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It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Tevis Cup and It's the Worst Day of my Life

"Nothing will ever be attempted if all possible objections must first be overcome."– Samuel Johnson
Did you know that, on August 4, the Tevis Cup ride begins at Robie Park? This endurance ride was first held on August 7, 1955. The ride was originated, organized and implemented by a man named Wendell Robie. On his inaugural historic ride, he was accompanied by five men however, only four completed this 100 mile one-day ride. The finishers were: Wendell, Nick Mansfield, Pat Sewell and Bill Patrick.
Since that time, many other competitors have entered and about 50% have completed this ride. This year there are over 200 entries, countless volunteers, and veterinarians to support the riders and the horses over the rugged, technical Western States Trail.  There is plenty of elevation about 22,000 linear feet and much downhill about 25,000 linear feet during the 24 hour period of the ride. It is cool at the early morning start, at the high elevation and temperatures can easily reach 100° or triple digits in the canyons later on in the day. And there are rocks and roots on the trail to make the footing uneven as well as dangerous. Also, the trail gets very dusty in parts because of all the horses, weather and trail conditions.  Some other things that make this ride difficult are lameness, hydration and night riding with steep and treacherous trail drop-offs that scare many riders “to death.” It is not uncommon to hear riders screaming during the night on the California loop.

There are many stories about this ride and the man Wendel Robie who started it.  At the time, one of my neighbors Fred Jones was appointed Director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation in March 1965 by Gov. Pat Brown. On a side note Pat’s son Jerry is currently governor of California .Fred met Wendell in the olden days. As a result, Fred also got to ride in this event since Wendell had his friend Paige Harper procure a horse for him. More about Fred and Wendell can be found in my book “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”
Just yesterday at the Tevis Cup banquet, I had a conversation regarding Secretariat with Chuck Mather. The story goes something like this: a number years ago Chuck (one of my Western states Pacers, a top 10 Tevis Cup finisher, a 24 hour WS 100 buckle holder and ride and tie competitor); Tom Christofk (a top 10 Tevis Cup finisher, and ultra runner, and ride and tie competitor); and Secretariat ( Ten time Tevis finisher and top ten Tevis Cup Finisher)  had just completed one of their noon workday runs. Tom and Chuck were county employees and had the use of a shower. Although the single shower was by no means elegant as the facility was old and grungy, it’s served its purpose.
After showering, Secretariat said something like “Chuck you have my underpants.” According to Secretariat, Chuck screamed in horror and said something to the effect of “this is the worst day of my life.” I’ll leave the story as is and if Chuck or Tom wants to tell me another version I shall tell that story as well. Carrie enjoyed hearing Secretariat talk about the event on today’s 9- 10 mile run. Other Chuck stories will be told on another occasion.
From Chuck: Tony got the undie story about right. What he failed to say is he went commando for the rest of the day and threw them out when he got home.   Yep it was the worst day in my life.
I didn't know Tony when that pic below was taken. There was this happy bloke running up through Squaw having so much fun I hung with him for awhile. What a surprise to see the's me!

Ride safely this weekend all you Tevis endurance folks.
Pictures are: Top the first 5 riders  1955, 2nd Tom Christofk rideing up to Watson's Monument, 3nd Tony Brickel (Secretariat) tailing up to Michigan Bluff on his way to his tenth finish., 4th Tony tailing up to Waston's Monument, 4th Tony and Chuck at the top of Squaw.


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