Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: April 2013
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.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Michael Keller ,Dallas Cowboys and Mental Toughness

"Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better."– Samuel Beckett
 Why did a 6’4” 225 pounds athletic football and basketball player, who ran fast, at Catholic Central high school in Grand Rapids, Michigan, question why the University of Michigan granted him an athletic football scholarship? To his amazement, he wondered “Why were they recruiting me, a guy from Grand Rapids, when they had all these high school all- Americans to choose from?” He added “I never felt good enough.”   And stated “I never thought that I’d see or get on the playing field, but I hoped, that I would at least; make the traveling squad before I graduated.”
Michael Keller
How did this insecure, doubting kid from a small high school in Grand Rapids, who started out on maybe the six string on the  U of M freshman football team, who didn’t think he was good enough to play at this level of football, become a three-year starter 1968-1971; won  second team Big Ten honors in 1971; become one of the 40 football players selected to play in the college  all stars versus Dallas Cowboys in 1971; and become drafted in the third round, the 64 th pick  selected  overall , by America’s team, the one and only Dallas Cowboys?
Would you be interested in finding out more about Michael Keller?   I’m currently interviewing him regarding my “Mental Toughness “project.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Rhythmic Breathing,Meditation and Health

"A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new."– Albert Einstein

Wednesday’s post was about the benefits of rhythmic breathing while running. Thursday’s  trail run was about 13 to 14 miles . During that run, I incorporated rhythmic breathing. I noticed the following while doing the run: 1.My heart rate seemed significantly lower but more elevated than Alpha’s. 2. I tripped more than Alpha. I believe, in part, the tripping had to do with paying more attention to foot strike on exaltation than lifting my foot off the ground. The last trip, I landed on the left side of my chest, it still hurts. I still believe rhythmic breathing is good however; I have to pay more attention to the trail while running.
On April 16, 2013, the Wall Street Journal had an article about meditation. According to this one primary care physician, “I recommend five minutes, twice a day, and then gradually increase meditation.” This doctor suggested that patients start easy and then work up to about 20 minutes of meditation twice a day for conditions that includes insomnia and irritable bowel syndrome.
It is believed that integrative medicine programs are including meditation in significantly more hospitals and clinics in our country. Research has found that meditation can lower blood pressure and help patients with chronic illnesses cope with pain and depression. In another study published last year, meditation sharply reduced the risk of heart attack or stroke among a group of African Americans with heart disease.
At Beth Israel Deaconess, meditation and other mind-body therapies are slowly being worked into their program of primary care. Meditation is being used as a complement to traditional medicines. It is clear that “when you breathe in a very slow, conscious way it temporally lowers your blood pressure “said Josephine Briggs director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine which is part of the National Institutes of Health.
Recent research found that meditation affects molecular changes affecting the length of telomeres, a protective covering at the end of chromosomes that gets shorter as people age. The people in the study also showed improved mental and cognitive functioning and lower levels of depression compared to a control group. Current government funded research is also exploring meditations effect on dieting and depression.
 Eastern philosophies, have been around for a long time, and can be a good adjunct to  Western medicine. This is not a new idea, but it appears, that these philosophies are gaining more respect and credibility.  If you haven’t taken a meditation or yoga class, I suggest you consider it. Don’t forget,in the meantime, to keep moving, smiling, laughing and deep breathing.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Yoga,Natural Breathing and Running

"Calmness is the cradle of power."– Josiah Gilbert Holland

Budd Coates believes that that if proper belly breathing can be attained, then the likely hood of injury can be significantly reduced for runners.  His reasoning is as follows: It’s acknowledged that when the runner’s foot hits the ground, that force of impact is equal to at least 2 to 3 time’s one’s body weight. Further, the impact of stress, on that foot, is greatest when it hits the ground at the beginning of an exhalation.  Physiologically speaking, this occurs because when exhaling, the muscles associated with the diaphragm relax, and as a result, that creates less stability in the core.  With less stability, there is a greater potential for injury since   the runner is  always landing on the same foot at the beginning of an exhalation .So one side of the body continuously absorbs the greatest impact of force, causing it to become increasingly vulnerable to injury.
Coates teaches rhythmic breathing, to runners,   in an attempt to rectify this potential injury problem. Rhythmic breathing can assist with attention to foot strike. If you’re familiar with yoga, you have learned how to belly breath. Belly breathing, in principle, means that you are allowing for   the maximum volume of air intake to take place in your chest cavity. According to Hinduism, this type of breathing creates a pathway to deep centeredness that allows for mind, body and spirit connection.  This breathing technique can benefit runners. Runners can   focus on breathing in order to gauge their running effort. They can also create calm and deal with emotional stress better.
Coates teaches a five counts or 3:2 pattern of breathing applied to running. Briefly, inhale for three steps (count) and exhale (count) for two steps.  By following this method, a runner  can pay attention and then more easily  alternate foot landing .Briefly, inhale to the count of 3 and exhale to the count of 2 .Make sure you breathe through your nose and   mouth at the same time and alternate foot landings.
Today, on our 10 mile or so trail run, I taught Alpha this technique. After a number of miles he got distracted by two female runners. He was pleased, with himself, as he caught and passed them. Meanwhile, I was behind all three of them employing the Coates method. I bet he had more fun than I did.
While breathing, it is suggested that one should minimize distractions and place focus on breathing while you’re learning this method.  I agree. I discovered that when focusing on breathing, I could not think about anything but. Also, I had to really pay attention to where my foot was landing because the trail had many roots and rocks. For more detailed information consult Runners World, April, 2013.
 Remember to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Heat Training and the Greatest Runner

"Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments, but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures."– Joseph Addison

The   cover of  April, 2013 edition of  Runner’s  World  has interesting articles  that included the following: Lose 5 Pounds the Right Way; Eat Better; Train  Smarter; Burn More Calories; Go All Out; Add Power , Fitness And Speed;  Rest  or Run?   Road Or Trail?
For me I had no problem yesterday in choosing to run trail. I was joined by Alpha, Madhu, and Chris at Cronan ranch. On May 11, a group of us are going to compete at Quicksilver in San Jose as well as celebrating Madhu’s birthday. Cronan was selected because of the difficult terrain which included frequent elevation change, little shade, and one very hot and sunny day. Heat training, at this juncture, is important for the upcoming Quicksilver event. The temperature there can be brutal at that time of the year.
Because of the hot temperature change, I wore a heart rate monitor, carried 4 water bottles as well as Succeed salt tabs. We started our run about 8:45 but could have started earlier. Alpha ran about 10 miles but had to go home to deal with an unrelated issue. The three of us ran roughly 14 miles. Being concerned about the heat, I checked my heart rate monitor   frequently as I did not want my pulse to be over 140 beats per minute. Even though my heart rate was under 140, I still perspired a lot, walked for part and was pretty tired on the hills.  However, young pup Madhu not only didn’t sweat very much but claimed that he did not work very hard today.  He’s lucky and fortunate. I told Linda I was concerned about being tired. She replied “I’m not worried; he’s young enough to be your son.” Okay, I get it.
All in all, I got the beginning of my heat training.  Hopefully, the temperature will remain warm so that I can get acclimated to the heat.
On another note, Runner’s World magazine had an article about the greatest runner of all time .Some of the names included: Jesse Owens, Emil Zatopek, Roger Bannister, Herb Elliott,   Bill Rodgers, Paula Radcliffe, Usain Bolt etc.

Ann Trason
Tim Twietmeyer
Shame on the writer for failing to acknowledge neither Tim Twietmeyer nor Ann Trason for their achievements.  By failing to mention these  unparalleled  ultra runners (of Western States fame); I seriously question this man’s credibility and knowledge  especially when he included such people as  Ryan Hall, Dean Karnazes and Pheidippides in the honorable mentions section.
This man is entitled to his opinion. However, it is not based on reality, so you can take it with a grain of salt.
Join Alpha and I at the UC Davis Cardiology Rehab Department Wednesday, the 24th for my mental health – physical health presentation. In part, I’m going to tell them to keep moving, smiling, and laughing.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Do You Want To Run 100 Miles? - Part 2

"Inspiration follows aspiration."– Rabindranath Tagore
Once I got selected, in the Western States lottery, I entered John Medinger’s 50 mile plus the Epiphany trail run, the Jed Smith 50 mile trail run, the Way Too Cool 50 K., and the American River 50 mile trail run. Also, I put in 50- 95 miles per week of running to get ready for the event. Thus, this was my training. A friend, Tom Christofk, told me “Running 50 miles is not like running 100.”
Karl Meltzer has won more than twenty-nine 100 mile trail races, stated” You haven’t experienced ultra trail running until you complete 100 miles. It’s so much harder than 50, almost like three 50 milers, and it throws everything at you.” Other quotes found in Trail Runner, October, 2010, issue 68 include “it was the best of times and the worst of times.” “Agony and ecstasy.”  “A study in contrasts.”  “100 miles of heaven and hell.”
Issues that come up during the hundred mile run include: despair, self-doubt, hallucinations, tears, hard falls, blisters, mashed toenails, sunburns and projectile vomiting. In fact the 2002 Western States Endurance Run Participants Guide calls attention to the following: 1. Renal Shutdown 2.Heatstroke/Hyperthermia 3. Snow Hazards 4. Hypothermia 5. Wildlife Hazards 6 Low Sodium and Chloride Counts 7. Altitude  Sickness 8. Muscle Necrosis 9 Overuse Injuries 10. Common Fatigue and the list go on. One quote that I like is by Chuck Gabri “Eat like a horse, drink like a fish and run like a turtle.”
Well, I found out that running 100 miles or 200,000 steps (if one mile =2,000 steps) was a unique experience to say the least. I encountered many things for the first time. It is true that running 50 miles is quite different than running 100.  However, I had three terrific pacers (Chuck Mather, Bill Johnson and Jerome Beauchamp) and a super crew (including my sister Bev) that helped immensely.  A more complete description of the trials and tribulations of this event can be found in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”
Over training can be a detriment especially if one goes into this event injured. So it’s not uncommon for the athletes to be either tired or over strained before the start of the event. Most importantly, when competing, all that takes place between your ears cannot be underestimated. Runners have plenty of trail time as well as alone time. During the trail time, one encounters many emotions and many emotional changes and thinking challenges during the day and night. As a consequence, mental toughness is most significant.  In considering running a 100 miler, make sure you are doing it for the right reason.”

Within the past two years, after much thought, I have weaved together motivational concepts, that I think, pertain to ,define and comprise mental toughness .I am thinking about writing a second book employing mental toughness as the main theme. I will keep you posted. In the meantime, if you’re thinking of running 100 miles you might consider: Angels Crest 100, Hardrock 100, Javelina Jundred or H.U.R.T. 100 or 95 others.
Yesterday, Carrie, Alpha, the two dogs Jade and Porter and I ran about 10 mile trail run on the Western States trail. The plan for Sunday is to run at the Cronan ranch. Chris, Alpha, Madhu and I will cover about 15 miles. Remember to keep smiling, laughing and moving.
PS  I am presenting a paper to the UC Davis Cardiology Rehabilitation Department on April, 24th.  You are invited, join Alpha and I.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon -April 15,2013

"Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood."– Marie Curie

Can you believe what happened near the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday? What a cowardly act by an individual or group of individuals. From initial accounts, it appeared that most of the people killed or injured were spectators-family, friends, or volunteers. Apparently, the marathon runners were not seriously injured from the two blasts. It’s that old saying that “it’s not good to be in the wrong place at the wrong time “that seemed to be true Monday.
What is puzzling is why someone would want to injure these innocent individuals. It is more problematic to attack the nation’s oldest running race. Certainly this prestigious event warranted much publicity and drew thousands to its venue.
The quick response in helping victims is applauded. There were many heroes (mental toughness) who jumped in and did the right thing. One issue that bothered me is the amount of media attention that these tragedies generate. The media doesn’t have a problem in presenting information even if it’s false or simply a rumor. There is too much publicity or reinforcement and suggests and give “importance” or “notoriety” to these evil characters,
There are too many mentally sick individuals with easy access to harming devices.  I have confidence that our government, with all its resources, will locate the perpetrators and likely discover and give clues as to the motivation of these deranged people. There can be no sound justification for this perpetration. In this case I’m OK with an “eye for an eye.”
The Boston Marathon will continue as well as this country. The world can be a dangerous place, as evidenced  by the nuts that surface, however,  having all the guns in the world doesn’t  make it safe or can protect you  My heart goes out to all those injured and  I hope their recovery is quick .  I feel terrible for those that needlessly lost their lives.
 On a happier note, Alpha and I ran about 10 miles on our trail run Tuesday. We both registered for the Western States Memorial Day training run. We also entered, for the second year, the 10 mile JDRF (juvenile diabetes) run on May 18 at the Cronan Ranch. The posted picture is from last year’s race at the start, Can you recognize us?
 Remember to keep moving smiling and laughing.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Do You Want To Run 100 Miles ?

"There is a sense of exhilaration that comes from facing head-on the hard truths and saying, 'We will never give up. We will never capitulate. It might take a long time, but we will find a way to prevail.'"– Jim Collins

Ann Langstaff
Dennis Rinde
Chris Turney
In 1997, the decisions that I made resulted in a major change. At that time, I was entering the endurance world, trail riding and practicing full-time as a psychologist in the Bay Area. Early in the year, I entered an endurance ride at Mount Hamilton in San Jose. At that time, I was introduced to an event called ride and tie. I became interested in that sport and then began trail running. Because of this sport, I met trail runners, some of who became friends, and some, I found out, were world-class runners. People like Tony a.k.a. Alpha, Chris Turney, Linda Raposelli,  Ann Langstaff, Jonathan Jordan, Russ Kiernan, Dennis Rinde, Jim Howard, Tom Johnson, Mark Richtman and Tim Twietmeyer to name a few.

Linda Raposelli

Mark Richtman

Jim Howard and daughter Sara

Tom Johnson
Tim Twietmeyer

Jonathan Jordan

Because of the sport and the necessary trail running, I learned about trail running and various trail events. I learned about nutrition (power bars,  Cliff bars, turkey and peanut butter sandwiches); hydration (Gatorade, Cytomax, Gu20); and running gear (Asics, New Balance, Mizuno, Brooks) and orthotics.
I also learned about the Western States 100, one-day  trail run, 5 k’s , half marathons, marathons, 50 K’s, and 50 milers. When I decided to compete in the Western States 100 ,my trail running consisted of a few 5 K’s, one half  trail marathon, the Maui marathon, one 50 K., and five years  of ride and tie competitions.
To be continued
Yesterday, Alpha, Chris, Carrie and I ran the trail. We started for my home and headed toward Dead Truck. They proceeded to Maine Bar and then back to my house for about a 7 plus  mile trail run. I wanted to run longer so I passed Maine Bar and headed towards Brown’s Bar and then returned to my home for about 14 of 15 mile trail run. Once home, I enjoyed the three I’s –ice, ibuprofen, and ice cream. What was not to like about yesterday? In any event I recommend moving, laughing and smiling.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Proper Nutrition,Hydration and Exercise

"The man who makes no mistakes does not usually make anything."– William Connor Magee

On Thursday, Alpha, Farah and I decided on running a 15 K. trail run. Madhu added another 10K by running from his home to my mine. Once together, we started running towards Browns Bar. I began in the lead but within a mile and a half was passed by my friends. When I reached Brown’s bar, Alpha was there waiting for me. I asked him how long he had been waiting and he replied “not long.” We then proceeded on the trail. When we reach my home, Madhu and Farah were waiting for us. Madhu said he was trashed and later revealed that he doesn’t eat breakfast prior to training runs. Alpha stated “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” Perhaps, just perhaps Madhu might do better by eating breakfast before going on a 25K trail journey. I found some nutrition tips, based on research, in Trail Runner, October, 2010, issue 68 that you might consider.
Let’s start with 1.  . Beet juice a.   This is good for high intensity exercise. B. The abundant nitrates turns into nitric oxide in the body which may improve blood flow to working muscles and make exercise less tiring .c.The nitrates can also lower blood pressure and acts as a powerful antioxidant that mops up free radicals
.2.Yerba Mate a. This tea has an 85 mg of caffeine compared to 135 mg of coffee. B.Consuming caffeine before or during exercise stimulates the central nervous system and assists in working harder and longer. C. This tea promotes antioxidant activity against free radicals.
3. Tart Cherry Juice a. Good for faster recovery. B. The photochemical anthoycanins helps eliminate inflammation and muscle cell damage this speeding up recovery.
4. Milk a. Helps improve the ratio of lean body mass to body fat.
5 Coconut Water a. This is one of the best natural resources of potassium and other essential electrolytes that helps deal with muscle cramps.
6. Hemp milk A. This is a natural source of a heart- healthy, anti-inflammatory omega fats. B It provides about 10% of the daily requirement for iron.
7. Kefir a. This drink is laced with probiotics and helps regulate the digestive system and strengthens the immune system.
All right, the weather is getting warmer and you might consider taking advantage of these beverages. Even if you’re not running faster or whatever, you are treating your body well. Alpha, for the past couple months has been drinking coconut water after his trail runs and Carrie likes her chocolate milk. I intend to experiment with beet juice and see what happens?
Today’s plan is for Linda to ride her Rush Creek Arabian, Nails while I run on the Western States Trail. Remember; keep moving, laughing and smiling.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Rick Pitino,Luke Hancock,U of M Wolverines, Fab 5 and Running Barefoot

"Think wrongly if you please, but in all cases think for yourself."– Doris Lessing

Congratulations to Rick Pitino, Luke Hancock (MVP) and the Louisville Cardinals basketball team for their win Monday night over the Michigan Wolverines. The game was exciting; however I didn’t care for the officiating. In my opinion there were two bad calls against Trey Burke (when he blocked a shot and when he was called for fouling a three point shooter) and a no call when Louisville blocked the shot that should’ve been called goal tending. These three events I didn’t like. Even the Fab five’s presence (Chris Webber, Jalen Rose, Juan Howard, Ray Jackson and Jimmy King) wasn’t enough to pull out a victory. In 2002 and 2003 these 5   University of Michigan freshmen starters played for the national championship but unfortunately lost both years. Go blue.
How many of you have considered or even experimented with barefoot running? Ever since “Born to Run” came out, running without shoes became more popular .Supposedly, running barefoot will bring out the natural runner. Who doesn’t want to be a natural runner? Some reasons to run barefoot: 1. Running barefoot with a forefoot strike has only a third of the impact of running in a shoe compared to heel striking in which the collision of the heel with ground generates a significant impact per Dr. Daniel Lieberman, no relation. 2. High heeled – heavily cushioned running shoes produce a 56% more dangerous torque at the hip and 38% more torque at the knees. 3. Cushioned shoes interfere with your ability to perceive what’s happening beneath your feet and reduce your proprioceptive and tactile sensitivity 4.When you’re running barefoot you are more likely inclined to land on your forefoot. 5. Running on the forefoot allows you to use your metatarsals, your arch, and your Achilles tendon, quads, hamstrings and glutes muscles. 6. Barefoot running or using a lighter shoe results in economy by reducing your workload by up to 5% .7. And, by keeping your stride short, your legs can whirl around more quickly with minimal resistance and braking action.
Advice, if you’re going to transition to barefoot running: Start out very slowly. When running up hill, run on your forefoot and when walking, grab the ground with your toes in an effort to flex and strengthen your foot. Make sure to rest, ice in order to recover. Take your time and relax because this is a slow process. This process can easily take three months or longer to make the transition. Be smart.
I have considered changing to minimalist shoes. However, I see very few runners incorporating the minimalist shoe while running on the Western States Trail. When I do see that runner, I generally stop them and ask them questions about their shoe. Where I run and train, trail conditions are uneven with plenty of rocks and roots in my way. Periodically, I stub a toe or even trip. When I do that, I start thinking about what I would feel like running in the minimalist shoe. My thoughts are generally I’m glad I have a well cushioned shoe. Source: Trail Runner, October, 2010, issue 68.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Kevin Ware , Mike Rice ,the University of Michigan and the Basketball National Championship

Kevin Ware and Mike Rice -Part 2
"To have that sense of one's intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything."– Joan Didion

Recently, I heard a TV interview in which Kevin stated he was attending   last Saturday’s Final Four tournament with this team. He even said that he has started rehabilitation (putting pressure and using crutches) and hopes to play for his Louisville basketball team next season. Hopefully, he will.
Kevin’s teammates have reported that they want to win the national championship for him. That goal can be classified as an ego goal (to score more baskets than the other team). For the ego oriented player, success is demonstrated by superiority and winning; although one can win without trying too hard. On the other hand a task goal is one in which intrinsically motivated players strive to reach the task goal which reflects personal improvement, effort, mastery and skill learning.
When, a player motivated by personal factors and the sheer pleasure of playing the game this is referred to as intrinsic motivation. On the other hand extrinsic motivation is when the player is motivated by external rewards in the activity as a means to an end. Illustrations like trophies, recognition, championships, and money come to mind.  Being intrinsically motivated and being task oriented are largely within the control of the player. The best combination for success is task orientation alone or in combination with high ego orientation like Michael Jordan.
In conclusion, if these skilled Louisville basketball players also employ high task orientation they will do all right against Wichita State. They did and won. However, the team that I’m rooting for to win it all is my Alma matter, the University of Michigan.  Go Blue. U of M defeated Syracuse and will play Louisville for the 75th National Championship tonight on CBS. Go Blue and watch the game.
What about Mike Rice? Who? Mike, a basketball coach, was recently fired by Rutgers University. There are videos of his practices that show him being verbally and physically abusive (calling players fagots) and (shoving them and throwing basketballs   at them). Supposedly, this was one (negative reinforcement) of his motivational techniques. His record at Rutgers   was pitiful as far as conference play. He, of all people, should know that positive reinforcement is generally superior to negative reinforcement in order to change behavior.  It’s unfortunate that he didn’t learn more about motivation as fear and intimidation are both limiting.

  Mike certainly didn’t model enjoyment (intrinsic motivation) or sheer pleasure of the game to his players. My hunch is that there other Mike Rice coaches around who shouldn’t be.  Coaches at the NCAA level make huge salaries because they are expected to win, not because they are nice guys. The university programs (basketball and football) aren’t necessarily based on facilitating teaching the athletes about intrinsic motivation with the high monetary revenue   that the college teams can generate with TV, tournament and bowl money. Just visit a Big 12 university   and marvel at the lavishness. After all, it’s (sports) about economics and business and don’t forget it. Our values (what we are teaching and modeling) are crystal clear.
During press conferences and analysis, the focus seems to be about finding fault with the President of Rutgers or the athletic director who resigned. Unfortunately, no one is asking questions about the big business of sports, how Mike Rice was hired in the first place, and the effect on the players themselves or even the culture (values) in collegiate sports. What are we modeling for high school, middle school and younger kids?
Do not forget the fact that universities also lower admission standards in order to admit many student-athletes. And, it is not about equal opportunity, it is about winning. Winning takes precedent in so many cases. So, the tangled web consists of economics, greed, and winning at all costs is king in our culture.
Madhu, Farah, Alpha, Chris and I ran about an 8 1/2 mile trail run Sunday which included Dead Truck and Maine Bar. Tuesday, the plan (Madhu, Farah, Alpha and I) is to run to Rucky Chucky some 18 miles. Madhu (good for him) wants to run longer so he will run home for additional mileage.
 Go Blue and keep moving, smiling and laughing.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Kevin Ware and Mike Rice

Any fool can make a rule and every fool will mind it" David Thoreau.
What does the name Kevin Ware bring to mind? Kevin, a University of Louisville basketball player, was injured last Sunday during a game between Louisville and Duke. This young man was attempting to block a shot by a Duke Player. He jumped and landed on one leg suffering a horrific injury. The media focused on him and his teammates and” won “the game for him. Realistically, Louisville was the better team that day and would’ve   likely won their game anyway.
We all know that March was advertised as “March Madness.” This is the month that the NCAA has this tournament with some 64 plus college teams from all over the country participating.  CBS among other television stations carry this event during the month. Likely, if your favorite college team is in the tourney, you can see and view your team during the month. You may have heard of the marketing terms “Sweet 16,”  “Elite 8,” and “The Final Four.” I don’t know the total dollar amount collected, from the tournament, but I do know that we are talking about big bucks.
In other words, these, young college players, bring in plenty of cash to their University that results in funding some of the other sports. The college player in return receives tuition, books, room and board if on scholarship. Often, they are referred to as student-athletes. Do you think that all student- athletes have a guaranteed scholarship for four years? Do you think that these student-athletes have guaranteed tuition, books, room and board? Do you think that the student –athlete has paid health insurance?
If lucky, Kevin Ware can play basketball again, has his injury expenses paid for, and doesn’t lose his scholarship. If he was really fortunate, and if he was of NBA potential, he might have his career intact. If he was a future NBA player, what might his earnings be? However, if that injury sustained in that game resulted in the worst case scenario, his economic future would be compromised. The University of Louisville would have no responsibility or liability in that case. I know this is speculation but I also know that it is true.
To be continued:
For our 25 mile trail run this weekend we’re planning to have a picnic afterwards. Farah‘s contribution includes: 1. quinoa with vegetables and black beans 2.ginger/lime/orange drink. Both Alpha and I haven’t yet decided what to contribute. Anyway, keep moving, laughing and smiling.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Why Smile ? - Part 2

"Life is what we make it. Always has been, always will be."– Grandma Moses

On a personal note, whenever I am running, in one of my competitions, I make sure that I am using humor, smiling and laughing when I can. Sometimes, I’ll even yell or let out a loud noise relating to –“I’m happy to see you. “I must admit that there are times when I am very tired and find it difficult to yell but I’m never too tired to flex the muscles of my mouth upward.
For those of you, who require assistance in projecting a positive image, consult Patti Wood in Atlanta. She coaches clients by focusing   on their entire face. Her rates start at $1200 for a 3 ½ hour body- language training package. Otherwise, get in the here and now (present), look in a mirror and pay attention to what you’re projecting. Who knows, you might view something about yourself?
This bit of information is for all the athletes who experience pain. In a study of approximately 54 mostly females; the subjects were asked to keep their hand in near freezing water as long as possible. Afterwards, they were told they were part of an experiment that was going to evaluate different product designs. Some were asked to handle ibuprofen and the others microwavable noodles. Then the subjects again placed their hand in near freezing water. These volunteers-40percent of them (ibuprofen) stated that the second immersion was less painful than the first. 10% of the subjects who held the microwavable noodles claimed, for them, the second version was less painful. Okay, all you athletes, next time you’re in pain just hold the ibuprofen in your hand. I’m not sure about the glass of water.  Source: Wall Street Journal, March 30-31, 2013.
This past weekend we made plans to run from Beals Point to the Overlook in Auburn for a trail run for next weekend. . Randall, who is recovering from injury, agreed to be our aid station. Alpha hasn’t committed for the entire distance but Madhu and I agreed to run the 25 mile or so distance. Chris and Farah said they’ll run about about half the distance.10-12 miles of our trail run. After, we will more than likely have a picnic and then go to Starbucks for dessert.
The planning for next weekend occurred at Farah’s 40th year birthday party.  We were treated to an Indian-Vegan brunch of delicacies.  I’m so fortunate to have good friends. Remember, keep moving, laughing and smiling.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Why Smile ?

"I have learned, as a rule of thumb, never to ask whether you can do something. Say, instead, that you are doing it. Then fasten your seat belt. The most remarkable things follow."– Julia Cameron

 I wish happy holidays and April Fool’s Day to everybody.  As we know, humor and laughter are both important for well-being so make sure you’re doing it.  How might smiling affect your health? Would you believe that smiling is beneficial to health and happiness? Well, it seems that a smile can slow down heart rate and reduce stress as well. According to one study, even when people weren’t aware that they were forming a smile, felt happier.  Furthermore, a recent study of 170 people evaluated individuals who smiled after engaging in a stress-induced task. The researchers found that those who smiled demonstrated a greater reduction in heart rate than those who maintained a neutral facial expression.  When smiling, we use the muscles around our mouth and our eyes. Supposedly, when smiling, messages are sent to the brain signaling safety which perhaps translates into lower heart rate and stress levels. If that’s so, then smiling affects the neurotransmitters or stress hormones such as cortisol and Oxytocin. Remember that.
Other studies have found that the intensity of the smile can help predict life satisfaction over time and even longevity. The researchers aren’t clear whether smiling reflects a person’s overall happiness or whether the act of smiling contributes to that happiness .Just smile.  
Also, eliminating frowning may have a health benefit as well. If you use Botox to prevent frowning that might alleviate depression.  If you’re depressed, evaluate how much   frowning you are doing. So maybe a treatment for depression might be Botox injections? Remember frowning is not good for your physical health either. In the frowning study, after six weeks of treatment, 27% of the Botox patients went into remission for their depression compared to 7% who received the placebo injections. Another researcher, cautioned against suppressing facial emotion suggesting that by hiding the lines on your face results in feeling less pleasure in response to things in your environment. Also, people and friends won’t be able to read your emotions. So, think before you go out and get that Botox injection.
Another researcher at the University of Wisconsin is exploring whether activating the frowning muscle, known as the corrugator, which is located between the eyebrows is associated with activity in the amygdala. The amygdala is the area in the brain that processes emotions such as fear. Does that mean facial expression causes changes in the brain? Once again more research is needed to answer the question.Source :Wall Street Journal,February 26, 2013.
To be continued
Today, Chris, Alpha, Carrie, Jade, Porter and I plan to run the trail. In the meantime, keep running, laughing and smiling. Go Blue and good luck in the final 4.