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

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Managing Anxiety

 Using  Anxiety to  Bring out Your Best
 We all know, anxiety is present in dealing with today’s world. Sometimes, individuals experience so much anxiety that it affects their behavior very negatively. Take for example the word “choke.” When an athlete chokes, in competition, that actually means that the person performed badly. Chances are that the individual experienced too much anxiety. On the other hand, it’s commonly observed that low anxiety is often associated with being lazy or nonproductive. In fact, the individual may procrastinate without the right level or amount of anxiety.

So, a key to productive behavior is being able to control or manage the proper amount of anxiety (the anterior cingulate cortex is believed to be the center of anxiety) at any given time. Unfortunately, a diagnosis called anxiety disorder affects about 40 million American adults or 18% of the population in a given year. And perhaps, about a third of these individuals seek treatment. This means that anxiety (too much) gets the best of a great number of individuals. For some, anxiety can generate a stream of self-criticism, as well as being unable to sleep, or relax without alcohol or medication. Drinking glass a wine is not the key to relax.

Finding the right amount of anxiety for peak performance is a major challenge. For example too much anxiety can be equated with test anxiety, and can result in poor exam test results. There are some that use stimulants like caffeine and cigarettes to increase performance as the stimulants constrict blood vessels and raise heartbeat.

One proven way to deal with anxiety is to turn it into action, like the Nike slogan-“Just Do It.” So anxiety can be channeled into productive anxiety behaviorally. Another key is to incorporate relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing to reduce the anxiety prior to performance. Just watch Madison Bumgardner as he goes into the stretch (exhales) and then throw one of his infamous pitches. So you see that superstar deal with his anxiety by relaxing just before he throws a 93 mile per hour fastball. Prior to pitching, while he’s in the dugout, he may be visualizing or rehearsing how he’s going to pitch to the next three batters that he will face. In other words, he’s managing his anxiety through the use of relaxation techniques.

So if you’re having trouble starting to exercise, you might think of all the negative consequences (to your body) and hopefully that will raise your level of anxiety and then you will  go out and do what you’re avoiding. If worse comes to worse, you could always drink a cup of coffee and see if that works for you.

Since, I run because that’s who I am, it’s easy for me. I am one when I am running on the trail.

Remember that by keeping moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating you are warding off potential misery.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Do Good/Bad Things Happen?

Do Things Happen for a Reason?
In 2009, while riding on the trail I suffered a broken neck when I was thrown from my horse Gypsy. Some people would look for some reason to explain that incident. Perhaps, some people thought there was some explanation that could explain that terrible accident. Did it happen because it was God’s plan for me? Did it happen because I was bad and was being punished by God? Was it based on chaos theory? Was Richard Dawkins( October 19,The New York Times) correct when he stated, “precisely the properties we should expect if there is, at bottom, no design, no purpose, no evil, and no good, nothing but blind pitiless indifference. “ What about Sigmund Freud who believed there were no accidents and that an accident could be explained psychologically.

Instead of explaining that particular accident, I’m going to tell a story. Prior, to that accident in 2009, I was spending my time and finding meaning in competing in ride and tie, endurance riding and in running events. I was focused in part on personal health and keeping my horses in great condition.
When the accident occurred, I found myself in a neck brace 24/7, and confined to my house. I wasn’t running or keeping my horses conditioned. So I asked myself, how do I   want to spend the next month or two? In a short amount of time I decided to write a book. I thought about writing about people who compete in ultra-extraneous sports. I knew many people that I could interview from ride and tie, endurance and running who fit the profile. So arbitrarily, I decided to focus on individuals that were 65 years of age and older who were still competing.

When I healed, I decided to give up competing with my equines and instead focused on running, being healthy, and writing about health and motivation. After, It Has Nothing to Do with Age was published, another idea emerged- mental toughness.

The idea of mental toughness and football was another good fit for me because of my experience and interest in that particular sport. And when I met Mike Keller, the idea was further refined when I wrote about the 1969 transformation of Michigan football in a book titled, Bo’s Warriors- Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football.

If I had not had that serious neck injury, in 2009, I likely would not have had two books published by 2014. I cannot say that I was happy to experience that particular injury nor was it some sort of divine intervention. But what I can say, is that my life changed. I now focus on physical health, running, writing and a number of other book related activities. Is the quality of my life better now than it was before? I would not say that its better, but what I would say is that it’s challenging, gratifying and different. In order to make things happen, I have to put in the effort.

Oh by the way, yesterday’s half marathon went well and Tony won his age division. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running a Half Marathon

Running a Half Marathon
Today, I plan to run a half marathon event In Cool. I simply want to start increasing my running mileage in order to get ready for my 50 K upcoming season. I have been running but not long distances since August.
During August, I chose to run shorter distances in part because of the weather, and in part because Tony was taken care of Debbie. Then, in September I was focusing on my book launch “Bo’s Warriors” and once again didn’t put in long distance runs. While we were in Michigan I simply ran to keep in condition which I did.
Shortly after getting back from Michigan, Linda had a knee replacement and I continued with my brief running distance and time away from Linda. This past week she suggested that I run the half marathon. With her “Okay,” I plan to increase my running mileage.
So today will be my first competitive run since July, when I did the” Eppies Great Race.” I will let you know how it went. Tony, Randall and Madhu will be there today.

Note, the keys from my prescription in “It Has Nothing to Do with Age” include numbers: 1, 2, 3 and 5. These prescriptions for a healthier lifestyle are related to-keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating. And don’t forget it.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How Depression Affects Accelerated Aging

How Depression Affects Accelerated Aging
For those of you that believe that depression affects only your mind, you are thoroughly mistaken. There are researchers that study this mental disorder and relate it to what is now classified as “accelerated aging.” Accelerated aging means developing or being at risk at a young age of conditions normally associated with older people like heart disease, arteriosclerosis, hypertension, stroke, dementia, osteoporosis, and type II diabetes. And depression is a major culprit.
For example, early research on the brain scans of older people with depression showed faster age-related loss of volume in the brain, compared with people without depression. Factors contributed to depression and accelerated aging appears include behaviors like smoking, diet, and lack of exercise.
Current research on telomere length (the protective coverings at the end of chromosomes-and related to aging) find that the shortened length of telomeres is related to an increased risk of disease and mortality. Further, research has also shown that telomeres length is associated with depression, childhood trauma and other conditions. Not only that, individuals that have more bouts with depression have shorter telomeres, which leads to the eventual stopping of cell division. When that happens, it’s all over.
Simply put, depression makes you sicker because it makes your cells age prematurely. So, I believe that lifestyle can help ward off depression. And if you ward off depression, you will likely not only live longer but better. For me, some of the key variables for better health include exercise. I run even though running is difficult. I must admit I like this form of aerobic exercise. I also incorporate goals. This means I’m looking forward to the future-it could be running with Tony, competing in a running event or even thinking about what trail to run. Exercise also provides meaning for me. It’s not the only thing that provides meaning, but it’s important.
I must admit that running, being healthy, being in good condition contributes to well-being and how I think about myself. So thinking, positive about self is a good mental exercise. All these factors (aerobic exercise, goals, looking to the future, having meaning in my life, eliminating irrational thoughts positive self-esteem) push away depression.
So when I say, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating, I walk the walk; if you know what I mean.

Article found in the Wall Street Journal April 10, 2012.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fun With the Reunion and Book Launch

Last month in September, Linda accompanied me on my Bo’s Warriors book tour. On 18th of September, we were in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, where we met none other than, Thom Darden. Thom was an All-American and an all Pro with the Cleveland Browns. He is both their single season and career interception leader. In the Michigan, Ohio State game of 1971, Thom made an interception that ESPN called “one of the plays that signifies college football. Ohio State’s, Woody Hayes went nuts and received not one but two 15 yard penalties. He wanted to pass interference call and attempted to get referee Bill Quimby fired. Referee Quimby later officiated in the NFL as well. Thank goodness, Linda took a picture of Bill Quimby at that Barnes & Noble book signing. You can find a picture of Darden, making that interception in my book.

On September 22, Linda and I were in Ann Arbor. We met the Michigan alumni at Weber’s Inn in Ann Arbor. Coach Brady Hoke (in the white shirt) was the main speaker. Mike Keller (gray suit), Jim Betts (dark shirt) and I followed Brady Hoke at the podium. There are also pictures of Jim Brandstatter (voice of the Lions and the Wolverines in dark suit), me, Keller (64th draft pick by the Dallas Cowboys Super Bowl champions), and Jim Betts (drafted by the New York Jets), eating and signing books. Linda took six pictures at that event.

Frank,Mike Keller, Coach Brady Hoke & Jim Betts
Mike Keller,Jim Betts, Frank and Jim Brandstatter-M Club
On September 24, Linda and I attended the Jim Brandstatter (M shirt)-Brady Hoke radio show. After Brady Hoke spoke, Mike Keller (dark jacket) and I spoke. Jim Betts (white-striped shirt) accompanied us. There’s also a picture of Kathleen (radio producer), and the Little Brown Jug. All in all, there are five pictures.  
The M Den was the venue for 25th of September. Mike Keller (gray suit), Jim Brandstatter (white shirt), Thom Darden (white shirt), Jim Betts (light blue shirt) accompanied Linda and I for that book signing. Darden, Keller and Brandstatter were in the same sophomore class and were part of that 1969, upset against Ohio State. Jim Betts, was a junior that season. These players have so much fun together and for me it was one of the highlights. They laughed, joked, put each other down and told stories. The Duke (Brandstatter) did his impersonations and started off with a number of Motown hits from the 60s and 70s. That event was so much fun for me. There are five pictures.
Mike Keller,Frank& Jim talking to M Club
Thom Darden,Linda and Jim Betts at M Den in Ann arbor
There is one picture that was taken, in Charlevoix, Michigan, on September 20. I am talking to an employee in the bookstore with my sister Bev listening to our conversation. My sister lives in Connecticut and came in for one of our family, reunions. We have a number of cousins from the Detroit area. That weekend was a blast as well.

We are signing rapidly while Coach Hoke has the floor

Kathleen producer of Brandstatter-Hoke radio show-Little Brown jug
Jim Betts drafted by NY Jets
Betts,Brandstatter & Frank
Keller,64th pick by Dallas Cowboys,Thom Darden All Pro with Cleveland Browns,Brandstatter radio voice of Detroit Lions and the Wolverines
Betts,Keller, Darden ,Brandstatter & Frank at M Den
Brandstatter (Duke) and me
At Brandstatters radio show in Ann Arbor
Frank,Bev and sales person in Charlevoix book store

Jim Brandstatter,Frank, Mike Keller & Jim Betts at U of M Alumni function in Ann Arbor
Bill Quimby in Cedar rapids ,Iowa at B&N signing

Coach Brady Hoke U of M Club
Jim Betts,Mike Keller,Frank & Jim Brandstatter at U of M club luncheon
Mike Keller ,Jim Betts & Frank at Brandstatter-Hoke radio show
Remember to keep laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating because it’s good for you.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bo's Warriors

To receive an autographed Bo’s Warriors (Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football) , please email me for Pay Pal information.

Medication Side Effects

Feeling Better
Once Linda stopped taking pain the medication for knee replacement, she began to feel better within the next 24 hours. Her nausea subsided, her hallucinations stopped and are thinking became more rational and coherent. That next day she was feeling more like herself. With the nausea being gone, she was able to do her exercises for her knee. Not only that, she walked more as she was less dizzy as well.;
The following day was even better as she was more like herself. She spent more time and at the bedroom, walked and exercise more often. With nausea gone, she was able to eat , and as a result, felt stronger with more energy. In other words, she could do more.

Linda was also fine with me leaving her to go running on the trail. I was also able to do the grocery shopping. It’s good to see her stronger and more like herself. In fact, she encouraged me to enter a half marathon next Saturday with my buddies.

Some of the keys for a better recovery include the following: icing, elevating her knee above her heart, walking, doing her  exercises and importantly, and being on the right medication. So far so good.

Like I’ve said all along, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating. That makes it all  good.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Being Your Own Advocate

Being Your Own Advocate
 My wife Linda had a knee replacement surgery on the 13th. Apparently the surgery went well. However, she had a problem with the pain medication prescribed. Some of the side effects that she experienced from the meds included: hallucinations, agitation, nausea, and at times, incoherence. There obviously was a mix-up as far as the medication and in the relationship with one of the doctors who assisted the main surgeon.
To say the least, Linda was happy with her main doctor and the hospital staff. She was not at all happy with the assisting doctor. Linda thought he was rude, narcissistic, talked too fast, and did not listen to her.
I’m sure you’ve heard the story, “the operation was successful, but the patient died.” Although Linda didn’t die, that hospital experience leaves a sour taste.
I will keep you posted on her progress. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating. Further, keep out of the hospital.

For those of you interested in purchasing a signed copy of my recent book Bo’s Warriors, please email me for details regarding PayPal.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Can We Reduce Disability?

 "All that is necessary to break the spell of inertia and frustration is this: Act as if it were impossible to fail."
– Dorothea Brande
Recently, I read that one researcher believed “as people live longer, we need to understand how to reduce disability, maximize functioning and enhance quality of life. “Another researcher stated “many people know what they need to do and want to do it, but are unable able to make the changes, if they start it can be very difficult to maintain.” These statements are related to the fact that there are rising levels of disability in those aged 55 to 65, and probably in part related to an increase in obesity.

First, let’s be honest, for some getting on disability is really about taking advantage of the system. I’m sure all of us know someone who fits that category-taking undeserved money. We all know that pain is in the eye of the beholder and that many people fake it. We also know that once somebody gets on disability, they can be on it for life. There is currently not a process that views or monitors the physical activity of those on disability, while they go on with their daily lives.

Second, I think we do know how to maximize functioning and enhance quality of life. I don’t think it’s a matter of how, I think it’s a matter of will. In other words, it’s about the personality and how to deal with and change the thinking of these individuals. In the 60s, there was a space race with the federal government leading the charge. It seems to me we require a “health race” that likely requires the federal government to lead the way to teach and assist people, in becoming more healthy and more happy.

Third, it is difficult for people to continue and maintain the necessary changes needed to make their lives better. Once again, it’s about the psychology, personality, and thinking that needs to be addressed. Again, this is part of and could be dealt with in a “health race” led by Uncle Sam. I’m proposing a massive program based on the psychological knowledge that we have today.

So, I think we have the tools to make these changes. However, we have to start with teaching and modeling with the young folks in preschool and those of elementary school age. It’s obvious to me that our priorities (federal government-legislators) with defense, military and homeland security get in the way of change that I’m thinking about.

More to be said later on. In the meantime, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating. Everyone knows how to move; everyone knows how to smile; everyone knows how to laugh-maybe, bonding, loving and appreciating are more difficult.

Source: Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2012.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Movement While Aging

 "If you do not change direction, you may end up where you are heading."
– Lao Tzu

It is been said that staying fit and maintaining a healthy weight is important for successful aging. It has also been said that there’s a lot of functional limitations associated with aging, especially with people in their 50s and 60s. One such study found that individuals 50-59, who suffer from conditions like arthritis, had difficulty climbing stairs and walking several blocks. This would suggest that if you’re in this age group and are experiencing pain and having difficulty with physical, functional limitations that there are still options. Perhaps, if you still have an exercise routine you might have to modify or adjust that instead of stopping altogether.

We know that sitting is detrimental to your health regardless of age. For instance, your body becomes stiff and uncomfortable with too much non-movement. Being sedentary also results in muscle fiber connected tissues contracting as the fibers become stiffer and less flexible. When this happens, the body produces less and less of its natural lubricating substances. When tissues ,muscles become dry ,short and flexible they are more likely to tear since the inactivity  lowers the blood supply to the bones and with lower blood supply the bone become brittle more fragile.

Perhaps, more walking and or being in a pool might be a better alternative. A few years ago I was in Kansas City performing a book signing for “It Has Nothing to Do with Age”. Ed Budde, who played for the Kansas City Chiefs for 14 years joined me in the signings. Ed   suffered numerous injuries associated with playing in the NFL. He was, for example, having difficulty with locomotion and I suggested that he find a pool in which to do aerobic exercise.

Just recently I was at Michigan, doing book signings for Bo’s Warriors with the men that I profiled. I must say, that I don’t have any difficulty, suggesting various forms of exercise for these former players either. I hope that I am a good model, and they know that I walk the walk.

I know it’s easy to give advice to others. And, I hate to use scare tactics of what happens to our body without exercise. However, the alternative is scary, dreadful and it also lowers life expectancy from chronic disease, etc. For me, I pride myself in being physically fit as that is my goal. Yesterday, Tony joined me as we hit the trail and it was good.

In ending, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating. Sources include: the Wall Street Journal April 9, 2012 and the British Medical Journal.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Is a Retirement Home the Best Option?

Last Sunday, Linda and I were in Northville, Michigan, where I was accompanied by Fritz Seyferth. Fritz and I were signing books “Bo’s Warriors” Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football at the local Barnes & Noble. We were joined by our friends Dave and Joyce who live near us in California. Dave’s mother, age 91 lives in Michigan.

Dave was talking to us about his mother who still is sharp as a tack. In the last year or so, she moved from her home to a retirement-care facility in order to prepare for her future. She was anticipating that she would require assistance down that road. However, after a year she realizes that she made a mistake. The idea of anticipating future assistance makes sense on one level. Dave’s mother did not anticipate that by moving into a new environment she lost the familiarity and the autonomy of living in her home. Not only that, she lost valuable human connections.

As you know, I propose, exercise, along with proper eating for good health. Not to be overlooked in any way are our relationships. Dave’s mother at age 91 would agree.

My mother lived by herself and was a couple of months short of age 93 when she passed. I remember talking to her about moving to a “facility” and she refused. I must admit that she was right and I was wrong. When you are cognitively sharp and mobile there is no reason to move into institutionalized living. We see a rise in home health care that can provide semi-nursing assistance. That seems to be a better model for many.

Do not forget to check out your options. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating.