Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: Adventure Racing,Cognitive Therapy,& Cross Training
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, April 29, 2011

Adventure Racing,Cognitive Therapy,& Cross Training

Are you too old or out of shape to start exercising and making changes in your life? On the contrary, another question to be asked is “can you afford to wait any longer”? It seems that our thinking often gets in the way of making significant changes in our life. The Greek philosopher Epictetus apparently said something like “live in accordance with nature, to unlearn the habit of judging everything that happens as good or bad, and to learn to distinguish what is within your power to change and what is not”. In other words, the thing that upsets people is not what happens but what they think it means or simply put “nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so”. Don’t let your thinking get in the way of making those necessary changes. Learn to challenge self-defeating ideas per psychologist Albert Ellis. Cognitive (how we think) therapy deals with just that.
Prior to writing my book, I generated a number of hypotheses about the psychological makeup of the athletes. To illustrate: 1. Supportive environments; 2. Physicality,  a main criteria in behavior; 3. Positive mindsets incorporating  affirmations and mantras; 4. Creative problem-solving; 5. Retirement is not an endpoint; and 6. Desire for mastery. So, I designed a questionnaire that addressed these notions during the interview process. I wanted to get a clear understanding of why athletes 65 years of age and older put themselves into activities that pushed physical and mental barriers. Their stories and behavior is more than just exercise. In each of their extreme sports, the individual has to overcome and push through pain, discomfort, injury, exhaustion, and hardship. It is clear, that one has to be tough psychologically to deal with the many issues that come up during an event. The why question is extremely important and the conclusions found insightful.
I remember telling, Bill, one of my pacers during a running event (it might have been the AR 50 )“I’m tired”. His direct response to me “you’re supposed to be tired”. He didn’t give me sympathy; he stated the obvious and that made perfect sense at the time. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be tired. So now, I can focus on my event. Another insight that I learned during a long ultra event is that things psychologically and physically change. For example, if I’m feeling great I know that won’t last and by the same token if I’m feeling crappy that’ll likely change to. In other words, one constant is that things change and nothing stays the same. Notice, employing positive and realistic thinking is important for success
Geno Ortez, the owner of a massage therapy school on the big island of Hawaii told me recently that he believes cross training reduces overuse injury. His example is people who compete in triathlons. They experience less injury than ultra runners according to him. His experience ranges from being involved in two Olympics to working with professional athletes such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Ride and tie is a good sport for cross training since it involves using different muscles for riding and running.  Using different muscles is the key along with the amount of training time. I don’t particularly like biking and I have difficulty with swimming so triathlons are out for me. Currently, I’m experimenting with kayaking for cross training. This leads to Tony’s new purchase of a 2011 advanced frame convertible inflatable kayak made by Advanced Elements.  The kayak length is 15 feet and he believes that his kayak is faster than mine.  Once he gets it, we’ll see.
Another cross training support to consider is Adventure Racing. This activity often combines disciplines such as trail running, mountain biking and some type of paddling either with canoe or kayak. In this team sport the “team” stays together for the entire race which can last anywhere from hours to days. As a GPS device isn’t allowed, competitors navigate a course using maps and compass. Find a friend with similar interests and check it out. If only I didn’t have to bike.


Anonymous said...

I love this! Yes cross training is a must if you want to protect your joints for the long haul. But most important is strength training at least 2 days a week per the surgeon general and all current peer revewed studies. I know for all us cardio nuts that this can be hard to factor into our schedules, but it is an absolute must to protect your bones and joints. You will also see that it will make you stronger and able to go faster and farther in your chosen cardio sport whether it be running, swimming, biking or endurance riding.
In response to overtraining, always factor in a week off every 3 months whether you want to or not. Perferably at the end of each training season or big event. You will come back stronger, your body does need complete recovery time periodically.

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