EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 4, 2007

Drew the body good: New Red Sox outfielder J.D. Drew goes to extraordinary lengths to keep his body - and mind - health

As much as the message might have boosted the spirits of Red Sox fans, it meant even more to Tamara Jo Mariea.



"I was talking to J.D. the other day," Mariea said, recalling a conversation with new Boston outfielder J.D. Drew. "He said, 'Tamara, I cannot believe how I feel! There's no pain at all.'"



It was at that moment that David Jonathan Drew's friend realized what she had suspected the last year - Drew was well on his way to transforming his image from a sometimes broken-down player with potential heaped upon him to the portrait of health, posting the numbers so many had expected out of him.



"I feel better now than when I was 20," the 31-year-old outfielder said Friday from his Georgia home. "I'm really happy the way things are going."



Nobody knows if Drew will defy his track record and remain intact for the majority of his newly signed, five-year, $70-million contract. But he is certain he has left no stone unturned.



Thanks in part to Mariea, most of his health experiments have resulted in just what the doctor - or, in this case, biochemical detoxification specialist - ordered.



"The great thing," explained Mariea from the offices of her company, Internal Balance, based in Franklin, Tenn., "is that he has used his own money to go outside the box and keep his asset healthy for this contract."



Exploring the unknown



Drew's commitment to his own well-being is indisputable.



The gadgets he's turned to include a cosmonaut-tested healing device, a hyperbaric oxygen chamber, an infrared sauna, chips implanted in his cell phones and computers to limit radiation damage, and a myriad of other health-oriented products that promise better overall health.



"I know this all sounds strange," admitted Mariea.



Perhaps, but the results since Drew jumped on board with the anything-but-ordinary approach to health is definitive. Case in point, last season the injury-prone Drew played a career-high 144 games out of a possible 162, while putting an exclamation point on his season by batting .317 in September with six home runs.



"What happened was when I started playing with Atlanta I didn't feel like I wanted to feel," said Drew of his enlightenment during the 2004 season. "I was kind of searching for something to supplement the hectic lifestyle. I just felt really sluggish and overly tired."



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