Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: October 2011
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, October 31, 2011

Famous Amos, First Marathon, Coffee and Depression

"Believe that you can do it, under any circumstances. Because if you believe you can, then you really will. That belief just keeps you searching for the answers, then pretty soon you get it."– Wally "Famous" Amos
Sunday’s training run began at my front door with 56-year-old Randall.  We headed for Chris’s house in order to pick him up along the way.  Approximately, an hour later, we were at his front door.  He joined us and we then continued to the quarry at the Highway 49 crossing to refill our water bottles.  We filled our water bottles, and then proceeded down the trail in the direction of Maine bar.  Chris was running well and was the first one to reach the infamous Maine bar trail.  We then proceeded, with approximately a mile climb in order to reach the 16 mile marker of the Wendell Robie trail.  From there, we came back to my front door.  Randall is in “heavy” training and continued running, while Chris and I walked the last mile or so.
At my house, Chris gave Randall pointers about proper stretching and other training techniques.  Randall is training for a marathon and is slowly building up his miles, which is the smart thing to do.  His longest run so far is about 15 miles.  He has plenty of time to reach his goal, and it does make sense for him not to push the miles at this juncture.
For me, Sunday’s run was my longest in quite a while.  Activity with my book, Tony going on vacation, resting my Achilles, cutting my hand, and burning my lip contributed to shortening my trail runs.  I felt comfortable yesterday and ran fairly well.  My next event is a half marathon at Stinson Beach, on the 12Th, with Secretariat. I will be ready.
Today, Linda on Nails, and I did a short 5 mile or so, loop.  I felt okay.  Tomorrow, I plan to run the same loop that we did Sunday, which is about 13 miles. Famous Amos’s is right on.  Having a belief or expectation is a powerful motivator. My doctoral dissertation studied expectation as a motivational variable and found that statistically, it is a powerful predictor of performance.
In the September 27, 2011 edition of the Wall Street Journal, a new study found that women who regularly consume coffee or more specifically, caffeinated beverages are less likely to suffer depression.  In this particular study, women who had 2 to 3 cups of coffee a day  had  about  a 15% lower risk of developing depression over a 10 year period, compared to women who had only one cup of coffee or less per week.  And 4 or more cups of coffee a day reduced the risk of depression by 20%.  Researchers concluded that the study did not prove that caffeine or caffeinated coffee reduces the risk of depression.  They suggested that caffeinated coffee has a “protective effect.”  On another note, depression is a chronic health problem that affects twice as many women as men.  At least 20% of women develop depression at some point in their lives.  We know that caffeine is considered the world’s most consumed central nervous system stimulant that temporarily boosts alertness and often improves people’s moods .If you are feeling depressed, consider keeping track of the number of cups of coffee consumed.  I would not stop there, as I would also consider including physical activity or exercise as well.  Stay mentally healthy and drink caffeine, if necessary.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Adventure Club,Immigration, Marathons, and Teen I.Q.

"We taste and feel and see the truth. We do not reason ourselves into it."– William Butler Yeats

Today, October 27, I ran with Randall.  Secretariat continues to be in Southern California, assisting his 96-year-old mother.  Hurry back Secretariat.  I agree with William Butler Yeats since we often incorporate a defense mechanism called rationalization in our thinking process  and unfortunately that affects, destroys, and filters reality.

Randall was born in Southern California and he talked about his grandfather, born in Russia.  According to him, his great-grandfather was killed by the Bolsheviks, and his grandfather and his mother escaped from Russia and made it to the United States in 1911.

 Randall’s grandfather eventually made it to California and was a furrier in the 30s 40s and 50s.  He remembers seeing pictures of his grandmother in hiking boots, and he thought that was amazing.  His grandfather introduced him to the outdoors, which was a real treasure.  This grandfather also rode horses and was a member of the Adventure Club and Breakfast Club in Los Angeles.  His grandfather lived to age 96, and even at age 95 was an official greeter for the Adventure Club.  Members in this club did amazing expeditions, feats, and travels.  They would bring back pictures and other paraphernalia of their  adventures and travels.  Randall was a member of the club while he lived in Southern California, but is no longer active.

Randall remembers riding in Griffith Park with his grandfather.  Randall enjoyed and related to the chapter on Jim Steere in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.” Randall was very familiar with the desert where Jim lived went to school, and rode his horse as a kid. I am please that Randall is enjoying my book.  He just finished the chapter on Lew Hollander and was impressed with his accomplishments.

Randall would like to run his first marathon, and is training for that.  His goal is to run that distance without being in pain or breaking down.  He ran 15 miles recently and felt good about that.  He is getting close to his goal.  Our run today was about 10 miles, and with about a mile to go, he told me that he had to push, because Secretariat was returning shortly.  He would like to be able to beat Secretariat.  From Secretariat: A challenge be prepared Secretariat will be!!!  So, he got in front of me and I did not catch him today. 
An October 20, 2011 article in the Wall Street Journal titled “As Brain Changes, So Can IQ” found that teenager’s intelligence may be more malleable than we previously thought.  Perhaps, teenagers IQ can either rise or fall depending upon experiential factors.  Researchers at the University College London correlated the rise or fall of teenagers IQ score with small changes in the brain using functional magnetic resonance imaging to record structural variations.

Although the sample size  of this study was too small to warrant broad conclusions, perhaps cognitive abilities can increase or decrease.  If an individuals genes that shape intelligence can be identified,  then new teaching strategies or life experiential elements  might be able to foster  smarter teenagers.  What immediately comes to mind is the electronic generation, with all the video games and texting going on.  Do you think, another Steve Jobs is going to emerge from this generation of teens?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

"Ride on! Rough-shod if need be, smooth-shod if that will do, but ride on! Ride on over all obstacles, and win the race!"

Charles Dickens sounds very competitive with that statement.  To me it means, not only be competitive, but the ends justify the means. I can think of a few professional sports such as NASCAR where that might hold true.   Professional baseball, football, cycling, and track and field come to mind as far as the ingestion of illegal substances.

Prior to drug testing in baseball, I remember the Congressional hearings, where such baseball sluggers as Mark McGwire, Rafael Palmeiro, Sammy Sosa and others had difficulty acknowledging their drug use.  Currently, Roger Clemens is not out of the woods yet, as far as his trial goes. It baffles me that some of these baseball players did not admit taking drugs or steroids during a time in which there was no ban.  Wanting to speed up an injury process or take a supplement that might improve your strength, does not seem so odd with the outrageous and outlandish salaries these players were receiving.

Let us face it, professional sports have become entertainment.  Do not forget, that it is called professional, and that these athletes are paid.  They are paid to perform and to entertain.  When you think of the owners it is no wonder that they didn’t take a hard and close look to what their players were doing.  Remember in capitalism, the goal is profit and only profit.  With records being broken, stadiums being filled, and enormous television contracts galore, the players dovetailed nicely in our adoring star, starving culture.  Everyone was happy.

Now it seems that there are some “holier than thou” that want to make a big deal out of this issue.  I do not have a problem with making a rule, and then enforcing it.  He that breaks the rule must deal with the consequences.  So players like Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, etc. are usually punished for “lying” during their trials.

On one hand our culture gives the impression of “fair play” or play by the rules yet time in and time out, players, management, insider trading, and business fraud seems commonplace.  I know when I read the Wall Street Journal; it is not unusual to read about indictments and charges pertaining to the business world.

Thank goodness for amateur sports, which seems more pure?  Take away the money, television contracts, commercial endorsements, and you have different motives to play the game.  I do not run, because I have to.  I do not run to put food on the table.  I do not run because of concern about my contract.  I do not run because of an endorsement.

My motives for running are related to who I am health and fitness, and affiliation.  These motives are simpler in my opinion, and better for me.  So today, Linda on Nails and I hit the trail for about 8 to 10 miles. We are so lucky and so fortunate to be able to do what we do.

On Monday’s blog, I want to make a correction.  Jonathan and I did not physically run through and mess up a sand trap.  We made sure we did not leave footprints in the Sand trap.   I do not want to offend any golfers.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

100 Mile Ultra Marathon, Athletic Identity , and Paco

"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be."– Kurt Vonnegut
I just received an e-mail from an individual who completed a 100 mile ultra marathon in Sierra Nevada ,Spain and told me about a 73-year-old man called Paco, who completed the run also.  That is certainly impressive, and congratulations are definitely in order.  Goes to show you that “It Has Nothing To Do with Age”.
I think the above quote by Kurt Vonnegut is very clever as well as profound.  If you know who you are, you do not have to pretend.  A clear sense of self or a well formed identity will likely take care of that.
Yesterday, I talked with my  younger sister, who told me she would have liked to learn more about “How the extreme athlete trains” and why didn’t I  include that in my book  I told her that my book was not  about “how” but was clearly about “why”.  For me, the “why question” is more pertinent and interesting.  In talking about the extreme athlete, we are actually talking about his being, his way of life, or in other words, who he is.  It is not about pretending it is about being.
My sister wanted to know how the talented people, in my book, were able to “fit in “their exercise regime. For her, when she had a personal trainer, she was able to fit in that segment of time and was guided into performing certain exercises or sets of exercises with so many repetitions.  That is what she knows.  Why is she exercising in the first place?  Did she start with a personal trainer or exercise as a kid?  Was her form of exercise walking?  In essence, she still does not understand nor is fully cognizant of what it means to be an ultra athlete.  We do not “fit it in” because “exercise” is essentially a way of life.
I will give an example back in 2009, when I was recovering from my neck injury. Bless her heart as she came out to be with me during that critical time.  She told me she was in shape because she walked and had a personal trainer.  One morning, she even demonstrated her being in shape by doing certain yoga poses. Well to make a long story short, I took her for a walk on the trail.  It did not take long before, she was huffing and puffing and having difficulty keeping up with my walking pace.  So for her, being in shape meant something very different from me.
The ultra-athletes in my book, from an early age, employed fun, participated, and were good in sporting activities.  Then, at some point in their life, exercise or a sporting activity became more of their identity.  Their beginning or start may have been precipitated as the result of some trauma or personal crisis that was taken place in their life at that time.  It was then that they were on the road and started their transformation.  I believe that you will find their stories, compelling, interesting, and perhaps give you insight into your own life.    Find your journey and discover and not pretend who you are.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sons of the American Revolution, Tuskegee, Ronald Regan, and Air Force One

"What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers."– Matina Horner
This past weekend, while  Secretariat was running wild in the Malibu Mountains, I was in the desert.  I attended a Sons of the American Revolution(SAR) meeting with Jack  and Joan Sholl and my 100 mile ride and tie partner and friend Jonathan Jordan. Incidentally, Jack is the president of the Coachella SAR chapter.  Attending that meeting and staying with Jack and Joan gave me further insight and more depth about this rowing legend and American patriot.  In his house, there are numerous pictures of his rowing experiences over the many years.  Also, there are historical paintings, guns, sabers and other artifacts associated with the American Revolution and the Civil War. I asked him if I did him justice in my chapter about him.  He was gracious and told me that I did it well.  I could have easily written two chapters about this terrific individual.  Would that have sufficed, probably not?
Attending the meeting, I met other SAR members.  When it comes to American history, they know their stuff.  They are informed about presidents, battles, geographical locations, and much more not found in school history books.  If anyone can preserve the founding of this country and the details associated with it, it falls on this group.  I do not know if their chapter is representative of the group at large, however, this group of men for the most part is no longer middle-aged as they are veterans of World War II.
The meeting started with the Pledge of Allegiance and the SAR Creed.  The officers of this chapter wore medals of historical content.  The main speaker was an Air Force colonel who was Wing Commander of Air Force One.  This aviator gave a talk that covered and ranged from settling the new land to current information about his daughter, who flies helicopters.  The speaker talked about little known facts based upon his research.  There are a number of people not given their due, as far as American history goes.  The Col. was accompanied by a Buffalo Soldier who I briefly chatted with. Unfortunately, I did not have more time and a tape recorder.
The Col.’s father was a member of the Tuskegee group that flew in World War II.  He talked about the development and the history of these pilots and gave credit to Eleanor Roosevelt for facilitating their entry into World War II.  He told the story of her flight with a black pilot, and his helping her depart from the plane.  There was a hullabaloo about the picture showing a black man touching the white First Lady.  The accomplishments of these pilots were unsurpassed, and they eventually earned the respect of the Air Force based upon their brave and successful missions.  He even told of German pilots, who avoided these aviators when they saw their red tail insignia.  He also told story of a group of American bomber pilots who would not fly unless they were accompanied by these gifted airmen.
The Col. talked about his selection to the Air Force Academy, in part upon the recommendation of Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, and the process he went through to be chosen Wing Commander of Air Force One.  He was not at liberty to reveal secrets about Ronald Reagan, but did comment on the Harrison Ford movie depicting the president fighting a terrorist.  He added that plane in the movie did not resemble Air Force One.
Saturday morning, prior to the meeting, we went to breakfast, and who did we run into, but none other than Steve Garvey the ex-baseball player. Early in the morning before breakfast, Jonathan and I ran to a nearby 18 hole golf course and then proceeded by running up and down bunkers and through sand traps.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Malibu Canyon Run and turning 60

Today was my first run as a 60 year old. While Frank was out parting in Palm Desert with Jonathan, Jack and the General. I Tony or as Frank likes to call me Secretariat, was in Malibu doing the Malibu Canyon run. They had a 10k 25k and 50k. I did the 25k this is the longest distance I have done this year. As usual for me I started out not filling all that great this seems to be normal for me even though I stretched and warmed up running before the race. And as usual after the first mile are so I loosened up and started filling good. This is the second run I have done in the mountains above Malibu and again it was tough. It started out with a unrelenting 7.5 mile climb in the sun to the first aide station and was I glad to see it. I was completely out of water and was not used to the heat. Filled up took off up the last climb. Then there was the 3 miles of sometimes steep downhill. This was on rocky rutted fire road. As downhills are not my favorite I started to get passed my all these young fleet women. As one was passing me I called out that’s not fair you have young legs. As the trail flatten out I was able to catch up and re passed most of those that had passed me. As a came up to the girl that I made the comment to. She said Old legs yea!! as I passed her. The rest of the trail was flat are slightly up hill I felt great I was still running strong with about 3.5 miles to go. I finished in 3hrs 1 min and 28sec I was hoping for under 3 but close enough. I was first in my age group and 37th overall in a field of 90 and less the an hr behind the the overall winner. Yes I was pleased.
Hope Frank had good time partying Stenson beach comes up in 3 weeks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

100 Year Old Marathon Man, Sleep Deprivation, and Naps

Today Secretariat, Randall, and I ran a short loop.  The Secretariat Man is tapering for his Malibu run this weekend.  Unfortunately, I will be in the desert partying with Jack and Joan Sholl and Jonathan and Tara Jordan .Secretariat’s mother and sister live in Southern California, and he will visit them as well.  Have a safe trip Secretariat.
Randall, almost 57, is intending to run more consistently so that he can increase his mileage and be like Mr. Singh the 100-year-old youngster that ran the marathon. The last mile or so of our run,  Randall continued running, and even did repeats, while  Secretariat and I leisurely walked for our cool down.  In essence, we were door-to-door within the hour.
At about 9:30 Secretariat had his beer and I drank my smoothie.  They also munched on muffins, while we talked.  Incidentally, Randall had to go to work and Secretariat and I smiled.  Randall said something about working to support a lifestyle and retiring.  Keep running Randall.
Yesterday, some of you took the self-assessment test to determine if you are sleep deprived.  Scoring key is as follows: 0-15; no, you’re not sleep deprived. 16-24; you are on your way to sleep deprivation.25-36; yes, you are sleep deprived.
Now for physiological symptoms of sleep deprivation: 1. Increased reaction time or slower response time ;2.  Decreased body temperature; 3.  Decreased immune function, or increase in colds, flu; 4.  Stomach problems, like heartburn indigestion or menstrual irregularities; 5 .Higher blood pressure.
Psychological symptoms: 1. Mood swings, irritability, impatience, anxiety, depression; 2. Fatigue, sleepiness, decreased alertness and concentration, impaired memory; 3. Impaired judgment, increased errors or accidents especially traffic.
Which statistics are you?  A national poll indicated that 65% of people report that they do not get enough sleep.  Are you one of them? Lower marital satisfaction impacts sleep habits according to a poll taken by the National Sleep Foundation.  Almost ½ of those with less marital satisfaction say that they are sleeping less than five years ago, and more than 3/4 are more likely to experience a sleep problem than their more happily married counterparts.  34% of all adults report sleeping alone.  12% of married adults report sleeping alone.  Some medications used for sleep or depression have sexual side effects.
If you are experiencing excessive daytime sleepiness you might consider: 1. if you cannot get enough sleep or feel drowsy, naps as short as 20 minutes can be helpful.  Naps can maintain or improve alertness, performance, and mood.  Some feel groggy after napping, but these feelings usually go away within 1 to 15 minutes, while the benefits may last for hours. 2. Studies show that napping at the workplace is especially effective for workers who need to maintain a high degree of alertness, attention to detail, and who must make quick decisions.
For me, I enjoying naps and recommend it wholeheartedly.  I always feel so much better after a nap.  It helps me to relax and get centered.  Tomorrow, I head for Palm desert, to talk about my book, “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mr. Singh the Centenarian Marathon Man and Insomnia

"When you get into a tight place and it seems that you can't go on, hold on — for that's just the place and the time that the tide will turn."– Harriet Beecher Stowe

Do you have any idea as to what drives Mr. Singh the 100-year-old man, who completed the Toronto Marathon? First of all, he is a centenarian, which is a feat in and of itself.  Anybody that can live that long, must be doing something right.  I wonder what his secrets are?  I am sure that his diet has something to do with it; how he handles the stress in his life; his social connections; the amount of daily exercise; his thinking process; and the amount of sleep he gets are factors that I would be interested in learning about.
What do you think he told himself  (his self talk )during the 8 plus hours that special day in Toronto?  Do you think he asked himself why am I doing this?   What do you think his friends said to him, when they found out about his goal?  We all know that it begins with a goal if we want to accomplish a task.  It is clear that Mr. Singh is mentally tough.  I certainly would like to interview him.
My guess is that Mr. Singh does not have difficulty with his sleep patterns.  Do you have difficulty with sleep deprivation or excessive daytime sleepiness?   Let’s find out. The following is taken from a continuing education class by the Inst. for   Natural Resources.  The average amount of sleep needed: 1. newborn-14-18 hrs. 2. six months-12-16 hours;3. Six months to four years-12-13 hours; 4 .5 to 13 years- 7-8.5 hours; 6.  13 to 21 years-7-8.75 hours; 7.  Adults under 60-6-9 hours; 8.  Adults over 60-7-8 hours. It appears there is no data for Mr. Singh’s age group.
Are you getting enough sleep or are you not?  Take this self-assessment test.
The following is a self-assessment to determine if you are sleep deprived?
Rate the following statements: 0 equals never; 1 = sometimes; 2 = often; 3 =always
1.       I sleep through the alarm clock
2.      I have morning grogginess
3.      I need caffeine to help me wake up in the morning
4.      I need caffeine to help me stay awake during the day
5.      I have difficulty concentrating
6.      I turn down social engagements because of fatigue
7.      It is difficult to keep my eyes open while driving at night
8.      I fall asleep within five minutes of going to bed
9.      I am forgetful during the day
10.  I am irritable with family members and co-workers
11.  It takes me longer to get things done
12.  I experience the mid-afternoon slump

Tomorrow I will provide the scoring key.  Hopefully, you will have a good score and not be on the sleep deprived continuum.  Stay tuned and get your score tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fauja Singh 100 Year Old Marathon Man

We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are."– Tobias Wolff
Secretariat is increasing his miles.  He claims this is associated with the upcoming Malibu run.  I am sure he is going to do well. As some of you may know, he recently turned 60. Secretariat is now in a new age group.  At this point, he is the only one in his age group for this run.  One can have mixed emotions when it comes to being the only one in your age group.  You are going to come in first and last.  However, being the only one in the age group, likely says something about the event, as well as one’s peers.  Doing what others are unable to do, can be a positive motivator.  I have been  in at least three races this year, and I have been the only one in my age group.  So for me, I feel good, when I can run faster and better than younger folks.  This may be the first time that Secretariat has no one to beat in his age group.
 Unfortunately I will not be able to run with him, since I will be attending, in Palm Desert, a Son of the American Revolution meeting. I was invited by Jack Sholl, one of the interviewees in “It Has Nothing To Do with Age”.  Jack, aside from being an early part of American history, is also a terrific rower and legend in that sport.  This 85-year-old young man has terrific stories, and lives an incredible life. I invited my hundred mile ride and tie partner Jonathan Jordan and his wife Tara to attend.  The plan for us is to party, in the desert, this weekend.
The above quote reads “we are made to persist, that is how we find out who we are.”  By now you are probably aware of Fauja Singh?  Yes, this incredible man, 100 years of age, completed The Toronto Waterfront Marathon.  This man is now in the Guinness Book of Records.  Okay Secretariat, this man has 40 years on you.  It would be neat to be able to run a marathon at the century mark.  I have only 28 years to go.
What might we hypothesize about Mr. Singh?  If you see his picture, he looks thin.  Looking thin is often a sign of being healthy and likely eating properly.  His cardiovascular system must be intact as well.  I bet his resting pulse is low, and his blood pressure reading is good as well. I would also predict that he is mentally tough, goal oriented, and a young 100.  He is "The Marathon Man. " Hats off to him, I hope he continues participating in these marathons.  If he can do it, so can you. It begins by putting one foot in front of the other.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dancing and the Joy to be Alive

"I get up. I walk. I fall down. Meanwhile, I keep dancing."– Rabbi Hillel

Linda and I had our celebration Sunday.  We are celebrating our eighth year anniversary, wedding party, and the joy to be living.  The decision to have this event, at this particular time, was generated when Linda and I visited Carrie at her new residence.  Carrie, this year’s ride and tie winner, moved  to this area from Marin and was joined by Jean, her college friend, from Boston. They have a spectacular home, lovely grounds, and super horse set up.  Linda and I talked about having a party at their place, and they wholeheartedly agreed.  We started to make plans, and then it seemed that it was just too complicated and would be more work to do it at their place so we did it our home instead.
The girls wanted me to dress up in a tuxedo and Linda to make a grand entrance on her horse Nails.  I said” no” to the tuxedo.  Linda surprised me by making a T-shirt look like a tuxedo.  I wore that and we made arrangements for our grand entrance.  Part of the plan was for Linda to blow a whistle three times.  That would be the signal for Carrie to start the music “over the rainbow” Linda’s favorite song.  It did not go exactly to plan, but we did make our grand entrance, which was a delight for all.  There were many pictures taken by Carrie, Diane, and Debbie.  Hopefully, I did not leave anyone out. Thus the celebration began.
We began outdoors, and then when the sun went down we moved inside where it was warmer.  There was conversation, food, drink, and a lot laughing.  Randall and Diane arrived late, but fortunately brought their music instruments with them.  I encouraged him to bring in the guitar and mandolin.  The music and the dancing began.  It was a fun party and a great way to begin the week. By the way, Randall’s going to join Secretariat and I on our runs.
Last Saturday, I had my book signing for “It Has Nothing to Do With Age” at the Auburn Running Company.  I played our 10 minute book trailer video, did book signings, and ate some the munchies. That was a lot of fun for me since the turnout was good, and I got a chance to see some friends I have not seen in a while.  It is always good to see the kids show up for these events.
As of today, the book is;; Auburn Running Company; Auburn Drug; and Divide Supply in Greenwood.   I will keep you informed where the book can be purchased. This weekend I plan on attending, a Son of the American Revolution meeting with Jack Sholl my patriot, rower, and friend in Palm desert.  My friend and ride and tie partner Jonathan Jordan, also plans to attend.  You can learn more about them, when you read my book.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Exercise, Aging,Mind Body , and Well Being

We must dare to think "unthinkable" thoughts. We must learn to explore all the options and possibilities that confront us in a complex and rapidly changing world."– James William Fulbright

Aging has many advantages, especially if you are healthy.  For me, being healthy is a key component.  If you have your health, you have a fortune.  If you do not have your health, then you are poor.  So it is important to do your best to stay healthy.
Eating the right foods is one component for better health.  And we know food labels are misleading, as well as the information contained on menus. Buyer beware.  Likely, if we ate more fruits and vegetables and had less fat, in our diets, we would be healthier.
Health and foods were issues growing up, in my family, as my father was a diabetic.  He had juvenile diabetes and injected himself daily with insulin.  I remember him attempting to regulate his blood sugar. It seemed that he was either drinking orange juice and/or giving himself an injection of insulin on a frequent basis. On one hand he would complain about food that was not good for him and on the other hand, at times, would eat something that was not good for him. He talked about the curse of diabetes, and his fate.  Being knowledgeable about the disease, he knew his future, which was terrible to say the least. He was right about it too.
My father had frequent hospitalizations for a variety of ailments and I visited him many times in the hospital.  Growing up during his awful illness, during my adolescence, I turned to weightlifting.  Psychologically, I was defending against being weak and/or ill.  It is clear that my emphasis on health and wellness is related to my upbringing and family situation.  Even today, I want to maintain strength and wellness and continue to work at it.  Being healthy and strong is an important goal.
I must admit that focusing on being strong, healthy, and fit has served me well during my aging.  It certainly has contributed positively to my well-being. I also like to be around people who share the same value of fitness. Being able to run with Secretariat has resulted in many benefits.  Aside from the obvious health and competitive pluses, my affiliative, emotional, and intellectual needs get met as well.  I am able to present an idea to him, and I expect his input in return.  I am pleased that he complies with his opinion.
For me, aging and exercise has been a good thing. The October 3, 2011, Time magazine had an article that suggested that exercise can help teens quit smoking. This West Virginia study  ,with teenagers ,found that by adding exercise to a traditional smoking cessation program had remarkable results in as little as 10 weeks. Exercise is good for teens too.  Isn’t it amazing that exercise has been linked to so many benefits regarding health?  If you are not yet there, now’s the time to begin.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Connections from Detroit

Yea for the blog and Face book.  Just yesterday, I received an inquiry if I was the Frank Lieberman from Detroit, Michigan.  The reply was yes. Sharon sent her e-mail address.  As it turned out, Sharon was a neighbor from the East side of Detroit.
Growing up, John maybe 10 years older than me, Frank 2 to 3 years older, and Hank a year younger were my neighbors. From my backyard I could see their backyard.  Our homes were separated by an alley.  I associated mostly with Hank, while attending elementary, junior high and high school.  At times, we would walk down the alley picking fruit from our neighbor’s trees and other mischievous things I will not mention.  I do not want to incriminate myself at this point.
  In fact, one memory stands out is when we both went to a local television station to audition for a program called Juvenile Court.  I was fortunate to get the part and played  an acting out rebellious teen.  I was not quite as good as James Dean, Natalie Woods, and Sal Mineo in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. However, I could relate to the part the James Dean played that super film.
After I moved to the Bay Area, I found out that Frank was living in the Bay Area too.  I remember hearing that he bought an island.   I am going to ask Sharon what happened to Frank.  I also heard that Hank died, while living in the Northwest-I think Seattle.
John’s parents moved and he and his wife Marlene moved to the neighborhood home. So my mother became good friends with Marlene and my sister Beverly remembers babysitting Sharon and her brother. Sharon said some nice things about my mother.  My mother was a terrific mother, person, and good friend.
I have a number of questions that I am going to ask Sharon about her family.  This connection results in my reliving and recalling aspects of my childhood.  Thank you Sharon, I am looking forward to talking with you.  Wow! The power of electronic technology is unbelievable.  Just think how fortunate we are.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Different Way To Age and Ageism

Today, I am attending The Eldorado Equestrian Trails Foundation for a book signing.   I am going to start my presentation and talk briefly about my accident in 2009 with my horse Gypsy. The accident was serious , as I was airlifted by a rescue helicopter and flown to Sutter Memorial Hospital and treated in their trauma center.
During my recovery phase, I thought about using my time wisely and came up with the notion that I would write a book.  The idea occurred to me that I could tell the tale about my introduction to horses, and the many experiences that followed.  Once I figured out my subject matter, I formed hypotheses that I wanted to research.  To answer the questions that I created, I put together a case history questionnaire to measure and address those questions.
I formed two focus groups; to get a better handle and direction for the task ahead.  Listening to the participants from the focus group, it was clear that the “older” person of today is much more active than the individual 50 years ago.  Thinking back to my parents, they were active, but not as active as people today.  I decided that I did not want to limit the participants of my study, to simply be active.  I wanted to research and study individuals that were active and still competing.  Then I began to think about all the people that I met during my ride and tie journey and began writing down and compiling a list of older competitors.
I began researching writers that have written about aging.  I looked to models of aging and revisited Erik Erikson, and his 8 ages of man. I also looked at motivational theory, and the writings of Albert Maslow, Erich Fromm, Alfred Adler and others.  Contemporary authors like Andrew Weill, Deepak Chopra, etc. also wrote and provided ideas about aging successfully.
I incorporated aging, competitiveness, and mastery with extreme sports.  I was able to look at an older competitor and address the motivational, developmental, and competitive nature of my interviewees. I used my experience with ride and tie to be the foundation or the base for my study. My research, illustrated a new and different model about the aging process.  We do not look like others, we do not think like others, we do not act like others, and we are not like others.
An example of an individual who is more than active and gives a more accurate look at a new way to age is none other than Lew Hollander.  His recent triumph at the Hawaiian Iron man speaks volumes.  This man is 81 years young and has completed 23 out of 23 Hawaiian Iron man events.  He is much has more than just a sports phenom.  He is a scientist, and still presents papers in scientific gatherings.  It goes without saying that he is in no way a typical 81 year individual.  His thinking, philosophy, and behavior put him in a very different category.  His age does not limit, who he is.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Being in the present Natural Foods, and Laughing

"Many things which cannot be overcome when they are together yield themselves up when taken little by little."– Plutarch

Understand these words of wisdom by this great philosopher. This statement made sense a couple thousand years ago and it makes sense today. At a practical level, one could be thinking about his full day and feel anxious. A phone conversation, last night, with my friend Jonathan is a good example. He was talking about traveling to Riverside, and going to the jail to do his work as an attorney. Then he mentioned basketball practice and basketball games that his boys are playing. Since his wife Tara’s working, picking up the 3 boys falls on his shoulders. He talked about the chores at home, which include the animals. He has 14 or 15 horses, cows, chickens, etc. Plutarch words might have been comforting, if you can sit back, take a deep breath, focus in the present, and remember his words. It is generally a good policy to begin by focusing on your breathing.

The above quote has another meaning for me. I thought back to one of my ultra runs. During the long run, at times, it was more beneficial for me to think about what I have accomplished or miles completed and / or taking one step at a time. Thinking of all the miles yet to go can be a real drag say the least. Once again break it down into small components. Figure out what works for you. Keep track of your inner dialogue and make sure it is productive, and not counterproductive. You may have to experiment with your inner self, and what may work one time may not work a second time.

In the September 20, 2011, Wall Street Journal, there was an article about natural foods. The problem is there is not a clear or official definition of “natural”. As a result of a lack of a clear government definition, many companies are defining it for themselves. Con Agra Foods Inc., Beam Global Spirits and Wine, Inc., and Kellogg Co. are some of the companies being sued over their labeling or mislabeling. The bottom line is that without clear definitions, what you think you are putting in your mouth may be different from what it actually is. We do know that the food industry and advertising folks are quite creative and know-how to deliver their message. It does not always mean that their message is truthful. The old cliche, buyer beware, fits here.

On a personal note, I have an infection on my lip likely caused by too much sun. So I am putting an antibiotic substance on my lip to heal and keep it from cracking. One difficulty is that when I talk to Secretariat, I wind up laughing. He tells me laughing is good for me, but not quite in this case. He is certainly funny and fun to be around. Unfortunately, I did not run yesterday or today, so I am not happy about that. Hopefully I can run tomorrow. I will keep you posted.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Lew Hollander and the Hawaiian Ironman andJeremy Reynolds Tevis

"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy."– Pyotr Tchaikovsky

Well stated Pyotr. Inspiration, passion, creativity have a common thread. All are connected with hard work follow through, and completion.

Way to go Lew Hollander. By completing the Hawaiian Iron man, Lew, the only one in his age group to finish, became the oldest finisher in this illustrious event. Incidentally, he is 81 years young. No matter how you look at it, his accomplishment is quite impressive. He swam 2.2 miles, rode a bike for 110 miles, and ran 26.2 miles within 17 hours on the big island.

Lew has physical and mental strength, drive, discipline, know how, and tenacity to deal with this momentous task. One might wonder and marvel at his success in this event. I believe this is his 23rd completion out of 23 starts. He is batting at 100%. No one can do better than that.

How does he do it? His genetic structure likely accounts for roughly a third of his success. The rest has to do with his upbringing, life experiences, intelligence, relationships, and his thinking process. Another way to put it is that he has the ego strength to succeed. A glimpse into his thinking is as follows:

2. Go hard, live long.
3. Go anaerobic every day.
4. Eat well,fruits and vegetables with abundant supplements
5. Set your plans well in advance and have achievable goals.

6. Have a stress free relationship.
7. Keep socially active and interested in life and its challenges.

8. There are no fat old people so watch your calorie intake.
Well said Lew.  As you can see, he is very active and employs anaerobic exercise,  focused, goal oriented,  socially oriented,  other focused, eats well, and is involved both physically and mentally.  Hats off to him with this super accomplishment.  Well done my friend.

Jeremy Reynolds, a previous Tevis winner, ultra runner, and ride and tie competitor came in first in this year’s Tevis event, followed by Michael Shackelfords oldest daughter, Rachel.  Well done.  Although Tom Christofk did not ride, his horse came in 10th. Way to go finishers.
Read more about my friends in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age “.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Tevis Cup, Hawaiian Ironman, and Molokai Hoe

"It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg."– C. S. Lewis

Just yesterday, Michael told me that the Tevis  Cup endurance ride  is now starting at the Overlook (in Auburn) , proceeding to Michigan Bluff, doing a short loop in that area, and  then returning to the Overlook.  We all know that the original Tevis date in July was canceled due to unfavorable trail conditions like snow. After much deliberation and controversy, an October 8th date was settled upon.  Who would have predicted that there would be rain and snowfall the week of October 2nd?  In any event, there is a considerable amount of snow on the earlier part of the original trail .Okay, what shall this ride be called?  You can call this ride by any name.  It certainly is going to be a different ride, and like no other in Tevis’ illustrious history.

The other two events covered in my book It Has Nothing to Do With Age, the Molokai to Oahu Outrigger canoe race and the Hawaiian Iron man are also scheduled for this weekend.  We know there is not going to be a bit of the snow during both of these events that are held in the Hawaiian Islands.  Good luck and good fortune to my friends Lew Hollander, Doc Shay and Sammie Stanbro. These special people are athletic, competitive, and mentally tough.   How else would you explain their athletic achievements at their youthful age?  They are also competitive and mentally tough, away from sports as well.

On another note, my book signing is scheduled for October 15, at the Auburn Running Company and is also supported by Dan Tebbs of the Victory Vello bike shop in Auburn.  The address is 833 and 835 Lincoln Way, Auburn, California respectively. Join us between 3 and 5 PM.

I missed a golden opportunity talk about China’s remedy for stressed workers to the Rotary group this past Wednesday.  If you followed one of my previous blogs, I talked about the Hoohah chant during calisthenics.   The aim was to inspire more grunting from China’s ever-growing stressed-out modern workers.  Apparently, grunting increases the enthusiasm while doing the calisthenics and other exercises.  If you need more enthusiasm for your workouts, consider grunting or come up with your own mantra. And as my friend Ed Budde says “keep moving”.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tevis Cup, Hawaiian Ironman, and Molokai Hoe

"I don't want to get to the end of my life and find that I have just lived the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well."– Diane Ackerman

Last night, Secretariat and I attended a Rotary meeting at the Buckeye restaurant near Drew Barner Park.  We were there to make a presentation as well as a book signing.  In addition, I showed the short book trailer that Secretariat put together.

While eating dinner, I talked with Secretariat about what this group might be interested in hearing and how it relates to them as businesspeople.  Secretariat thought that talking about stress could be a good beginning.  I agreed with him.

Incorporating, Diane Ackerman’s quote is quite apropos.  To briefly paraphrase her.  I agree that it is important to live life to its fullest.  It is extremely important to get the most out of every day, especially after you pass the midpoint of life and realize that the window or the opening is closing.  It is not like adolescence when it seems the end is infinite.

I looked around the room, and briefly surmised about 20 to 25 in attendance with everyone  at least middle aged with one man approaching his mid-80s.  A couple of the individuals were medium build, while the vast majority seemed heavy to say the least.  The problem was apparent. How does a business person in these difficult times deal with stress and everyday living?  How does a busy businessman or businesswoman find the time and energy to eat and exercise properly?  We all know that stress is a killer and that often, we turn to food, to gratify our needs.

One example that I gave related to my NFL football friend and comrade Ed Budde.  I told the audience that I talked with Ed earlier in the day and that his motto is” keep moving”.  And I added that I agreed with the idea of “keep moving, start moving”.   Norm a member in the audience commented that he moved in and out of his car today.   His response got a good chuckle.

I know for me that when I was working full-time, I said, work got in the way of what I wanted to do.  Did I have time eat properly and to do what I wanted to do, well not always.  So I can relate to the men and women in the audience and their busy stressful lives.

After my presentation, one gentleman came up to me and talked about competing in the Tevis, with his mule.  He is in his late 60s.  We talked for a while, and I said to him.  “There are no do over’s-do not miss your opportunity.”  Hopefully, what I said to him and what he saw on the trailer will make a difference in his life.  I would like him to enter the Tevis.

My professional career is teaching and psychology.  Some of my reasons for entering those two professions where I wanted to make a difference in the lives of people.  That element has not changed for me.  Hopefully my book, “It Has Nothing To Do With Age “can reach people and make a difference in their lives.

On 13th of October I plan to make a presentation at the El Dorado Equestrian Trails Foundation at 6:30 PM in Greenwood and on the 15th of October from 3 to 5 PM, I will be at the Auburn Running Company in Auburn. Please join me.

Good luck Tevis Cup equestrians, Lew Hollander-Hawaiian Ironman, and Doc Shay Sammie Stanbro on the Molokai to Oahu Outrigger canoe race.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Tevis Cup, Hawaiian Ironman, and Molokai Hoe

Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."– Bertrand Russell

The month of October is filled with so many sporting events that are difficult to keep track.  After the Cool Ride and Tie, we have the following: The Tevis Cup, The Hawaiian Iron man, and the Molokai Hoe (women’s Outrigger canoe race).  These races begin a long time ago, and at first were considered to be unpopular. Bertrand Russell makes a good point, as these events were considered eccentric but are quite popular today even though they are extreme. 
The Tevis Cup is a 100 mile horse race that begins at Robbie Park and finishes at Auburn.  This race began in the 50s as a result of an idea by Wendell Robie himself.  He was an excellent horseman and exceptional businessman.  What a way to bring publicity to the foothills of the Sierra Nevada.   He certainly knew what he was doing.  Let us face it, to ride a horse 100 miles in mountainous terrain during the day and night and to complete this event in one day is spectacular.  People were concerned that the animal would be harmed during the event. Robbie countered that argument by giving expert opinion from his vet from the University of California at Davis. It Has Nothing To Do With Age has more information about this event.  Go to Forest Hill and take a look for yourself on Saturday.
The Hawaiian Iron man also takes place on Saturday, but on the big island in Hawaii.  Once again, all it takes is an idea or vision to start.  A small group of Navy officers came up with this idea to determine toughness.  A 2.2 mile ocean swim, followed by 110 mile bike ride, and then a 26.1 mile marathon run completes this event.  This happening has skyrocketed in popularity.  There is television coverage, and it is more of a spectator sport than the Tevis.  Lew Hollander is likely to be a record holder this year.  Check the finisher list and look for his name. More information about Lew can be found in It Has Nothing To Do with Age.
The women’s Molokai to Oahu Outrigger canoe race takes place on this weekend as well.  Of course, there was the men’s race first.  The men were discouraged from putting on this race because they were told it was too dangerous and this was in the 1950s.  One can imagine the difficulty the women faced when they wanted to put on a race of their own.   It was not until the late 70s that officially their race began. Doc Shay was in the very first canoe of women to complete this rough ordeal.  These women completed this race before it became official.  Read about Doc Shay and Sammie Stanbro and their canoeing exploits in It Has Nothing To Do With Age.
By the book and come to The Auburn Running Company on Saturday the 15th.  I plan on giving a short presentation and book signing.  Watch for the time.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Book Signing,Auburn Running Company, and Lew Hollander

It Has Nothing To Do with Age is a read about transformation, health, fitness, taking control of your life, and discovering passion. Our contemporary American culture has an uncomplimentary view that middle-age people are overweight, heavily medicated, and sedentary with their electronic lifestyle.  This book defies and challenges this negative perception of retirement and the aging process.  Science has found a positive correlation between passion, fitness, sports activities, and being healthier and more fulfilled. This book is about choices for changing our lives for the better.
This is the first to provide, in rich detail, how to think “outside the box” by providing examples of how and why older individuals push their physical, mental, and emotional limits to new frontiers.  The focus is on individuals who are optimistic, competitive, and perform at unfathomable levels in grueling events.  Their intriguing stories demonstrate evolution to a more proficient level of physical and mental functioning.
 The books unique content is based on the author’s journey(  a  PhD  workaholic psychologist) along with seven interviews of outstanding athletes in sporting events that include the Tevis Cup, Western States 100 mile run, Swanton Pacific 100 mile Ride and Tie, Dipsea ( America’s oldest trail race), Hawaiian Iron man, Molokai to Oahu Outrigger canoe race, and national and international rowing.
I present a psychological basis for understanding the motivation of the mature competitor; why the older athlete is able to compete, train, and win; describe how the thinking process affects achievement and performance; the importance of incorporating play and fun through exercise; how to fulfill meaning in life; a road map to create and begin a healthy lifestyle; and provide inspirational models.
 In 1997 my transformation began with the sport of ride and tie.  Since that year, I have completed over 1800 miles in that sport, and in 2008 (age 68) won the 100 mile ride and tie at the Swanton Pacific with my horse Gypsy and my young partner Jonathan Jordan; in 2002(age 62) was a division winner in the Western states 100; and at age 60 in the year 2000 completed the Tevis on my horse, Raider.
My name is Frank Lieberman, PhD, and I shall introduce you to seven remarkable men and women athletes that I met during my discovery. At Auburn Running Company, date and time to be determined for presentation and book signing.
PS This is Lew Hollander month.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Cool Ride and Tie , Auburn Running Store,and Tevis Cup

The main thing is to care. Care very hard, even if it is only a game you are playing."– Billie Jean King

The Sixth Annual Cool Ride and Tie has been completed.  The winning team was Mark Richtman and Carrie Barrett on her horse Will.  For Mark, this is his third consecutive win, with three different partners, with three different horses, at three different trail locations.  This means that he has won three races which make him the King of Cool Ride and Tie. Way to go Mark, you’re the best. Susan Smyth and Emily Gragj were winners in the 18 mile course on Joe Peshi: Amrita Oleary  and Simone Julian on Candy won at 13 miles; while Justin and  Christina Hirst on Ruby won at 5 miles.

Secretariat, Randall, and I did a trail run. Secretariat and Randall ran the 13 mile trail loop while I peeled off and came in on the second trail, which was a 5 mile loop. Secretariat said he was not feeling great during the run and was surprised that Randall was keeping up with him.  With about a mile and a half or so to go Secretariat as Billie Jean would say “care very hard.” Secretariat, in true character , ran hard so that he could increase the distance between him and his running partner.  There was no other way for Secretariat.  He has to win.  Way to go Secretariat.

Linda, Nails, and I entered the 5 mile ride and tie.  Linda was determined to compete this year and did so.  It was a good opportunity for her to see her horse in competition as this Rush Creek Arabian wanted to go.  We all were quite happy when we finished. Way to go Linda and Nails.

In order for any event to be successful, it is necessary to have participants, volunteers, and contributors.  Thank you participants.

Also, I mention the great contributors to our sport of Ride and Tie.  They include: The Australian Connection; Echo Valley Ranch, Cool Feed, Platinum Performance, Animal Medical Center, Scotty’s Automotive, Farmers Insurance-Doug Gordon, Auburn Drug, Fleet Fair Oaks-Kirk Edgerton ,Divide Supply , Sunrise Natural Foods, Placer Farm Supply, Sundowner  of California, Mar Val, Holiday Markets, and  Victory  Velo,  Thank you contributors.

The volunteers are also important and they include : Secretariat and Deb  Brickel, Kellie Halsey, Dale Lake, Sue Walz, Deb Wagner, Sylvia Harmon, Deb Kramer , Rick Andrus, Mervyn  and Judy Pyorre, Linda Smith, Deb Peter  , Pat  Dallan, Michael and Mary Buck, Randall and  Diane Harris and Carl  Depietro .

Kathleen and Scott Mcfarren from Honest Horses attended and interviewed race participants.

An appreciation  to  Dr. Langdon Fielding our veterinarian.   And a very special thanks to my wife Linda, Secretariat, and everyone else for a successful Cool Ride and Tie. Thank you Chris Grey of the Foothills Ranch for being a good host.

Bring on the Tevis Cup. I am thinking of doing a book signing at Auburn Running Store this weekend.