Meet James — nature lover, grandfather of #vanlife, and North Star Member. Oh, and Ret’s dad! When he’s not giving tours of Glacier National Park in a 1930s-vintage Red Bus or sitting front row at spring training cheering on The Cubs, he’s visiting every national park west of The Mississippi in his trusty Sprinter. We chat with him about being Ned’s first — and proudest — customer, and how Ned helps him stay so darn fit at 76.
Name: James Taylor
Member since: March 2018
Favorite Ned products: 1500mg Full Spectrum Hemp Oil, Mellö, Immunity Blend
Ned: People who really know you, know that you . . .
James: I I have a lot, perhaps sometimes too much, energy.
Ned: When are you at your happiest?
James: When I’m with my family, and a distant second is when I’m outdoors cycling or walking.
Ned: Is it true you’ve been to every national park west of the Mississippi? And even worked at some?
James: I’ve been to 45 of the national parks that are in the contiguous 48 states. There are 8 in Alaska. Many are remote, but I’ll get to them for sure. And yes, I worked at Yosemite when I was just out of college and, more recently, I drove a 1930s-vintage Red Bus while giving visitors a tour of Glacier National Park. That was fun.
Ned: At 76, how do you stay so darn fit?
James: I’m lucky. My parents and grandparents were all healthy. I try to exercise daily. My kids have gotten me to eat much better, but I definitely need to do better.
Ned: What are the core values that guide you in your daily life?
James: I’ve purposely chosen to find the goodness in people and, thus, the world. I try to be kind and polite to everyone I encounter. I do my best to properly care for the world. I want to be out in nature as much as I can.
Ned: What brought you to Ned?
James: I MAY have been Ned’s first customer. I was introduced to Ned, by its co-founder. I am extremely proud to be Ret’s dad. I brag about him, and my three daughters, every opportunity I have.
Ned: What’s your favorite Ned product and why?
James: Tough to say. I’ve been using the 1500mg hemp oil since day one. I use it religiously just before bed. Ever since Covid, I’ve been using the Immunity Blend. I need to order more. And I’ve been using Mellö since its inception. Oh yes, I also smack my lips throughout the day with Ned’s tangerine lip balm.
Ned: How do you use your favorite Ned product?
James: I use the 1500mg oil and Mellö as I’m preparing for bed. I start the day with the Immunity Blend. Then I’m ready for the day.
Ned: Why do you love being a North Star Member?
James: It’s so simple. I get all my Ned products delivered directly to me, as I need them. Not only do Ned’s products reduce my stress, but so does being a North Star Member.
Ned: What’s wellness to you?
James: It’s physical and mental. I don’t meditate, nor do I do yoga. Instead, I try to always be thinking good thoughts. It’s also staying active daily, being good to others and yourself, and being with people who elevate you, like my children and friends, and avoiding those who don’t.
Ned: What’s your best tip for managing stress?
James: Get ahead of it. Don’t wait until it’s boring down on you. Instead, get outside and get some exercise. Get as much sleep as you can and have some fun. And a great book to get lost in works for me.
Ned: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
James: The Universal Golden Rule. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Imagine a world where that is the norm.
Ned: What’s a super simple practice you do that’s improved your life?
Sleep. It has become my favorite hobby.
Ned: What’s something you want to start doing?
James: I’m totally content with my life. Hey, I’m retired and healthy. I’m fortunate to say I’m already doing everything I want.
Ned: What’s something you want to stop doing?
James: Eating less ice cream. I’ve found it’s easy to quit. I do it nearly every day!
Ned: What’s the smallest change you’ve made that’s had the biggest impact?
James: At the end of the day, after taking my Ned and before picking up my book, I ask myself what were the three best things I did that day.
Ned: What’s your favorite morning ritual?
James: I’m one of those obnoxious persons who pops out of bed ready to get at it. Depending on the weather, I try to get a long bike ride first. Afterwards, I love a leisurely healthy breakfast, and that includes Ned.
Ned: What’s your favorite nighttime ritual?
James: Brushing, flossing and Ned. Jumping under the covers and reaching for my book with soft classical music playing.
Ned: Who do you follow that really inspires you?
James: Every one of my kids. They are not only doing interesting and important things, but they are interesting to talk with. They each inspire me. And the same goes for their cousins. It’s an amazing family. What a grateful dad and uncle I am!
Ned: What’s something you’re grateful for?
James: I worked hard as a parent and at my job. I’m so grateful I’m able to enjoy my retirement as much as I can. I tell anyone who listens, plan and prepare for the adventures you’ll have when you retire. Let them sustain you.