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

Sunday, June 29, 2014

2014 Western States Endurance Run

Congratulations to all the 2014 Western States finishers. Last year, 37-year-old Rob Krar finished second. This year he finished first and came close to breaking the course record in 14 hours 53 minutes and 22 seconds. The first overall woman was Stephanie Howe. Her time was 18 hours one minute and 42 seconds. Congratulations also go to Dan Barger, who finished in 20 hours 43 minutes 27 seconds and Meghan Arbogast, who finished in 21 hours 14 minutes and 48 seconds. No one older than Meghan finished in front of her. For more information about Dan and Meghan catch their interview on It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender.
This race could not be held without volunteers. Special thanks goes to the Auburn Lake Trails Aid station Captain Margaret Branick at mile 84, and all the other volunteers.

Remember to keep moving, because they do.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Dan Dierdorf, Bo Schembechler,Soren Kierkegaard and Sigmund Freud

Former University of Michigan coaching legend Bo Schembechler may or may not have been a student of  the existentialist Soren Kierkegaard, Sigmund Freud, or other great thinkers of human nature . In short, Kierkegaard  wrote about the anxiety of man, character, transcendence and the difficulty in becoming authentic. While Freud wrote about man’s personality development and character that essentially helps him develop strategies for dealing with his anxiety by employing defenses (denial, repression, reaction information, etc.) in order to distort reality. And, in the process, psychoanalysis helps man to understand his self-emotions, impulses, memories, capacities, potentialities, etc.
In December of 1968, Bo was hired to coach the University of Michigan football. So what did Bo do to begin his University of Michigan coaching in early 1969? In essence, he created additional stress and anxiety for his inherited (Bump Elliott’s recruits) but talented football athletes. He wanted to trim down the number of players coming out for practice. He wanted only the strongest mentally and physically.  He did that by creating and imposing unheard of conditioning drills that were physical and some would say disrespected the individual. These drills were intense and challenged not only one’s body, but one’s mind. I doubt that any of the players, at first, understood what some called his madness. They had no idea what he was doing, and in fact many of them quit the team.
In fact, he might’ve been concerned, about the number of players leaving the team, since he put up the sign “Those That Stay Will Be Champions.” And then, the Pru man added to the sign “Those That Leave Will Be Doctors and Lawyers and Captains of Industry.” Bo understood that he created a test, and that those who passed were his boys. The players that stayed were able to deal with the additional stress and anxiety by creating and developing their own personality. In fact, Frank Gusich thought, and/or rationalized, something to the effect that “these brutal practice conditions are so unique that our team will be in better condition in the fourth quarter than those other teams.” Bo created the “survival of his fittest”
Further, as a result of his military experience, Bo was aware that soldiers, in foxholes, in war conditions dealt with stress and death by bonding together. The term band of brothers fits here. So, I believe that Bo Schembechler knew he was creating a team and his coaching methods exemplified that. He reinforced that team concept over and over. If you don’t believe me, just ask his warriors.
“This is a unique look at the world of college football in the late 60s and early 70s as told by some of my teammates and coaches at the University of Michigan.
We were so fortunate to be a part of something special that happened over 40 years ago, but still resonates today. A good read!
                                Go Blue! Dan Dierdorf June 2014

Triumph Books is publishing Bo’s Warriors and is scheduled to be released this fall.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bo's Warriors and Western States 100

Bo’s Warriors exemplifies Bo Schembechler’s transforming the historic University of Michigan football program into his own identity .This book also illustrates  the  evolution that took place among each of the players profiled (Mike Keller- All-American, College All-Star Game,  Dallas Cowboy, COO of the Football League of America ; Frank Gusich-Wolfman and called Superman by the press; Fritz Seyferth-  , scored four touchdowns against the Minnesota Gophers, ranked third in Big Ten conference in scoring, 21 years in the Michigan Athletic Department, Calgary Stampeders ; Thom Darden-All-American, All Pro, interception leader of the Cleveland Browns; Jim Betts-  Meyer Morton Trophy Award, Blue -Gray All-Star game drafted by the New York Jets; Tom Curtis-Michigan record holder for interceptions, two Super Bowl rings, publisher; Jim Brandstatter, All Big Ten, elected to the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, award-winning American sportscaster, best-selling author ; and Reggie McKenzie-All-American, All NFL, Reggie McKenzie Foundation) along with position coach Gary Moeller-defensive coordinator, college and NFL head coach. You’ll marvel at their lifelong journey of success and how each overcame failure moments.
Bo’s Warriors reveals Bo’s “secret” formula for success and highlights what the press called “The 10 Year War” between Bo Schembechler’s, Michigan’s Wolverines and his mentor legend Woody Hayes’ Ohio State Buckeyes-starting with their 1969 big game. Don’t forget that Bo inherited players, recruited by former Michigan All-American, Rose Bowl hero and Rose Bowl winner head coach Bump Elliott.
No doubt that Bo inherited an exceptional group of talented athletes from diverse racial backgrounds. He called Bump’s recruits” country club mentality “and then molded them into his mentally and physically tough Michigan football “survival of the fittest” battleground. It became clear that the sum of the individual players and coaches became the whole. How Bo accomplished this miraculous feat is a major part of the story. Another element of the story is that the players initially disliked, to put it mildly, Bo but later came to love him. In turn, the symbiotic- synergistic relationship between Bo and his team resulted in Bo becoming a legend and his players taken to heights they never contemplated before.
Learn about how these players from rural and urban environments blended together and in the process, became “ Michigan men.”, and one for all(the team) and  all, for one (the team).
Some of the questions raised and answered in Bo’s Warriors include the following: 1. Why did Michigan athletic director Don Canham remove Bump and hire Bo? 2. What was Bo’s secret formula for success? 3. How did Bo’s team become mentally and physically tough? 4. Why was Bo’s success also, his weakness? 5. How did that 1969 Michigan football team upset the heavily favored number one team in the country, Woody’s greatest team the Ohio State Buckeyes? 6. How did playing for Bo affect and influence the long term personality style of each of his warriors? 7. How relevant are Bo’s life teaching methods and techniques for today’s warriors? 8. Why should” mental toughness” be taught and learned?


Don’t forget that the Western States 100 mile ultra-run is this Saturday. I wish all the runners good luck. Some will be moving faster than others, but they’ll be moving.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Bo's Warriors- Acknowledgements

This post comes from my manuscript, Bo’s Warriors- Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football to be published by Triumph Books towards the end of the summer.
This book would not have been possible without the assistance of a number of special individuals. I began with my wife, Linda. A few years ago, she was riding her horse Nails and I was running alongside them on the Olmsted trail. She said to me that I was mentally tough. The idea planted a seed in me, and I began researching it. Then, I Incorporated my model into my Western States 100-Mile Endurance Run in 2002. After refining the concept of mental toughness, I published and gave presentations about my experience with it during my Western States Ultra.
It was then that I began to think about writing a book. It was a natural extension to write about the mental toughness of football players-especially those from the University of Michigan. A very special thanks goes to Mike Keller. With his quickness, he took the ball running, with blazing speed. He then lateralled the ball to Jim Brandstatter. From there, the ball was passed to Reggie McKenzie, Fritz Seyferth, Thom Darden, Gary Moeller, and Jim Betts, and then taken by Frank Gusich for touchdown. Finally, Tom Curtis made an interception to save the win and the project was completed. He was a team accomplishment and credit goes to this unique group of men. My gratitude goes to them.
Tom Bast of Triumph Books move the Sierra Nevada Mountains to get this book published this year. And I can’t forget Mitch Rogatz, Adam Motin, and the rest of the staff at Triumph for making this project a reality.

PS I’m sorry to report that Tony and Debbie lost their border collie Hope last week. She was a neat dog and will be missed.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Big Basin Marathon and Lebron James

"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

 On Sunday the eighth, I ran a trail marathon in the Big Basin area of the Santa Cruz Mountains .That run finished at Waddell Creek at the Pacific Ocean. During that run, I thought about how much more difficult it is to run a marathon on the trails, compared to on the street. While running on the street, the runner has to look out and not trip on a curb or crack in the pavement. Of course, one also has to look out for and keep away from pedestrians and cars. I must admit that when I ran, at age 60, the Maui marathon, my first and only street marathon that that was fun as people were driving their cars honking horns, and screaming along the way.
While running Sunday, on that single track trail, I made sure to focus on the trail ahead. Sometimes, a runner can encounter honeybees or rattlers. I was pleased that I did not see any of those critters. However, there was a plethora of small and large size rocks that blended into the dirt trail along with protruding roots. And at times, I made sure that I could get underneath large overhead redwood trees that crossed the trail like a bridge. Other times, there were smaller trees laying across the trail like barriers. Also, a few places had real rocky areas that were extremely slippery and steep. I made my way carefully and did not fall or trip. Don’t forget that these trail races have elevation gains and losses. This particular run had about 3/5 of a mile of uphill and about a mile of downhill.
I was thankful that I was able to dip my hat into the Creek as the temperature was extremely warm. I was also pleased for the temperature change for the last 8 miles or so. Early on, during the run, I checked my heart rate monitor and was concerned that my pulse was so high, even while running the down hills. Not doing well in the heat, I made sure not to push myself and get into trouble with heat exhaustion. I continued to monitor .All in all, it was good and I and walked frequently, especially up the hills. I must have done everything right, since I didn't cramp or have severe symptoms from heat exhaustion.
On the other hand, Tony tripped, fell down and developed cramps while blocking the trail. Other runners looked at him and he told them that he’d be all right. Well, he got up and continued running without any other incidents. Later on we talked about Lebron James and his cramping up during the first game against San Antonio in the finals. Tony called him an unflattering term and said he wasn’t tough. He said all James had to do was run up and down the basketball court, while he ran 31 miles. On top of that, Lebron James fell to the basketball floor and his teammates picked him up. No one picked up Tony.
All in all, it was good as we stayed with ride and tie friends in Santa Cruz. George and Judy drove us to the start, met us on the trail and was there at the finish. Over the weekend we told ride and tie and running stories. George is a small animal vet, has artificial hips and still runs and rides.

It’s important that we keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating.

Monday, June 9, 2014

World War 11, Trail Running and Competition

"You desire to know the art of living, my friend? It is contained in one phrase: make use of suffering."
– Henri Frédéric Amiel

Last Thursday, Jeff Windeshausen was our guest on our TV show It Has Nothing to Do with Age or Gender. I first met Jeff and Tony at the Mustang classic in 1997. Jeff and Tony were ride and tie partners and I was competing in a limited distance endurance ride. As it turned out, I was camped next to them and got introduced to the sport of ride and tie.
Jeff was born in Belgium and told us about growing up during the war years. In fact, on one side of the street where the German soldiers and on the other side of the street where the American soldiers. His story was timely, because the very next day, June 6, was the D-Day anniversary. You can catch our show: http://yo
 On June 8, Tony and I have entered a 50 K trail run at Big Basin in the Santa Cruz Mountains. During this run, I switched and ran the marathon instead. This leads to an article found in the Wall Street Journal, dated December 10-11, 2011. There was a study of 543 men and women ages 25 to 75, who took a test that involved a series of arithmetic problems and being rewarded either $.25 per correct answer or getting $.50 per answer if they beat the score of a randomly chosen fellow participant-but nothing if they lost. The authors of the study were measuring, competitiveness across the lifespan. With this sample, the researchers found that men (over half), compared to women (over a third) chose the competitive track. It also found that both sexes increased will to compete up to age 50, and then it started to decline.
How do the competitive findings of this particular study apply to you? Of course, this particular study had to do with a cognitive-arithmetic skill.
As far as running (physical skill) a 50 K, I realize that my goal is to complete the event. It seems that there are less and less participants in my age group. I feel good when I come in first in my age group, but that is not my goal.
I ran my first ultra-marathon at the age of 59. From the beginning, my goal was to complete these events as it is today. Additional goals regarding running these events include health reasons, running with Tony and knowing that I can. As long as I am relatively injury free, I’ll continue.

In the meantime, keep running, smiling, laughing, loving, bonding and appreciating.

Monday, June 2, 2014

Bo's Warriors

I have received word from my editor that I am no longer permitted to submit any more new material regarding Bo’s Warriors. That is a new experience since I have been thinking and writing about this project for roughly the past 3 years or so. It was sometime in or around 2011 that I first began thinking about mental toughness. In fact, Linda was riding her horse Nails and I was running alongside them on the Olmsted loop when she commented on my mental toughness. We talked about that concept and that was” it” for me.
I then began researching and writing about the idea. I developed a model of mental toughness and applied it to my running of the Western States in 2002. I then wrote a couple of articles regarding mental toughness for running magazines, and gave a number of presentations regarding the same.
I then progressed to thinking about writing a book about the subject. I met Mike Keller, an All-American football player from the University Michigan who played for the Dallas Cowboys. He liked my idea, and told me about a teammate from the Cowboys named Walt Garrison. Walt Garrison, the cowboy from Oklahoma, played football for the Cowboys with a broken collarbone. Mike said Walt is a really tough dude. As it turned out, Linda’s sister was a sorority sister of this cowboy’s future wife and knew about their struggles while they were in college (her family was wealthy & Walt just a football player).
Mike also talked to me about Jack Youngblood, the All-American from the University of Florida who played with the Los Angeles Rams. Jack played with a broken bone in his leg and was legendary for his toughness. After talking with Jack and Gil Brandt, Cowboy GM, I decided to limit my focus. I changed gears and decided to write about the 1969 Michigan Wolverines with first year head coach Bo Schembechler.
Besides, Mike Keller, I interviewed Jim Brandstatter, Frank Gusich, Thom Darden, Reggie McKenzie, Jim Betts, Tom Curtis, Fritz Seyferth and Coach Gary Moeller. In essence, this book tells the story of the University of Michigan, Bo Schembechler and these 9 men.
As it turns out, the University of Michigan erected, last month, its first statue ever on the campus in front of Schembechler Hall. They now have a statue of Bo. This fall, the same 1969 team is having their reunion. My publisher Triumph Books is planning a marketing blitz in Ann Arbor, to coincide with this history.
 I could have never predicted any of this back in 2011. I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, during the full moon in June will be the Western States 100 ultra-run. And this coming Sunday, Tony and I intend to run 50 km run in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Likely, on the back cover of Bo’s Warriors will be this blurb.   "Bo Schembechler was one of America's legendary coaches.  For over twenty years he led the University of Michigan to greatness.  Frank Lieberman has done an outstanding job returning us to the days of Big Blue's finest hours.  Through some of his greatest players you will come to understand what made Bo and his warriors so special.
           Peter Golenbock, author of Landry's Boys and Driven (with Donald Driver).

Do not forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating since good things are yet to come.