Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: Charlie Sheen,Dick Hoyt,Addiction, and Me
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 15, 2011

Charlie Sheen,Dick Hoyt,Addiction, and Me

In the true sense of the word “addiction” refers to a dependence on a chemical substance to the extent that physiologic dependence is established. This can manifest itself as “withdrawal symptoms”. With Charlie Sheen, it seems clear that he has an issue with addiction. The only thing that is unclear to me is the particular substance or substances that he’s using. A question to consider is his addiction good or bad for him? If you asked him the question, he might reply that his addiction has been an asset to his acting career and his star status. He might add that his personality has been influenced by his lifestyle and this allows him to portray his on-screen characters more realistically. I’m sure there are many others that have a different opinion and would suggest that he need help in overcoming his addiction and dependence. One thing is certain - he still has star status at least in the present. What will Charlie be like in 20 years? Will he still be a star? Will he be a productive member of society? Let’s see what Charlie does with his life from now on and evaluate the outcome.

You might wonder who is Dick Hoyt? The April 18, 2011 issue of Sports Illustrated written by Gary Smith featured an article titled “The Wheels of Life”. Dick, age 70 has a cerebral palsy son approaching 50 years of age. Okay, why is he in Sports Illustrated?  In 1977, Dick 37 and his son Rick, 15 at the time, entered a 5 mile road race. Rick was placed in a three wheel trike like” machine” .Dick pushed while Rick rode as a passenger. Up to this point, Dick was a 37-year-old captain in the air National Guard. He had never run more than a mile outside of boot camp 18 years earlier and now he was pushing his son in wheelchair for 5 miles in a road running race. They finished that race and that started a different lifestyle for Dick and Rick promoting the disabled very differently.

Since that first race 33 years ago, the Hoyt's have entered more than 1,000 road races and triathlons. For the swimming part, Dick pulls Rick through the water atop a raft; for the biking part, Rick rides in front in a special chair. For the first Boston Marathon, Dick had to be considered “outlaw” since he wasn’t officially allowed to enter. But they did finish, and have completed 28 Boston Marathon’s. They also completed the Hawaiian Iron man. Dick continues to participate in these events even though he has some health issues and went through a divorce  in the process. Might you wonder why he continues to do this? It seems clear to me that he has a non-chemical addiction-dependence. For a more thorough description of all that he has gone through read the Sports Illustrated article. You might raise the question does he have a positive addiction-dependence or a negative addiction-dependence? I’m pretty sure that Dick is proud of his involvement with his son and likely would do it again if given the opportunity. This is who Dick is -this is his creative self - this is his identity, this gives him meaning. It is clear that Dick is a special and determined athlete and has a passionate cause that keeps him motivated .

What about me? In 2002, I ran the Western States 100 and was interviewed in the documentary film “Running Madness” of that event. During one of the interviews, I referred to my running as an addiction. There was no chemical substance involved and my running did not interfere with work or relationships. I called my running at the time a positive addiction. For the past 10 years or so I run 5 to 7 days a week and total about 50 to 65 miles during the week. I had three interruptions during that ten year span: meniscus surgery, breaking my neck in a horse accident, and an Achilles overuse injury. I thoroughly disliked time off and not being able to run on the trail.

Has my addiction been negative for me is a question? I don’t think so as my health is good, good energy, good friends, and good relationships, have  passion, and I am admired. So, I plan to keep on going. Today’s tapering trail run was close to three hours  in nature with my wire haired white terrier Digger. Next Saturday, on to Malibu for a 50 K. Tomorrow Linda, Tony, Debbie, and I are going kayaking. So, I have a day off from running.  I don’t think I will have withdrawal symptoms. Check the next blog to find out.


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