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

Friday, August 30, 2013

It Has Nothing To Do With Age Or Gender with guest Chuck Mather

Interview with Chuck Mather. One time president of the Western States Trail foundation Chuck is also a sub 24hr finisher of the Western States Run. Four time finisher of The tevis cup ride. Have fun listening Chuck stories and the items he picks up on his runs.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Football,Tom Brady, Mental Tougness,CTE,and Chuck Mather

"If one dream should fall and break into a thousand pieces, never be afraid to pick one of those pieces up and begin again."
– Flavia Weedn


Football season is here as the NFL is concluding its preseason games this week and the college season begins. Some of you couldn’t care less about football, whether it’s college or the pros. However, the numbers do not lie. For instance, youth football alone has 2.8 million players; high school has 1.1 million;  college 68,000 and the pros have 1, 696 players on their opening day roster. Not only that, just think of all the involvement by parents , coaches, auxiliary  personnel, trainers and medical folks. The numbers are staggering.

It was said in the Wall Street Journal, August 17-18, 2013 “football provides the US with the kind of civic religion, but we cannot be blind to legitimate criticisms of the game we love.” The article went on to talk about this dangerous sport and suggested that the critics are exaggerating the risks. The article also suggested that critics fail to see contributions to the lives of young players and their communities.


Can you honestly say that the game of football contributes  your life? If it doesn’t benefit your life, you may not want to read any further. However, it may enhance the life of somebody you love/care about. And, for that reason it might benefit you. To paraphrase and quote American President Teddy Roosevelt, Roosevelt suggested that abolishing this violent game would result in turning out “ mollycoddle’s instead of vigorous men.” Roosevelt went on to say “it is to my mind, simple nonsense, a mere confession of weakness, to desire to abolish a game because tendencies show themselves, practices grow up, which proved the game ought to be reformed.”

A research study found in the Journal of  Neurology, evaluated  the autopsies of 334 deceased NFL players. They found that they were three times more likely than the general population to suffer from neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and ALS. On the other hand, a 2002 study by the Mayo Clinic studied 915 football players between the ages of nine and 13. The researchers found that the injuries were relatively rare and when they did occur, were mild, the most common being contusions/bruises. Of course, comparing dead NFL players with grade school players is not equal. I do not expect you to reach any conclusion just yet. On the other hand, a report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission(these injuries resulted in hospitalization or death) estimated the  numbers treated in US hospital emergency room’s: 1. Basketball   8, 246  2. Football 10,115  3. ATVs, mopeds, mini bikes , 28,040  4. Bicycles and accessories   42,221. Allow  the numbers to speak for themselves.

 Did you know that future Hall of Fame quarterback Tom Brady played, for the first time, tackle football in his freshman year of high school?  Did you know that the average annual salary of an NFL player is $1.9 million? Did you know that 32,000 college athletes attend college  on a  football scholarship? Did you know that New York Giant head coach Tom Coughlin , talks about “the tremendous bond” with his teammates from a championship high school team a half-century ago?

Of course, there is plenty more information about this game, that  I’m going to cover in my next book on mental toughness. As far as mental  toughness goes, tomorrow’s television guest is Chuck Mather. In his story, you likely hear about  his Western States, ride and tie and Tevis exploits. Chuck was also was one of my Pacers on my Western States run. In any event, keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing,  In spite of the smoky conditions.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Mental Toughness,Cancer, Happiness and Jonathan Jordan

 Robin Williams: “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.

Jonathan Jordan, Esq. was our guest on “It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender ”  our friend and my 100 mile ride and tie partner. I started off our television show with the three S’s , which is an acronym for the three of us. Initially, the two of them were worried but quickly relaxed when I told the viewers that I wasn’t going to reveal the meaning of three S’s, since what is said on the trail stays on the trail. For all your runners, you know what I mean.

I then read Jonathan the above quote by Robin Williams. “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” Jonathan was able to relate that quote his life as well as the theme of our show, which is “ mental toughness.” Jonathan talked about personal things such as the hundred mile ride tie when he got lost and the  excitement and fear he experienced in that race competition.

He also talked about when he was diagnosed with cancer of the neck and throat in 2009 and his radiation and chemo therapy treatment.  That time was  extremely difficult as a result of the trauma to his self by that form  of treatment. Being in constant pain, being unable to eat swallow whole foods, being tired, resulted in emotional difficulty. However, his will and mental toughness prevailed and thank goodness he is currently four years free of symptoms.

Jonathan was able to start eating whole foods at the end of December  and begin training for the Way too  Cool   50 K trail run the following March. He set aside in his mind that for his goal. He knew that if he could accomplish that goal, he would be on the road to recovery. Complaining that event was good for him, and good for me too. He was too young lose another good friend to cancer. Jonathan was able to give a definition of mental toughness and life experience examples pertaining to it.

On Friday, Tony, Jonathan and I did a trail run for my home and then on Friday ran a trial run at the Cronin ranch. That was all good. On Saturday, Chris Turney joined us for another trail run. We now have the four S’s. Stay tuned as you might find out the names of the four S’s.
One of the S's guess who??

I just read in the Time magazine Issue on Happiness  the following : two thirds of Americans are either obese or overweight and within the last 10 years, there’s been a significant reduction with people on diets. Do you think there’s an association between weight gain and dieting? In any event, it is clear that we have a food epidemic problem in our country, and perhaps dieting is just one component to effectively deal with this issue. I’m glad that Tony and I are not part of the statistics.

Remember to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Interview with Jonathan Jordan

Meet Jonathan Jordan, cancer survivor, and ultra runner, learn about his exploits in the Swanton Pacific 100mile ride and tie.  Jonathan is also a defense attorney with his office in San Diego.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Run on the Sly, Cancer,Mental Toughness and Jonathan Jordan

"Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand. The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus."
– Alexander Graham Bell

Since Sunday’s 20 mile trail run at “Run on the Sly,” I have been using my elliptical at home.  I have  chosen to work out on the elliptical  as a result of all the smoke from the forest fire in and around  Last Chance and Deadwood  on the Western States trail. My recovery, has been pretty good since I iced and took Advil on Sunday. I still experience a little lactic acid in my quads, which is not surprising because of the downhill pounding I did in order to stay ahead of a competitor. During that part of the run. I said to myself “this might not be smart, but I am going to do it anyway.”
Jonathan at Way too Cool 50K

On this Thursday’s television show, I am interviewing my friend Jonathan Jordan.  To introduce Jonathan, I’m going to reprint a section from Chapter XVI of “It Has Nothing To Do With Age.”

 “On February 11, 2010, I finished a 15-mile,3-hour training run on the trail. I performed my Bob Anderson stretching routine. After my run I finished drinking the rest of my breakfast smoothie. The idea of a smoothie, which includes fresh fruits and vegetables along with the jalapeno chili and cayenne pepper, was introduced to me by my dear friend Jonathan Jordan. Soon after I finished my drink, I began thinking about doing the exact same run tomorrow, but this time without my dog Digger, a 2 ½-year-old white haired Fox Terrier. During the run my shoulder was a little sore and I think it was related to Digger, since he’s leashed during the run, and tends  to pull. The training run was a little different since I was concerned about my ability to increase my heart rate. I made sure that I did more uphill running.

On Thursday, the 17th of February, Linda and I left for San Diego to visit to my dearest friends, one of whom was dying from cancer. Jonathan Jordan was diagnosed with cancer of the throat and neck in 2009. He completed chemo and radiation therapy in August of that same year. His goal was to run the Way  Too  Cool 50 K on March 13, 2010. During his treatments, he told me he wanted to envision a goal to help them through the therapies and better deal with his recovery. So we talked about the Way Too Cool race  and  the training necessary for him to finish. We both knew that because of his health situation, he could use much more training time to build up his cardio and endurance. Saturday was going to be a good training day for him. Jonathan was both a great friend and a Ride & Tie  partner. I still remember fondly our August 2008 completion and winning of the 100-mile Ride & Tie at Swanton in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California.”

I realize that the above two paragraphs provides  just a snapshot of Jonathan. Watch the show and read the book to get a more in-depth view of this neat, intellectual athlete from Georgia. This athletic attorney  tells great stories also.

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

Monday, August 19, 2013

Jack Sholl , US Constitution,Tim Twietmeyer,American Graffiti and Run on the Sly

"Behold the turtle. He makes progress only when he sticks his neck out."
– James Bryant Conant


Last Thursday , Tony and I had Jack Sholl  as our special guest on our TV show “It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender. Jack is a special friend that I met while writing my book “It Has Nothing to Do with Age.” In fact, I devoted . Chapter 14 to this phenomenal person. Because I knew him, that made our interview, much more special. This 88-year-old man has tremendous stories that go all the way from childhood to present. Neither a one hour TV show , nor one chapter tells his story. However, it does give the viewer and reader a glimpse. A biography or an autobiography would be more fitting.

Linda and I had dinner with Jack and Joan after the show and then we were fortunate enough to have them stay with us that evening. Of course, the more time I spend with him, the more I learn about his life and his tales. Since I like football, he had great stories about him and Hugh McElhenny, Johnny Unitas, Art Donovan, Don Heinrich and other former football greats. We also  had a conversation about Reggie Jackson, since Jack was friends with Reggie’s father. I told Jack that he’s going to have to return to appear on  another TV show.


Jack presented material about William Penn, the founding fathers , the US Constitution, and the Liberty Bell. He has a wealth of information and makes a great teacher. In fact, he does give  presentations at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. Watch our show, go to Philadelphia and learn more about our country’s  creation of independence. This Son of the American Revolution past president can teach us a thing or two. Don’t forget, he is also a champion  sculler. Jack, keep the stories going. I hope you get to see the A’s this weekend.

On Sunday, Tony and I ran “Run on the Sly.” This was a 20 mile run, up and down the mountain, and around the lake. Prior to the start, Tim Twietmeyer the winner of last year’s run said “this is a fun run.” Sorry Tim, the last 5 miles were not fun  for me nor for Tony as far as that matter goes. There was more pain and smoke than fun’. I’ll bet he had more fun on the run , than we did. However, we probably had more fun than Tim after the race. We went to Mel’s diner in Placerville for our ice cream treat. That sure was fun and good. If you remember the movie American Graffiti you know about Mel’s ?

Remember to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing. I must admit that during last 5 miles of the race, wasn’t laughing much but I did come in ahead of my competition. All in all, I was the first oldest and actually finished second in my age group.


Friday, August 16, 2013

Jack Sholl

Jack Sholl, born October 30, 1925, is one of rowing’s most respected and revered legends.  And in his mid-80s, Jack still continues to compete in rowing.  Jack has been competing for 64 years in this sport at all age levels.
Jack also defines himself as a patriot.  He’s a proud member of the Sons of the American Revolution and has served as president of the Coachella Valley Chapter.  It’s interesting to note that Jack’s grandfather, Peter Shumaker, met William Penn eight generations ago. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"People usually fail when they are on the verge of success. So give as much care to the end as to the beginning."
– Lao-Tzu


In 2009, I started interviewing individuals for my book. During my search, I met a number of humble, friendly and yet driven, competitive men and women. Yes, it’s possible to be both humble and driven. One of the individuals that I was privileged to meet was a man named Jack Sholl .  Jack became a friend, and I’m pleased to announce that he’s going to be a guest on  our TV show  It Has Nothing To Do  With Age Or Gender this Thursday.

I devoted  Chapter X1V titled:  Jack  Sholl  : Patriot, Rower, Gentlemen Unparalleled  in my read  It Has Nothing To Do With Age  to my friend Jack. A portion of that chapter follows: “I asked Jack to describe his favorite race. He told me his most memorable, rowing race took place in Strathclyde, Scotland in 1988 at the Worlds Masters Regatta. His crew averaged 60 years of age. In the first lane was the USA with Jack’s boat. On the port side In Lane 2 , was the German crew. Jack remembers that each member of the German crew was a veteran of World War II. And every member of the USA crew was a veteran of World War II. Jack’s crew never discussed this openly. His emotions were at a high level, much more so than his normal pre- race jitters. At the command “row!” The USA boat was off to a good start. The Germans also started well. Twenty strokes into the race, the other four  crews quickly fell behind the front runners. Now the Americans and  the Germans were neck and neck. With each stroke, crews struggled to get ahead while searching for a psychological advantage. Both coxswains were yelling commands in encouragement as loudly as possible. The German coxswain , being the loudest, influenced one of Jack’s crew members. He later told Jack that he started to take his cadence from the German.

 To find out how the race turned out, I suggest you read the chapter. Or, perhaps Jack just might talk about this race on TV. In any event, I am sure you will enjoy our interview with Jack.

This week, Tony, Chris and I ran, on Sunday, a very short loop. This week we are tapering for our 20 mile race called Run on the Sly near Lake Tahoe. While we will be running up and down the mountain and lake, Linda and Debbie plan to kayak around a different lake. After our run, Tony and I plan to celebrate. We both know about rewards.

Make sure you enjoy your life by moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.

Monday, August 12, 2013

"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions."
– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr


Last Thursday’s show with Kathie Perry (President of the Western States Trail Foundation ) was not only interesting but informative as well. This young lady has completed the historic Tevis Cup ride 22 times totaling 2200 miles. Way to go Kathie. She won this ride in 1978. Keeping it in the family, her brother Sam Arnold tied, for first place, with Donna Fitzgerald in 1976. During that same ride, Sam also was the winner of the Haggin Cup. This prize was intended to recognize superior horsemanship and the superior condition of the horse.  Also, her son Jimmie completed this ride  as a Junior rider in 1976, 1977, 1980 and 1981.

This youthful woman told us that her last ride was her best ride. In fact, this year she rode one of Becky Spencer’s (  a  past winner) horse coming in 14th place. Kathy is extremely knowledgeable about equine conditioning and she continues to play  a major part in the history of this event and AERC as well. She also has stories of Wendell Robie, the man who started this competition. I invite you to see the show

Incidentally, Kathie , attended Washington high school in Fremont, California. The physical education teacher was a man by the name of Bill Walsh. Bill, for those of you that do not know, went on to coach the San Francisco 49ers. She knows her football and credits her two older brothers for that opportunity.

During one of my recent interviews with All-Pro football player Reggie McKenzie, once again, he reiterated the importance of conditioning and training. If you want to be the best, you have to put in the necessary work. In football, It’s called working out( out  work) and practice. There are no shortcuts, magic pills or quick fixes. According to Reggie, once you attain top physical condition, then, and only then, do you have the opportunity to be mentally tough.

Reggie is one of the many players who played for the legendary coach Bo Schembechler at the University Michigan. I have selected some  players from the 1969 team that upset, at the time, the number one Ohio State Buckeyes  coached by the legendary Woody Hayes. That game, Incidentally, started the infamous 10 year wars between those two coaches.

Bo Schembechler, prior to becoming the Wolverine head coach, was an assistant coach under Woody Hayes at Ohio State. In fact, while coaching at Ohio State, Bo coached, Gary Moeller who was a co- captain on that team. Bo left  Ohio State to  become head coach at Miami of Ohio. While there, he hired Gary Moeller, to become one of his assistant coaches. And , when Bo left Miami of Ohio to go to the University Michigan, he brought Gary Moeller with him to coach the linebackers.

I’m excited about the information that I have collected regarding mental toughness, kinship, and the transformation of Michigan football. The stories of these players and coaches on and off the field depicts a kaleidoscope of talent , competitiveness, kinship, achievement, winning ,increasing potential and becoming  fulfilled. I’m getting close to telling  this  mosaic of a story  and  hope to  do it well.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Kathy Perry current president of the Western States Ride, Member of the AERC hall of Fame, Winner of the Tevis Cup in 1978 and holder of 22 Tevis buckles. Kathie was also one of the early founders of AERC (American Endurance Ride Conference).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Anger,Fear, Food Choice and Kathie Perry

"It is well for the heart to be naive and the mind not to be."
– Anatole France


Are you dealing efficiently with your food choices ? Are you happy with your body image? Are you at your ideal weight? If you answered yes to those three questions , you’re probably doing well. . For those of you that answered no, this post may have some meaning. Women, with abnormal eating behaviors, in a recent study, had difficulty and in fact misinterpreted facial expressions of anger, sadness and happiness.

 There were 80 women studied from the United Kingdom who  were in their 20s. 40  women with high scores on the eating disorder inventory were compared to  40 women who had low scores on the same inventory. This inventory assessed the desire for thinness, bulimia, and body  dissatisfaction.

These women were evaluated for depression, anxiety and, alexithymia. They were shown images of160 faces, portrayed by male and female actors, with expressions of happiness, sadness, fear, anger and disgust.

The high eating disorder inventory women recognized significantly fewer emotional expressions and were more likely  to  label anger as sadness ; and fear as anger or sadness. There were also less sensitive to subtle facial expressions. Researchers suggested that impaired facial recognition, especially anger and fear which may be caused by abnormalities in that  part of the brain associated with emotions. It is Important to be able to differentiate between anger and fear. Can you differentiate between those two facial expressions? Once again, it’s important to know thyself. The more we are in touch with ourselves and others (reality), the healthier we are.

This study suggests that perhaps the inability to accurately assess emotions ,like fear and anger,  in others is related not only to poor food choices , but is also related to impaired interpersonal relationships. How can these individuals have meaningful interactions if they are distorting reality? And , impaired relationships affect the ability to satisfy one’s needs. Just maybe, food happens to be the vehicle chosen taken to” fix” the distortion. However, it’s clear that food can be used to make things worse. Hopefully, you’re not using food to meet your unfulfilled needs. The article  was found in the August 28, 2012 edition of the Wall Street Journal.

Thursday’s TV talk show features Kathie Perry , President of the Western States Trail Foundation. Incidentally, Kathie finished this year’s Tevis Cup ride for the 22nd time. This young lady is on her way for her 3000 mile buckle . Join us on Thursday to hear her story.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Hail To The Victors

"We cannot live for ourselves alone. Our lives are connected by a thousand invisible threads, and along these sympathetic fibers, our actions run as causes and return to us as results."
– Herman Melville

Last Thursday’s television show with Dan Barger was fruitful and interesting. Dan is a multi talented athlete. He excels in ultra running, riding horses, mountain biking  to name a few of his talents. He likes ultra  running, especially 100 mile races. He has run all over the world and this year is no exception as he’s running in the 105 mile race in the Alps.

He talked about his most exciting Western States 100 race a few years ago with his duel with another outstanding runner. In fact, he posted his fastest time for this particular race. He also shared with Tony and I  his toughest race. He was competing in an echo challenge in Fuji. His team took 9 ½ days for completion. I invite you to click onto the link to learn, first hand, more about Dan Barger.

I am researching for  my next book on mental toughness.  I have shared with you some information from some of the interviewees. I recently started interviewing coach Gary Moeller and Frank Gusich. Frank’s story is interesting and very challenging as he’s had medical issues for the last 10 years. He is one tough dude. Incidentally, his wife, Linda, attended  Dominican high school , which is located near my high school(Denby) on the east side of  Detroit. What a coincidence.

Gary’s son Andy was a co-captain along with Jim Harbaugh at the University of  Michigan during the 1986 season. At the present time, Jim’s the head coach of the San Francisco 49ers. Remember, they played the Baltimore Ravens in this year’s Super Bowl. The head coach of the world champion Baltimore Ravens is Jim’s brother, John Harbaugh. John’s line coach for the last five or six years is none other than  Andy Moeller. Connections, friendships and performance , at the highest level , characterize these individuals. They’re all mentally tough.

On Sunday, Tony, Chris and I ran the trails. We started from my home, went to third gate and on the way to Dead Truck. Chris and I headed toward American Canyon, while Tony ran towards the 20 mile marker. Chris and I stayed in front of Tony until very close to the highway 49 crossing. We stopped and refilled our water bottles. From there, we headed toward Chris’s home. We stopped, got ice and drank Pepsi’s. We left Chris and headed towards my home. All in all, Tony went roughly 18 ½ miles, I traveled about 17 miles and Chris about 13 miles. This  was one tough run. I was glad to reach my home.

 Tony and I  now plan to taper for our Run on the Sly trail run in two weeks. Remember, keep moving, laughing, smiling and deep breathing.