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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.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Endurance Riding,Western States100,Cognitive RX., Sai Baba

I found out that Satya Sai Baba, the Indian guru, age 84, just died May 9, 2011 issue of Time. His teachings are summarized: “love all, serve all; help ever, hurt never”. I would add “be true to yourself, find your passion, stay mentally and physically fit”. Sai Baba’s teachings provide a terrific framework of how to treat others. My focus is  how the individual might treat himself.
Today, I ran about 8 miles on the trail and noticed the orange ribbon markings for the American River 50 endurance ride. I have done that ride many times and have good memories. One time Jonathan and I rode together and recall that he wasn’t thrilled about the narrow rutted trail, steep drop-offs with river below. Some of that trail is downright scary. Another memory is when my Arabian mare Gypsy and I came in third or fourth and she won best condition and received High Point for the vet evaluations that day. Her scores that day were awesome. That was a very good day.
While running with my white-haired terrier Digger, I had the opportunity to think about some of the psychologists that influenced me and are pertinent to the topic of motivation. Yesterday, I wrote about cognitive therapy. Albert Ellis is my first introduction into how our thoughts influence behavior in either a positive or negative way. Ellis, his book “A Guide to Rational Living” wrote about 10 irrational ideas and how to eradicate them therapeutically. In my interviews, I asked the athletes about their thinking during training or competition to gain insight into their motivation. I wanted to know how they thought. Jack Scholl, age 85, a rower for over 60 years gave examples of how he uses his psyche to assist him when the rowing is tough, and exhausting. His responses are interesting as he uses both positive and negative thinking to influence his behavior and keep going. Russ Kiernan age 72, Mr.Dipsea also gave illustrations of his thinking during his trail run competitions. For me, one mantra that I used over and over again during the Western states run is “I can”. It is important to employ thinking to our advantage. Each of us has our own way of thinking when the going is tough. Don’t let negative thoughts get in the way or sabotage what you want to accomplish in life. For those of you that want to share your inner thoughts, or mantras during competitions, please don’t hesitate to post them.
Another concept that I use in my research is called” expectancy” which is related to goal setting and the evaluation process related to that accomplishment or goal completion. Psychologists such as Kurt Lewin, Julian Rotter, and Edward Tolman to name a few researched and wrote about this concept. Expectancy is a powerful motivational tool. The individual sets a goal and hopefully his level of aspiration is realistic and in line with his expectation. If one doesn’t expect to do well then often we don’t, but on the contrary if we expect to do well then more likely we do well. With Lance Armstrong in his prime, what do you think his expectancy is regarding Tour de France competitions? When Kobe Bryant is playing an important game in the fourth quarter and he takes a shot, what you think his expectancy is in making the shot? With Barry Bonds in his prime in the bottom of the ninth with the score tied and at bat, what do you think his expectancy is in getting a hit or home run? This means that when the rest of us set realistic goals and have positive expectations or expectancies our chances of success are strong. Pay attention to your goal setting and your expectations. Make sure they’re aligned properly.
The weather is changing for the better in most parts United States and the world so now is a good time to think about oneself. Some questions to be asked include: What can I do to feel better? What can I do to improve memory and concentration? What can I do to lower my blood pressure or hypertension? What can I do to get stronger and fit? What can I do to improve my performance in my sport? What can I do to make my community a better place? In other words, this is a good time for self reflection, goal setting, developing expectancies, and employing thinking that leads to positive behavior.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely love this! You are so right on with goal setting. It reminds me of the greatest lesson I learned as an eventer who's greatest fear as I started competing was getting lost on my cross country course in a 3 day competition. Finally an older and great trainer, cory walkey, told me something that made sense and that I always used and never again had the fear. She said "walk your course and keep stopping and close your eyes and see yourself jumping the jump and at the correct speed. Keep stopping and combining the jump efforts together until you can close your eyes and see yourself jumping every jump on course and feeling the correct pace." I couldn't believe how this worked and from then on my worst fear was conquered and I could just run my course and concentrate on being in balance and pointing my horse to the right jump. He did the rest and he blessed me with many great placings because I could just concentrate on my job.
It will remain one of the best lessons I learned and I remain forever grateful as it allowed me to continue what I loved jumping cross country on my horse with no fear and only great accomplishment!
Thanks for the great posting today again I just loved it.
It was what I needed as I just finished biking the hardest course I have attempted, 52 miles of hills and horrible cross winds on the coast, but there was never a moment I thought I wouldn't make it. My goal was 50 miles and no matter how hard I was completing it. Was is hard, bloody yes but I knew I just had to keep my legs pedalling in a circle and I would get to the end. I did and boy does that ever feel good as you all know. Completing a personal goal is the best feeling in the world. Don't need to have competitors just yourself works the best for me.

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