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

Thursday, October 31, 2013

It Has Nothing To Do With Age Or Gender with guest Melissa Ribley DVM

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Tango,Randall,Sports Medicine and Martin Hoffman M.D.

"In all affairs, it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted."
– Bertrand Russell

Congratulations go to Debbie. Her new Russian Arabian Tango just passed his pre-purchase veterinarian exam. Tango was being evaluated for a neurological condition called Wobbles. Tony, read up on the condition and put her horse through all types of tests. Last Saturday, I suggested that he  blindfold the horse and make his assessment. According to Tony, the horse was sound and  fine. But Tuesday, they got a second  professional opinion. The veterinarians agreed with Tony that the horse was fine.             

So this means that Debbie will begin riding after many years of layoff. Tony threatened Debbie by saying if she’s not going to ride Tango, he’s going to in the Tevis next year. Linda is happy because now she has another riding partner. This also means that very likely “ the girls” will be riding their horses  on the trail and “the guys” will be running on the trail after them.

Randall, one of our injured running friends, is beginning his rehab after a long rest. He is now beginning to walk with a little running mixed in. Randall stated that his motivation is good and that he can’t wait to run a marathon distance next year. Hopefully, Randall well slowly work his way back into running shape without a hitch. It so difficult for some, not to push the envelope. Sometimes , a competitive nature can get in the way of sound judgment. It’s important that he doesn’t do too much too soon. Easing back slowly after six month or so layoff is a prudent thing to do. I continue to tell Randall to be smart. There’s no shortage of running events and next year, there will be likely  more. Return to running shape Randall, so you can join us.

Thursday’s TV Guest on It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender is Sports Medicine Martin Hoffman, M.D. This physician has done research connected with the Western States 100 endurance run. All you runners, and active individuals, view what he has to say.

Join Tony and I Saturday for a 35k trail run at Folsom  Point.

In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing, bonding, and loving.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Mental Toughness Model and Melissa Ribley

"I was always looking outside myself for strength and confidence, but it comes from within. It is there all the time."
– Anna Freud


Melissa Ribley DVM last Thursday’s guest asked me why I am doing the TV show “It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender ? I responded that one of the reasons for the TV show is  collecting data on “ mental toughness.” So far, I’ve asked our guests to define the term and how it might apply to them. By and large, the respondents have talked about continuing with a behavior despite circumstances or hardships. In essence, to continue to go on. Chiropractor Don Freeman, a previous guest, said something to the effect that you have to be smart and know when not to continue and  that might  also be called mental toughness.

The way that I think about mental toughness is related to having a desire, a need, drive, etc. which is a hypothetical state  located within the person. This hypothetical state might also be associated with neurotransmitters . This need or drive  creates movement toward a goal because of the  tension created.  To illustrate, let’s say I am  competitive (a hypothetical  drive or state  within me ). In order to meet  this need, I enter a 35 km trail race in which I expect to finish.  By  entering and completing the race  (  the  goal) , I achieved my need and thereby  reduced the (competitive ) tension state within. So goal completion is the way that I reduced  my tension system.

A  goal can be characterized by employing or giving it a valence or strength. The more important the  need state , the stronger goal valence needs to be.  If my need state(competitive nature) is high, then running a 5K trail race(low goal valence for me ) is not going to allow me to reduce my tension state. I  have  to have a more challenging or higher goal valence than a 5K trail run. In other words, it’s about my perception and what I need to do in order to reduce and meet my needs or tension states.

In achieving any goal  of importance, there are likely internal and/or external barriers that can interfere with  goal  achievement or goal completion. An internal barrier might be : 1. Being physically tired 2. Falling and spraining an ankle. An external barrier might be : 1. A rocky, rutted trail  2. High humid temperature. We have to deal and get around  these barriers. We can’t allow them to interfere with goal completion.

So, one can visualize a need; a goal; valences and barriers as one model explaining mental toughness. The next step  is to determine the various characteristics that allows an individual to deal or get around the many internal  and external barriers. Notice in this model, a need, or goal can be quite varied and does not have to be  related to sports. More about  mental toughness characteristics  at a later date.

Watch Melissa Ribley’s interview to learn about her competitive drive and her goals. You might find her Tevis Cup ride Interesting when she won the Haggin Cup.

Keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing, bonding, and loving.


Tony and I have a 35K trail race in Folsom on Saturday.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Hawaiian Iron Man ,Lew Hollander, Melissa Ribley and Lance Armstrong

"What is important is to keep learning, to enjoy challenge, and to tolerate ambiguity. In the end there are no certain answers."
– Matina Horner


We all know that the Hawaiian iron man is one prestigious event. Some of you may remember that Lance Armstrong was looking forward to competing in that event. Unfortunately, Lance has been barred from that competition. Likely, he would’ve done very well. Let’s take a look at a more positive and respected individual.

That individual is none other than  Lew Hollander . Some of you may not know that the physicist Dr. Hollander is the oldest to have completed this prestigious event. I told his story In Chapter 10 of “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.” He has many accomplishments and considers himself one lucky dude. Some of his story:  “ another example of Lew living a charmed life was during a recent iron man in Hawaii. During the 112 mile bike ride, he realized he was violating one of the rules when he noticed a plug  was missing from one of his handlebars. He didn’t know how this could have happened, but he knew he was going to be disqualified if the officials noticed  at the end of the ride that the handlebar  was  missing a plug. He began to stuff GU wrappers into his handlebar along with tape. Not satisfied with that, he remembered there was a local bike store a couple of miles away. I was having a nervous breakdown; I was so stressed not knowing what to do, remembers Lew. Then a short distance ahead, he noticed a shiny handlebar plug on the ground. He stopped, picked it up and it actually fit; it was a miracle, Lew exclaimed, adding;…... and  miracles continue to happen to me. Just like what Arnold Palmer said, the more I practice the luckier I get.”

Lew was born in 1930. Some of the answers to his success can be found in Chapter 10. In another part of that chapter is the following; “in talking about his Iron man accomplishments, Lew said those goals were for personal ego gratification and that no one else cared. Being a scientist and making a contribution are far more important to him.”  Lew has good values and a realistic life perspective. Keep it up, Lew. He is one amazing fellow.

Linda and I are going to the Olmsted- Coffer Dam trail. I’m going to run and she is going to ride her Arabian horse Nails. I’m lucky too. On the other hand, Tony is not joining us because he’s going to the Humboldt  area to trailer a horse for Debbie.

Today’s TV show features  Melissa Ribley, DVM. She not only vets the Tevis Cup ride, but competes in it as well. Aside from endurance riding, she competes in ride and tie and other running races. I know you’ll enjoy her story.

Remember to keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing, bonding, and loving as it’s good for you.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Michigan - Indiana Football, October 19, 2013

"Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing."
– Socrates

Linda and I just returned from Detroit .I went there to compile  research for my upcoming book regarding mental toughness of the 1969, Michigan Wolverines. We also went there for a family reunion  to be with  my cousins. I have a number of cousins living in the Detroit area. Cousins, Richard and Judy hosted a brunch this past Sunday. It was super seeing everyone and catching up with their activities. Also, my sister, Beverly and her mate Roger arrived from the East Coast as well. We are now making plans for other reunion, this time in the Traverse City area next year.

On Thursday, Linda and I met coach Gary Moeller in Ann Arbor. Gary was brought to the University  of Michigan as an assistant coach by Bo Schembechler, the legend. History began that year ,in 1969. Both Gary and Bo were Ohioans. Not only that, Gary was Captain on Woody Hayes’, Ohio State University football team. One of Gary’s coaches at that time was Bo Schembechler.

Gary has a friendly smile and is  a gentleman. We talked about many things during that  2  hour lunch. He then accompanied us  to the ticket office to make sure we got our game tickets for the Michigan-Indiana football game.

Later on, Linda and I met Fritz  Seyferth, the fullback, for the Wolverines for beers.  Fritz is a tall, athletic, young, good-looking  man. We talked about our tickets, that he arranged, and his tailgate for Saturday’s game. He hosted this wonderful tailgate on Saturday and made sure for  Mike Keller and I to go on the field before the game. I  must admit that was an experience being in the Big House with all the activities going on. The players were going through their drills with Brady Hoke and his staff. I also met  previous Michigan head football coach Lloyd Carr.

I sat with Fritz during the game while Linda sat with Beverly, Roger and  my football fan cousin Steve. The game was unbelievable with all the scoring as Michigan won. Also, Mike Keller, All-American defensive end-linebacker  on the 1969 team and Dallas Cowboy with his wife Kimberly met us at the tailgate. Mike is a real joker with a great sense of humor.

Backing up to Friday, Linda and I had lunch with Jim Brandstatter , an offensive  tackle on that 69 team. Jim took us to a Greek restaurant. He knows the Greek menu and ordered a flaming cheese appetizer. He then ordered  a variety of Greek delicacies. As he’s familiar with the owners, especially in Greek town in downtown Detroit, the owner, of this restaurant, brought us a desert that he made  especially for us.

Jim currently does color radio for the Detroit Lions and the Michigan Wolverines. His wife Robbie is involved in rescuing thoroughbreds from the racetrack. These horses are evaluated at Michigan State and then  they  find new owners  to  give these horses new careers.

On Monday, Linda and I had lunch with All American, All-Pro offensive guard and NFL star Reggie McKenzie. Reggie is a large man who is intense and passionate about what is happening in Washington. He used colorful language and was very expressive. He told us many stories, especially the one about captain, All-American, Super Bowl winner Jim Mandich , in the tunnel, just before going out to the playing field during that classic, Michigan, Ohio State game. Jim had tears, was grunting  unintelligible sounds , tense  while facing  and addressing  the entire team. Reggie will never forget that moment.

Stay tuned for more about our trip and  my upcoming book on mental toughness. These players and coaches are very special. They were  super as  18 and 19-year-old Michigan sophomores . They are special as well  today. For example, Reggie McKenzie has a foundation that he started in the 70s to help challenged kids become better students and athletes. Visit his website as you may want to be involved.

Later today, Tony and I are going to do 8 to 10 mile trail run. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing, bonding, and loving.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Depression,Mo Bartley and Trail Running Secrets

"When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. And that is my religion."
– Abraham Lincoln

The following are symptoms of depression. If you are experiencing or know someone that you think are experiencing some of the symptoms of depression  then a more thorough evaluation is indicated: 1. A sullen mood  2. Having feelings of hopelessness, guilt and/or anxiousness  3. Loss of interest in things that were pleasurable at one time  , i.e. sex  4. A change in appetite, primarily but not always in loss of appetite  5. A change in sleeping patterns in either inability to sleep, or in sleeping too much   6. Inability and difficulty in concentration 7. Lack of energy( i.e. for sex) and/or feeling rundown .

In thinking about depression, it brings me back to a class-seminar at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute that I attended in the late 1970s. I remembered talking to the psychiatrist who was teaching the class about the benefits of  aerobic exercise, especially running and how that activity combats and is good therapy for dealing with depression. That unnamed psychiatrist looked at me with a puzzling expression on his face. He might’ve thought that, may be, I was out of my mind. In any way, I made my case back then.

Today, aerobic exercise is more universally accepted as a major benefit to those who have a depressed mood. And of course, aerobic exercise has many other benefits as well.

Mo Bartley was last week’s guest on our TV show “It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender.” Mo began running in her 30s and credited ride and tie participants for her  beginning. This young woman loved horseback riding and then combined running. She ran  ultras, and  then in her 50s  switched to shorter distances. While still in her 50s, she has become faster and now leads Trail running groups with Tim Twietmeyer and Mark Falcone at Fleet Feet in Sacramento. Watch her video and participate in a running group.

Last Saturday, Tony, Chris and I met the ride and tie competition In Cool. Susan Smyth, the race director, hosted her  second  ride and tie in Cool. The three of us, past ride and tie competitors are currently running. So we decided to run the first loop of the event. We started out about 10 to 15 minutes before the others and it took a while for them(competitors) to catch up to us. They did as we were headed and close to the coffer dam.

My previous horse Gypsy was in the event , and was doing well. However, as we were  heading down the switchbacks, Gypsies, female partners were walking her back. Unfortunately, Gypsy tripped and scraped her right leg which was bleeding  in the process. I didn’t see her again until we finished our trail run. Her leg was wrapped and she was a little off at that point. I expect that the current owner, a veterinarian –Jen Mather will treat her well. By the way, Jim emailed me about a month ago that she finished the Virginia City 100 mile endurance ride. Way to go, girl.

Make it a point to keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing and bonding to assist you in your aging.


Mo Bartley ,a number of years ago, called Tony a cute name during the very first Run on the Sly. He revealed that cute name on a  trail run a while ago. However, he gets embarrassed; when I call him by that name. He didn’t want us to reveal” the name” during our TV show.

Yesterday, Tony, Chris and I ran a short loop. Tony had a brilliant idea, but because it was mentioned on the trail, It remains on the trail. I must admit we laughed a lot. Join us if you can, because I guarantee you’ll enjoy it.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jim Brandstatter, the Voice of the Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines

 Tuli Kupferberg  “When patterns are broken, new worlds emerge."


 More  about the early influences of the voice of the Detroit Lions in Michigan Wolverines, Jim Brandstatter : Part 2.

Aside from the strong academic modeling and emphasis on sports, Jim was introduced to many cultures because of all the representatives and the many nationalities from the various countries(i.e., England, India, Vietnam) that attended the criminal justice program at Michigan State. How was Jim introduced to all these folks? Art Sr. being friendly, good-natured and caring would invite the adult students to his home for dinner to meet his family and to teach them about US family culture. In part this created a dilemma for his wife. What was she going to prepare for dinner for this array of ethnic diversity? How could she prepare a dinner that tasted good, was well-prepared and more importantly did not disrespect the religion or mores of the individual? Being intelligent and creative, she chose as the main course  “ leg of lamb.” To this day, Jim loves having leg of lamb as he has wonderful memories of that wonderful, exciting and intellectual international dinner experience growing up, with his parents, in East Lansing.

In order to get a strong basic educational background, Jim attended St. Ignatius elementary school, with Principal Sister Rose Gilbert. His favorite subjects back then were spelling and math. When he misbehaved in Mrs. Wintermute’s class, she grabbed him by the back of the shirt or  twisted his ear.  There was  not, at the time , an East Lansing parochial high school, he attended the public high school, two blocks from his home.

As a high school sophomore, Leo Smedley was an assistant  high school football and wrestling coach. Jim remembers coach Smedley, pushing him like a Marine drill Sgt. in fact Jim thought he probably was a Marine at some time. The coach would say “you’re going to find out just how good you are” when they were playing against good teams.

 As a sophomore, Jim, was about 6’2” tall and weighed roughly 225 pounds. In that year, he started out on the football Junior varsity team but was promoted to the varsity and lettered. Jim also lettered in his Junior and Senior years  and was a team Captain   as well. On offense he played either center or tackle and on defense, lined up in a three point stance, outside the opposing offensive  tackle. Jim not only lettered in baseball, but received honors and was an all city first baseman in his Junior year and an all city catcher in his senior year. Aside from football and baseball, Jim even lettered in basketball and was a center-forward on his high school team and a co-captain in the last game of the tourney.

Apparently,  participating in sports , did not keep Jim busy. Was he hyperactive ? He also sang in the choir for four years and was selected Homecoming King in high school as well. Being a good student in high school, he thought of attending  college and  majoring in architectural design. Anyway, that were his thoughts as a young 18-year-old. However, what college?

More to follow at a later date.

Be sure to watch tomorrow’s TV show “It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender”  with guest Mo Bartley. I am sure you’ll like her story. In the meantime, don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling, deep breathing and bonding.



Monday, October 7, 2013

Jim Brandstatter the Voice of the Detroit Lions and Michigan Wolverines

In my research on mental toughness, I’ve interviewed a number of Michigan Wolverine football players as well as coach Gary Moeller. One of the Michigan players that I interviewed, is Jim Brandstatter. Jim, was an offensive tackle , and played from  1969-71. Jim has been doing color, on the radio, for all the Michigan Wolverine football games as well as for all the Detroit Lions football games since the 80s. He is the voice.

How would you explain an 18-year-old’s decision, in 1968, to attend and play football for his families and communities arch rival ? Not only that, this 18-year-old’s father was an All-American fullback at Michigan State . Moreover, his father Art Brandstatter  Sr. was a faculty member and headed(director) the School of Criminal Justice . This  well-respected, worldly traveled Brigadier General  educator was appointed by none other than John Hannah, president of Michigan State University.  Oh yeah, the oldest son Art Jr. about 6’3” and weighed 220 pounds and was the  starting-defensive- tight end in 1959, 1960, in 1961 for  these same Michigan State Spartans.  Yes, the youngest Brandstatter, Jim, did just that.

Growing up in East Lansing, Jim attended East Lansing High School. He was the last of the  athletic Brandstatter boys and periodically heard “you have big shoes to fill, and you are the last of the Brandstatters.” Besides , older  brother Art Jr. Allstate in both football and basketball  (East Lansing , and Lansing Hall of Fame)  ; there was  the  all tournament basketball player John ; middle linebacker, big game( wild boar, caribou) bow and arrow hunter-fisherman Bill; Mike , a star, on the state champion football  team .  Wow! This family, I would say, is the epitome of sport junkies.  Did they ever like sports cannot be denied nor their excellence. And ,you can bet that both parents were supportive of that fact.

This  highly competitive athletic Brandstatter family was, of course, well known by administrators, coaches and city residents  as a result of their strong presence and decades of  community involvement. It was not unusual, at all, to see Mrs.  Mary  Brandstatter driving her boys, at times, to the various practices as well as seeing them in attendance of all the many games with her husband. Just think of her full-time job taking five sons to their various sports activities. Would she have time for anything else, let alone herself? Jim’s mother was so well known, respected and supported the coaches that even  Art Jr.’s high school football coach Vince Carrilott asked Mrs. Brandstatter  who  was her favorite coach? It could’ve been. Gus Gunakas Art Jr.’s basketball head coach( he later became Michigan State head basketball coach) however, Vince was surprised when she replied, “ Bo Schembechler.”

More about the “ voice” on a later blog. In any event, I completed my 35K trail run yesterday and I must admit that it was tough, especially as the temperature rose. Although I started cramping up, I was pleased that my Achilles didn’t bother me. I saw familiar faces during the run and after.

In any event, keep moving, smiling, laughing, deep breathing and bonding because it’s good for you.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Trail Running Excitement Part 2

Part 2

My thoughts also went back to a number of years ago , while running  between the 14 1/2 and the 15 mile marker on the Western states trail. At that time, I was running toward my home in the early afternoon sometime in the fall. The trail turned sharply and my thoughts went something like this “ what is a cat doing on the trail?” Then, before me, I saw a lioness and her two cubs. I immediately stopped. I looked at my obstacle, and wondered if I was the prey? To test my hypothesis, I slowly inched forward. As I did that the lioness did the same. I stopped. Quickly, one of the Cubs ran toward me and down into the gully. Thank goodness, the gully was in front of me. I was scared.

I thought, I better retreat. I backed up slowly still facing my adversary and was soon out of her sight. I looked for a tree limb for my weapon. I found my weapon , turned around and began to run away or in other words, to backtrack. I  knew about the flight or fight response and chose to flee. I quickly realized that my breathing was shallow and my running speed severely compromised as I frequently looked behind me and on the hillside of the trail. I didn’t know if she was following me. In fact, for the next hour or so, I retreated while continuing to scan for the enemy. I did not see her again, and only when I was real close to home allowed  my club to fall by the wayside. Believe me, I was terrified all the way home. I did feel relief when I came into my home and locked the door  behind me.

When I arrived at the kill spot Saturday, all I found were the remains-the bones of that deer. I must admit that my senses were alert during  the rest of my (Maine Bar) trail run. I ran well and once again attributed it to the temperature, my cross training and my conditioning. The first week in October,  I intend to run a 35 km race. I should do well.

Last Thursday’s TV guest on “It Has Nothing To Do With Age Or Gender ” was Keith Nesbitt of the Auburn City Council. Keith is bringing the Krazy Man to Auburn,  the endurance capital the world. In 2014, the plan, at the moment, is to have a two day event in September. On a Saturday, the intention  is to have: 1. A mile or so swim. 2. A 30 to 40 mile bike ride. 3. And roughly a half marathon trail run. After Saturday’s event, the participants can attend the Black and White Ball in Auburn. On Sunday, the plan is to:1. A mountain bike experience maybe to Michigan Bluff  2. An endurance ride back to Auburn.

Nothing is in cement that the moment, according to Keith. This two-day event could be completed by a single person( the Krazy Man ) or a five person team. Any perspective sponsor or volunteer can contact Keith at 530-320-2325.

In the meantime, don’t forget to keep moving, smiling, laughing, deep breathing and bonding.