“It Has Nothing to Do with Age” is a book about individuals who push themselves to physical extremes and who believe they have defied the aging process. If you are at least 30, 40, 50 years of age, join them in such sports as: theTevis Cup, the Dipsea, the Western States 100, the 100 mile ride and tie, the Hawaiian Ironman, the Molokai to Oahu Outrigger canoe race, and national and international rowing.
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.
"Ever tried. Ever failed.
No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better." – Samuel Beckett
With soaring health costs, obesity levels increasing, more unhappiness during
aging and greater monetary expenditures on alcohol, prescription and
nonprescription drugs, it is clear that irrational and self- destructive forces
play a major part in man’s search for happiness and contentment. If man was a totally
rational human-being, he would not continue to make self destructive choices over and over ? Man
continues to make self-defeating decisions that are clearly not in his
self-interest repeatedly. Perhaps, in part, because man is irrational, he
continues to chase illusion’s and/or deny the many subjective realities of his
It seems important, to recognize, that webecome the choices that we have made during
our lifetime.It maynot be enough to simply acknowledge our
choices. We all realize and acknowledge that changing behavior is extremelydifficult to do consistently. The task at hand is to make significantly
more positive life decisions than negative ones. Our batting average needs to
be much higher than 500 to reach the golden yearsSimply. satisfying one’s physiological needs
and hoarding more and more things does not seem to be the answer either. Do not
lose sight that less can be better than more.
What seems to assistor work for many individuals is finding an activity that provides
meaning within their existence. With having meaning, often comes resilience,
passion and major life changes.
Sometimes it takes a personal crisis to
occur before any positive or significant change can be made. In my book, It Has Nothing To Do WithAge, there are many examples ofmen and women experiencing personal hardship before
they were able to obtain and then reach new positive and healthy heights.
Discovering or finding a new experience -an activity that resulted in personalmeaning was the impetus. More often than not,
athletics or sport provided the spark so to speak and gave special meaningto the individual. When that happened, life
seemed to change for the better as new heights were attained.
So do not discount
the power of sports. With athletics comes discipline, resilience, passion, goal
seeking ,self worth ,mastery and belongingness. Discipline helps to provide
structure and ability to practice.And,
according to Arnold Palmer. “More I practice, the luckier I become.” With goal
seeking, thinking about the future is paramount. Having a future, looking
forward to the future results in a more contented individual. Without a future, comes despair,
doom ,gloom and dread. Picking self up after a disappointment or failure
results in self respect along with increased self esteem .Being part of a team
provides support and reducesa sense of
isolation and loneliness.
I am pleased to announce that Dan Barger is tomorrow’s TV
Guest. Dan has mastered many sports and has assisted employees to come together to function as a team. I’m sure that you’ll
find Dan interesting and will learn about his passions. Incidentally, he ran in
this yearsWestern States 100
When you keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing
life is more better.
"Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions.
All life is an experiment." – Ralph Waldo
Last Thursday’s TV show featured Tom Christofk. http://youtu.be/E7pVe44sqSA The show was
a blast to say the least. Tomrevealed
how important sculling was to him and in fact changed his life. Once again, the
importance of sports was demonstrated. Although Tomdidn’t know anything about the sport of
sculling, he became quite proficient and was heading in the direction of the
1972 Olympics. He lostapproximately 60pounds of body weight (a slug) to become someone
mean and lean. This adolescent, with raging hormones, discovered that sex and
food did not solve his condition. The change he talked about was that he
essentially found meaning, passion, and discipline in the sport. Also important, was his
interpersonal relationship teammates and its coaches. It is clear that finding
meaning in life and passion propels us
to new dimensions or different equilibrium’s.
Tom also talked about his most dangerous ride and tie
experience as well as his running of the Catalina Marathon with Tony. It was
acknowledged that Chris Turney, in the audience, finished in front of them.
Learn more about Tom by watching the show.
I began interviewing Reggie McKenzie for my next book with
the theme of mental toughness. Reggie came from a large family in Highland
Park, Michigan and played for that special 1969 University of Michigan football
team that beat number one -ranked Ohio State at the time. How did this young
African-American football player, from a working-class family, achieve
All-American and All-Pro honors ? Reggie’sfather, born in Georgia, had to withdraw fromschool, atthe youthful age of 13, to help support the family by farming. Trust me,
Reggie’s father was mentally and physically tough.
Reggie’s mental toughness started as a young boy. He did not
askfor money ; he knew that if he
wanted money, he had to work for it. And of course, when he played for Bo
Schembechler, he learned more about himself, about his teammates and his
passion. Reggie, while young, started a foundation to assist the disadvantaged.
I’m excited in learning more about him. At this point I know he is a tough,
loving and giving human being.
Last Saturday, Tony and I ran a 30 K in the Sierra
mountains. Our run started about 5700 feet above sea level and then climbed to
about 8200 feet. This particular run was called “Lovers Leap of Faith.” It
wasn’t until last week, that Tony told me he needed a harder challenge. I told
him, “thanks.” As it turned out, this run was more difficult than he expected
because of the elevation and its changes, as well as the technical aspects of
During his run, he worried that I would be unhappy with this
choice of a running event. However, that didn’t stop him from setting the
My reward was being treated to ice creamat the Original Mel’s in Placerville by Tony.
I thanked him for the run as well as the ice cream. Some of you may not know
that Placerville was originally called “Hangtown.” That’s progress say the
Our TV guest on Thursday is Dan Barger. You will hear more
about him. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.
"Vitality shows not only
in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over." – F. Scott Fitzgerald
I am liking my Golden years and feel very fortunate.
Yesterday, Chris ,Carrie , Tony and I ran the trail. Tony and I are tapering
for Saturday’s 30 km run in the Sierras. It is super to be able to run and play
in the mountains. Being in the fresh air in gorgeous physical settings is an
unbelievable experience. To take advantage of what nature has to offer is very
special. Being healthy requires a will, dedication, knowledge and effort.
Taking a pill does not do the job.
Unfortunately, the number of friends who are injured at the
moment is saddening. For example, Chuck Mather had to cancel because of his
undiagnosed injury. Tony was disappointed for a number ofreasons. Other running friends such as Farah,
Randall and Diane round out today’s list. Get better my friends so you can join
us on the spiritual trail of health.
An article in the Wall Street Journal , datedJuly 16, 2013 was titled “the decline in male
fertility.” According to the article, there is a decline in sperm counts. Some
of you may say so what. However, sperm count has been linked with life
expectancy. Of course, like other health conditions, sperm counts are likely
related to critical periods perhaps even in the womb. Anyway, some of the
threats to sperm counts include the following: maternal smoking ,Phthalates(shampoo)
found in plastic bottles, sedentary jobs like sitting over two hours at a time, frequent hot baths,high fatdiets and even marijuana use. Once again, these factors are associated
sperm issues and can affect sperm count. Once again, critical periods such as
between eight and 14 weeks of gestation can have irreversible effects.
There are likely critical periods that interfere with taking
advantage of the Golden years. Perhaps it might be important to do a
self-evaluation and determine where you stand. It might be good for you.
I’m delighted to announce that Thursday’s TV Guest is none
other than Tom Christofk. A glimpse about Tom can be found in “It Has Nothing to Do with Age,”
Chapter 8. To set the stage for this next section, I was competing in my second
endurance ride of the year. I was competing in the Whiskey town 50 mile ride.
“Michael and I rode until we reached the last vet check. I was in front of him
and stayed in that position until the last vet checkpoint, about 44 miles into
the ride, where ultra runner Tom
Johnson(three-time winner of the Western states run) was assisting. I didn’t
realize it that Tom Christofk and Tony
were only a few minutes ahead of me; I used Tom and Tony as my yardstick for
speed !Raider and I were in about fifth or sixth place at the time and I was surprised Raider was that fast!
Unfortunately ,Raider clipped his rear
hock and was sore. This resulted in us being pulled from the race, which was a
huge disappointment. There was one more endurance ride before the Tevis.
Myspirits werestill high atthatpoint, but I was in denial.
With Raider pulled, it was unclear what that meant for the next race.”
To find out more about Tom, watch the show. Remember to keep
moving, smiling, laughing, and deep breathing in the process.
"To see what is in front
of one's nose needs a constant struggle." – George Orwell
Last Thursday’s TV show with Merv Pyorre was fun to say the
least. This man, although you would not know it, could not speak English when
he initiallyentered school in the Fort
Bragg area. He was part of a close net family with origins from Finland. His
father was called “ Vinegar Slim” and introduced and prepared him for the love
of the outdoors. To make a long story short, it was of no surprise that Merv
competed in ride andtie, endurance and
theTevis Cup. He told one story about
the difficulty of that one ride and tie that started at Forest Hill. In fact he
said that was his toughest competition.
On Friday, Linda rode Nails and I ran the trails. From start
to finish,we were out for about three
hours. Part of that time, was stopping at Chris andMichele’s for ice and water. I got my heat
training that day.
Saturday, former Dallas Cowboy Mike Keller joined us as we
spent our morning at Robinson Flat. Although Mike knew about the Tevis, this
was his first encounter of this historic event . Mike informed me that he’s
taking this event off of his bucket list. He was first introduced to quarter
horses by his Cowboy teammate bronco bustingWalt Garrison. He also told me about his trail rides in the Bay Area,
especially riding up to the top of Mount Diablo. At the moment, he is looking
for another horse.
In Mike’s car trunk,
I saw a set of golf clubs. He told me he used to have a handicap of 2 and that
he has won a couple of pro-amateur golf events. Look out Tiger Woods.
Unfortunately, Tiger faded somewhat in the last day of that Open in Scotland.
It was good to see smiling faces during the day and
good-looking equines. Not to be
forgotten, Tony was wearing his “Elite” hatanswering questions from the overflowing and hischeering crowd. After leaving Robinson Flat,
a group of us, including Steve Elliott had lunch at Warton’s in Forest Hill. It
was a good way to end this early afternoon with friends.
Congratulations go toRusty Tothfor winning this years
Tevis and Suzane Hedgecock & Juliofor winning the prized Haggin Cup. Over 160 riders started the ride and 75,
finished. It’s one tough ride.
Sunday, our running group consisted of Chris Turney, Tony
and I .Remember, to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.
Last Saturday, while Tony was resting. I went on the
elliptical machine to do interval work. Tony made a better decision since
Sunday’s run was long. Even though we(Chris, Tony and I) started at7:30 AM, the temperature rose and it became
On Tuesday’s run, Tony was dressed as Tonto like Johnny
Depp. He placed feathers in his running cap Instead of thedead crow.He called me Kemosabe -the wrong brother. I laughed and told him I
wanted to take a picture of him. He declined. I now have to see the new Lone
Ranger picture.” Hi Yo Silver and Away.” Doesanyone know what kind(breed) of horse Tonto rode in the old Lone Ranger
This coming Saturday is thehistoricTevis Cup ride . More
about Wendell Robie taken from Chapter 6 in “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”
“Robie realized that he had started an event that would likely continue as long
as men bonded with her horses. He believed that this event was too much of a
real challenge for super horsemen not to participate. This was a ride of a
lifetime, following the historic Western States Trail over the Sierra. This trail varied in elevation from 8,774 feet at Emigrant pass to
1,200 feet at the finish line in Auburn.
Robie wrote letters to newspapers, magazines, and
Congressman, and gave public talks everywhere. He made arrangements with the
school of veterinary medicine at UC Davis and had veterinarians at the ride to protect the horses. To combat
criticism from many riding groups and the Humane Society, he had his head veterinarian,
Dr. Richard Barsaleau , counter their
The ride, even though its official name is Western States
100-day 100 - mile ride is commonly known as the Tevis, and the award for the
first-place winner is theTevis Cup and
was first awarded in 1959 ,( the first ride wasin 1955). The cup was named in honor of Lloyd Tevis,an adventuresome pioneer who came to
California in a covered wagon in 1849 in search of gold. Intrue entrepreneurial spirit, Lloyd became
president of Wells Fargo and Company from 1872 to 1892. The Tevis Cup was
established as a perpetual trophy by his grandsons Will , Gordon, and
This week’s( Thursday) television show featuresMerv Pyorre and his thousand mile buckle.
On a sadder note we lost one of our friends this week, Sue Walz, who passed away after a long struggle with ALS this past week. Sue was an incredible woman, full of life.
Unfortunately in Jan 2011, she started noticing symptoms of the
devastating disease ALS, aka Lou Gehrig's Disease. Sue passed away in
her sleep on the afternoon of July, 11th, 2013.
"Great minds have
purposes, little minds have wishes." – Washington Irving
Thursday was a blast interviewing the lovely Tevis and
Haggin Cup winner Cathy Rohm. Not only was she perky, she was also a fun loving
spirit. Cathy talked about her successes as well as her losses. She was
divorced, lost a youngeralcoholicbrother and a supportive mother within a few years. This mentally tough,
young lady openly discussed her difficulty in coping and working through her
grief. Be sure to catch herTVinterview with Tony and me. http://youtu.be/2lhgMEn7ltw
What is wrong with people in United States? Didn’t somebody
coin, the Golden Years? I’m going to re-name the Golden Years and call them the
“Disability Years .” All right, it’s a fact that since 1990, the longevity rate
the United States has increased from 75.2 years to 78.2 years. However, don’t
start applauding just yet. Even though we are making headway against issues of
strokes, certain cancers and the HIV virus; the death rate associated with obesity,
diabetes, kidney disease and Alzheimer’s are on the rise. So you may say, so
The amount of expenditures or the healthcare outlay in the
United States totals nearly 18% of the gross domesticproduct(GDP). Not only that, but the number of years of living with chronic
disability or the loss of quality of life for the average American increased.
This means that in 1990 , the average life expectancy in the US, of an
individual would live about 9.4 years with disability. In 2010, even though
life expectancy rose so did years with disability. You can now expect to live
10.1 years with disability. In other words, even though your living longer, you
are potentially living longer with a chronic disability.
People, can’t you get it? What don’t you understand? Can’t you employ self-discipline, good
judgment, or do you have to self-destruct? Simply put, by making and continuing
lifestyle changes, much of our health problem could be alleviated. Don’t you
know that a better diet, smaller food portions, physical activity, quitting
smoking and better management of stress are the keys?
We have a variety of diets, numerous apps, and many
opportunities for physical exercise. How many of you can stick with the
program? Unfortunately, your self-destruction affects us all.
Tony and I must be freaks. Today, the 12th, he’s
doing speed work at the track in Auburn. For me, I ran the trails for about two
and half hours , running up and down hills. There must be something wrong with
us (Tony’s 61 and I’m 73) since we are healthy. I’m enjoying my golden years,
how about you? Source: the Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2013.
For next Thursday’s TV show, Tony and I are going to
interview Merv Pyorre.I’ll bet you’ll
enjoy his story. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep
"The real voyage of
discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." – Marcel Proust
This year’s Tevis Cup is scheduled on July 20. For those of
you who are interested, go to www.Tevis Cup.org
to follow this year’s race. Some of you may remember Jim Steere, DVM. Dr.
Steere first started his Tevis endurance ride in 1967. Although his horse was
lame, for the rest of the race, he helped out by being a drag rider. The next
year, 1968. Jim completed his first Tevis and 37 years later in 2005 at the
young age of 80, he became the oldest rider to ever complete this historic
The next few paragraphs were taken from “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.” These paragraphs describe, in
part, Jim’s first endurance ride. “Jim’s father decided that Jim should return
to Los Angeles to finish junior high school. Jim asked his parents if they
would allow him to ride lady from the ranch to his mother’s home in the
Hollywood Hills, 90 miles away. They both said yes, and Jim spent weeks
planning the route. He needed to make sure Lady had new shoes, thetack was in good shape, and that both he andLady had enough food for this long adventure.
He also packed the sleeping bag and cooking utensils. His parents instructed
him to call his mother in Los Angeles, whenever he found a phone along the way.
This was going to be a three- day horseback trek-his first three day endurance
By day one, Jim and Lady reached the foothills of the San
Gabriel Mountains just short of Soledad Pass. On day two, they rode through
Soledad Canyon past the little towns of Saugus and Newhall. The duo then reach
the San Fernando Pass followed by the town of San Fernando . Eventually, Jim
arrived at the Porter Ranch, where the Porter family was expecting him. Lady
spent the night in a box stall bedded with straw while Jim gratefully ate a
home-cooked meal of meat, potatoes and milk.
Day three found Jim back on the trail withLady, and by 8 o’clock in the morning, they
headed toward the Hollywood Hills. They traveled through the towns of Pacoima
and Sun Valley. In Burbank, he crossed the Los Angeles River on his way to
Griffith Park. Then it was a climb up 1800 feet to the top of Mount Hollywood,
and down to the planetarium to his home, a half a mile away. When he arrived at
his mom’s house, his dad greeted him with, “good ride, son, welcome home.”
Thomas shook Jim’s hand, gave him a hug and said, son. I am proud of you.”
For additional information about this renaissance man,athlete extraordinaire, and my friend, I
refer you to chapter 7
Tomorrow’s television talk show will feature Cathy Rohm.
This special lady was the winner in the 2005 race. Be sure to catch her story.
Until then, don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling
and deep breathing.
"It takes courage to grow
up and turn out to be who you really are." – e. e. Cummings
On 4 July, Tony, Debbie, Linda and I went kayaking on Loon
Lake. This was our first of the year. Coming home, that evening, I decided I
wanted to go to a hard shell kayak . The planfor the weekend was to try out hard shell kayaks. Yes, Linda bought
ahard shell kayak and we bought a new
kayak trailer. We decided that a kayak trailer was more practical than a roof
carrier.I’m still looking for my kayak.
I will keep you posted.
On July 6, Tony and I went to Dru Barner. The Gold Country
Endurance Riding Association was putting
on an endurance ride along with a ride and tie. Going there , gave the both of
us a chance to see friends that we haven’t seen for a while. While there, we
ran a 10 mile loop along with the 10 mile ride and tie entrants. On our run, Tony was passed by Jim
Mather’s ride and tieteam. As Jim
passed Tony, he replied, “I finally passed an old guy.” Needless to say, that
On Saturday, I also
had a chance to talk to future guests on our TV talk show. I talked with Jim
Mather, Langdon Fielding ,Kathy Perry and Dale Lake about their interest and
availability .Our next TV show on the 11th, will feature Tevis Cup
winner Cathy Rohm.
The November 14, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal had
an article pertaining to NFL teams and player sleep patterns. Sleep is a big
problem for many of us. The NFL is not immune to this problem either. These
professional teams travel between time zones and that can complicate sleep
cycles. Going from the Eastern time zone to a Pacific time zone causes problems
for most teams. So one thing that the teams are doing ,for the players, is
setting the temperature at 68° in the hotel rooms. We know that it’s easier to
fall asleep when it’s cooler. Just by going to bed earlier doesn’t always work.
This past week, the temperatures soared to triple digits and
did not cool off enough during the night. As a result, it was difficult to get
a good night’s sleep. Some of the side effects of not getting enough sleep, for
me, include being short tempered, tired and grouchy. So consider setting your
temperature for at least 68 during evening, and hopefully that will help with
your sleep cycle.
Remember to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep
We live in a fantasy world, a
world of illusion. The great task in life is to find reality." – Iris Murdoch
month of June, has passed and weare
now into July. The month of July is synonymous with the Tevis Cup. This event,
is a 100 mile one day endurance ride that begins at Robie Park near Truckee,
California and ends at the fairgrounds in Auburn.
In 1955, the
Reno Gazette Journal had an article describing, “Some gentlemen from Auburn are
attempting a one day, 100 mile ride out of Tahoe city.” Five riders; Nick
Mansfield, William Patrick, Pat Sewell, Richard Highfield, and Wendell Robie
said they could ride over 9000 feet of Summit, go through deep canyons, and
follow a trail that no other horsemen had traveled on such a ride. This ride
had a lot of unknowns. One major question was, could a horseback rider travel
and cover 100 miles in a day?
claimed that organizing the event would bring new home and property owners to
Auburn and give valuable publicity to the town (Robie was a businessman in
Auburn-he was into lumber, real estate, and later started a bank). He quoted
the Vermont organizers of 100 mile Green Mountain trail ride, who claimed that
people keep fit by riding horseback. He also quoted Winston Churchill’s famous
phrase, “The outside of a horse is good for the inside of a man.”
influenced by pioneer Bob Watson, who was the last constable of Tahoe city. One
of Watson’s missions in life was to re-establish the original Emigrant Trail
over the Sierra crest. Long-lost overgrowth and lack of use, the trail was used
by Native Americans as part of their seasonal migratory route, as well as gold
miners in the late 1840s and early 1850s that traversed this rugged trail in
their search for instant riches. Later on in the 1850s, the trail was also used
by those leaving California in search for silver in the Comstock Lode in
Nevada. Watson’s quest to redefine the trail was a good endeavor, and he
enlisted like-spirits in finding the trail, including Wendell Robie, and a
group of Auburn men who belonged to the Native Sons of the Golden West. This
information was reprinted from “It Has Nothing to Do with Age.” Also, in this
chapter are tales about Robie told to me by Fred Jones .Jones ran the
California State Parks system at the time.
I was a young60 when I earned my buckle on
this ride( Chapter 8). Tony started endurance riding when I was just a kid. He earned
10 buckles by the time he was 50.
By the way,
we will not tape our TV show on July 4. Our next scheduled TV interview will feature CathyRohm . Cathy won the Tevis in 2005. You will find out more about her on
Enjoy your 4th
and don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.
"Happiness is when what
you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony." – Mahatma
Last Thursday was a real treat, as Tony and I had Meghan
Arbogast as our guest.http://youtu.be/bgKMyPbkJJgMeghan, age 52,
has entered this year’s running of the Western States 100 mile endurance run.
She is quite the competitor and a truly outstanding runner. Meghan talked about
her childhood and the early influences of both of her parents. She also talked
about the difficulties she had with her husband’s Brian illness that led to his
death in 2010. She was open, friendly and revealed her pain.
As far as this year’s run is concerned, she’s shooting for
18 hours and of course would like to win in the female field. She claims she
runs well in the heat and believes she’s well prepared for the run. As we
talked, we acknowledged the triple digit temperatures with high humidity. Tony
and I wished her luck on Saturday.
On Friday, my computer crashed after running with Chris
Turney. Chris and I ran Saturday morning as well. During the day, Linda and I
followed Meghan’s progress with updates from Tony. He was at Michigan Bluff and
Forest Hill, encouraging her.
Linda and I went down to the aid station at the 85 mile
marker. There I met up again with Margaret Branick-Abilla the Aid Captain. I
had met Margret earlier at the Memorial Day Western States training run. We
were expecting Meghan around 9:00 PM or so. Sure enough, there she was.
However, minutes before, I began talking to a runner that came in before
Meghan. As it turned out it was Dan Barger. Dan, I had met in 1997 at Quicksilver,
my first ride and tie event. It was probably 14 or 15 years ago that I last
talked with him. I wished him luck and he was off.
It was good to see Meghan. Although it was dark, she looked good. On
Sunday, I was pleased to see that she finished. She was the fourth female and
came in 18th place overall. We did not go to the Sunday awards as I
was involved in computer stuff.
Timothy Olson was the winner and
Pam Smith was the first female.
And on Sunday, Chris and I, before our run, saw Margaret leaving the aid
station. She was there from 2:00 P.M. Saturday to 8:10 A.M. Sunday. Good job
Don’t forget to watch Meghan’s interview as she went into
considerable depth, as far as training was concerned. In any event, keep moving,
laughing, smiling and deep breathing .
They are all keys to success. http://youtu.be/bgKMyPbkJJg