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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, November 10, 2011

BOSU Ball,Proprioception,Joe Paterno and Pacific Coast Trail Runs

"I just kept on doing what everyone starts out doing. The real question is, why did other people stop?"– William Stafford
Part of yesterday’s blog had to do with putting on a new event, which would be a trail run accompanied with obstacles. One of the obstacles that I mentioned had to do with balancing or stability.  Well, an Article in Trail Runner, December, 2011 titled “Balancing Act-prevent common injuries with a BOSU Ball.”A  BOSU (both sides up) ball has a solid platform on one side and half of a stability ball on the other.  This equipment forces the individual to balance on one of two unstable surfaces, challenging the strength and reaction time of your ankle, and core. I first saw this “ball”   when I was in physical therapy and then again when I traveled to Malibu for a recent 50 K.  I stayed with Penny, Secretariat’s sister in Malibu.  She is a personal trainer and had us perform balancing with that tool. I remember that it was difficult to get the hang of it and I did not want to do too much of some of these exercises out of fear of injury before my race.
According to the article, the transition from running pavement to trails can cause unwanted injuries-like a sprained ankle, patellofemoral or plantar fasciitis.  This can happen, because the foot is the first thing to hit the trail and must respond to the constantly changing trail conditions such as rock’s roots, etc. in microseconds. In other words, ankle stability is essential.  One of the best pieces of equipment for helping with ankle stabilization or proprioception is this particular ball. Okay my friend’s, the following five exercises could be an obstacle as well as something very helpful to runners (stability and balance).   The goal for these exercises is to stay steady, balanced and relaxed.   When performing, attempt to maintain a fixed gaze, for better balance.
 The Exercises are: 1. Begin balancing on one leg on the floor.  Your hip should be level, torso upright and arms hanging naturally by your sides.  Try to hold for 30 to 60 seconds.  Switch sides. 2.  With the flat side down, start by standing with both feet on the BOSU.  Once you feel balanced, stand on one leg.  Keep your standing leg locked, with your quad engaged and raised leg bent 90°. 3.  Start with both feet on the ball side of the BOSU, flat side down.  Shift your weight forward until your toes, and then back toward your heels, increasing your forward and backward motion. 4.  Start by standing on one leg on the ball side of the BOSU, with standing leg quite engaged and raised leg extended 90°.  Bend your standing knee 30 to 45°, and then return to standing.  As you squat, sit back slightly, like sitting in a chair, to engage your glutes.  Perform 2 to 3 sets of 15 reps on each side. 5.  Start by standing on one leg on either side of the BOSU.  With a partner, throw a ball back and forth for 60 seconds while standing on each leg.
Too bad I cannot draw picture of the stability exercises.  I know that would be helpful. If you do not have this piece of equipment, do it without. And as I say, perseverance, discipline, stick to it ness, following through, and mental toughness are components of being successful like William Stafford.

What a way to end a career .  How  can Joe Paterno, football coach, now complete his career?   Unfortunately, for him it is now impossible .  This man, psychologically, is likely to be troubled for the rest of his life.  Regardless of his career and being the winningest coach in Division I, being fired in this recent  turmoil is likely  to leave him in a state of despair.  This means that for him ,life is now possibly too short to start another life and to  then proceed down an alternate road  in  regaining  his  integrity.  Hopefully, Joe  can  find  something both passionate and significant  in which  he can immerse himself in  and be able  to give back to society in the process .    Unless that happens, this man is in for a very unhappy "the rest of his life."  
I am in no way condoning his behavior.  I am pointing out psychologically, the consequences of his "in action"  and being immediately fired by the Penn State Board of Trustees.
Secretariat and I did our final tapering run today.  The plan is for us to leave tomorrow and stay with Carrie, the Cool Ride and Tie winner, in Tiburon. Thank you Carrie dear.


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