Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: May 2012
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, May 30, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 6

* Further, my focus was clear as I also became more and more interested in training and conditioning. Notice, I am not using the word exercise because the word exercise has a negative connotation like in (repetition, boring, no fun). So, I re framed the word “exercise” which is now our * Psychological principle or concept #2 and I substituted a different word: I called and thought of what I was doing as - in training, conditioning, or working out –any word but the word exercise.

Let me add a few pointers about goals and a proper definition. What’s important is how we conceptualize the goal, methods to accomplish it, that we are able to succeed, and that we have control over the outcome of the goal. In essence: 1. the goal had to be properly defined. 2. The goal had to be measurable. 3. The goal had to be reasonable and attainable. 4. I had to be the one to have complete responsibility for the completion of the goal – It’s up to me and only me alone.

I wanted to participate and compete in ride and tie. For me, that meant I wanted to do well in this sport because of my competitive nature. In order to do well, I had to improve with my running; had to have a strong and well conditioned equine; and locate and team up with a partner or teammate that both ran and rode well. It took some time to find the necessary components, and I accomplished that end. Not only did I find good partners for the competition, but another benefit occurred as many of them became good, solid friends in the process which is now our* Psychological concept # 3- meeting affiliative or social needs. My affiliative needs were now being met.

To be continued

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Western States 100,World Class Runners and Secretariat

Last Sunday, Secretariat, Carrie Barrett and I ran from Forest Hill to White Oak Flat a distance of 19 miles as part of the Western States 100 training run.  At registration, I introduced Carrie to Greg Soderlund the race director.  I told him that one of Carrie’s ride and tie partner’s was Mark Richtman.  For those of you who are not familiar with his name, Mark is a world-class runner.  Greg commented that Mark kept a 400 yard lead on Megan Arbogast (US record holder for 50 miles) for 50 miles at the Jed Smith race. Secretariat and I remembered that Jed Smith race in February since we were there too.
For Secretariat and I this was our training run for this Saturday’s 25Km from the Overlook in Auburn to Cool and back. Saturday we will be joined by Randall and Diane, Michelle, and hopefully Marty.
Before today’s tapering run, Secretariat, e-mailed me about the 100 mile, 12 hour, 6 hour or 9 mile run at the Olmsted in August.  He thought we should do the 6 hour event which means running 3 to 4 times around the 9 mile loop.  He told me he did not like to run loops.  Did he forget?
This Thursday, I have been invited to speak at the Lincoln Hills Community Association in Lincoln, California.  My speech will address well-being, exercise and the brain.  I am going to mention such things as ride and tie, Western States 100, Lew Hollander , Russ Kiernan etc.
Part 6 Of Finding the Fountain of Youth to be posted Wednesday.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Eight(8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 5

*You might question, what was the big deal about ride and tie? Let me tell you. First of all, this is one tough sport. An individual has to run fast and hard in grueling temperatures and make difficult climbs on uneven, rocky, rutted trails over long distances at high altitudes; and be able to ride and manage spirited, well conditioned, powerful equines. In order to do well, in this sport, I had to start running on a consistent basis. Also, I had to systematically train and condition my horse. Both Running Bear and I had to improve with both endurance and speed. Translated, this meant I was now running on a regular basis at least five times a week and importantly improving my cardio vascular output. With consistent and dedicated running, I got in better shape. My running ability, distance and endurance improved. It did not happen overnight, but it eventually happened. The more time I spent on the trail both running and riding my horse, the better conditioned we became. And, as a side effect, I got healthier.

Okay, I was now working out and/or running on a regular basis. Having a specific goal made sense to me as far as training was concerned. I had a goal (competing in ride and tie) therefore, as a consequence I was improving with my running which fit perfectly , since I wanted to do well , in the sport, and it was concurrent with that goal. What a perfect fit, because I now had a necessary reason or purpose to work out and also the effect of getting in suburb running shape. Notice, my goal was concrete, clear, well -defined and attainable. Let’s call * being goal oriented, Psychological principle or concept # 1. Having a goal or goals for future planning is both mentally and physically healthy and necessary for living with purpose and meaning.

To be continued

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 4

 This Tony and Jeff the two that got me into this crazy sport.

*Who ever thought of this sport? How did it originate? Bud John’s is referred to as the father of the sport.

Back to Mount Hamilton, the Mustang classic and my story. I had just completed the limited distance endurance ride and looked over in the direction of two gentlemen who were camped next to me. These two men were ride and tie competitors –Tony and Jeff. Being a friendly sort, I started chatting with these two men. To me, they did not look like spring chickens. As it turned out, one was older and one was younger than me. After a short while of conversation, I was recruited by the president of the Ride and Tie Association and Robert another competitor. It did not take long, and before I knew it, I agreed with my horse Running Bear to enter the Quicksilver Ride and Tie held in May. I was told that they were going to find a ride and tie partner for me.

Little did I know, at the time, but my life quickly changed 360° and I went off in a totally different direction on a new path. Translated, the foundation for discovering the fountain of youth was being laid. On a personal level, I was a practicing psychologist in Fremont, California working long hours; I rode my Harley Davidson motorcycle, was a member of the Fremont Hog chapter; and went on trail rides with Running Bear in the mornings before going to the office. Simply, I was a workaholic drowning myself in work, in part because I was in an unhappy marriage. I had no idea, at the time, nor could I predict the events that would take place over the next 14 or 15 years. I was not running or involved in exercise at this time. I didn’t consider or associate trail riding as exercise.

To be continued

Monday, May 21, 2012

Davis Double Century and "If first you don't succeed try try again"

"If at first you don't succeed, not only try again, but try to learn from your mistakes and try again".
This is Penny again, for those that need a reminder Secretariats older sister.  I am proud to say that on Saturday I completed my first double century bike ride in Davis, California.  I had previously attempted the Solvang double in May and bailed at mile 163.  Needless to say I was very discouraged with myself as I knew my body could of completed it but my mind, when it got dark and the winds were blowing me all over the road, said this was not fun.  (well its not supposed to be fun all the time I knew, but couldn't get past my mind in the dark)
After analyzing my shortcomings, I decided I needed to start riding with a club instead of doing all my rides alone and thus joined the LA Weelman and started riding with them on their sat trainer rides for the Double they put on in June.  It was the best thing I could have done, as I was taken out of my comfort zone and started riding the routes the "men" ride that I was intimidated to try.  In doing so I found I was a great climber and although slow on the flats could pass all the "men" on the climbs and end up in front. 
They encouraged me to continue to keep my goal of a double and so I entered the Davis Double.  It was supposed to be a moderate ride good for a first timer. Well, it certainly wasn't a moderate ride, but instead quite difficult with about 10,000 feet of climbing and hills at 9-13%.  I am proud to say that I was totally prepared and at no time did I think I would not finish.  The Davis club is to be commended for their great and awesome support.  They are the reason I could do it.  When it got dark they gouped us in like paced groups which allowed me to feel safe riding at night and to easily keep going.
I'm still not sure how I got into going after this goal but, goals are something I have to have in a sport and so now with my one double behind me, I will move on to achieve the triple crown which is 3 doubles in a year.  I plan to be one of the oldest women to achieve this and set an example for all women that you can do anything you set your mind to.
For me the best thing about this achievement was hearing my brothers voice as I passed the finish line.  Wow to have Tony and Debbie at the finish to share in this accomplishment was my greatest gift and made it all worth while.  I will forever be grateful to them for putting themselves out to wait for me.  Yes I came in toward the end, but I did finish and that's what counts.

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth- Part 3

* So much for the scary information, let us turn to my journey. This is my road map. Remember, there is more than one way to reach the fountain of youth, just make the right choices and decisions and with a little luck you to will find well-being or the fountain of youth.

I am currently 72 years of age .However, I want to flash back to 1997 when I was 57 of years of age to give you a framework or background into how I stumbled and I do mean stumbled in finding my fountain of youth. You have heard the expression “It is not the destination it is about the journey.” So it is! Back in 1997, I was a trail rider, and entered a limited distance endurance ride with my Arabian steed Running Bear. The event, the Mustang classic, was held at Mt. Hamilton in San Jose, California. This was my second endurance ride and, I was thinking, at the time, about becoming more involved in the sport of endurance riding. While competing in that horse event, I became knowledgeable of another competition being held there, at the same time, called ride and tie. You may or may not know about the sport of ride and tie? I certainly knew very little about ride and tie other than the competitors were ultra- or exceptional athletes. I later found out that to be true and they were in fact exceptional, motivated, competitive, and fun.

A brief description of the sport is in order. Ride and tie consists of two people and a horse – the team. One person rides the horse while the other (partner) runs on foot. During the event, the rider dismounts, after certain distance, ties the horse’s tie rope to a sturdy tree limb and then begins running, on foot, down the trail in the direction towards the finish. Meanwhile, the other partner, the runner, locates the tied horse, unties it, mounts and rides down the trail in order to catch the runner ahead. The two partners continue making these ride and tie exchanges, like leapfrogging, until they all cross the finish line together, mostly 22 to 35 miles later. In order to get a completion, the team must cross the finish line together. You might be wondering if there is strategy involved like running fast and riding hard. As Sarah Palin said campaigning, “you bet cha.” For a more detailed description about the sport, visit the website: www.ride and or read the book “40 Years of Madness: A History of Ride and Tie Championships.”
To Be Continued

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth

Yesterday, I had an enjoyable evening as a guest on As soon as that program is edited, I will let everyone know, as it will be placed on YouTube. A number of questions from the panel were related to the horse as an athlete and the Tevis Cup. I was happy to share a number of Dr. Jim Steere stories although some of which were not in my book. I also recruited a potential ride and tie participant, a member of the panel. I will keep you posted on that development.

 This Saturday, I am reminding everybody of the juvenile diabetes trail run at Cronin ranch. Hope to see you there.

 On May 31, I will be presenting a paper to the Lincoln Hills community Association in Lincoln, California.

 Part two continued

 To illustrate the problem, let’s take a look at the state of adult health in our country. Research , provided by a 2008 survey , by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported the following results : only 13% of adults felt full of life all the time in the previous 30 days; only 11% of adults felt cheerful all the time in the previous 30 days; only 9.8% of adults strongly agree that their life is close to their ideal; only 21% of adults strongly agreed that their life has a clear sense of purpose; only 19% of adults strongly agreed that they are satisfied with their life; only 15% of surveyed adults said they felt calm and peaceful all the time in the previous 30 days. How would you rate yourself on those categories? Hopefully, you would do better than the population studied.

 Do not allow road blocks such as cardiovascular disease to interrupt your journey, as mortality statistics reveal that more people die every year from this disease than any other cause in the US alone? For instance, nearly 2600 people die from cardiovascular disease, every single day; and further that many people who suffer a heart attack, stroke, or have abnormal cholesterol levels, also eat healthy, and exercise.

 If you happen to have any the following conditions, medical history or lifestyle practices, you are at immediate serious risk for vulnerability to cardiovascular disease: a parent or sibling with cardiovascular disease of any kind; elevated cholesterol or currently on a Statin drug; elevated triglycerides; overweight; lack of regular exercise; poor eating habits; hypertension-even if on medication; diabetes; erectile dysfunction; or smoking. It is easy to see why cardiovascular disease is the number one killer. However there is something you can do about it.

To be continued

Monday, May 14, 2012

Eight(8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 1

Join me tomorrow on for the podcast. I am looking forward in being part of that, and meeting Don Freeman. Also, Saturday, May 19, Secretariat, Randall, Diane and others have entered a fundraiser trail run for a juvenile diabetes donor drive at the Cronan ranch, the Magnolia parking lot off Highway 49. If you have not registered, do so, as juvenile diabetes is a deadly disease. Unfortunately, I know firsthand since my father was a juvenile diabetic.

The following essay is titled Eight (8) Principles for Finding the Fountain of Youth-Part 1

My topic for today is finding the Fountain of Youth. There are many avenues or routes that can be taken in locating or discovering the fountain of youth. Today, I am going to share with you the path that I took. In doing so, I am going to be talking about the importance of the association that well-being, exercise and the brain plays in the process. Let me repeat; exercise and the brain equals well-being. Today’s material is based, in large part, on my book titled “It Has Nothing to Do with Age. “

During my journey, I discovered, incorporated and applied eight (8) pertinent psychological principles or concepts. I shall point out and demonstrate their significance during the Western states 100 one of my 100 mile one day events. Maintaining health and fitness are not easy to accomplish. Remember, no one ever told you that maintaining well-being comes easy.

Once again, to make crystal clear, well-being, fitness, the brain and exercise are related and take work. We know that our health affects our quality of life. If we are healthy and feel healthy then we are more likely to be happier. On the other hand, if we have poor health, more than likely we feel unhappy. This relationship between health and mood is based on the power of the mind -body connection. Our mind or thinking communicates with our body and our body communicates and gives rise to feelings, which affects our thinking. Remember, thoughts and feelings is not the same. To know thy self is to differentiate between thoughts and feelings.

To Be Continued

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Frank Lieberman- Part 7

Do not forget to turn in to  next week.  I will be talking to Dr. Don Freeman on his podcast.  I am looking forward to that meeting.
Frank Lieberman  - Part 7
When I began my journey, I was not sensitive to all the unknown mountains yet to be climbed. During my transformation I became aware of my potential and these last 15 years have been some of the best years of my life.  Hopefully, you will discover your own personal road map and develop another way to think about aging.  When you do, you will undoubtedly become an inspiration to others.  Read on, the journey is paramount, not the destination.  Discover the process in your success.
Because life expectancy is declining in our society as a result of obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke related issues, it is important to create a healthier lifestyle by adjusting both attitude and behavior.  To lengthen your life span, I prescribe the following:
1.       Get inspired.  It is okay to begin a new activity by taking baby steps.  A physical activity can help in improving physical fitness, losing weight, reducing anxiety, and minimizing depression.
2.      Find meaning in an activity outside of family, career, or raising kids; it can build self-esteem.
3.      Enrich your emotional life by making physical contact, having friends, sharing interests, and learning about others’ by becoming part of the new group.
4.      Realize that there is more to life than the accumulation of material things; having the biggest toy does not result in happiness.
5.      Participate in outdoor activities to help nurture spirituality.
6.      For a way to escape, read about other people’s adventures.
7.      Find inspiration and motivation through the illuminating profiles of eight remarkable senior athletes found within this book.
I hope you enjoyed reading chapter 1.   What Makes Frank Run? In It Has Nothing To Do With Age.
Oh yeah, Secretariat, and I ran about 8 miles today, including Maine Bar.  After our trail run, we set on my deck.  He drank his beer and I drank my smoothie.  Life is good.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Frank Lieberman - Part 6

Check out this link On the 15Th of this month,   I have been invited by Dr. Don Freeman to talk about my book and trail running experience on his Podcast show. I am looking forward in meeting him. I intend to write about my experience after the show.
Part 6 from chapter 1 in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”
This story is about many incredible people.  Each one of them has their demons but learned how to deal with them, resolve them, grow from them, evolve, and develop meaning in their lives.  The characters who participate in these sports are in many ways the “Lance Armstrong’s” of amateur sports.
In writing this book, I addressed the question “why?  Why do older men and women continue to compete at extraordinary physical levels? Why do they put up with self-inflicted pain, discomfort, and even injury? Why do these people push themselves to points of exhaustion?  Why do they choose these extreme physical sports? Why do they consider themselves youthful?  Why is being future-oriented necessary?  Why is goal setting important?  Why do these individuals find it difficult to quit these activities?  Motivational factors such as competitiveness, achievement, affiliation, the fear of failure, and aggression are considered.  How much success is related to one’s DNA? How much of a factor is one’s local environment to success?  What is the correlation between family, parents, friends and achievement?  Is it simply ego?  Do you have to be retired in order to find success?
To Be Continued.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Frank Lieberman-Part 5

Frank Lieberman- Part 5
One step in achieving a longer lifespan, according to Time, is to “get back some of what we lose by our overfed, overstressed, and under active lifestyles.” Television’s popular Dr. Mehmet Oz gave his prescription for living long and living well.  He suggest we get daily rigorous physical activity, expose ourselves to 15 minutes of sun every day, choose foods that look the same way when you eat them as when they come out of the ground, sleep more than seven hours a day, and finally, have a purpose in life-involving family, work, community.
I will go into detail about life’s purpose and changing your lifestyle.  Hopefully, you will learn about playing, finding meaning, passion, staying youthful, giving back, and loving.  It is my highest hope that these pages will be an inspiration to you.
My personal journey is a central theme here: how I made the transformation from a workaholic to an inspired and dedicated athlete, and how I use an addiction for running to my advantage. I became interested in horses and riding and the sport of Ride & Tie helped me to work through my divorce.  More importantly, my quest resulted in quality friendships, and becoming part of a much larger family.  Bob Edwards, for example, a man significantly older than me, became a friend and role model for my life.  I met world-class athletes such as Tom Johnson, Mark Richtman, Brian Purcell, Jim Howard, Tim Twietmeyer and Dennis Rinde to name just a few.  It is not uncommon to find athletes entered in the 70s age group of their events.  To paraphrase Freud, “Love and work are necessary to become a healthy individual.”  To this statement to I would add: “Finding passion and meaning.”  For me, it is undeniably true that the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.
To be continued

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Frank Lieberman-Part 4

  Frank Lieberman- Part 4
 Even Hollywood depicts rugged action stars in retirement age as adventurous and principled. To illustrate, the 1992 movie “Unforgiven” was directed and starred Clint Eastwood.  In this film, Clint, as William Munny, was a retired gunman. He did not stay retired, and after a few attempts, he was able to get back on his horse to gallop away and hand out frontier justice when it was necessary. “High Noon, “a movie made in 1952 was about Will Kane, portrayed by Gary Cooper.  In this film, Will was about to retire from being the town marshal.  However, on his last day on the job, he learned that a man he sent to prison years earlier was returning on the noon train to seek revenge. Did Cooper fight or take flight?  He stayed to fight-and won.  In 1979, the film “Going in Style” was about three older men trying to subsist, rather unsuccessfully, on Social Security income.  They then robbed a bank and brought excitement into their lives.  Even Hollywood can tell a good story about people who age without losing relevance, even if they employ aggression and violence in their films, in addition to responsibility, loyalty, and friendship.
Over the years Time Magazine has had a number of interesting commentaries and articles in reference to aging.  They reported that only about 30% of aging is genetically based, which means that other variables are under our control.  Let me repeat this fact: some 70% of how we age is under our control!  When people truly grasp that significant fact, they will realize that we are not just a product of our genes, and that we can take an active stance in how our life unfolds. It is up to us to make the best of our lives and our health.  If we can change our thinking, we can change our behavior, and in my professional life, that is exactly how I observed the way transformations unfold: change in thinking results in behavioral change.  We have conscious control of our thoughts, which means we can plan, set goals, and make changes in our thinking and therefore our behavior.
To be continued