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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.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Positive Thinking, Reducing Anxiety and Self -Fufilling Prophecy

According to John Elliott “races always evoke some dread about pain that will come. But we can’t escape the fact that the more discomfort we accept in a race, the faster we will run. Successful racing means courting the pain.” I have some thoughts about this quote. Do any of you think like this prior to a race? Let me know your thoughts prior to a race.
First, John uses the word” always” in that first sentence. That’s a word to be reckoned with as it is a real killer.  I know the sun” always” rises in the east and “always” sets in the west. However, when it comes to how we as humans perceive things, there are not too many absolutes. So I would quickly find another word to use and make sure it is not an absolute. I would use the word “often, frequently, or sometimes.” In that first sentence, I would also modify the word dread. Dread has a negative connotation. According to the American College Dictionary dread is defined as “to fear greatly”. So if I’m going to greatly fear pain, why on earth would I ever do that to myself? So I would re -frame that first sentence to read something like “I get anxious before a race and sometimes I think about the discomfort that I’m going to experience. Of course, to race means I’m going to extend myself physically. However, the discomfort is not going to kill me and I will get over it. If I’m doing a short running race, the discomfort will be short. If I’m doing a longer race, I know that things change during the race. I may experience discomfort and that’ll change too”
Second, John believes that to eliminate negative thinking will result in a faster running performance. If he means that to accept is to acknowledge then I would change that sentence to read something like “don’t distort the reality of the race. It’s important to realize that to race means that it is going to be hard and difficult. It is supposed to be hard and difficult otherwise it would not be a race. Stay with reality as that is the best lesson.”
John’s last sentence has two words I would change. Courting and pain are not needed. Courting, according to the dictionary, pertains to an area enclosed by a wall, a sovereign place, to attempt to gain favor etc. I don’t see how that word fits at all. I also would change the word pain and use discomfort instead. It seems to me that successful racing means a number of things: the age of the participant, the quality of training and conditioning, being injury free, being knowledgeable or experienced with the racing distance, eating well pre, during and post, and being  rested prior to the race. By no means is this list exhaustive. Also very important is how we think about the race. You’ve heard of  a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we think that something negative is going to happen then it generally does. If we reinforce that negative thinking, we get negatively. I agree that if we think negatively going into event then likely our anxiety level is going to interfere with performance. The key word here pertains to negative thinking which feeds anxiety or worry. So if you “always worry” before an event than likely you’re not going to do your best. The key is taking a look at your thinking and being able to modify and deal with your anxiety effectively. Remove irrational thinking to help control your anxiety.  Too much or too little anxiety impacts performance in a negative way. In other words do not choke. Thanks Tony for  sending me that quote.


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