Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: 2011
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Secrets to Living Longer and the Fountain of Youth

  Part 5 Finding the Fountain of Youth –I found it!

What are the principles that we have learned? It is clear, that finding meaning in an activity is important and can be defined by one’s behavior – the activity that one does.  For me, ride and tie and ultra running became meaningful, and resulted in how I was going to live my life.  I liked the competitiveness, the people I met, and the resulting friendships that I made.  It was also important for me to think about and incorporate “future “in my thinking and planning.  Thinking about my future and goal setting go hand-in-hand.  Goal setting, by definition is related to the future.  Now, I could plan, have direction, and bring order to my life.  My daily, weekly runs became training opportunities for me.  Even, participating in competitive endurance, ride and tie, or running events became training for the next event. In other words, there is the next event or next challenge. And as a result, I look forward to and planning for the future.
Remember, a goal has to be to clear and objectively measured. To say my goal is running is too vague and immeasurable.  However, to say, my goal is to run 5 miles today or to run for one hour today is clear and objectively measured.  To say I am going to run fast today is also vague.  To say, I am going to shoot for a seven minute mile is clear.  Time yourself after 1 mile and see if your goal is realistic or not.
In goal setting, and competing, I learned about mindfulness-which means being in the present.  If I was exhausted, I recognized my current state.  I am not saying I liked it but I did acknowledge it.  I then developed strategies to deal with my current state-I said affirmations like “I can, I can” when it became difficult to precede running after hour and hour on the trail. When experiencing pain, I re framed it and called it “discomfort “and took proper techniques to deal with it- walking, ibuprofen, ice, or rest. Being in the here and now, dealing with it, is one key and extremely important.  By the same token, it is important not to live and dwell in the past.  It is okay to re -tell stories from the past however do not live in the past or memories from the past. That does not mean you do not think about the past, but it does mean that you   are not simply stories of your illustrious past. Being in the present, looking to the future while being able to acknowledge your past and learn from your history define who you are.
Human connections are extremely important and necessary for successful healthy fulfillment.  No man is an island, and it is the relationships that meet our affiliative needs and necessary for survival. Looking at Dr. Howard’s characteristics of centenarians, we find interpersonal components being quite necessary.  There is much information about the importance of what makes us human or social contacts and life longevity.
For me, having a loving, sensual, supportive partner, enhanced my life and made living easier and more fulfilling.  Do not underestimate the importance-the significance of having a special person in your life.  In some ways, my partner Linda assists in my youthful outlook and living my life.  Thank you   Linda.
 To summarize my insights these past 15 years of successful, healthy, and youthful aging include numerous components. They are as follows: 1. Finding meaning and living according to your own uniqueness 2. Making, having friends, and a loving supportive sensual partner 3.   Knowing how to set purposeful and realistic goals 4.  Making sure your mind-body connection is in harmony 5.  Mindfulness –being in the present 6.  Being able to look and plan for a positive future in your life 7. Not dwelling or reliving over and over the past 8. Participating in a physical activity.
Stay tuned, this story is not complete as the journey continues.  Find the correct road map and that will lead you to Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

How to Find the Fountain of Youth

 Ponce De Leon did not find the fountain of youth-but you can.  Part 4
In addition to the significant and powerful mind-body connection, there are other important psychological components to consider as well.  Finding meaning in one’s life is significant and differs from man to man, and likely moment to moment.  It is the finding of your destiny or purpose-passion, which is different and unique for each individual.  As a consequence, it is up to the individual to define and discover that which gives him or her meaning. Meaning or purpose could be work or work-related, it could be a physical activity or sport, it could be some volunteer or hobby related activity. I cannot tell you what your meaning should be nor can you tell me what my meaning should be. For me, I found meaning and purpose in an athletic event, called Ride and Tie.  Even though I was a practicing psychologist, making a good living, that was not enough for me, and I was not totally fulfilled.  At that time, I knew something in my life was missing as I was not content, but I was unable to put my finger on it –I was unable to figure it out at the time.  I will share a couple of fantasies that I had prior, which provides insight into my mental state.
First, even though I was riding motorcycles at that time, I was unsatisfied with my Honda, Yamaha, or BMW motorcycles and purchased a new one practically every year. Then I had a midlife crisis and purchased my first Harley.  One of my favorite movies as a teenager was the Marlin Brando movie “The Wild One.” In fact, in memory of that film, there became a yearly motorcycle event in the small town -Hollister where the movie was filmed. Of course I had to go there and join the happening with the other riders. Could I recapture my youth and be just like Marlon-he was cool and bad?
 Another fantasy that I had in the 1990s was returning to college to play football again since I had three years of football eligibility left.  Mind you I am in my 50s, and I thought I wanted to play college football again especially toward the end of summer, around September.   In fact one day I even read about one older individual who did just that.  I thought that was pretty neat.  Well, I did not go back to college to play football, recapture my youth, but instead discovered the sport of ride and tie. Simply, ride and tie consists of two people and a horse.  One person rides while the other runs-they switch off riding and running until they reach the finish line.
In ride and tie, I could be physical again, become part of the team, have goals, and be competitive. With this sport, I had to get in running shape, which meant that I had to exercise and eat differently.  I now had to plan and follow through in order to become an athlete again.  I would condition my horse on training rides, and I started running in the hills to develop my cardio.  Typically, ride and tie events are held in the mountains, at a distance of 25 to 35 miles.  I decided that I wanted to be able to cover the same distance on the ground that my horse did. Translated that meant that I had to be able to run the distance of a marathon. Shortly thereafter, I was able to do just that.
 My first ultra run was a 50 K. (31 miles), and that was followed by a marathon a few years later.  My running, cardio, and endurance improved.  Then back in 2000( age 60), I completed the Tevis Cup –a distance of 100 miles in one day on my horse, Raider.  I felt great about that accomplishment and goal.  But I was not done with goals.  If my horse could travel 100 miles, should not I be able to run 100 miles in one day?  Well now I had a second goal.  So, in 2002 (age 62), I ran the Western States 100.  I could now cover on the ground the same distance as my horse.  That accomplishment was satisfying, and gave meaning and purpose to what I was doing.  I was on my way, as I found passion, meaning and purpose as result of ride and tie.  I became pretty good rider and an ultra runner in the process.  Of course, I was not finished with goals as the journey continues.

To be continued Friday

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Anti-Aging,How to Live Longer, and Hope in the Future

 Successful Aging – Finding the Fountain of Youth - Continued   Part 3
“When the prisoner told me about his dream, he was still full of hope, and convinced that the voice of his dream would be right.  But as the promised date drew near, the war news, which reached our camp made it appear very unlikely that we would be free on the promised date.  On March 29, the prisoner suddenly became ill and ran high temperature.  On March 30, the day his prophecy had told him the war and suffering would be over for him, he became delirious and lost consciousness.  On March 31, he was dead.  To all outward appearances, he had died of typhus.” This dramatic and sad example illustrates how close and powerful the connection between the state of our mind and its resulting deadly effect on the state of our body. In this case we see the dramatic effects when this individual lost all courage and hope. There are other examples of when an individual loses hope, and shortly dies thereafter. Unfortunately my mother is one of those examples.
In 2001, my mother was having difficulty breathing, and as a consequence had very little energy.  Medical evaluation, suggested a pacemaker procedure would assist and resolve problems. Now up to this point, my mother, age 92 lived alone and was certainly capable of maintaining that independent lifestyle.  Even though, she was no longer driving her car, she still went shopping, cooked her meals, and visited friends and family.  My brother, a physician, my sister, and I pushed for this medical procedure.  She went along with our families input and had the operation.  Unfortunately, although the operation was successful, the patient -my mother developed medical complications while in the hospital and was miserable and uncomfortable.
 Mother never recovered from that operation, and the corresponding medical conditions- she was distraught and depressed during her stay in the hospital requiring constant and additional nursing care.  Even though she was medicated, she was in pain, and totally dependent requiring care.     Shortly thereafter she lost her will to live. She lost hope, couldn’t see a positive future, gave up, didn’t want to live and passed.   This was the end for her. She lost her dignity, felt despair and didn’t want to live in this manner.
The mind-body connection can’t be under estimated. The importance of will and hope, and especially the ability to look and plan for the future is one major key in finding the “Fountain of Youth.” We just have to know where to search and be sure to look in the right place.

To be continued   -Thursday

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

TA-65,HGH,DHEA,Testosterone,Steroids and Aging

Continued from Monday-Part 2
The writing “It Has Nothing to Do with Age” has assisted me and has given me insight into my aging process these last 15 years or so.  In my book, I presented seven prescriptions to assist individuals to develop a better lifestyle by adjusting attitude and behavior. Do you think that TA-65, HGH, DHEA, Testosterone and other steroids are necessary?    What do you think are the secrets of the centenarians who live in Okinawa?    My thoughts and ideas about successful aging and finding Ponce de Leon’s fountain of youth follow.
First, it is clear that there is a mind body connection. Not only is there simply a connection, there is a powerful relationship between what happens in our mind or brain and the effects on the physiology of our body. One example that illustrates this magnificent mind-body correlation was taken from Viktor Frankl’s book titled “Man’s Search for Meaning an Introduction to Logotherapy.”  In this book, Dr. Frankel tells the story of a prisoner, in Auschwitz, who had lost faith in the future and as a result, his future was doomed. The story goes like this: a senior block warden, who was a well known composer confided to Dr. Frankel when he told him about his dream. “A voice told me that I could wish for something that I should say only what I wanted to know, and all my questions would be answered.  What do you think I asked?  That I would like to know when the war would be over for me.  You know what I mean, Dr.-for me!  I wanted to know when we, when our camp would be liberated and our sufferings come to an end.” Dr. Frankel asked “and when did you have this dream?”  “In February, 1945,”he answered.   Dr. Frankel noted it was then the beginning of March.  Dr. Frankel “What did your dream voice answer?”  He whispered to me, “March 30.”
To be continued tomorrow!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Ponce de Leon ,Fountain of Youth, Obesity, Holiday Eating and Anti Aging

In thinking about our contemporary society, it is clear that many of us are concerned with and driven by the fountain of youth.  Just think of all the money spent on various health aides, organic foods, stylish clothes, cosmetic surgery, gym memberships, home exercise machines, and other components or products designed to make us look young, feel better, and perform well.  In fact, professional sports- employ drug testing to identify the” cheaters” –Barry Bonds etc. and other athletes who take performance-enhancing drugs or supplements.  The supplement industry is a billion-dollar industry, and the plastic surgeons are also making a lot of money though their surgical procedures are not always covered through insurance.  There are numerous magazines that have young, beautiful people on the cover and are the models of the health-youth industry related to the fountain of youth.
There is another group in our society that is gone to the other or opposite extreme.  These people have put on weight, have numerous health issues, and are extremely inactive. They appear to be unconcerned about health and longevity based on their behavior.  They simply eat too much, eat unhealthy, and remain very inactive.  Obesity, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, heart disease, describe this group of individuals.  These people have the information, but seem unable to make those good decisions despite the numerous diets available.

    Part 2 of  Blog to be continued Tuesday

Friday, December 23, 2011

Health Risks of Being Left Handed ,President Obama, and Mindfulness

"None of us will ever accomplish anything excellent or commanding except when he listens to this whisper which is heard by him alone."– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Are you right-handed or left-handed?  Or, are you mixed handedness, which means you use different hands for different daily tasks and that you do not have a dominant one.  About 10% of people are left-handed, and about 1% of the population has mixed handedness.  In studying identical twins (they have 100% of the same genes) findings suggest that they do not always share the same handedness which means that genetics do not tell the whole story.  Apparently, environmental factors, while in the womb, play a significant part in the development of handedness, since babies born to older mothers and low birth weight babies are more likely to be lefties.  On average there no significant differences in IQ between righties and lefties.
There is some evidence that lefties are better at divergent thinking, have salaries that on average are about 10% lower than righties, and likely to be a greater risk for developing a number of psychiatric and developmental disorders.  Wouldn’t you just know it, because six of the last 12 US presidents have been lefties including Pres. Obama, and George H. Bush. Thank goodness President Obama has good language skills, divergent thinking, and the absence of ADHD symptoms. Let us hope he is not treated for a psychiatric disorder.  Just kidding!
In a 2008 study, psychology professor Alina Rodriguez found that left or mixed handedness in children was linked to a greater risk of difficulty with language, as well as ADHD symptoms; and knowing that a child that had ADHD symptoms at age 8 helped predict much more accurately, whether or not the child would continue to have symptoms at age 16.
Several studies show that stressful life event such as the death of a loved one or job loss during pregnancy increases the risk of having non right-handed children.  In one study of 834 – mothers and their three-year-old children, researchers found that mothers who reported multiple stressful events during the third trimester of pregnancy and experienced stress were more than three times likely to have a mixed handed child 17% compared with 5%.
Lefties have an advantage in sports such as tennis; fencing in baseball, when up against a right-handed competitor, but not in non-interactive sports such as gymnastics. This information was based on an article in the Wall Street Journal, December 6, 2011.
Today, Secretariat, and I are going to do a “happy “run. He is reading a book on mindfulness and is now able to rate his happiness during his running feats.  I asked him to pay attention to his thoughts and happiness during the second half of his run. I  did a 5 mile loop since I am still concerned about my cold symptoms. I might add that today’s run was not as fast as yesterday’s. However,  I was smiling when we parted. Secretariat started laughing as he headed off to do a longer distance.  I rated my run as a 3 on a three point scale.  He will rate his run also. From Secretariat: I ended up doing 15 miles and I rated my run as 3 also. The rating system is from 1 to 3. 1 being not that enjoyable and 3 being mostly enjoyable.

Another reason to be happy going into the holidays is related to a statistic that I just read.  Within five years of retirement, 60% of NBA players are bankrupt, while 78% of NFL players are either bankrupt or in financial stress within two years. Be happy that you are not a professional basketball or football player.  Happy holidays to you.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rev. Al Sharpton,Joe Scarborough,Warren Hellman,and Tevis Cup

Rev. Al Sharpton is currently 57 years old.  He claims he weighed more than 300 pounds from the late 80s through the 90s.  He lost 30 pounds in 2001, while jailed for protesting the U.S. Navy bombing exercises on the island of Vieques, Puerto Rico, and then fasted for nearly 40 days.  His weight ballooned back up, and in 2005 he changed his diet.  He gave up meat, occasionally ate fish, and hired a personal trainer to help him get into a workout routine.  In six months he lost 15 pounds, 5 inches off his waist, and 6% of body fat.  Now he is down to hundred and 76 pounds.  He says.  “You live seven days a week that means you should exercise seven days a week.”  His trainer helped him get on track, and now he is his own policeman.  His workout starts by warming up for 10 minutes on the stationary bike and then jogging 30 minutes on the treadmill.  He stretches on a stability ball, performing a few sets of crunches on the ball.  Sharpton’s diet changed as he has cut out fried foods and most starches.  Normal breakfasts consist of two hard-boiled eggs, orange juice and coffee.  Lunch is a  salad of lettuce, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions with balsamic vinegar dressing.   He has a mid afternoon low fat snack from Starbucks. His evening meal is a small salad or eggs.  He claims he watches the morning Joe show with host Joe Scarborough.  He adds that this is his morning inspiration because it gets me so angry and ready to go to work.  So when I am on my bike or running, I think of my counterarguments to his conservative ones.
Sharpton’s advice includes:  “I tell people to practice visualization.  See yourself as your best person physically, and then chisel yourself into that person.  You have to be your own sculpture.”  He says the hardest part is conquering your appetite.  “I changed my diet cold turkey, but suggest people change their diet incrementally.  Maybe cut out the ice cream, pizza and the fried chicken. Try to do without for two weeks and challenge yourself to take out other things.”   I need some sweetness; I put Stevia in my lattes.” I remember how I would feel when people would make fun of my weight.  I would use those memories, tell me stay on track.”Sharpton is a host of MSNBC’s politics nation and the nationally syndicated radio show “Keeping It Real with Al Sharpton.”  This article was found in Health and Wellness in the Wall Street Journal Tuesday, December 6, 2011.
On yesterday’s 6 mile run with Secretariat and Chris Turney, the three of us talked a lot about Warren Hellman.  We all knew that he was wealthy, but none of us knew the extent nor did we have any clues into how the part philanthropy played in his life with the possible exception of ride and tie. Secretariat is on a mission as he is running well, and his recovery time is excellent.  I tell him that he should think about entering Way Too Cool again and that he is going to pace me for a longer distance this time.
The Tevis store is going to sell my book, and Roger Yohe (10 time finisher of Tevis) believes it will sell well at the AERC Convention this coming year. Go visit the Tevis store. "No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched."– George Jean Nathan

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Warren Hellman,Etta James,and San Francisco BlueGrass Fetival

"Once we believe in ourselves, we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight, or any experience that reveals the human spirit."– e. e. Cummings

I am sad to report that today there is a memorial service for Warren Hellman in San Francisco.  For those of you, who do not know Warren; let me briefly tell you a little about him?  I met Warren in 1997, during my first ride and tie –the Quicksilver held in San Jose.  I remember sitting at a picnic table afterwards, prior to the award ceremony, talking to him and other world-class athletes.  My first impression of him in no way tells his story.  He was dressed very casually, and in fact, not stylish to say the least.  Later,  I find out and incidentally not from him, that this man is extremely wealthy and is a great sponsor and benefactor of the ride and tie sport.
Upon reading a three page article in the San Francisco Chronicle,  I found out much more about this generous, extremely wealthy unpretentious man, who has given so much to the city of San Francisco.  He was one of the movers and shakers in San Francisco, but you would never know it by talking with him.  His shirt and pants always seemed wrinkled –it was like he was one step away from being homeless.  The most time that I spent with him was in 2000 at the Tevis Cup. I hooked up with Warren, somewhere around Michigan Bluff and rode the last 50 some miles with him that day.  I remember we talked a lot about childhood.  One item that does stand out was when he told me that his mother died, while scuba diving a sport in which she loved.  That is certainly a positive message that Warren lived out.
As far as ride and tie goes, Warren always had a good running partner i.e. Jeff Townsend and others. He attended the first four Cool ride and tie events and seemed touched when given one of Linda's hand sculpted awards.  The last time I saw him was at Jim Steere’s memorial service. Warren was one of the presenters and acknowledged that he was ill, but did not go into details.
He was the first to complete the Tevis, the Western States 100, and in 1984 with Pat Browning, the Swanton Pacific hundred mile ride and tie. He was a banjo player and since 2001 hosted, put on, and paid all the expenses for the Bluegrass Festival held in San Francisco at Golden Gate Park. For more information about this man I refer you to Tuesday's edition of the Wall Street Journal. We miss you Warren.  This man certainly left his imprint in the world.
Another recent loss was Leslie Yates an anesthesiologist who practiced in Kentucky.  Leslie was a real trooper, and came out to California to compete in ride and tie.  Periodically I would see Leslie and saw him more frequently these last few years.  He was a great contributor and benefactor to the Cool ride and tie and will also be missed.
Yesterday, Secretariat’s aura was still burning bright.  He was still glowing after his stellar performance at the birthday run last Saturday.  The only person that beat him, during the run that day, was this young 23-year-old running phenomena and he did not beat him by much.  Secretariats goal, from last year, was successful as he wanted to do better on this year’s birthday run compared to last year.  It is obvious what next year’s goal is for him as far as the birthday run is concerned.  Lookout young man! Today, Chris Turney plans to join us for our morning run. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Snacking,Weight Control and the Holidays

Holidays and eating properly is a challenge for us all. The following findings were found in the Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, November 29, 2011.  Hopefully this information will help by giving you something to think about during holidays.
Research suggests that the time of day that you eat a snack may affect how easy it is to lose weight.    This particular study consisted of 123 post menopausal women who were either overweight or obese.  The women who reported snacking between 10:30 AM and 11:29 AM lost an average of 7% of their body weight over the 12 month study.  However, women who did not report mid morning snack he lost 11% on average of their body weight.  Apparently, late morning smackers   tend to keep eating throughout the day and consequently snack more frequently.  If you are snacking more than likely means you are taking in more calories.  Researchers suggest that snacking in the afternoon with the right foods-those relatively low in calories and high in nutrients is a good thing.  We are talking now about 100 to 200 calories per snack.  So make sure your afternoon snack includes foods with fiber- servings of fruits and vegetables.  Other research suggests that combining protein, carbohydrates and a bit of fat can help the body more slowly absorbs the carbs and keep you feeling full longer.
Did you know that how much a person eats is affected by the colors of the dinnerware and table cloth?  Research has shown that the size of a dinner plate influences the quantity of food that people consume-the larger the dish, the bigger the portion.  Also, researchers found that participants in their study serve themselves significantly more food if the color contrast between the dinnerware and the food was low -i.e., if they had cream-colored pasta  on a white plate.  Over serving was reduced when the contrast was more pronounced, for instance, by offering pasta with red tomato sauce on a white plate.  As far as the underlying table cloth is concerned, the opposite occurs.  For example when the color difference was high-as with the white plate on a black tablecloth, the participants served themselves about 10% larger portions than when the contrast was low.  Excess portion size was essentially eliminated when contrast was removed such as employing a white plate on a white tablecloth.  These experiments involved about 200 participants 18-39 years old and were based on an optical illusion described by philosopher Franz Delboeuf in 1865.  He discovered that if same size circles were placed inside separate circles with different circumference sizes, the inner circles appeared to be different as well.
Today, I plan to run with Secretariat after a week long layoff.  I continue to have traces of my cold symptoms.  My intention is to do a short loop and if necessary a run –walk.  If the distance seems too long, I will head back and not push myself. I will let you know tomorrow how it went and if I made the right decision. I recognize that I am impatient."You will not find poetry anywhere unless you bring some of it with you."– Joseph Joubert

Monday, December 19, 2011

Reading Nutrition Labels,Muscle Repair,and Silent Heart Disease

 Happy Holidays
203 mostly white women participated in a simulated grocery shopping experiment in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  The participants were recruited to view computer images of 64 foods.  They were given a brief description about price and nutrition.  Meanwhile, unbeknown  to the participants, the researchers, with the use of an eye tracker device, measured how long they viewed the food image on a screen.  After they finished that part of the experiment, they were given a questionnaire about their shopping habits. The findings were: roughly a third of the participants reported that they usually look at calorie content on labels and about a third said the same for that content.  However, the eye tracking data show that only 9% of the participants looked at calorie content in roughly 80% of the items.  More participants viewed information at the top of the label where calories and fats are listed rather than the bottom, where there is information about sodium, sugar and vitamins.  The data suggested that the average consumer does not read the entire nutrition labels.
Do you know all the information that is listed on the labels of foods that you buy?  Do you have each product memorized, so you do not have to read the entire label?  You probably do not have time to read the entire label after all you because you just read the important stuff anyway.  We become what we eat, so be careful.

 A research study using mice was done to evaluate growing new muscle tissue with severe leg injuries. The scientists used a scaffold-like protein implant coded with reprogrammed human cells. Muscular injuries generally heal themselves, but scar tissue often blocks the repair of large-scale muscle injuries.  The results showed that the micro threads attached to mouse tissue at the wound edge became increasingly less visible as the wound filled in with new muscle fibers.  A significant increase in scar tissue was found in the non -implanted wounds compared with the implanted ones.  Full muscle function was near hundred percent in the implanted animals after 10 weeks compared with just over 50% in control group. I wonder if this procedure would be applicable to horses or humans.   Well, maybe one day we will find out?  Keep tuned.

From 1983 to 2001, cardiovascular risk factors were assessed in 1,287 brothers and sisters of patients who were hospitalized with heart disease from 699 Baltimore area families. The hospitalized patients had an average age of 46.5 and 67% were men.  None of the siblings who ranged in age from 30 to 59 years demonstrated symptoms of cardiac problems at the start of the study. These subjects were studied over the next 25 years, at five your intervals.  The findings revealed that a family history of premature heart disease showed that twice as many men as women exhibited signs of cardiac abnormalities.  Unfortunately, this disease is often clustered in at risk families, and prevention strategies for healthy siblings are lacking. Are you in a family at risk?  If you are, you might think about that and do something about it.

These studies were found in the Wall Street Journal, edition, Tuesday, December 13, 2011. As far as the third study goes, more and more information is coming out regarding this terrible killer-heart disease.  We know that prehistoric man did not die from heart disease but from infection.  So we have drugs to deal with infection effectively, but it is clear there is no drug substitute for physical activity.  We spend over $2 billion annually in gym memberships, and about $2 billion annually in workout devices for the home. That seems like a lot of money to me.

Let us work together to inspire our friends, family, and others to take better care of themselves.  That truly makes for a happy holiday.
"Man must be arched and buttressed from within, else the temple wavers to dust."– Marcus Aurelius

Friday, December 16, 2011

What does sex and age have to do with competiveness ?

Do you think that age and /or sex affect the degree of competitiveness?  You probably know individuals, both male and female, who are extremely competitive.  Also, you probably are acquainted with male and female individuals of all ages that are competitive.  If there are differences in competitiveness, what might those variables be?  You know, we all have been hardwired to be competitive as it is necessary for one’s survival.  Has our degree of competitiveness been modified through the ages?  We know that in families there are competitive differences among the siblings when birth order is taken into consideration.  Freud, in his psychoanalytic theory, wrote about the Oedipal and Electra complex in describing the male and female’s attachment- competitiveness with father as it relates to mother.  So family dynamics play a part and contribute and reinforce competition beginning in childhood and continuing throughout adulthood.
In my family, I am the oldest of three siblings.  I have a younger brother and a younger sister.  I would say that all three of us are extremely competitive and continue to be so especially with each other.  My brother Ron is a physician and was certainly very competitive in school where he excelled.  Although Ron is five years younger than me, he continues to work in the medical field.  During one conversation, he told me that a physician friend of his was George Bush’s personal physician. My sister Beverly, 10 years younger than me, also excelled in school.  She is president of her head hunting firm that places individuals in executive-positions in information-- technology in large firms. Beverly claim to fame was when she met Steve Jobs, who was interviewing her to attain whether or not she should do an executive search for him.  A good example of my mother’s competitiveness was around playing the word game Scrabble.  She would not let anyone beat her at that game, and had a dictionary ready to challenge the use of any word.  If the word was not in the dictionary, I could not use it, too bad for me. I would not play that game with her very often since it was not any fun to lose.
Okay, an article on competitiveness appeared in the December 10-11, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal.  The article based on a study titled “Competitiveness across Lifespan: The Feisty 50s,” by psychologists Mayr, Wozniak, Davidson, Kuhn’s, and Harbaugh reported that in their research that included 543 men and women between ages 25 to 75  found that men are more competitive than women-a pattern that seemed unaffected by age-and the gap could not be explained by ability. They also found that the will to compete climbed from the youngest ages up to the age of 50, and then it finally began to decline.  My questions are: 1. Was there research group randomly selected? 2. What generalizations can be made from their findings? For their study, they used arithmetic problems that had been properly solved and added the use of a monetary reward.  Would the results have been the same if the task was something other than arithmetic problem solving?  Would the results have been the same with the use of an intrinsic reinforcement? I could go on and on but in fairness, I did not examine the research design. I want to hear what Secretariat has to say about his competitive spirit and this study. I like what Winston Churchill had to say: “Successes is the ability to go on from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Mortality,Future of US Health Care,and Portland's Let's Go

"Never give out while there is hope; but hope not beyond reason, for that shows more desire than judgment."– William Penn
Darn it!  Linda and I continue to have symptoms from the colds we acquired on our Mexican cruise last week. Neither one of us neither likes to be sick.  These colds are a surprise for us since we have been pretty healthy. So, I called Laura this morning to tell her that we still had symptoms and did not think it would be good idea to host Saturday’s birthday -brunch run.  It's ok though because Secretariat said he and Debbie will host this year.  What is also difficult to do is to rest and drink liquids, as opposed to exercising and running on the trail.   This cold might interfere with participating in the January 1 New Year’s Resolution Run held Auburn.  For the past two years, Secretariat and I have entered the 10 mile.  He has already entered, and I am going to wait to see what happens to my symptoms before registering.
Within the past 2 to 3 weeks, we have lost two men-one older and one younger.  On top of that, the wife of one of the men who passed recently spent three days in the hospital.  Feeling sick, and witnessing the frailties that exist allowed me to pause and think about my mortality.  On top of that, I read an article titled “The Future of US Healthcare”   in Monday, December 12, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
The article pointed out that because of increasing health care costs, doctors, employers, and health insurance plans are encouraged to take a more direct approach in assisting individuals to make lifestyle changes. There are financial incentives for doctors, insured, and employers   to make changes.  Making lifestyle changes is a good thing and an economic motive seems to be the catalyst.  I think that can be a good thing.
 The NFL has a “Play 60” program designed to get kids involved in physical activity.  Portland’s “Let Go” program reported on an earlier blog is demonstrating progress in their program.  For those of you who may not remember, this program involves the schools and families to adapt its 5-2-1-0 message.  Translated this means eat at least five servings of fruit and vegetables, get two hours or less of screen time, get a least one hour of exercise and consume zero  sugary drinks daily. Compared with year 2007, parents reported that their kids went from 16% to 26% in year 2011 as far as eating the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables.  The children improved from 38% to 45% with their daily recreational screen time-two hours or less as well.  Good job parents, as you are the key.  Hopefully parents are incorporating the same message for themselves.
 Returning to health, wellness, exercise, nutrition, and mortality let us incorporate Erik Erikson’s model. His eighth and final stage of psychosocial development is called “Ego Integrity vs. Despair.”  Of course, looking at his epigenetic chart in his life cycle model, this final stage is associated with maturity.  One hopes to develop maturity and integrity.  It is difficult to develop integrity without maturity, and vice versa. However, physical well-being or wellness has to be part of the equation.  The more physical and emotionally healthier we are, the less likely we are to find  “ despair “as we live out the rest of our lives. The choice and options are certainly clear.  Hopefully, more of us will incorporate the message.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Ride & Tie ,Birthday Run,Tevis Cup, and Western States

"Hope is like a road in the country; there was never a road, but when many people walk on it, the road comes into existence."– Lin Yutang
Laura C called Linda and I and asked if we would be willing to host the birthday run again this Saturday.  We told her we would be delighted. This birthday run has been going on for years in honor of the birthday boys - Laura’s husband Tom, and none other than our Secretariat a.k.a. Tony.  Essentially, this birthday running group is primarily comprised of both endurance and ride and tie competitors.  As you may or may not know, ride and tie folks are superb equestrians and terrific runners. So when I first arrived in the endurance capital of the world, it was common to see the ride and tie community compete in endurance-especially the Tevis Cup, as well as ultra running events such as the Western states 100, Way too Cool 50 K. , American River 50 etc.
So my entry into ride and tie introduced me to individuals that were first place finishers in the Tevis Cup, Western States 100 etc. Needless to say, it does not get any better than that.  I met Secretariat at the Mustang classic a ride and tie and endurance event in 1997.  Shortly thereafter I met Tom and Laura, Becky, Robert and Melissa and numerous other ride and tie participants. This year I invited Randall and Diane running enthusiasts, along with Marty and Michelle to join us in the birthday run and potluck brunch afterwards.  Join all of us at the fire station in Cool at 9 AM this Saturday.
Going back 10 years ago to 2001, my running partner, Linda R. and I submitted entries to the Western states 100.  On that particular Saturday there was the annual drawing in Auburn to determine who would be the chosen for that run.  At that time there was no dilemma for me, because the birthday run was on the same day.  I told Linda that I was going to participate in the birthday run instead of going to the drawing.  She opted to go to the drawing.
I remember clearly that after finishing the run that morning, I am sitting in my vehicle, getting ready to head to Chris and Mickey’s for the potluck.  All of a sudden I see a smiling, joyous, Linda who yells to me “We are in, we are in.”  I do not remember exactly what I said or how I felt but I do remember that I told Linda to follow me to Chris’s house. Once there we were full of excitement and enthusiasm and thrilled to talk about the upcoming event.  I also recruited Chuck M to be one of my Pacers for the run.
Happy birthday to Tom, Secretariat, Chris and others and happy anniversary also.  Chances are, if I had not met Secretariat at Dan B’s endurance and ride and tie event in 1997, I likely would not be writing this blog today.  More about that at a later time.
By the way, I just received confirmation that I am in the 2012 "Way Too Cool" 50 K. run.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Aging, Mortality, HGH and Exercise

We know that an inactive lifestyle places extra strain on the body, increases the risk for cardiac problems such as cancer and many other diseases.   Our aging metabolism is less able to use fatty acids properly, thus placing more burdens on our system, depressing our immune system and possibly leading us in the direction of atherosclerosis.  Exercise uses free fatty acids for 80% of the calories needed to complete an activity especially converting them to energy.  If we exercise and incorporate a healthy diet we are likely to recapture youthful vitality by slowing or reversing many of the physiologic problems that are associated with aging. 
One of the problems of aging is that as we grow older, our bodies produce or manufacture less of the HGH hormone coupled with a 30% decrease in strength by age 70.  Exercise, luckily for us, stimulates and increases production of this vital hormone.  As our metabolic rate and activity level goes down, we need fewer and fewer calories to maintain body weight.  However, most of us to do not decrease our calorie intake to match our declining needs.
Simply put, as we age strength and activity levels decline and caloric intake should decline as well.  Exercise helps to produce more strength, and energy for more activity.  If you want to eat more, then you have to exercise properly if you want to deal with weight gain.
So for me, I place emphasis on maintaining my strength thereby increasing my HGH.  It is clear to me that I do not run as well or as fast as I did 10 years ago.  Within the past 10 years, I am a little more consistent with incorporating stretching, weight training, and/or the use of bands in an attempt to slow this decline.  I want to continue to do and maintain my strength. Fear of becoming frail and weak motivates me.  I also enjoy eating, and therefore I have another reason to exercise if I do not want to put on a lot of weight.
The following are the continuation of reasons to exercise taken from doctors Klatz and Goldman’s book “Stopping the Clock.” 1.  Improves blood circulation, resulting in better functioning organs, including the brain 2.  Increases productivity at work 3.  Improves balance and coordination   4. Helps to retard bone loss as you age, thereby reducing your risk of developing osteoporosis 5. Improves general mood state 6.  Helps in maintaining an independent lifestyle 7.  Allows more energy and vigor to meet the demands of daily life 8.  Increases overall health awareness 9.  Improves overall quality of life.
It is crystal clear that exercise is good.  Note, no one says it is easy.  In my book, my friends all take the exercise pill.  And that certainly is one of the variables that accounts for their success and the ability to enjoy life.  Join us.

From Seceretariat:  Just one more reason to keep exercising. This is from this weeks Time. A study of 14,245 men found that regardless of how much weight gained or lost over 11 years, those that stayed fit or got even fitter, lowered their risk of dying from heart conditions by at least 30 percent!!
"I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it."– Thomas Jefferson

Monday, December 12, 2011

Going to Mexico, Exercise , and Eating

Linda and I just returned home after a seven day cruise in the Mexican Riviera.  The two ports of call included Cabo San Lucas and Porta Varata.  It has been sometime since I was on a cruise, and even longer in visiting those two places.  My, have these communities expanded.  It was hard to believe that they are the same places.
What I did remember from previous cruises is the amount of food available.  With that being said, of the 3600 passengers, a high proportion was overweight.  I cannot remember from earlier cruises if the same is true.  I was pleased that the exercise facility had different equipment. I made sure that I was a daily visitor. My exercise regime included little over an hour on the treadmill, and working on upper body and core with the various machines and free weights. I also made sure to walk the stairs when navigating the various levels of the ship. It was also good to see passengers of different age levels, body types, and levels of fitness working out.
Previously, I listed reasons to exercise found in the book “Stopping the Clock”. Additional reasons include: 1. Helps alleviate back pain 2.  Improves mental alertness and reaction time 3.  Improves physical appearance 4.  Improves self-esteem 5.  Decreases resting heart rate 6.  Helps in  relaxation  7.Helps prevent and relieve the stresses that cause carpal tunnel syndrome 8.  Helps relieve constipation 9.  Protects against “creeping obesity.”-slow weight gain that occurs with age.
According to the authors Goldman and Klatz, “people who are physically fit, eat a healthy, balanced diet, and take nutritional supplements, can measure out to be 10 to 20 years biologically younger than their chronological age.”   Do you know anyone who does not want to be biologically younger?  Being biologically younger, I think is a good thing. This does not mean that we are going to live forever, but it does mean that we will likely be free from mental and physical disease, and degeneration for years longer than an unhealthy individual.  Exercise is a necessary component in the equation. 
"Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits."– Thomas A. Edison

Thursday, December 8, 2011

,Jim Steere,and Ride& Tie: Aging Is In Your Head

However, there were many positive aspects to Jim’s relationship with his strict, verbally-abusive father. One time his father said, "Son I‘d like to take you on a camping trip to the Mohave desert and show you where I lived for a couple of years when I was a boy." That particular trip was a birthday present for Jim, who was allowed to take along friends Brian and Theus. Thomas said, "We’ll pack the Model A and take off Friday a week from now. Step lively son; we have much to do to get ready for our bivouac."

On that particular Friday, Jim’s father picked up the boys at the Los Feliz Grammar School. The group, headed east into the San Fernando Valley, through Soledad Canyon and on to Antelope Valley. They came to the little town of Rosemond, and then to Rosemond Dry Lake. To the South were the San Gabriel Mountains and to the North the Tehachapi’s. Thomas claimed that his father helped build the Southern Pacific Railroad. Jim’s camping skills were sharpened as he learned more about nature’s elements. Thomas taught him about the behavior of rattlesnakes, building a campfire, making roasting sticks with long tree branches and then sharpening the points to hold the hot dogs, or marshmallows in place. Jim learned that prunes are good for the "constitution." He learned how to cook, wash the dishes, bury the garbage, and make the "poop pit." Jim received a first-hand education about living in the desert, which prepared him for the future. It was apparent that young Jim learned about affiliation, friendship, how to take in information and apply it as well. He also received valuable information about becoming a good citizen; being self-reliant, disciplined, and respectful of the environment and the necessary components of a healthy lifestyle.

Well my friends, for the past four days you have had a brief glimpse into the life of Jim Steere. Believe me, if you liked this part, you will enjoy the rest and find Jim’s story most interesting.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Exercise is the best Anti -Aging pill. Jim Steere is the example.

Day three
Jim’s parents were married to each other three separate times. There were times in his life when he lived with both of them, and then with each parent separately. After his parents first divorce, he recalled his mother saying, "I love your father and you should love him to. Your father loves us." Jim responded with, "Then why doesn’t he come home and live with us?" Jim made his point. Receiving praise and validation was very important for him.
Jim was when Thomas moved to Virginia to teach at Greenbriar military Academy. His mother and the children drove from California and camped along the way to visit their father. Even though Jim was a young boy, he already was an expert camper. His mother was not a typical parent; she was ahead of her time. Laura earned both an undergraduate and graduate degree from Stanford University, with her master’s degree in paleontology. She traveled alone to Berlin, Germany to study sculpture. She lived to the age of 94.
When Jim was eight years old, he lost his older brother Charles. Jim believed that his brother’s death had something to do with his parents marrying again. In that same year, the kids, Laura, and the Model A roadster traveled from California to the world’s fair in Chicago. Jim remembered how much fun he had riding in the rumble seat in that crowded car stuffed with people, baggage, and camping gear. Some of Thomas’s rants included, "Shut the God damned doors," "Goddammit kid, you would forget your head, if it was not screwed on your shoulders." During those scary moments, Jim wanted to stay away from his father as much as possible. Although his father never hit him, he threatened him with, "I will tear your arm off and beat you to death with that bloody stump."
To be continued at a later date.

Ran 11 Miles at Cronan a bit cold this morning but beautiful out. Here some more Stats from my GPS today.
11.03 miles
Time 2:06: 05
Pace 11’ 25"
Elevation Gain 2441 ft
Elevation Loss 2448 ft

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

More on Jim Steere from "iT HAS Nothing To Do With Age",Jim Steere's Anti- Aging Secrets, UjENA FIT CLUB

More on Jim Steere:

Day two
Jim had already invested money, time and practical experience into becoming a veterinarian for large animals. He realized that he had lost his "God complex" somewhere along the way, and that he was not going to become president of the United States. During this time, the major issues of the day included the Vietnam War, women’s liberation, the pill, and the sexual and drug revolutions. Being young, intelligent, liberal, and full of endless energy, in the fall of 1963 Jim applied to Harvard, took the necessary classes met the degree requirements and received a Masters of Arts in public health. After much soul-searching, he decided to return to the Golden State to practice veterinary medicine, still unclear if his midlife crisis was resolved.
Several issues like growth, development, family, and environmental factors attributed to Jim Steere’s unrest. Jim was born in 1925, on the 5th of March. As a two-year-old, his first memory was of living on the Eastern shore of the Chesapeake in the state of Virginia. When he was three years of age, his family moved to Berkeley, California, the youngest of four children, Jim had two older brothers and an older sister. Jim’s father, Thomas Steere is a story in and of himself. Thomas graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a degree in engineering. Thomas became a commissioned officer in the United States Army without attending West Point, which was unheard of at that time. Thomas lived to age 96, and had a significant influence on Jim throughout his life.
Jim recalled vivid memories of early life as a child and adolescent, especially his father’s behavior. He remembered being afraid of his father; his dad seemed angry, much of the time, especially when he used foul language. On one occasion, Jim remembered his dad driving the family to Los Angeles in the Dodge touring sedan. Jim recalled his father yelling, "God damn that guy on my bumper!" And, "That stupid old bitch won’t let me pass!" On that memorable trip it began to rain, and Jim remembered his dad allowing him to crank the wiper by hand, pleased that his father gave him that opportunity.
To be continued at a later date

Just a note about the UjENA Fit Club I joined about 3 weeks ago. Basic membership is free it"s a great place to see what others are doing for exercise. Also if you post your workout you can win some money. Frank has already won 50$. So take a look."

Monday, December 5, 2011

Jim Steere's Anti-Aging Pill, UjENA FIT Club

This week’s blog pertains to Chapter 7, in "It Has Nothing To Do With Age." I am honored to introduce you to Dr. Jim Steere. Jim Steere, at age 80, was the oldest to complete the Tevis Cup ride. For the next few days, I am going to tell you part of Jim’s story.
By the way, Linda heard a radio advertisement sponsored by the Sacramento airport: "Do not take your workout clothes on your trip because you probably will not use them." They wanted passengers to pack efficiently. They might have said. "Do not take those extras sweaters and shoes." Well, we are taking workout clothes!
Chapter V11 Jim Steere, DVM: Renaissance-Man and Athlete Extraordinaire
In memory 3 – 15 – 1925 to 8 –3 – 2010
When Jim Steere reached 35 years of age, he was in a midlife crisis. This crisis lasted for about 25 years. He was troubled, married, a Dr. of veterinary medicine, and he had six children. He had just returned from Denmark on a Fulbright scholarship. It was in 1960s, and unbeknownst to him, other factors were to contribute to his existential questioning how to make his life and career meaningful.
Living and studying abroad in Denmark made a significant impression on Jim. To illustrate, Denmark has zero population growth, complete medical coverage for citizens, and they view suicide as humane. Their values were certainly different than ours. One day, Jim and a group of about 30 to 40 scholars took a bus tour of Hamlets Castle. During the tour, there was a heated discussion about medicine, illness, and medical coverage. Jim remembered from that conversation that the Danes did not consider complete medical coverage as socialized medicine. In their country, a group of people hired their own Dr. to treat their illnesses, and they called that practice a cooperative. If you were rich or employed, you would pay the doctor’s fees. However, if you were poor or unable to financially contribute to the cooperative, you would receive government assistance to pay for the doctor’s charges.
The discussion of suicide touched a personal nerve in Jim. In Denmark, suicide does not carry criminal charges or have a religious connotation. Jim’s grandfather, a California pioneer, committed suicide by ingesting strychnine. In the US, shame and guilt are associated with suicide, it is not openly discussed, and it is a crime and therefore punishable. The Danes are both more humanistic and progressive when it comes to depression and mental illness.
To be continued at a later date.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Anti-Aging,Exercise,Rejuvenation,and Indian Code of Ethics

More from Klatz and Goldman’s “Stopping the Clock” the first book that I read about anti-aging and rejuvenation.  Yesterday, I presented 15 reasons to exercise.  Today, because exercise is the closest thing to an anti-aging pill that exists, I am listing more reasons to exercise from their terrific book.  Additional reasons include:
1.       Helps improve short-term memory
2.      Sharpen  dynamic vision and controls glaucoma
3.      Reduces risk of developing type 2- non insulin dependent diabetes
4.      Reduces anxiety
5.      Assists in quitting smoking
6.      Slows the rate of joint degeneration-osteoarthritis
7.      Enhances sexual desire, performance and satisfaction
8.      Helps in the management of stress
9.      Improves quality of sleep
10.  Reduces risk of developing colon cancer
11.  Reduces risk of developing prostate cancer
12.  Reduces risk of developing breast cancer
13.  Reduces risk of developing stroke
14.  Reduces susceptibility to coronary  thrombosis-a clot in the artery that supplies the heart with blood
15.  Helps alleviate depression
Goldman and Klatz have given 30 good reasons for exercise.  Additional reasons to follow.  If you are not exercising, I am sure that you will eventually find some reasons to exercise.  If you are exercising, hats off to you. Remember, even if you exercised when younger, it is like that pill because you have to continue to do it to reap the benefits.

Now,  for “Indian Code of Ethics” however, I am unable to quote the source.
1.       Each morning when you wake and each evening before sleeping, give thanks for life, for the good things the Creator has given you and others, and the opportunity to grow a little more each day.  Give thanks for yesterday’s thoughts and actions and for the courage and strength to be a better person.
2.      Respect: respect means “to feel or show honor or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well-being of, or treat someone or something with courtesy.”  Showing respect is a basic law of life.
a. treat every person, infant to elder with respect at all times
b.special respect should be given to elders, parents, teachers, and community leaders
C. do not touch anything that belongs to someone else-especially sacred objects without permission or an understanding between you
D, do not make anyone feel “put down” by you; avoid hurting others hearts as you would avoid the deadly poison
E. speak in a soft voice especially when you are with elders, strangers, or others who should be respected
F. never walks between people who are having a conversation
G. show deep respect for the beliefs and religions of others
H. listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel what they are saying is worthless
More to follow.Take all that is relevant.

I received this pass out from a continuing education class “The Psychology of Aging” back in 2003. Stay tuned.
"One day in retrospect the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful."– Sigmund Freud