Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: October 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, October 31, 2012

Unfriendly Sandy

"What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers."– Matina Horner
The calm before the storm was apparent and fitting. Last week we were having a wonderful time in NYC visiting and sightseeing with my sister Bev and Roger.  Everything was copacetic and couldn’t be much better. Hanging out, conversing about past and current events while traveling to and from the Long Island Sound into the wonderful city was a daily occurrence.  In fact there was Monday night football, and the World Series that pitted my former team the Detroit Tigers against the San Francisco Giants. My team currently are the Oakland A’s who were defeated by the Tigers in the playoffs. And then there was news about Sandy. At first the psychological defense mechanism of denial was apparent as this hurricane didn’t seem to register in my life space.
Then as the week progressed, especially towards the end of the week, the weather wasn’t getting any warmer as dark clouds approached. Reality slowly but significantly began to set in when the airlines announced on television that they would allow travelers to change their travel plans without penalty. Okay, now the anxiety level began to rise as I waited 40 minutes on the phone to talk to an airlines agent about changing reservations. After that wait, our plans were made and we were scheduled to leave on Sunday instead of Tuesday. The computers software was not working properly and we were not able to print out a boarding pass or to get two seat assignments.
The more we were updated about Sandy, the more concerned I became. Initially my sister was going to drive us to the airport limousine pickup. Then it was decided to get sandbags and bring them back to the house.  Linda and I decided to call a cab and get out of my sisters and Rogers hair. Now we were relying on the cab company, the airport limo service, and the airlines. I became less and less in control of the situation. So now I have to balance anxiety with my sense of trust. Would this transportation system work effectively and return Linda and me to the “safety” of the airport in Sacramento?
On the trip from Sacramento to New York, our plane had a malfunction and we sat at the gate for a couple of hours until it was fixed. To make matters worse we were delayed in Denver and Linda’s luggage did not accompany us once we arrived at LaGuardia. Well, this time everything worked as we returned to California safely with our entire luggage.
 Last Sunday was a stressful day and night to say the least. Being back home and running on the trails (back in control) is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Don’t forget that physical exercise is one great way to deal with psychological stress and anxiety.
Oh by the way, I’m happy to report that Beverly and Rogers home was not flooded. Of course their dock was damaged and they’re still without power but safe and dry.
Remember  friends to keep moving as it’s good for you.

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Big Apple and Sandy

"Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing."– Socrates
Linda and I just returned from the Big Apple. Sandy chased us away. Just yesterday, we were at the La Guardia Airport with thousands of other travelers wanting to get out of Dodge. What a madhouse as it was noisy, congested and stressed with some with short tempers.
Good luck Beverly, my sister, as she now has to deal with Sandy. I do not envy what’s in store for her. When we left, Beverly and Roger were getting sandbags in order to protect their house and property before their evacuation.
I must admit that the airport and its people handled the crowds very efficiently. Unfortunately, I did not have a seat assignment on the connection from Houston to Sacramento and was told I had to deal with seat assignment there. We had a 39 minute connection between planes and of course our plane to Sacramento was late arriving to New York.  The plane God’s were with us as the pilot made up airtime. Linda and I ran to the connecting gate, I eventually got a seat assignment and we were  the last to board. Our luggage did not get lost and Secretariat was there to meet us and drive us home.
Secretariat, Randall, Diane and Michelle ran a half marathon on Saturday. At first, Randall ran with Secretariat and then fell back. Secretariat was running well and then thought he was racing somebody in his age group. This old looking man was in his late 40s and managed to get in front and finish before Secretariat. He was pleased when he learned that this man was considerably younger than him. He had a good run anyway.
Back to my story and stay in the Big Apple. What a city! We had a blast and walked around a lot of the city during our week there. We walked at Central Park, lower Manhattan, Battery Park, Chinatown, Greenwich Village, at Ellis Island, at the Statue of Liberty, across the Brooklyn Bridge, Bowery, meatpacking district, east village and other places. We ate Chinese, South American, Cuban and Jewish deli. We had so much fun and I did a couple of runs in Connecticut.
One favorite experience was seeing the play “Jersey Boys” which told the story of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons. In some ways it was like going to a concert only better in that there was a story told as well. Some of the songs went back to high school, teenage, and young adult years. Do you remember: Oh What a Night, Silhouettes, Earth Angel, I Can’t Give You Anything but Love, Who Wears Short Shorts, Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry, Walk like a Man, My Boyfriend’s Back, Stay, Bye-Bye Baby, and Can’t Take My Eyes off of You and others?
In addition to dealing with all the food that we ate, I stood during a few of our train rides to New York, on the subway, and on the Ferries. The people in New York were friendly and helpful especially in getting around the town. More about NYC to follow. However, it’s good to get back and today I will hit the trail.
It’s very clear, “keep moving.”

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sleep Problems in the US

"If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."– Lao-Tzu

Are you one of those individuals in the United States that have difficulty falling and staying asleep? If you are, you are certainly not alone. For example in 2006, there were 47.8 million sleeping aid prescriptions filled. This number has increased every year and by 2011 there were over 60 million sleeping aid prescriptions filled.  Wow, that seems like a lot of the pills to me.

46% of teenagers  age 13-18 say they rarely or never get a good night’s sleep on weekdays; 51% of those aged 19-29 say the same thing; 43%  age 30 to 45 rarely or never get a good night’s sleep; while38% in the  46 to 64 age bracket have the same difficulty.

In 1990 , 24% of US workers said they  got less than six hours of sleep a night and the number increased to 30% by the year the mining industry 41.6% report getting less than six hours of sleep a night; 38% in the utility industry; 34.3% in public administration; 34.1%  in manufacturing; 32 .7%  in transportation and  warehousing; 32% in healthcare and social systems; 30.7% in  arts ,entertainment, recreation; 30.3% in retail trade; 29% in construction and 27.4%  in finance and insurance report the same. In other words, in these 10 industries 33% or one third of these workers does not get a full night’s sleep. What is your guess as to the productivity of these individuals as well as amount of errors they make?
Do you know that 74% of people drink a caffeinated beverage in an average week and 13% of people drink more than six caffeinated beverages on an average weekday? What do all these statistics mean?
Sleeplessness has been linked to increased rates of heart disease, obesity, stroke and even certain cancers. Although the exact reasons for these effects are largely unknown, they do suggest the importance of sleep. So it’s possible to suggest that if you’re getting your proper the amount of sleep, you can likely reason that they are harming yourself as well.
Okay you probably know that there is no amount of caffeine that can alleviate one’s need for sleep. Also, drugs like Ambien and Lunesta are not the answer either. In the 2007 national Institute of health study, individuals taking popular prescriptions sleeping pills fell asleep 13 minutes faster than those given a sugar pill. They also slept for 11 minutes longer. Did you know that some of these sleeping pills also interfere with short-term memory and probably interfere with remembering a patient’s tossing and turning during the night?
 A few suggestions include the following  may help with sleepless nights: go to bed at the same time every night; avoid the bluish light from such things as computer screens, TVs and smart phones; and utilize  yoga or other relaxation techniques to help put your mind at ease. If these changes don’t work, consider consulting a professional.
Don't forget to keep moving.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sleep Deprivation and Learning

"Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric."– Bertrand Russell
Recently, a research study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine reported that inadequate sleep hurts the ability of fat cells to respond to insulin effectively. This is not good news for obese individuals and those that have diabetes. Fat cells generally safely store lipids.
However when the cells failed to adequately respond to insulin, lipids can spill out into the bloodstream and the surrounding tissue. According to Matthew Brady, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago and a co-author of the study stated: “if you’re cramming for finals or have a newborn in the house, getting 4 ½ hours of sleep isn’t unusual. Yet, after just four nights it is the equivalent of metabolically aging 10 to 20 years.”
Sleep deprivation has also been shown to reduce attention, slow reaction times and impair learning. This study shows that sleep deprivation can be also harmful to metabolism as well. These researchers are now planning a similar study looking to see if lengthening sleep time in obese and middle-age people with sleep apnea can improve the state of those people’s fat cells. In this study healthy people were made to look worse with sleep deprivation and now they’re go take a look to see if improving sleep could have a beneficial effect. For more information consult the October 16, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Unfortunately, something is going on as far as learning and achievement in education is concerned and it’s not good. Likely, the problems of these mediocre test scores reflect the combination or interaction between the learner, the teacher, the educational philosophy, and the parents and the culture. It seems apparent that sleep deprivation is also variable and that it can be dealt with if recognized.   It’s too bad that there is not more emphasis on solving or recognizing this as a problem.  Are you and your kids getting enough sleep?  
We also know that the problem of lack of sleep is a major problem in this country not only for teens but for adults as well. Our next  blog will have additional information about the magnitude of this issue in our country.
Don’t forget to keep moving.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Running Without Discomfort

"There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do."– Freya Stark
Today was a good running day.  Matt and Farah Avasarala,  Secretariat, Chris Turney and I ran from my home to the American  Canyon Trail, passing Poverty Bar( Tevis Cup crossing), running by  Maine Bar, proceeding to  and up  Brown’s Bar, and continuing on the  Western States Trail reaching the 16 mile marker and  then returning back to my home. We covered roughly 14 give or take miles on this run. Essentially, we ran the Way Too Cool sections counter clockwise or in reverse. Secretariat, Matt and his wife Farah kept together for most of the run while Chris and I stayed together.
Chris and I(since we  spent  a lot of time together) talked about the San Francisco Giants, Barry Zito, the Oakland A’s, Mark Mulder , Tim Hudson, Lance Armstrong and his difficulties, San Francisco 49ers, Alex Smith, Oakland Raiders and other professional sports. We also talked about Chris’s competitions from earlier years that included Tom Johnson, Mark Richtman, Tim Twietmeyer, Jim Howard and other world-class and outstanding runners. We were talking about what it takes (quads & hamstrings) to run well in the hills and that depending upon your physiology whether or not that plays into your strength. It is clear that running a marathon is very different from running a 50 miler and that running a 50 miler is very, very different from running a 100 miler.
Chris and I also talked about the difference between competing in the triathlon and the Western States 100. In a triathlon, the participants work different muscle groups (swimming, biking and running) compared to running 100 miles incorporating the same large muscle groups over and over making it easier to sustain an injury. Obviously, one way to stay healthier is to do lots of cross training.
Secretariat, Matt and Farah waited for Chris and me at the Dead Truck Trail, Maine Bar Trail, and at the beginning and end of Brown’s Bar Trail. They went off ahead while I stretched my Achilles with Chris waiting. So far so good as I did not experience any discomfort at this point. The three of them didn’t wait any longer for us and proceeded back to my home where I found them talking with Linda. I asked Secretariat how his race went and he told me that he ran with Farah (he worked hard). He also told me that Matt was in the lead and easily stayed in front based on his desire and no one else’s. Chris and I agreed that Secretariat is running well.
After my run, I stretched my Achilles again and was still without discomfort. This was the first time in over two years that ran this distance without any Achilles issues. I am pleased since my physical therapy is working. I’m definitely going to take my own advice by keep moving.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Aging,Secretariat and Epicurus

"I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it."– Pablo Picasso
On Thursday, Secretariat and I ran a short 6 mile loop. He wanted to run short today because on Saturday we are planning a longer run.  During our run, we talked about the speed of Matt and Farah. Even though there is a significant age differential between Secretariat and Farah, he is motivated, as he would like to close the running gap. He now has a new goal. Knowing him, during our trail run, I told him that he could pass me at any time   and he did. When I reached the end of the trail, he was nowhere in sight. So when I reached home I saw him sitting on my deck drinking a Coke. He admitted that he ran much of the hills this time. It is good to see him with the goal. All it takes is a good-looking, young woman who runs well and Farah fits the description. So much for Secretariats  aging.
How much thought have you been giving to aging? It doesn’t matter what age you are to realize and notice the passage of time. Likely, from your mid-too late 30s through your mid-40s one begins to realize that the window of life is beginning to close. Perhaps prior to that, that window of life seemed wide open. So I would recommend that if you’ve not thought about your window it might be productive for you to do so. The reason for doing this is so that you can accomplish, here on earth, and complete any unfulfilled goals or desires.
Unfinished business could be writing a book, running or riding your horse 100 miles in a day, giving back to your community, enrolling in that history or economics class, getting cosmetic surgery or some youth enhancing hormone supplement. So now might be a good time to begin thinking of your future and how you want to plan for it.
The following are quotes from the Greek philosopher Epicurus and his ideas about the aging process. One might fantasize about him in some white garment with a long white beard contemplating the future. Remember, this is the same country that initiated the idea of the Olympic Games. The key word is games. Anyway, let’s take a look at what he said: “it is not young man who should be considered fortunate but the old man who has lived well, because the young man in his prime wanders much chance vacillating in his beliefs, while the old man has docked in the harbor, having safeguarded his true happiness.”
Can you relate to Epicurus and his knowledge? Are you in touch with your true self? Do you really know who you are and are you doing what you really want to do? According to him, if you are clear and centered you are likely in a good emotional state. Notice, he is not talking about striving or vacillating or chasing one pursuit after the other like in climbing the corporate ladder, pursuing wealth, or chasing some other external component. Can you be content, know yourself, stay centered and have productive goals at the same time?
Epicurus also wrote “of all the things that wisdom provides to help one live one’s entire life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of friendship.” He believed that a professional life of any kind could corrupt Friendship since business inevitably leads to treating other people as a means to an end rather than an end in themselves. What a tremendous insight by this smart Greek man.
Keep moving my friends.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

A Trail Run With Friends

"Inspiration is a guest that does not willingly visit the lazy."– Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
On Tuesday, Secretariat, Matt, Farah and Sanjay and I ran for about 8 to 9 miles on the trail. We started off in ALT and immediately confronted a steep climb going in the direction of Rec Lake. From there we proceeded toward third gate. Running down the trail, I noticed a wallet on the ground. Picked it up, looked inside and saw the name Tony Brickel. Farah, standing next to me, suggested that I not let Secretariat know right away. I put his wallet in my fanny pack and agreed not to say anything to him.
We proceeded on the Western States Trail and headed for the Dead Truck Trail. Once there, I opened   my fanny pack to get something to eat and noticed the wallet. I asked Secretariat what he had in his wallet and he immediately figured out he lost his wallet. He thanked me for picking up his wallet and said his cell phone was missing. He was going to backtrack to look for it. I told him we could all backtrack today or I would go with him tomorrow to look for it. He thought it was possible that the cell phone might actually be in his car. At that point, we ran down Dead Truck in search of the old truck.
Since Matt, Farah and Sanjay had not been on this part of the trail, I pointed out the old truck   when we arrived at the destination in question. Sanjay went down to check out some particulars of the old historic truck. From there, we proceeded in the direction of Maine Bar   passing Poverty Bar which is part of the Tevis Cup crossing.
Secretariat and Farah got in front and started up Maine Bar while Matt stayed with me. Secretariat told me that Farah is strong and she easily climbed that difficult gnarly trail. It is real clear that both Matt and Farah are strong and run the hills well.
Once we arrived back at my home ,Secretariat went to his car and thankfully found his cell phone. We sat on my deck, enjoying the view and talked about our run and other things and made plans for our next one.
Couple hours later, Linda got back from her trail ride with Margareta. As it turned out, part of her ride duplicated the same part of the trail as our run.
All is well in the foothills; with good running friends; with my Achilles feeling OK and making sure to keep moving.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Diane,Randall,Lew and Carrie -All Winners

"We are made to persist. That's how we find out who we are."– Tobias Wolff
Randall and Diane
Congratulations go to Diane and Randall Harris as they have completed their first marathon. On the 13th, they ran the Dick Collins marathon in the Bay Area. For Randall, he did well since the previous month he had surgery on his retina which interfered with his training. As he was recovering, Diane was getting stronger and stronger .in fact, Diane finished roughly 10 minutes in front of Randall. I told Randall that this run was a training run so he could join me for the 50 K. Way Too Cool race next March. Last March, Secretariat, Diane and Randall belt out many popular Beatles, Eagles, and Beach Boys songs from the Goat Hill aid station to the finish. I told Randall that he is going to have to bring his guitar this time for that race.
Lew Hollander
Also on the 13th, congratulations go to Lew Hollander who completed another Hawaiian iron man. one might wonder what’s so special about that? Well, Lew was born on June 6, 1930. He completed his first Hawaiian Iron man in 1985. This man has completed 23 out of 23 Hawaiian Ironman’s. Lew had competition this year as he finished third in his age group. To find out more about this remarkable young man, I refer you to Chapter 10 in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”
Further, Carrie Barrett and partner  came in first place in the ride and tie in Cool on the 13th. Way to go Carrie.  Mark Richtman and Mary Tiscornia came in a close second. Mark recently recovered from an injury and was not his usual running self. He wasn’t making any excuses. However it was clear to me that he ran slower.
For me, I ran with Matt and Farah on the 9 mile loop. Secretariat was invited  to join us but declined because he said he was just too tired  .I was pleased  with my run as I am slowly building up my distances as a result of my Achilles rehabilitation. This week I plan to increase my distance to run between 10 and 12 miles and then evaluate. So far I’m doing well.
A Tired Secretariat
Remember, keep moving.

Friday, October 12, 2012

How Smart Are You ?

"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."– Plutarch
James R. Flynn (of the Flynn effect) latest book “Are We Getting Smarter”? was reviewed in the Wall Street Journal on October 10, 2012.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Flynn effect it is the tendency of a nation’s average measured intelligence (IQ) to rise over time.  Don’t forget that Flynn is comparing individuals’ sub test scores on standardized IQ tests.
Do you believe that people are getting smarter?  Are you getting smarter as you age?  According to Flynn, modern man does better on some sub tests on an IQ test such as with block design (puzzles) and similarities; but   modern man’s IQ scores have not improved on the sub test arithmetic. On other measures of an IQ test such as vocabulary and general information adult’s scores has risen but   not for children. On the other hand, Flynn believes that modern humans are more comfortable with abstract classification, logic, and hypotheticals. According to Flynn, verbal intelligence peaks in middle age and then slowly declines. People with high IQ scores (analytical intelligence) decline far less than in people with low IQs .The most analytically powerful teens  seem to end up being the most analytically powerful retirees.
 on the other hand according to a General Social Survey, studies of scientific knowledge conclude that most American adults are scientifically illiterate.  For example, on true- false test they correctly answer 60% of basic questions which is slightly better than chance. The grasp of the scientific method is also similarly dismal. Are our schools failing us? If so, what can be done to reverse this fact?
Remedies for prolonging cognitive powers, according to Flynn, include :don’t retire, keep doing research, keep teaching complex material, play chess, keep up with developments in mathematics etc.
I agree with Flynn’s remedies and would add and let us not forget the role of exercise in our life. Exercise is extremely important for prolonging   intellectual capacity and do not forget it.
Yesterday, Secretariat, Farah, Matt and I did about an 8 mile trail run. Secretariat and I were impressed with their speed and Matt’s ability to run the hills. Today, the four of us are going to mark the trails for Saturday’s Cool Ride and Tie. See you all Saturday.
Good luck Randall and Diane on your first marathon.Whatever you do, remember to keep moving.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cholesterol and You

Josh Billings
"Consider the postage stamp: its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there."– Josh Billings
As you might know, cholesterol is a type of fat in your blood and further, your cells require cholesterol. Fortunately your body makes all the cholesterol it needs but unfortunately you can get too much cholesterol from the food that you eat. So the problem is that too much cholesterol can build up or clog your arteries. This is an issue because these are the blood vessels that carry blood away from your heart.  The clogging of arteries   is called atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
Clogged Artery
There is LDL referred to as the bad cholesterol( can clog your arteries )while HDL is considered the good cholesterol because it helps (clear  or remove  fat from  blood) , Further ,triglycerides are  another type of  fat  in your blood. It is important to have HDL because it lowers your chances of having a heart attack while LDL and triglycerides raise your chances.
Typically many things can cause high cholesterol including 1. Eating too much saturated fat, trans fat   2. Being overweight. 3.   Being inactive. 4. Age-cholesterol starts to rise after age 20. 5. Family history-family members that have or had high cholesterol.  6. Overall health-diseases such as   hypothyroidism can raise cholesterol.
Treating high cholesterol (to reduce risk of heart attack and stroke) includes 1: Eating a healthy diet that includes plenty of fish, fruits, vegetables, beans, high-fiber grains, breads, and healthy fats like olive oil. 2 Losing weight can lower cholesterol as well as high blood pressure .3. Get regular exercise of at least 30 or more minutes a day .4.Don’t smoke as quitting can help raise HDL and improve   heart health. Check out this recipe.
Recipe from Weight Watchers
Cranberry –Maple Slow Cooker Oatmeal. Stir the ingredients below together before bedtime and wake up to a comforting bowl of creamy filling oats. The ingredients are as follows:
1.8 cups of water. 2. 2 cups of uncooked steel-cut oats. 3. 2/3 cup of dried cranberries, chopped. 4. 1/2 a cup of maple syrup. 5. 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon. 6. 1/2 a tablespoon of table salt. 7. 3 tablespoons of slivered almonds, toasted.
instructions-combine all ingredients, except almonds, in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker. Cook on low power for 4 to 6 hours, depending on desired creaminess. Stir well to combine and then sprinkle with almonds.  Yields about three quarters of a cup of oatmeal and 1 teaspoon of almonds per serving. Be sure to use steel cut oats for this recipe as regular oatmeal will not hold up to this length of cooking.  If you like your oatmeal very creamy, you can cook it up to 8 hours.
The above information was found in the Fall/Winter 2012 Blue Shield of California Newsletter. In any event,” keep moving.”

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jack Sholl:Patriot,Rower,Gentlemen Unparalleled

"Choices are the hinges of destiny."– Pythagoras
In 2009, I began thinking about writing a book about my experiences over the last 12 years. I thought about it and decided to write about some of the athletes that I had met during my ride and tie, Tevis, Western States, and other running events years. I also wanted to write about other athletic activities such as rowing and paddling.  And I did. The people that I wrote about had to be at least 65 years of age and still competing in their sports.

Jack Sholl
A gentleman by the name of Jack Sholl came into my life during my search for potential subjects. Jack’s story is found in Chapter 14 in my book “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.” Jack was a perfect example that age was   just a number and productivity can be accomplished irrespective of years on the planet.  It’s about ones sense of self that is a determining factor. As it turned out, Jack became my friend. He has visited Linda and me and we have visited him. I was able to introduce Secretariat and Debbie to him and his wife Joan during one dinner party last summer. I mentioned to Secretariat many things about Jack some of which are in the book while other stories are not. Secretariat was somewhat skeptical about some of the things that I told him. He believed that I was simply embellishing stories about this man
. Well, at that dinner party, we were entertained with wonderful stories about Jack, Joan and their rowing exploits and experiences that have taken them all over the world. Both of them were delightful storytellers and it was fun and informative listening to them. Secretariat is now a believer.
Jack Sholl Independence Hall 2012
Jack, in his mid-80s, continues to give back to society. As a Son of the American Revolution, he is very knowledgeable and passionate about the history of our country. He has spoken to many school and religious groups on this subject. Not only is he informative he is also a delightful person with outstanding character and a true Patriot to boot. Meeting Jack was one of golden nuggets, which I have received, in writing my book.
Just recently, on September 15th, Jack was invited to be a speaker at Independence Hall in Philadelphia regarding the 225th Anniversary of our Constitution.  That is Jack with 75 Colonial Color Guardsmen in the background each bearing flags of the rebellious states. He told me that “it’s the greatest honor that I ever had.” Jack is having a right shoulder replacement on 15th of November. After surgery he will rehab and began training for the Masters International Rowing Championships to be held in northern Italy next September. Incidentally, Jack was born in 1925. I do not have to tell him to keep moving. He gets it.
Yesterday, Randall and Diane, Chris Turney, Secretariat and I did a short 6 to 7 mile training run in preparation for Randall and Dianne’s first marathon next Saturday on 10/13. I don’t have to tell them to keep moving either.
I’m also pleased to report that Joan Sohl my friend and new running  buddy completed her first marathon at Susanville Sunday. She told me “I did it.”  It was great to hear her excitement and sense of accomplishment. Congratulations go to her. It’s easy to keep moving when your friends also keep moving.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Erikson's Autonomy VS. Shame and Doubt

"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
Erik Erikson’s first stage of human development (a sense of trust versus a sense of mistrust) in man’s life cycle was discussed previously. His theory of psychological development differs from Freud’s. Freud’s notion is that the oral stage (issues of dependency) is central in psychoanalytic theory of human growth.
Freud’s second stage of development centers on the anal stage with its focus around eliminative functions that corresponds during the child’s second year. Issues in this second stage can lead to the development of an anal personality. Another theorist Robert W. White adds the issue of mastery as being central during this second year. Most of you can remember the terrible twos and the emergence of “no” by the child during his psychological struggle. Who won or who lost?
Erikson on the other hand, in his psycho social theory, describes growth, crises and the child’s task of developing either a sense of autonomy or developing a sense of shame and doubt. In this stage, Erikson discusses muscular maturation accompanied by two sets of social modalities: holding on and letting go. He states this is observable by others and is expressed in the behavior of the two-year-old. In this  stage psychologically and behaviorally, holding on can be either hostile like in retaining, restraining or it can become a pattern of care like to have and to hold or it can  become relaxed as in ” let it be.”
Issues for the caretaker/ or caretakers  in this stage centers around protecting the child against meaningless or arbitrary  rules, restrictions,  experiences which can result in over or outer control,  possessiveness or assisting the child to stand on his own two  feet. In other words, parental attitudes and behavior around how toilet training should be is important here.  A major danger or consequence, in this critical period, is the development of shame (not wanting to be seen or the sense of being small, insignificant) and doubt (difficulty with self-expression, not being sure, tentative).  So for the child who becomes an adult, the notions of justice grounded in the principle of law and order in our society is paramount. How does the individual deal with individual liberty (self or will) on the one hand within an orderly society, culture, job with its many rules and regulations on the other hand?  Freud said civilization facilitates man‘s becoming neurotic. There can be too many rules, restrictions or too much permissiveness. What were your parents like?  How did your parents rearing influence you with your child during this critical period?
Trusting self and others and being autonomous are both important for well-being. Since well-being is based in part upon healthy nutrition and exercise, therefore taking care of your mental health is paramount. Laughing, playing, being young, productive helps. Stay mentally healthy my friend as it significantly affects your physical health.
This morning Randall, Diane, Secretariat and I ran a short 6 mile trail run. For Randall this was his first trail run since his surgery;  and for me my first” real”  trail run in the last three weeks. Part of why I like to” keep moving “is the enjoyment of running on the trail with friends. Sunday, the plan is for us to run a short 8 mile trail run. Once again, remember to” keep moving. “I practice what I preach. In other words I talk the talk and walk the walk.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Development of Trust

"We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn."– Mary Catherine Bateson
Do you believe that you are trustworthy? Do you believe that you are trusting or do you believe that you have difficulty in this area? A man by the name of Erik Erikson employed a developmental approach in his psychosocial theory of man regarding the human life cycle. He believed that man goes through critical stages of psychological-social development from birth to death. His research comprised a detailed analysis of men, women and children employing a psychoanalytic approach. Briefly his model differs from Freud’s in the fact that he incorporated more of man’s institutions and relied less on Freud’s psycho sexual approach.
Erikson has been a prolific writer and has written books such as: Childhood and Society, Young Man Luther, Insight and Responsibility, Identity: Youth and Crisis and Gandhi’s Truth.  In Childhood and Society, Erikson expands about the first stage of psychosocial development. He believed that the child has an opportunity to develop a sense of trust depending upon child-mother or caretaker interaction. If there are problems or issues, then the child is more likely to develop a sense of mistrust.
Of course a lot of what happens to the baby is dependent upon the mother’s and father’s psychological and physical health during this critical period. If the mother or father are using drugs and / or alcohol and have psychological- physical problems of their own, they are less likely to be able to be there fully for the child. Can the parents provide familiarity, comfort, and continuity during the babies waking periods? Erikson believed that the baby’s first demonstration of social trust was related to the ease of his feeding, the depth of the sleep, the relaxation of his bowel movements and   his willingness to let his mother out of sight without undue anxiety or rage.
Briefly, this first stage of development is critical and clearly is based upon the parental environment in which the child is reared. Maybe more is needed in terms of education and training for all prospective parents regarding this critical period. Then perhaps the consequence might lead to a society of more trusting adults. I think trust can be a good thing. What do you believe regarding trust?  Follow this blog to learn more about Erikson’s model of ego identity development and the human life cycle.
On another note, yesterday’s TV interview was fun and hopefully was fun for Secretariat as well. Be sure to look for the link on our blog. Further, don’t forget the Leslie Yates Memorial Ride and Tie scheduled for October 13th in Cool.
Today I ran on the trail for about an hour. Tomorrow, I see my physical therapist to evaluate further treatment. In any event, pay attention to your critical periods, and remember, keep moving.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy Birthday Secretariat

12 years

Debbie and Tony 1970's

Vietnam 1970

Ocean City Maryland
Finishing Tevis 1998
Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness depends.” Albert Einstein

 I wish you happy, happy birthday Secretariat. Have a wonderful 62nd year. I’m glad you’re back from your vacation. Today, we did a short trail run. As I’m still rehabbing my Achilles, I ran up and back on a flat section of the trail. Secretariat, on the other hand, ran the longer loop. I asked him about how long he thought it would take him to complete the loop. That became his motivation in an attempt to catch me doing my up and back on the trail. I finished my run and was doing my stretching when who other than Secretariat started making noises at the cul-de-sac. We laughed about his competitiveness and that it was my fault that he ran so fast.
While we were warming up for our run he told me about a book that he was reading that pertained to the unconscious. He obviously likes the book because he said something to the effect that he wasn’t as sure of his motives at this point. We talked about the unconscious and the fact that one’s underlying motivation can be assessed based not on what we say but what we do-it is our behavior that speaks loud volumes and reveals our motives. Incidentally, the great philosopher Spinoza wrote about the unconscious
many centuries ago and more recently Freud brought it  into 20th century thinking.
After our run, Secretariat brought delicious pie and ice cream from Washington State. We indulged in a piece of Marion berry Whidbey pie and Huckleberry ice cream by Tillamook. Linda said to save her some. That pie and ice cream was so delicious that I’m sure I could develop a craving for it because I like it also.
This afternoon I have been invited to appear on Auburn Community Television. Their website is:  I persuaded Secretariat to accompanying me as well.
Tomorrow, Wednesday, we are attending a meeting for the Leslie Yates Ride and Tie in Cool  to be held on October 13. On Friday, Randall has been cleared to run so we’re doing a trail run on that morning. My rehabilitation ends Thursday of this week and I can’t wait to get back on the trail full bore. Running on a treadmill or running in a pool does not do it for me.
Remember, keep moving.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Thank You , Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin

"The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing."– Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

Jean Piaget
Sigmund Freud
Charles Darwin, of the 19th century, greatly influenced the history and study of child psychology. In his publication On the Origin of Species in 1859 noted that there was evolution of the species. This inevitably led to speculation about the development of man and society. As a result, there have been many contributions to our knowledge about child development and personality based on his theory.
Erik Erikson
There have been many psychological approaches and theories about understanding human development. For example, Jean Piaget, Sigmund Freud, Erik Erikson and others have utilized and incorporated   a developmental approach. They theorized that there are stages of development as well as critical periods as to when things happen or develop. And, if there is trauma during these critical periods, implications of unhealthiness or problems follow. We   owe a lot to these theorists who have based their beliefs on a certain theoretical framework in a detailed study of human behavior.
 More specifically, human behavior researchers such as Anna Freud, John Bowlby, Harry Harlow and others have studied and provided valuable information regarding the psychological development about our young during critical periods of development and consequences. They have spelled out what is necessary for the young infant in order for proper and healthy psychological and cognitive development.
Recently, a study with mice demonstrated that there is a small but critical window during early development. And   if there is neglect or deprivation, during this critical period, this results in an adverse effect and can permanently alter a type of brain cell linked to behavior. In other words, we are now learning about how early life experiences can affect the development of the brain. More importantly, we’re learning that there are significant or critical periods necessary for optimum brain development.
 Researchers, In Boston, studied the effects of isolating groups of newly weaned   mice. A collection  of mice were housed in groups of four or groups of eight, with the later given access to toys to  be replaced every 48 hours. The results were as follows: the mice raised in isolation exhibited impaired social interaction and memory skills compared to the other groups; the myelin producing cells called oligodendrocytes were markedly shorter and simpler with thinner myelin layers. Further, these changes only took place in isolation during the two-week period immediately after suggesting that there are critical periods in the development of cell structure. This information was found in the September 25, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal.
Although this research was done with mice, it is likely that similar findings could be found with human subjects. It is common that research with animals is done prior to performing similar tests with human subjects in our culture. This information highlights and points to the importance of the development of attachment in our young. Proper feeding with close proximity or touching, human interaction, use of toys such as mobiles etc.  by the mother or caretaker can assist and influence whether or not neuropsychiatric disorders, schizophrenia or delinquency get exhibited later in life.
Make sure to  utilize your critical periods, “keep moving.”