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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.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tree Climbing and Self Actualization

How many of you are looking for something new, for something different in your workouts? If you are, I have an exercise that you may not have thought about. In the Health and Wellness section of the Wall Street Journal dated August 16, 2011 is titled “Go Climb a Tree, It Seriously Works Your Trunk.” On this page is a picture of a young woman 38 years of age hanging from the limb of the tree. Ann Koening is an urban forester for the Missouri Department of conservation as well as being the competitive tree climber.
According to Ann, competitive tree climbers aren’t very husky. She is 5’2” and carries 115 pounds. She claims the best way to train is to get right up in a tree. Okay, there is some gear required. A rope is necessary and costs roughly $100. Also, the individual has two types of saddles to choose from and they cost anywhere from $100-$300.  In addition, a throw weight is necessary, a beanbag type weight attached to 150 foot nylon line is used to help repel the rope over high branches and that costs about $10. Don’t forget a helmet which cost about $100.  Not quite last are boots that have flat soles, which she claims are very important.  For clothing, Ann   wears Merrell Chameleons or La Sportivas which range from $115-$170. The gear adds up like it does in any sport.
If this outdoor activity sounds interesting to you, she recommends a book titled “The Tree Climbers Companion.” From there, you could even join an ISA chapter and become an official part of the group. Remember there are local and international competitions as well. Ann claims that tree climbing exercises her back, glutes and core. She also participates in workouts that strengthen her agility and speed like plyometrics.
For competition, individuals compete in five individual events.  Each person is judged on points earned based on speed and technique in the following events: Secured Foot Lock; Throw Line; Aerial Rescue; Speed Climb; and Work Climb.
It is clear that in our society there are many creative ways to exercise, stay fit, and become healthy. The key is motivation since there is plenty of opportunities in which to engage. But you have to start with a desire or a change with the goal in sight. The more concrete the goal the better the opportunity to meet it. Once you have your goal you can then develop strategies on meeting that goal. The difficult part is deciding on the goal and being able to follow through which is motivation.
Let’s take Ann Koening for example. She has met her physiological needs (eats proper nutritionally) and her safety needs (wears proper clothing along with obtaining the correct gear). She is meeting her belongingness needs by being part of a group and is working on her esteem needs by developing more skill and expertise with tree climbing training. Will she ever become self-actualized or according to Erik Fromm “Man’s main task in life is to give birth to himself, to become what he potentially is.”   Time will tell and she is only 38. And in Maslow’s study of individuals that were self-actualized, he believed that if self-actualization happens it is more likely to occur when the individual reaches a mature age.                                                               


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