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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, April 12, 2012

40 Years of Running

Part two- These men continue to run because …….Some might say that these men are crazy. Why would anyone run daily for over 40 years?  Do you want to join their club?  What is it about them that’s different? Let us first take a look at their mental toughness, and hypothesize what might drive these men.
 Does being men and at least 60 years of age have anything to do with it?  Think about it for a moment.    Is this about testosterone? Do you think age has anything to do with it?  Remember the title of my book   “it Has Nothing To Do With Age.”  
These men, regardless of weather or climatic conditions, work schedules, family obligations, sickness or injuries, or what they were feeling, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year covered at least a I mile  distance .  How’s that for having a focus or a goal? Sutherland, over this 40 year time period, had run over 185,000 miles, which equates to roughly 7 ½ circumnavigations of the globe. You have to admit that is impressive.  On the other hand, may be this compulsion, for running, might have an unconscious component or drive?
  We know that for Simpson, having polio as a teenager, played a significant part in his motivation.  Compensating and strengthening for a weak or inferior body part was part of his drive.
 Notice the goal for each was concrete, measurable, attainable and easily defined. There was no goal ambiguity.  Either you ran that day or you did not.  Make no mistake about it; having a goal was very important for these men.  
Also, think about the number of success experiences, each had in meeting their goal.  These men got positive intrinsic reinforcement daily, weekly, monthly for over 40 years. Have you had that amount of reinforcement in your life on a consistent and repetitive basis?  Just think about being able to experience that amount of accomplishment and satisfaction daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. The notion “I can “fits.
Further these men likely expected to accomplish their goal.  Their expectancy was realistic, barring some unfortunate situation beyond their control.  Notice that even when these men experienced an injury or medical procedure they continued to persevere regardless of the amount of discomfort. In other words, these men expected to succeed.  The key word here is expected.
These men were all future oriented.  In order to accomplish the goal, they had to be thinking about the next day’s run.  They had to make sure to fit in their schedule.  They were thinking, planning, and calculating on how to make their goal achievable.  It did not matter what obstacle got in the way, they made plans to deal with it.  Their goal became a major priority in their life. In part, their goal was their life.
In addition, these men displayed mind-body toughness.  Throughout the 40 years, they displayed positive thinking in relation to their goal.  By thinking positive and not letting irrational ideas get in the way, they were able to make their legs work to complete their goal i.e.  physical injury didn’t get in their way.  
Most of their time, if not all, they accomplished their goal outdoors.  Being outdoors has a spiritual quality to it.  Longfellow, Wadsworth, and Thoreau discovered that a long time ago.  For these men running became their passion and gave meaning to their life.  They became the” streak.” This running streak became their identity.  This was who they were.  They were the runners, running daily.
Mental toughness, guts, grit, ego strength is like a mosaic.  There are number of parts or components to it and make no mistake about it the number of parts are always greater than the whole.
Run on my friends.


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