Subscribe to It Has Nothing to Do with Age by Email Follow Tusk95664 on Twitter It Has Nothing to Do with Age: June 2019
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, June 28, 2019


2019 has been a year of mortality as I lost another friend. Fred Jones in his early 90s recently passed.  Mensa Fred graduated from UC Berkeley with a Masters in biology. He was a Bighorn or large horn sheep expert.  Fred, the mountain man, spent a lot of time on horseback observing and gathering data.
Gov. Pat Brown appointed Fred to head the California State Parks system. During that time, Fred and Wendell Robie met. Wendell wanted favors from Fred and in their exchange Wendell arranged for Paige Harper to lend Fred a horse for him to ride Tevis. Riding with Wendell and Paige resulted in improving Fred’s equine skills. After the Tevis ride completion, Wendell Robie was injured, and asked Fred to hand out award buckles to the finishers. I had Fred provide additional information regarding Wendell that I included in “It Has Nothing to Do with Age.”
Ronald Reagan, elected governor, fired Fred from his state park position. Fred then worked for the Department of Interior and was sent to Iran. Fred and his wife Gloria became good friends of the Shah of Iran’s brother. He has many super stories and their home was filled with artifacts from that experience.
Fred and Gloria have a travel club called the Vagabundos del Mar. They have traveled all over Mexico but have their home base in Loretto. Linda and I were their guests and we went whale watching etc. while visiting them in Loretto.
When I ran the Western States 100, I told Fred that I would likely enjoy a Popsicle at the 16 mile marker of the run which is near our home. Incidentally, that trail is called the Robie. Fred followed my progress on the Internet and then they met me at the appropriate time. Sure enough, that Popsicle hit the spot. Fred kept the Popsicle cold with dry ice. It was perfect.
About six months ago or so, Tony and I were heading out for our run. A bent over Fred was walking up his steep driveway. I told Tony that I was looking at my future [Fred’s about 12 years older than I am]; and that Tony was looking at his future by being with me [I am about 12 years older than Tony].
Loss is one of the problems of aging. We are present one minute, and gone the next. With aging comes sadness, but good memories. And with loss, I think about my own mortality. This year has been tough and a real challenge. I miss Fred.
Other friends that I have written about in my book that have passed include: Jonathan Jordan, Bob Edwards, Mark Richtman, Jim Steere, Jim Harris, Bud Johns, Jack Sholl and Warren Hellman. Unbelievable when I think about it.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Man's Dilemma Part 2

However, each of these outstanding football player athletes had suffered major physical injuries, self-defeating behavior, as a result of their participation with this sport. Although these terrific athletes are about 10 years younger than I am, I still physically run circles around them and have more endurance. Asked if they would do it again, the answer is “yes.” One interpretation is the Pleasure Principle. The Pleasure Principle is based on the satisfaction of impulses and wishes-it’s illogical, without morality, and does not differentiate between good and evil. It is one of the guiding irrational principles in the unconscious. This takes precedence over the Reality Principle. The Reality Principle is associated with reason, understanding, truth and the postponement of gratification, satisfaction or reward .It’s focus is that which takes place in the external world.  In essence, the Reality Principle modifies the desires and wishes of man’s requirements within his life space.  In reality, we are most aware of the difficulty of ex- players adjusting to the regular world; of the significance of CTE concussions, short term careers and the physical injuries sustained which are part of the sport. Consciously, those realities did not seem to deter behavior.
Other examples of the Pleasure Principle, its irrationality, and self-defeating behavior being dominant over Reality Principle can be illustrated by individuals joining military service during the last 18 years or so, of wars in the Middle East. These individuals are likely, if they are to return, to a troubled home life, to loss of limbs and a posttraumatic stress disorder diagnosis. This group of warriors also have the highest rate of suicide as well. Yes, abasement, achievement, affiliation, aggression, counteraction, defendance, dominance, are some of their need structures met by joining the military. Do not forget their Abasement needs.
Two thirds of the US population are overweight and/or obese. Is there anyone, at this juncture, that does not know of the harmful and deadly physical effects of lack of exercise, poor nutrition and excessive weight - the Reality Principle? Yes, I watched the NBA playoffs that was interspersed with commercials of beer, gigantic burgers, and large bag of fries with enormous cups of Coke. Linda just returned from the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland and commented on the large sized people in the audience. She talked about it over and over again.
I’ve heard people say that their knees are bad and exercise and diet are just too hard or they don’t have enough time to exercise. They deny reality and tell me their blood pressure is terrific and also admit that they’re stressed. For the most part, they eat too well and way too much. Once again the Pleasure Principle remains dominant along with their Abasement need. Today’s food is processed with unhealthy and addicting components like sugar. The food industry is smart and knows how to market and addict our food dependency consumers. These unhealthy individuals do not seem to care.
Is there any doubt of the frailty and irrationality in our thinking? Passion needs can easily over rule behavior along with the defense mechanisms that reinforce our irrationality, prudent choice, self-defeating and harmful behavior. Our needs are dominant and rule behavior.  Aggression or self-destruction turned inward are a good example. Yes, life is filled with inconsistencies and irrationality.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Man's Dilemma

This post takes a look at man’s irrational and self-defeating behavior based on the work of pioneers Sigmund Freud and Henry Murray.  In reality, we begin life with the trauma of birth. We are born helpless, anxious, alone and dependent upon another. To compensate for this fragile state of being, we developed strategies for survival, affiliation, development, growth, meaning in life, and our place in the world until death; thus our psychological needs  evolve and are established.
 In the late 19th century, Freud began developing his theory. At that time, there was an absence of large-scale wars within European societies. However, in European societies, there existed puritanical, non-satisfying rigid sexual mores accompanied with guilt. Within that context, briefly, Freud’s model incorporated a psychosexual instinct or drive called Eros after the Greek God of Love. This was a life sustaining instinct, along with drive reduction, unconscious pleasure principle and reality principle as motivating forces. He accounted for aggression within the dynamics of sadomasochism. Then came World War I in the 20th century. He realized that sadomasochism did not realistically account for all the devastating, cruel, horrific destruction and death that occurred during that unfortunate time in the history of Homo sapiens.
 In Freud’s dualistic model, he later hypothesized a second major or destructive instinct to account for man’s inhumanity to man. This self-destructive, aggressive, sadistic will for power or death instinct was later labeled Thanatos after the Greek God of Death.  Later on in the 20th century, Henry Murray created, based on Freudian thinking, and hypothesized a number of needs, not instincts, as human motivational forces. Aggression was one of Murray’s needs. He briefly defined aggression as “To fight. To revenge as injury. To attack, injure or kill another. To oppose forcefully or punish another.” Another of Murray’s needs was called Abasement. He briefly defined Abasement as “To submit passively to external force. To accept injury, blame, criticism, punishment. To surrender. To blame, belittle or mutilate the self. To seek and enjoy pain, punishment, illness and misfortune.”
Let’s start with sport of football to partially explain participation in this dangerous, brutal endeavor. I have firsthand knowledge of NFL friends who excelled in that injury prone sport. These ex-players had terrific careers, received awards and developed a special camaraderie. Yes, Aggression and Abasement needs were prominent. However, they had additional needs met , such as affiliative [ To adhere and remain loyal to a friend]; achievement [To accomplish something difficult]; counteraction [ To overcome weakness and repressed fear]; defendance [ To validate the ego]; dominance [To control one’s human environment]; exhibition [To make an impression]; play  To participate in games, sports, dancing, drinking parties, cards]; sex [To have sexual intercourse]; and succorance [To be nursed, supported, sustained, surrounded, protected, loved, advised, guided, indulged, forgiven, counseled] by participating and being part of the special  fraternity of professional football players.

Friday, June 14, 2019

An Epidemic of Bullying

With the recent Virginia Beach murders, I witnessed more of the same-malignant aggression and destructiveness. In order to fully understand the murderer’s psychopathology, an in depth psychological, neurological and social evaluation would be required. Talking with neighbors and employees provided limited information at best.  As a reult, I can only provide limited speculation.  In doing so, I’m highlighting two variables-spontaneous vengeance and the syndrome of a sadomasochism character.
Vengeance or blood motive has been around for a long time. In fact, the Old Testament, has the “An eye for an eye” or the law of retaliation, whereby a punishment resembled the offence committed in kind and degree. Thus, lex talionis might be in play in the case of this fearful individual. Yes, he was fearful.
Historically, Germany’s loss in WW1, coupled with the injustice of the Versailles Peace Treaty were motivations for its revenge. In fact, it was Hitler that employed revenge. He manipulated and lied about the so called mistreatment by Czechoslovakia. Hitler then used that as an excuse and attacked that country. More about the motive of revenge. Revenge has been prevalent over 2,100 years with the belief that Jews were the killers of Christ which is a rationalization for anti-Semitism. These were a couple of illustrations of retaliation. We do not have to look far, to find countless examples of” getting even “found in current personal, political and everyday occurrences or in the major themes found in books, movies or social media.
Perhaps the murders that took place in that city work place, had something to do with the bully’s perception of being treated unfairly, being slighted, being verbally mistreated or ignored over time. That motive might have contributed to his spontaneous murder-suicide assisted final act. He took control. He determined when, and how of the conditions of his death. That controlling behavior is character related.
Being treated “wrongly, “might be part of this individual’s character in which vengeance was a major trait as in sadism or sadomasochism. Sadism can have a sexual or non-sexual component. Within this character trait, can be found the intensity and tendency of the perversion or passion to control others, to dominate others, to painfully hurt or even kill, and to humiliate another person. Other components of this trait is an attraction to power over others, as in symbolic gun ownership and/or in acquiring wealth.
Physical abuse of children, women and other powerless people that can’t defend or are unarmed are prime examples of the behavior of sadistic individuals. More widespread than painful physical abuse is mental cruelty or psychic pain -the wish to humiliate, to insult or to hurt another’s feelings.  A verbal attack or an attack on social media is safer for the sadist rather than risk a physical attack. Mental sadism can easily be disguised as in asking a question, constant chatter, a smile or a confusing remark. It can also be a disapproving gesture like a rolling of the eyes. Parents inflict psychic pain or embarrassment on their children; teachers on their students; employers on employees; coaches with their players; trash talking between players; pet owners with their animals and of course some threatening politicians. These humiliating sadistic acts often occur in front of an audience. Sadistic behavior runs rampant in our society with meanness being prevalent. Yes, we all exhibit some sadistic behavior. Some more and some less. Hitler was on one end of the scale while Mother Theresa was on the other end.
The inadequate cowardly Virginia Beach sadomasochistic inflicted death and destruction on a number of unarmed helpless individuals. Then he committed assisted suicide or self-destruction, as in Thanatos, in a shootout with the police. Another alienated nobody made the news. However, these news cycles are becoming shorter with less outrage. Are we becoming less sensitive to home grown violence and death?

Friday, June 7, 2019

Goodbye Mark

More sad news when I heard that Mark Richtman recently passed. I was first introduced to Mark in 1997 at the 38 Mile Fort Bragg Ride & Tie World Championship .I had teamed with Paul Robinson for that event. We had finished the first loop and Mark was leaving the third loop, in a gallop, on his horse Eli. Yes, Eli, Mark and, Western States winner, Brian Purcell won that day in 3:53 with Eli winning Best Condition.
Over the next 22 years, I got to know more about Mark. Watching this world class runner run was a treat .He held numerous records and was an outstanding equestrian as well. Despite those distinctions, he was centered, not “full of himself” with an appropriate degree of narcissism.  He was married and his boys were runners also.
In 2002, Mark came in third in the 100 mile Western States Run. When Linda and I put on the Cool Ride & Tie we engraved Mark’s name along with other winners. On one of my Jed Smith runs, Mark was there going after the U. S .record for 50 miles. I remembered Mark lapping Tony and I that day. We critiqued his running form while laughing and enjoying his exploits. After our race, Mark introduced us to Megan Arbogast another world class runner   and Craig Thornley the current Western States race manager. Over the years, Tony and I encountered Mark during our runs on the Robbie trail.
Mark, I miss your smile and positive outlook. You are now running with the Angels.
A few words by Tony.
Sad news indeed what a loss.  Mark was an elite runner but not an elitist. Met Mark doing ride and Tie and endurance riding. First time I saw him was at a Ride and Tie championship I was ahead of him only because I was on the horse at the start and he was on the ground. But it did not take long for him to pass me. Just tied the horse and started up a steep up hill and here comes a guy looking like he was sprinting up the hill leaving me behind. That was my introduction to Mark. Mark was always friendly
At   the Way Too Cool 50K run I would see him often .Always took time out to say hello. Mark also did some endurance riding with his horse Eli. Rode with him a few times at Oakland Hills 50. One ride was especially memorable in that we rode together most of the ride. Coming into the last vet check in 2nd and 3nd place, we were sure we were not going to catch first place so talking at the vet check we decided neither one of us wanted to race our horse in for a 2nd place finish and decided to stay together and try to tie. Well we did our best to cross the line together but because of some silly AERC rule they would not allow a tie so Mark came in 2nd by whisker.
Mark will be greatly missed and this world will be less without him.