Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: April 2014
It Has Nothing To Do With Age provides self-help principles. The inspirational stories give concrete illustrations of overcoming many of life's challenges. Difficulties pertaining to depression, grief, divorce, and death are presented and worked through by the participants. Physical impairments, injuries, overcoming issues with weight, alcohol, and nicotine are also dealt with and resolved by the athletes.

This book provides a model on how to overcome some of the difficulties that confront all of us . Further, this read sheds a beacon of light on preventive measures for good physical and mental health. Research demonstrates that exercise is an important component in treating such ailments and debilitating illness such as depression, stroke, heart disease, brain or cognitive malfunction,and Alzheimer's disease.

I suggest that proper exercise can be used as a preventive measure for psychological, cognitive, and physical health as well. Follow my prescription and lead a better, more fulfilling, and healthier life.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Find Your Happiness

"We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."
– Carlos Castaneda

Recently, I read about what one person believed that happy people do. Unfortunately I do not know how this person arrived at his conclusions. Also, the definition of happiness was not defined. His seven points were as follows: 1. Make good friends 2. Actively express thankfulness (gratitude) 3. Actively pursue your goals 4. Do what you excel at as often as you can 5. Give as opposed to taking 6. Don’t single-mindedly chase stuff 7. Live the life you want to live.
These seven points are all positive and may or may not lead to happiness. In my book “It Has Nothing To Do with Age,” I prescribed seven points that I believe creates a healthier lifestyle. My seven points take account of adjusting both attitude and behavior. These seven points are based on the profiles of eight mature athletes that compete in extraordinary sports as well as current research. My prescriptions are as follows: 1. Get inspired. It’s okay to begin a new activity by taking baby steps. A physical activity can help in improving physical fitness, losing weight, reducing anxiety and minimizing depression. 2. Find meaning in an activity outside of family, career, or raising kids; it can build self-esteem.3. Enrich your emotional life by making physical contact, having friends, sharing interests, and learning about others, by becoming part of a new group. 4. Realize that there is more to life than the accumulation of material things; having the biggest toy does not result in happiness. 5. Participate in outdoor activities to help nurture spirituality. 6. For a way to escape, read about other people’s adventures. 7. Find inspiration motivation through the illuminating profiles of eight remarkable senior athletes found within this book.
Further, in each of my posts I talk about keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, appreciating and loving. I do not claim to have the secret for the pursuit of happiness but I do know something about creating wellness and a healthier lifestyle. And, when leading a healthier lifestyle you have the best.

When I was a young boy, I remember one of my aunts saying something to the effect of, “to have your health is to have everything.” I fully understand and agree with my wise aunt. Thank you  aunt Eva.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Prsonality Traits and Marathons

"The gain in self-confidence of having accomplished a tiresome labour is immense."
– Arnold Bennett


There is good news for those that are getting older. On April 22, 2014, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal that mentioned that Meb Keflezighi ran the Boston Marathon in a time of 2:08:37. This American, who will turn 39 on May 5, became the oldest to win this prestigious running event. Not only that, but he ran 31 seconds faster than his previous best.

The article focused on “older” runners and gave them hope. One woman, age 44, hopes to set a personal record in August, while another 36-year-old male believes he can run his fastest marathon yet. A quote by Neil Fitzgerald, age 45, a New York runner  who sits on a Masters committee of USA track and field, said that Meb’s victory is likely going to help  the mentality that a young running stars career is not over at age 22. He also went on to say that there is potential for runners in their 30s and even 40s. Thank you Neil and Meb for your reassurance and performance.

When I told Tony about this article we both laughed and he said that he must be ancient. Although both Tony and I are running faster than last year, we are not setting personal bests. We both are running in a local marathon that is being held for the first time. In other words, our running time will be a personal best for both.

The other article was about that many of us have personality changes as we age. For example, often we become more conscientious (organized, consistent, dependable); agreeable (polite, trusting, preferring cooperation of the competition, feeling compassionate for others); open (intellectually curious, inventive, sensitive to art and beauty, imaginative); extroverted (talkative, sociable, assertive, socially dominant); and less neurotic (worrying hope all these, feeling stress, prone to feeling sad, anxious, temperamental, moody). I hope all these change in traits are happening to you.

Yesterday, Tony and I ran the Miner’s Revenge marathon with 4902 feet of elevation change. Although it was one tough marathon, we both ran our best time. Incidentally, that was its first running.

Okay, now you can look forward to the future because you’ll likely be a faster runner with more pleasing personality traits. I trust that this information is going to make your day. However, no matter what, don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

After the Boston Marathon

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


Tony and I have registered for this Sunday’s, Minors Revenge Marathon, and I hope that Jonathan joins us for this trail running event. This week we have been tapering and I will let you know about my effectiveness. One idea on tapering is to run relatively short distances at a fast clip. This past week I have cut my distances considerably, but not my pace. I should be well rested.

On another note, there is going to be a change for Wolverine football this fall. Previously, Jim Brandstatter had been handling the color, on the radio. Jim is one of the football players that I profiled in my manuscript “Bo’s Warriors.” Jim will be now handling play-by-play and joined by Dan Dierdorf. Dan was an All-American at Michigan and has been inducted into the professional football Hall of Fame. He recently retired from CBS. Incidentally, Dan was born in Canton, Ohio.

I talked with Jim about Dan’s joining him in the booth and he’s excited. These former teammates played the same offensive position-tackle under Bo Schembechler. In any event, Go Blue!

In the meantime, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating as it’s good for you Minors revenge.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Too Late for the Boston Marathon

"To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle."
– George Orwell


I just read an article found in the April 15, 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal. This article had to do with sore legs, aches and pains as a result of running marathons. The article added that long-distance runners often experience these problems in their quadriceps and calf muscles.  

Reasons for sore muscles and spasms are caused by nutritional and functional issues. And, slowing down does not always resolve the issue. Eccentric contractions (lengthening the muscle and then loading on it) can result in tearing the myofibrils (tiny strands within the muscles) as well as damaging muscle cell membranes.

Some suggestions to consider to resolve or minimize muscle soreness include strength training, which might delay the muscle breakdown. One doctor suggested workouts that involve quick explosive repetitions like squats, planks, sit-ups, push-ups, and leg lifts, with comparatively little weight work.

Another idea is to have the proper fuel, which means hydration and the replenishing of electrolytes. For example, pickle juice has great amount of concentrated sodium. Another drink, to consider would be cherry juice. The advantage of ingesting pickle juice or cherry juice (if you can stomach it) is that these drinks do not have side effects such as ulcer or kidney damage.

If you are experiencing leg problems, consider the above suggestions. In any event, consider moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding, appreciating in the process. 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Frank Gusich- a Bo's Warriors

"Character is simply habit long enough continued."
– Plutarch


Unfortunately, Frank Gusich at the age of 64, passed on 4/1/14. The following is a brief excerpt for my manuscript titled “Bo’s Warriors.” Frank is one of the interviewed football players from the 1969, Michigan Wolverine team. He was the second “Wolf Man.” The Wolf Man position was essentially a defensive back that, depending upon the formation, moved close to the line of scrimmage for additional run support .

“Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s Co-captain Frank Gusich was called as one, if not the toughest Wolverine on the Michigan football playing field. Bo called him “a candy ass,” while the media, called Frank “Superman.” Even today, his teammates continue the respect for this warrior.

On October 23, 1956 Frank’s young life changed for the very worst. He was just under six years old since he was born on March 27, 1950. Although a sunny day in Cleveland, Ohio, Frank’s mother, Wilma, age 33, just returned home after taking her husband, Frank senior age 35, to neighboring hospital. Frank and his two sisters Marilyn and Anita were happy to see her. Before they could inquire about their father’s health, Wilma blurted out, “your father died.” Before words could be expressed, Frank teared up and cried. Frank had no clue about his father’s illness as the terrible news came as a complete shock to him.

This date was coincidentally, the date of his parents 10th year wedding anniversary. At the time, Wilma was pregnant with her fourth child. For the next 13 years or so, Wilma stayed home, rearing her four children. As finances were extremely tight for the Gusich family, they did not have a lot of luxuries. Thank goodness the Gusich family received Social Security benefits to supplement the limited family income. Even though Frank grew up without extras, he remembered that his mother, always had food on the table. It wasn’t until the youngest-Frank’s brother Tony entered the ninth grade/high school (the other three siblings were gone), Wilma entered the workforce. She remained employed for the next 20 years.

Wilma, although dated, never remarried. She had a very close friend named Joe Gorman. Joe became a father figure and was a positive part of the family. Frank remembered that Joe and Wilma went out to dinner and then headed to the dance floor together. His mother loved to dance. Frank liked Joe very much. He felt happy that Joe celebrated Christmas with their family. Joe and Wilma even attended Frank’s games in Ann Arbor. Joe was and became like a well-loved step father.


More to follow.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Frank Gusich 3/17/50-4/1/14

"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


I’m sorry to report that Frank Gusich passed on April 1, 2014. Frank just turned 64. Frank was a 1971 Co-captain on the University of Michigan football team. He played the position as Wolf man and Sports Illustrated featured him in an article titled Superman.

Frank grew up in Cleveland, Ohio, and unfortunately lost his father prior to the age of six. In grade school, Frank loved all sports and played, when he could, football, basketball and Little League baseball. In the eighth grade, he wanted to attend St. Ignatius high school. He applied, but was not accepted. Because of his and his mother’s perseverance, he was eventually accepted and even given a tuition grant.

At St. Ignatius, Frank lettered in basketball, track and football. For football, he played on the offense and the defense and was a Co-Capt. In his senior year. His team then won the city championship. He was recruited by such notables as Woody Hayes, Lou Holtz, Bob Devaney, Marv Levy and Lee Corso. However, Don James and Bump Elliott sold him on attending the University of Michigan.

Even though his three siblings attended Ohio State University, they became Michigan fans when the two teams played each other. In Frank’s sophomore year, he broke a bone near his wrist. He wasn’t allowed to play in the games with the cast. So, his trainer, cut off his cast, padded and taped his arm and hand so he could play in the games. So each week during the season, after each game, Frank had a new cast made. Unfortunately, in one of those practices, he also broke his thumb because the thumb wasn’t protected. Finally, the following January or February, after the season, his hand healed and he didn’t have to wear a new cast. Frank actually, still retained one of his special maize and blue casts as a memento. Frank became a starter in the Wolf man position as a junior. His teammates called him the “toughest.”

Frank is one of the men that I interviewed in my upcoming book titled “Bo’s Warriors.” It was a real honor for me to get to know this fine spiritual man. As far as coincidences go, his wife is named Linda. Linda grew up in East side of Detroit, and attended Dominican high school. I passed her high school   each day while attending Denby high school.

I know that Frank is still rooting for his beloved University of Michigan teams. Go Blue!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness Part 2

                       The Pursuit of Happiness    Part 2


This is my take. I have learned over the years some things. In my opinion,” happiness” changes somewhat like the weather. It is here one moment, then gone the next. Happy (in the dictionary) is defined as indicative of pleasure, content or gladness: a happy mood. Delighted, or pleased, or glad as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person. So happiness is the quality or state of being happy, good fortune, pleasure, content or gladness. Synonyms for happiness include bliss, blessedness contentedness (an active or passive state of pleasure or pleasurable satisfaction).


 What I believe to be more stable and more lasting than a happy mood/ feelings is” well-being” (one’s mental and physical health). I prefer employing terms like “wellness, or well-being” instead. I also think that when you have wellness, or well-being, one pretty much has it all. 

 Optimum mental health is related to how it what we think long with our behavior (things we do).  That means in order to experience and live mentally healthy, the individual has to deal effectively with his many irrational or self-defeating ideas; be able to understand his defense mechanisms; and resolve various psychological life issues in order to reach the stage of ego integrity ( i.e. emotional integration, generosity, accepting ones life and death).

I also believe that getting inspired, finding meaning (purpose), spirituality, laughing,  appreciating  , and bonding (having that significant relationship not only with a spouse, but with others as well) contribute to the equation of good mental health.

And, physical health has a lot to do with   psychological health; maintaining proper nutrition, along with some form of exercise. And we know that there’s interplay between our brain and our body. If we are making good choices/decisions through movement or exercise, we are likely going to improve many things that includes but not limited to: heart health, immune system functioning, reducing high blood pressure, improving short-term memory, reducing risk of various cancers, help relieving various stresses, improving blood circulation, including better brain functioning, elevating mood, reducing depression and improving overall quality of life.

For your information, Professor Victor Strecher, a professor at the University of Michigan School of Public Health in his book “On Purpose” wrote about the elderly. Dr. Strecher concluded per research that the elderly live longer when he has a sense of purpose in his life. Having a sense of purpose means that the individual is looking toward the future. Further, the importance of living or dying was the result of having something to look forward to (a future) and was illustrated by Dr. Viktor Frankl, in his book “Man’s Search for Meaning.” Dr. Frankel, a psychiatrist, wrote about his experience in Auschwitz during World War II. Without a purpose or meaning one dies more quickly.

In my book “It Has Nothing to Do with Age” I prescribed seven principles to lengthen your life span. These seven principles can create a healthier lifestyle. 1. Get inspired. It’s okay to begin a new activity by taking baby steps. Physical activity can help in improving physical fitness, losing weight, reducing anxiety and minimizing depression. 2. Finding meaning in an activity outside of family, career or raising kids; it can build self-esteem. 3. Enrich your emotional life by making physical contact, having friends, sharing interests, and learning about others, by becoming part of a new group. 4. Realize that there’s more to life than the accumulation of material things; having the biggest toy does not result in happiness. 5. Participate in outdoor activities to help nurture, spirituality. 6. For a way to escape, read about other people’s adventures. 7. Find inspiration and motivation through the illuminating profiles of eight remarkable senior athletes found within this book.

Make sure you find your own “happiness” or “well-being.”

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Pursuit of Happiness


"The be-all and end-all of life should not be to get rich, but to enrich the world."
– Bertie Charles Forbes

An article by Charles Murray titled “Rules for a Happy Life” appeared in the March 29-30, 2014 edition of the Wall Street Journal. According to Murray, Rule: 1. Consider Marrying Young. He talked about one advantage (a start up) is that you have many memories of your life (going from the initial insecurities to knowing you’re going to make it) and that you and your spouse have made your way together. He also talked about merger marriages (being more mature and less likely to outgrow each other). 2. Learn How to Recognize your Soul mate relates to not allowing objectionable deal breakers i.e. (punctuality, orderliness and thriftiness) to get in the way, since you’re not able to change your mate anyway. He added that it is important and critical for you to really like your spouse also. 3. Take Religion Seriously has to do with intellectually and experientially reading about i.e.  atheism, agnosticism, Hinduism, Christianity, etc. Also, to associate with people who are profoundly religious because they have learned to generally reconcile faith and reason (they transcend intelligence and judgment). 4.  Eventually Stop Fretting about Fame and Fortune and come to grips with your station in life. He quotes David Geffen, the billionaire “show me someone who thinks that money buys happiness and I’ll show you someone who has never had a lot of money.” Murray went on to say that fame and wealth do accomplish something: they cure ambition, anxiety, but that’s all. 5. Watch Groundhog Day Repeatedly since that fable deals with the most fundamental issues of virtue and happiness in that the protagonist Bill Murray learns to experience deep, lasting and justified satisfaction with life even in only one day to do it.

I really take exception to this article as Murray seems to be missing the boat. Perhaps his book provides more enlightenment then this adaptation.


Part 2  To be Continued

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Heart of the Matter

"Fear defeats more people than any other one thing in the world."
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


This article was published in the Wall Street Journal on March 26, 2014. Dave McGillivray, Boston Marathon race director, finisher of 130 marathons was diagnosed with coronary heart disease. This marathoner was shocked and prior believed he could eat anything because his running would burn it off. He even advocated a chocolate chip cookie recipe and visiting Dairy Queen’s after his runs.

Since receiving his diagnosis last October, he changed his diet, and his weight dropped from155 to 128 pounds.  On the other hand, he increased his weekly mileage from 60 to 70 miles. Dave rationalized that it’s not that running will have killed him, but that the trigger would’ve likely happened even sooner, except for his running.

The following two studies suggest concern (50 men who had run at least one marathon a year for 25 years had higher levels of coronary artery plaque than a control group of sedentary men). Another study of 42 Boston Marathon runners found that their carotid arteries had a less favorable arthroscopic risk profile than a control group.

The article went on to talk about that some cardiologists believe that beyond a certain point, exercise stops preventing but actually and starts causing heart disease. In fact, one cardiologist believes that sustained endurance exercise can damage the heart and he doesn’t recommend any more than 20 miles a week at a moderate pace. On the other hand, another cardiologist might say, exercise might not add years to your life, but it adds life to your years.

In any event, consider having scans taken of your coronary arteries. In any event, there’s no guarantee that you can live to 100 years of age. Just make sure that whatever you do, it enhances your life.

For me, the key to life is to keep moving, smiling, laughing, loving, bonding and appreciating. What is your recipe ?