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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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Loss of Friends

The older you get the more fragile life is. This past year a number of my friends have passed. Just yesterday, Mitch Newman joined that club. He suffered a heart attack and was in a self induced coma. Obviously, his prognosis was not good. He is better off now as compared to being a vegetable or having his mental capacities compromised. He was a person that I met on the high school football field. He was a terrific kid off the field as well.  I liked him a lot even though I had only periodic contact with him over the years. Although he was not a close friend, I felt a connection or bond with him that will stay with me until I die. This connection is very difficult to explain or understand. The bottom line is that I met him and connected with him at a meaningful time in my life. Goodbye Mitch, I miss you and will never forget you.
Katie Yeager an elementary through high school friend passed away this year too.  She was not a close friend but I had meaningful interactions with her over these past 20 years. I’m sorry to see her go as well. Dennis Cole I met while playing freshman football at the University of Detroit. We played against each other in high school although I didn’t know him during high school. He was tall, blonde and good looking.  I attended his stag party when he married early and lost contact after he left the University. He became a dance instructor at Arthur Murray, went to Hollywood, and was a costar on a TV series with Howard Duff. Later on he married one of Charlie’s Angels, Jacqueline Smith. He later divorced and left acting. Another good memory from the past.
One of my best friends was Denny Ollerman who died from cancer and other complications. I met Denny in the late 60s while teaching a psychology class Oakland community college. As it turned out, we both attended graduate school at Wayne State University. I moved to California to teach at Cal State San Bernardino and he divorced, moved to California, and married Maria. In many ways he was a mentor as we shared inner lives. He was a good buddy. His loss hurts. Mitch, Katie, Dennis and Denny are my age. The reality of my mortality can’t be denied and that stinks.
One of the seven individuals that I interviewed for It Has Nothing to Do with Age also left us. Jim Steere, although older, became a friend these last 10 years as a result of ride and tie. I really got to know him during the time I spent time interviewing him. Too bad for me that I did not meet him earlier. He was another bright and goodhearted man. All the losses seem to remove or take away a part of you; yet your memory and thoughts remain. One can no longer call and talk with them on the phone.
Some friends remain over a lifetime while others come and go. However, with death it’s permanent. We all are touched by loss which is part of the lifecycle.  Making friends is one of the prescriptions that I have in my book. So with the benefit of having a friend and all the positives that come from that, you get the other side of the equation which is loss. Remember what Freud said “the goal of life is death.”


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