redwoods and “just be”.
Ned: What’s the smallest change you’ve made that’s had the biggest impact?
Justin: Taking a deep breath and trying to relax and not just get mad right away. Try and just let things go.
Ned: What’s your favorite morning ritual?
Justin: I take my Ned, every morning after my first cup of coffee.
Ned: What’s your favorite nighttime ritual?
Justin: Taking Ned and relaxing an hour before bed.
Ned: Who do you follow that really inspires you?
Justin: Will Robinson, better known by his trail name Akuna Hikes. He can be found on instagram @akunahikes. He’s a veteran, and he's crushed the triple crown of hiking and he just spreads good vibes and his story is a solid one.
Ned: What’s something that would make the world a better place?
Justin: Compassion. Just be nice to people. It’s just that simple and easy to do.
Ned: What’s something you’re grateful for?
Justin: My wife Karen and three kids. They have seen me at my worst, withered in pain and angry all the time, and they stood by my side and were there for me. They kept me going and gave me a reason to keep pushing for answers. They are why I am still here.