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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.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ask Paul Simon About leaving Your Lover

Self-Reflection, Emotions and Breaking Up There was an article in The New York Times, January 18, 2015 that gave an example of the best way to get over a breakup. A psychology professor and graduate student evaluated the self-reflection of 210 individuals ranging in age from 17 to 29 who had recently broke up with her partners. In one group, the individuals filled out a questionnaire pertaining to emotional feelings and then completed a four minute assignment in which they were asked to talk into a recording device and give responses to various questions that pertained to self-evaluation at intervals of 3, 6, and again at 9 weeks.

   The second group filled out the questionnaire at the beginning, as well as the end of the nine week exercise. Then, they did the speaking exercise only once after filling out their final questionnaire. Thus, the first group were given more opportunities to think and to mull over their responses regarding self on three separate occasions. It is suggested that these pertinent questions, assisted, these individuals into insights into their character.

   The researchers found that the first group experienced greater improvements in self-concept clarity [the degree to which you understand yourself as a person]. Briefly, the difference or explanation given by the researcher was that the speaking exercise helped people because it changed their thinking about their sense of self that was independent and separate of their former partner. This researcher thought that getting back a sense of self after breakup was extremely crucial.

   Perhaps another variable not measured might account for the differences in self-concept clarity. Given an opportunity to think about self might have changed an individual’s thinking. Learning, reflecting and thinking that the world is not coming to an end and that one can spend their time differently and productively can add to defining self. I agree that the sense of self is a very important variable and how thinking can change perception of self. The key is separation, individuation or a separate and independent self from partner. Otherwise, symbiotic attachments and other unhealthy components like dependency can surface and be suffocating.
 
    Thus, looking at the change [process] in thinking might provide more clues as to breakup efficiency. Further, it would be interesting to look at different character types to assess if some individuals can better utilize the self-reflection or emotional tool.

   Paul Simon’s 1975 song “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover” alludes to this research. For example, let’s take a look at some of the lyrics: “the problem is all inside your head” she said to me….. I’d like to help you in your struggle to be free….. Make a new plan, Stan…… Just get yourself free…… These lines of the Simon song acknowledge that the problem is in your head, which relates to thinking and perception of self. I’ d like to help you in your struggle to be free , suggests the struggle for separation and individuation while make a new plan gets one thinking about other ways to live and do things with their life. Just get yourself free again is to remove dependency issues by becoming separate emotionally.

 While this is going on, keep smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

How to Fast, Effectively

I think many of us believe that fasting is a good thing. An article in the January 18, 2015 edition of The New York Times Magazine had an article about two different studies with mice. Perhaps, you might apply this to your own eating habits. And in the process, rethink about dieting.

Essentially, researchers at the Salk Institute had mice eating in different patterns. For example, they had some mice eating high-fat food whenever they wanted; and other mice had the same diet, but could only eat during an eight hour time window. And none of the mice exercised. In this study, the mice that ate at all hours grew chubby and unwell with symptoms of diabetes. However, the mice on the eight hour schedule gained little weight and developed no metabolic problems.

In the other study, Salk researchers fed groups of adult male mice, one of four diets: [1. High-fat 2. High fructose 3.  High-fat and high sucrose 4 regular mouse kibble. Even though the choleric intake for all mice was the same, some were allowed to eat whatever they wanted in their waking hours while others were restricted to 9,12 or 15 hours of eating. The findings were: mice eating at all hours were generally obese and metabolically ill. But mice eating within a 9 or 12 hour window remained sleek and healthy, even if they cheated occasionally on the weekend. So in other words, time restricted eating prevented obesity.

These researchers believe that mealtimes effects circadian rhythms. This result influences the genes that involve metabolism. Whether or not their explanation is fully understood, the results speak for themselves. Just think, if you eat your last meal around 5 PM in the evening and then your breakfast is around 7:30 AM, you will have fasted 14 ½ hours. And just think if you do that, five days a week. And this is without exercise. Just think if you add exercise to this program?


In the process, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Josh Barro, Economics and Working Out

How many of you have ever had a gym membership? And if you had one, for how long did you attend? Further, did you get your money’s worth from that membership? There are economists and corporations attempting to figure out how to get people to continue their attendance and workouts because of the high discontinued or failure rates. Studies have shown that people discontinue in great numbers. Just think what a gym facility would be like, if everyone attended. It would not be fun, as you’d likely be waiting for that machine or free weight.

Economists have come up with incentives to see if they can motivate people to continue their workouts. Certainly paying for a gym membership upfront doesn’t seem to work. One study gave undergraduates free iPods loaded with audiobooks of their choice. The students were told they could listen to them only at the gym. Initially, that worked for a while [for about seven weeks]. In another study, with a Fortune 500 company, the employees were paid $10 per visit up to three times a week to work out. Then after four weeks there were no payments but the workers were offered a contract. The contract set aside their own money that would be released to them only if they worked out over the next two months. Otherwise, that money would be given to charity. Those that had commitment contracts worked out after three years [about 20% worked out more than those that hadn’t been offered cash or any other incentive.] So, this worked for 20% of those employees. The researchers concluded that self-funded payments seem to be able to change workout habits for some people. The New York Times, January 11, 2015.

For me, an iPod; $10 per visit; or some commitment contract in and of itself would likely not work. I like goals. My goal has to be relevant, concrete, and attainable by me alone and easily measured. For example, for the last 12 or more years, my goal has been to run at least 50 miles per week. That week could be one to seven days [this week I ran over 50 miles in five days]. I decide where to run and what day to run. All I have to do is total the number of miles per day. If I’m ill, or go on vacation then I don’t worry about my mileage total that week.

That goal has been relatively “easy” to attain. Since it’s a sub goal for competing in some running, riding event, or for my physical and mental health. The running goal is also related to running and competing with friends. In essence, running meets a number of motives [Often I clear my head, while running, and even write a post in my mind.] Running for just an iPod or money does not appeal to me.  It’s been said that if you enjoy something, it’s better than having to make money while doing it. I agree.


Don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating in the process.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Islamist Gangs are Racist,Criminals and Murderers

   Racist Islamist Gangs are  a Group of Criminals and Murderers
 I am disappointed to say the least in how our media portrays today’s so-called terrorists. They refer to these groups of people as radical Islamists and misinterpret their motivation. And of course, when a terrorist or racist thug mentions God or Allah that reinforces this incorrect and misguided motivational label. Since when is Islam a religion of hate, sadism, and/or sadomasochism? And since when does Mohammed preach the opposite of love? Further, how can Allah be so  dull , imperceptible and ignorant when it comes to satire, Charlie Hebdo cartoons and/or comedians? Allah is likely loving, judgmental, smart and all-knowing when it comes to current affairs.

If Allah were alive, Allah would not be upset, angry and want revenge when it comes to a mere cartoon or someone making a joke about religion in today’s world. Certainly, Christ or the Hebrew God Elohim would not reinforce or feel good about killing a journalist or Solomon Rushdie for writing about or critiquing the religion of Islam.

Many of these thugs hide behind the religion of Allah. These ruffians are not about love or living a life with human connections or brotherhood. These racist criminals are not about making a better world for all. Many of these racist criminals are unconnected, have little social skills, and simply cannot take part in society today. They are fooling themselves about who they really are. Certainly, unemployment, poverty, income inequality and lack of social mobility affects many and contribute to their stress and not fitting in well in society.

If we peel away, their talk about Allah or their hateful prayers, what do we find at the unconscious level? We find evil, hate, sadomasochism and a life without generativity [Guiding the next generation in creativity and productivity]. The pretense of religion allows these misguided souls to act out their unconscious character structure. They misuse religion. It allows them, unconsciously if you will, to mask who and what they are.


And so the press buys in to what they say, instead of focusing on their behavior. The key is not what they say but what they do. We are not defined, as humans, by words. Instead, it’s our behavior that tells the story about our values and our character structure. We love by our ability to love others   or we kill by killing others [Revenge], and rationalize the act. This criminal behavior is clearly destructive and hateful to others with the cruel beheadings and to self with suicidal behaviors [Fighting it out with the police, or blowing oneself up with a bomb]. They seek out other gangs such as Hezbollah etc.  that have the same or similar negative character types. [Grossly selfish, callus, irresponsible, unable to feel guilt, low frustration tolerance and blame others for their behavior.] They are dangerous gangs of racist criminals and make no mistake about it. Let’s call them what they are- racist criminals and murderers and their motivational cause is hate.

Friday, January 9, 2015

When Swearing Is Good for You

  
  When Swearing Is Needed or Necessary

In the December 10-11, 2011 Wall Street Journal, there was a summary about dealing with pain. Pain is frequently encountered, especially as we age. Of course, we don’t have to age to experience pain. And we also know that there are levels or degrees of pain. Just go into a doctor’s office and the nurse will likely ask you to, on a scale of 1-10, rate your pain level.

About a month ago, my wife Linda had her second knee replacement. So the study that follows seemed pertinent. In this study, 71 undergraduates held their hand in a container of near freezing water for as long as they could. The variable studied was the use of obscene or offensive swear words. In other words, would swearing activate, fight or flight responses that have been known to release opiates?

In this research, swearing helped nearly ¾ of the students deal with pain. In other words, they endured the test for a longer period of time [Average length of time improvement was 31 seconds or about 50% over non-swears].

 I suggested to Linda that she start swearing when she was experiencing pain related to her surgery. Initially, she had difficulty using cuss words. At first, when I reminded her, she would say or give a word without much enthusiasm or conviction. As I continued coaching and/ or reminding her over time, she improved somewhat. For her, when experiencing the pain, swearing didn’t come immediately to her mind.

Linda had to practice swearing so that her reaction became more immediate, more credible or believable. So, it’s not clear if swearing can help reduce her pain. Another idea about confronting pain, is to re-frame thinking. Instead of calling it pain, refer to it as discomfort. By re-framing, one can then think about the discomfort differently as the associations associated with discomfort are very different than the associations associated with pain. Hopefully, perception will allow you to think differently about the workings of your body and yourself.

Next time you’re having difficulty or when things aren’t working properly, consider swearing and re-framing. Like everything, practice can make it better.In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Collecting and Hoarding

 Am I just collecting or am I hoarding? Do you know anyone that collects animals, i.e. cats; clothing, books, magazines, newspapers or some other mixture of items? Do you know anyone who engages in excessive buying that often creates a financial strain? Do you know anyone that has difficulty discarding their possessions? Do you know anyone that creates clutter in their living room, in their bedroom, in their garages, making it difficult to find a place to sit down? When shopping the hoarder likes to touch and handle things and has difficulty walking away and controlling that urge to possess and buy. Perhaps this individual is aging and also seems to invite you less and less into their home. In any event, there are other characteristics of hoarding.

According to Erich Fromm, the hoarding character is orderly and stingy with things, thoughts and feelings. The person has difficulty dealing with things that seem to be out of place. And only he can put them in order, which means the person controls the space. Irrational punctuality and/or compulsive cleanliness are other behaviors that allow the person to control time and things. This orderly individual is generally not overly clean, but could be actually dirty. And this person, often prevents anything from leaving the living space by saving. For the individual that saves, it is like fortifying his home, garage [Fortress]. And of course, that person is also stubborn and often obstinate.

This character trait allows the individual to employ possession as a means of security, or feeling safe in a dangerous world. If you possess it, you control it. Then it’s yours and yours alone. In essence we are talking about employing possession to control an irrational or dangerous world.

So if you know a collector or hoarder, you might consider suggesting professional help. And that task often presents a problem for the helper.

One might ask, what does this have to do with health and well-being?  More than likely this psychological character trait can get in the way of productivity and relationships which interferes with maximizing growth. In other words, this trait get in the way and limit one’s life. If your orientation is for hoarding , it’s the antithesis of health.


Moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating is a healthier way to orient yourself to the world.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Resilience and DNA

An article in the November 30, 2014 edition of the New York Times brings to mind the Nature-Nurture argument. Simply put, is man more or less controlled by his nature or DNA [Machiavelli, John Locke] versus nurture- the conditioning within society [Rousseau]?   More recently, the nature idea was put in place in the 30s with Nazism and their supposedly superiority of race.

In this article, the question of whether or not positive interventions like preschool helps all children equally. In reality, some children seem more delicate, and appear to have it more difficult if exposed to stress and deprivation, but do better when given a lot of support and care. Others, it appears seem to be more resilient to the negative aspects of their environment and appear not to benefit much from positive experiences and support.  Research is attempting to differentiate which children should be given help and which children should not be given assistance. This has implications for state, local and federal funding. Who would argue to give assistance to children if they do not benefit from it?

 The research, in question, was designed to determine and identify which children are more susceptible to both negative and positive interventions. This research looked at the genetic makeup of children. Research findings suggested that people who carry certain variations of short alleles of the gene 5-HTTL PR [this gene transports serotonin] has been linked to depression. While long alleles of the dopamine receptor gene, DRD 4 have been linked to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder diagnoses. And children who carry either or both of these genes appear to be the most adversely affected by negative experiences and seem to benefit most from supportive ones. While children, who don’t have either of these genes, seem relatively immune to the effects of both supportive and unsupportive environments.

The question: Should our society seek to identify by DNA these most susceptible children and target them with special programs?

Watching the movie Hidalgo, while on the elliptical, got me thinking about this particular article. In the movie, Frank T. Hopkins, played by Vigo Mortensen, rode his Mustang Hidalgo in a 3000 mile horse race against pure blooded Arabian horses. In the movie, the theme was that the bloodline of the Bedouin riders horses were superior and unequaled [nature]. However, Hopkins challenged that notion and talked about the will of man [nurture], and the will of the horse.
As an equestrian, we always talk about both the breeding of the horse and the heart of the horse. That distinction refers to the characteristics of that horse, but also the bonding that takes place between man and animal. And we sometimes think that the horse is either going to protect us [nurture] or run until it drops because that horse doesn’t want to let us down.

For me, I believe there is an interaction and relationship between nature and nurture. I have a younger brother, [5 years] and younger sister [10 years]. They are highly intelligent and competitive, especially when it comes to education and career. My brother is a physician and my sister a CEO headhunter of information technology. We all had the same parents, actually attended the same elementary, high school and universities [Wayne State and the University Michigan]. One could make a strong argument for DNA similarities.


However, I excel in sports and health and am in superior physical condition compared to both of my siblings. I don’t know how much variation in the DNA there is between us, but I do know mental toughness differentiates us. I am not ready, at this juncture, to rely solely on DNA differences to start subgrouping either people or children.

PS

Tony, Randall, and I ran the 10 mile trail run event on New Year’s Day. Tony, believes his completion time was similar to last year. This year’s run was a little longer and more challenging than in the previous 5 years. I’m not convinced that I ran faster than last year, but I do believe I ran well and am pleased to start the New Year In my present condition.
As I say, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating for 2015.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

A Few 2014 Memories

Hello 2015

Goodbye 2014 and hello 2015. Looking back at this past year, there have been many highlights. Since I’m into health, I am pleased to report that my Achilles discomfort has just been practically eliminated. This means that I’ve taken very little ibuprofen or Advil this past year.  I ran a 10 mile trail run; two 50 K trail runs; 2 marathon trail runs; a half marathon trail run and a 10 K competitively. During the 50-52 week calendar year, I put in on average, 50 miles of running with some elliptical thrown in per week. My conditioning has been fine.

My recent book Bo’s Warriors-Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football was released in September. Linda and I went back to Michigan for the initial book launch for book signings and interviews with the players interviewed in the book.

Mike Keller, Fritz Seyferth, Reggie McKenzie, Linda Gusich and her two sons, Jim Brandstatter [the Duke] and his wife, Jim Betts, and his wife, Thom Darden and his wife, and many others were met at the Big House. Mike, Fritz, the Duke, Jim and Thom were involved in the book signings. Jim Betts, and Mike Keller and the Duke accompanied me at a Michigan alumni presentation in Ann Arbor, were we shared the stage with Michigan’s football coach Brady Hoke.

Jim Betts and Mike Keller accompanied me on a radio interview, and another radio interview on the Jim Brandstatter -Brady Hoke radio show. The time, in Ann Arbor was great and filled with fun memories. Prior to going Ann Arbor, my wife, Linda and I traveled to Charlevoix, Michigan [close to the Mackinac Bridge] for a family reunion with cousins and family. That was good to reconnect with the Detroit family. We have reunions every 1 to 2 years. In 2015 we are likely to meet in Ann Arbor.

I am pleased that I’ve been able to maintain trail running along with the book promotion. Likely, 2015 will be more of the same. With the Jim Harbaugh, hiring as Michigan’s new football coach, the year could be very exciting. Jim Harbaugh played for Bo Schembechler and was coached by Gary Moeller, among others. The University of Michigan family is intact and well-connected.


On New Year’s Day, I am running the 10 mile trail run with Randall and Tony. After, we will party and my home. In the meantime, Go Blue; keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, appreciating and loving.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Finding the Edge


 Looking for the Edge

 Athletes are competitors looking for that edge. The advantage could be found in diet, training methods, the latest piece of equipment or some other man-made creation. Just ask Alex Rodriguez, Lance Armstrong, Mark McGuire, or even South African cyclist Daryl Impey about their secrets. Mr.Impey purchased some pills (sodium bicarbonate or baking soda. During intense exercise, the acidity of your blood increases and eventually interferes with muscle contractions and baking soda neutralizes this rising acidity) from a pharmacist to boost his performance on the Tour de France. Later, the authorities announced that he had tested positive for probenecid, which is a substance sometimes used to mask the presence of other drugs. As it turned out, the pharmacist said that he did sell him the capsules and used a pill counter that was contaminated from selling probenecid to a previous customer. Fortunately, Mr. Impey was exonerated.

Other illustrations of looking for the edge Include the following: 1. The ancient Greek athletes ate hallucinogenic mushrooms; 2. The Tarahumara of northern Mexico ingested peyote; 3.  The 1904 Olympic marathon winner, Thomas Hicks, had his doctor dosing him , while running, with a small mixture of brandy and strychnine [a stimulant, but in safe  amounts].

 In the 20s, drugs began to be used more frequently, and was considered to be negative to sport. And in 1928, the anti-doping authorities created list of banned substances. They’re constantly updated to deal with the new wave of drugs such as steroids in the 60s and 70s and hormones such as EPO in the late 80s.

Examples of other aids used to enhance performance Include: 1. Creatine -the muscle builder that increases energy stores available for short-term all-out efforts. 2. Pseudophedrine the decongestant over-the-counter medication like Sudafed (a stimulant). 3. Caffeine, which fights mental fatigue, and also affect muscle contraction and metabolism 4. Tylenol which boosts endurance performance by 2% 5.  Beet juice which has the same nitrates found in hot dogs. Nitrates are converted with the help of bacteria in saliva into nitric oxide, which enables muscles to use less oxygen when contracted and by estimates, increase performance by 2%. 6. Viagra and even hornet larva extract. Check out the research.  7. Move to Kenya or the rarefied air of Colorado because it boosts red blood cell, or sleep in a deep pressurized tent that simulates thin mountain air.

If you’re competing in a sport regulated by the World Anti-Doping Agency, their code includes the following no-no’s. 1. If the substance enhances performance; 2. If it carries a potential health risk and 3. If it violates the spirit of the sport. The spirit of the sports says that we should play by the rules. Remember when McGuire, Canseco, Sosa and other players used, or when Lance Armstrong said the same. Regarding the cyclists, they were punished because they lied about its use. The lying seemed to be a major issue. It may even overshadowed the “spirit of the sport.”

If you can afford it, move to Colorado, or to Kenya. If not, you have caffeine, beet juice, baking soda or even Tylenol available at your nearest supermarket.

Or be like Tony, he had a few months off from running and he developed a head cold. Did these aids assist him, in running over 15 minutes faster than he did in last year’s 50 K at this time?

In any event, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating. Source found in the New York Times, November 30, 2014.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Jim Harbaugh's Midlife Crisis

 Jim Harbaugh’s Midlife Crisis

Jim Harbaugh is presently the head football coach of the San Francisco 49ers. For the past month or so, the media has been reporting that Jim Harbaugh is out as far as the San Francisco 49ers are concerned for 2015. The media has also reported that Jim is being recruited for a head coach coaching position by the University of Michigan and the Oakland Raiders.

Jim was an All-American quarterback for the University Michigan back in the late 80s. Jim’s first NFL coaching position, as quarterback coach, was for the Oakland Raiders, in 2002. Jim also attended high school in both Ann Arbor and Palo Alto. He was even head coach for the Stanford Cardinals prior to taking the San Francisco 49er position.

If all the media reports are true, Jim’s dilemma is apparent. Although he had close knit ties, in the past, in Ann Arbor, he has more current connections in the Bay Area. Michigan’s football program at the moment is less than ideal as is the Oakland Raider’s. Both programs desperately need to improve.

If it’s a matter of prestige, and sibling rivalry [Jim’s brother John is a Super Bowl winner-the pinnacle; Jim has outperformed his father, “only” an assistant coach with the Wolverines and the Cardinals] then the NFL would more than likely win out. I’m sure that there’s another NFL head coaching position, [And win a Super Bowl like his older brother] in the cards. For Harbaugh, if it’s a matter of “returning home” to one’s glory in adolescence and young adulthood, then Ann Arbor is the place. It’s been said that you can’t go home. If Harbaugh returns to Ann Arbor, he would return home. If it’s a matter of present connections, current residence, Bay Area familiarity, then, the Raiders would win out.

Harbaugh just had a birthday and is now 51 years of age and is in a midlife crisis so to speak. His life for the past 45 years or so has been sports and football but not necessarily in that order. His identity is that of a football player and coach. Since retirement from professional football, Harbaugh has been working with young men in both a mentoring and teaching role. I cannot imagine a major change in direction for Jim. As he’s progressing developmentally through life’s stages, Jim is in his second marriage. [Intimacy versus isolation] and is in the generativity versus stagnation stage.

Developmentally this mature man is focused on guiding and teaching the next generation through the vehicle of football. Jim has touched many young men in the last decade or so. He has gained their trust as expressed by creating a team with winning football. He has a gift of being an outstanding athlete with a super professional career and is in a position to reap economic security.

Even though Jim may be released by the San Francisco 49ers, his future looks great. Jim is an exceptional position during his psychosocial stage of development. Whatever he does, or decision that he makes is likely to be a terrific one. Good for him.


PS

I have no trouble admitting that I am a fan of both the Oakland Raiders and the Michigan Wolverines.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Social Status Level and Health and Tom's Birthday Run

 Socioeconomic Class and Health

The world has become more complicated and more stressful in the last 40 to 50 years. We have experienced  political assassinations, racial rioting  , threats of nuclear destruction, military- industrial complex buildup, economic system disaster, unprecedented contrast between the haves and have-nots, collapse of the middle class, numerous and frequent military encounters, radical terrorist threats, etc.

There is a correlation between stress- insecurity and with an increase in escapism-books, movies, idols, entertainment and especially sports on the college and professional level. I’m saying there is an association for sure and likely a cause-and-effect relationship. More and more individuals are feeling powerless, insignificant, bored, depressed, and anxious and   searching for meaning in their lives. This also results in an unbelievable increase in drugs/medication, legal and otherwise to deal with their unpleasant reality.

As people become more and more left out of the top 1% of economic wealth in this country, that means what’s left becomes a shrinking middle class and lower class levels of socioeconomic status. Education was once the vehicle to escape poverty and to move up in social class. However, now college has become extremely expensive and young adults and their parents take out loans to pay for college. And with the shrinking opportunities for good jobs, many graduates are faced with unbelievable debt and limited ways to overcome their situation.

Unfortunately, there’s a relationship between socioeconomic status and health. A recent article in the Journal of Evolution, Medicine and Public Health found that even in the Tismane [egalitarian foragers in the Amazon] culture, individuals with less political influence( compared to high levels of influence), had higher levels of the stress hormone cortisol and respiratory infection, which is the most common cause of sickness and death in their society. Further, it’s believed that adults who experience low socioeconomic status in childhood show heightened cortisol responses as adults, regardless of their current socioeconomic status [The New York Times, December 14, 2014].

We know that diet and physical activity are related to health. We can now add socioeconomic status. Therefore, we should have a universal health care system for all to assist with the myriad of health issues that start at an early age. It’s unfortunate that individuals who are psychologically and psycho socially close to, but above the poverty line, often resent those living just below it. This resentment turns into a withholding-controlling attitude and not giving which is not   humanistic, but selfish like.

From Tony: Frank had to miss Tom's birthday run this year. ( Home taking care of his wife Linda) This was the 20th year we have done this to celebrate Tom's B-Day. Tom turn 63 same age as me. we have all been running and riding  off and on together for about the same amount of time great group of people to be with now even the kids are joining us. Happy Birthday Tom!!



Regardless of your socioeconomic class, keep moving, smiling, laughing, loving, bonding and appreciating when you can.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Linda's Surgery


Linda’s One Tough Lady

 Last Friday, December 12, my wife Linda had her second knee replacement. Her first knee replacement operation was performed on October 13 of this year. Linda’s second surgery seemed smoother than her first. In fact she only spent an hour in recovery. In October, the recovery took longer as she was nauseous. Before having this second operation, we talked to the doctor, about her difficulty with the medication prescribed. We wanted to make sure the changes would be made prior to the second surgery.

When I visited her after her time in recovery, she was alert, smiling and happy. Things were going well and I expected to take her home the following day.  Saturday morning I received a call from Linda and she said, “Come get me, I want to come home.” When I reached the hospital around noon, she was walking around and seemed hyper. That medication really worked. She felt good on the drive home from the hospital.

However, the next day, she began to experience more and more pain and was less chipper. We talked to the nurse and there was an adjustment made to her medication. With additional medication, she felt a little better by Tuesday. Then came Wednesday and she was discouraged because of the recurring pain as she experienced difficulty walking. In fact, she was unable to put her heel down on the floor without experiencing pain.

She had a physical therapy appointment Wednesday afternoon and received treatment about how to walk properly. She was told that her pain was normal and that she just had to work through it. So by hearing that she was progressing and that her discomfort was normal, made all the difference. Instead of stopping because of pain, she learned that she had to push despite the pain. That was all she needed because her attitude changed and she then began walking and doing her stretching exercises as recommended.


So far, each day, little by little, she has progressed. Good for her because she’s a tough lady and she will get through this no doubt with flying colors. Remember, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating and good things will happen.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Tackling Diabetes

As you may know, since 1991, the rate of diabetes has increased dramatically. This past November 14, was World Diabetes Day and recognized worldwide in more than 160 countries. We can thank the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization for recognizing that disease. The date was chosen because it honored the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who was recognized as one of the researchers involved in the development of insulin.

According to the American Diabetes Association, consider some tips that may help in the prevention from this awful disease: 1] Exercise is recommended because it can help with weight regulation, help lower blood sugar, which boosts sensitivity to insulin. Remember insulin helps keep blood sugar within a safe range. If you don’t currently exercise, make sure you walk for at least 30 minutes per day, reduce your sitting and increase your standing daily. 2] Fiber helps boost blood sugar control, lowers risk of heart disease and helps an individual lose weight. Good fiber sources include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Check out the food pyramid and adjust accordingly. 3] If you’re overweight, make sure to reduce your weight since every pound you lose can improve your health. Paying attention to your BMI is a useful tool as far as waist circumference. 4] Choose nutritious foods and pay attention to your food portions.

As you can see, exercise and nutrition are important variables for good health. And we all know how difficult it is to exercise and eat properly. If you know what to do, but are not doing it effectively, consider talking to a professional, i.e. therapist, nutritionist, or joining a gym. Another idea is to find that App device, if so inclined.

There’s no harm in starting before the Christmas holidays. If you’re too busy, that’s a poor rationalization for your health. What kind of future do you expect, if you are not taking care of you? Continue to keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating along the way.

PS


Congratulations Tony on your 17 minute improvement from last year’s 50 K in Washington State. This means 2015 is going to be good for you.
As you may know, since 1991, the rate of diabetes has increased dramatically. This past November 14, was World Diabetes Day and recognized worldwide in more than 160 countries. We can thank the International Diabetes Foundation and the World Health Organization for recognizing that disease. The date was chosen because it honored the birthday of Sir Frederick Banting, who was recognized as one of the researchers involved in the development of insulin.

According to the American Diabetes Association, consider some tips that may help in the prevention from this awful disease: 1] Exercise is recommended because it can help with weight regulation, help lower blood sugar, which boosts sensitivity to insulin. Remember insulin helps keep blood sugar within a safe range. If you don’t currently exercise, make sure you walk for at least 30 minutes per day, reduce your sitting and increase your standing daily. 2] Fiber helps boost blood sugar control, lowers risk of heart disease and helps an individual lose weight. Good fiber sources include fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Check out the food pyramid and adjust accordingly. 3] If you’re overweight, make sure to reduce your weight since every pound you lose can improve your health. Paying attention to your BMI is a useful tool as far as waist circumference. 4] Choose nutritious foods and pay attention to your food portions.

As you can see, exercise and nutrition are important variables for good health. And we all know how difficult it is to exercise and eat properly. If you know what to do, but are not doing it effectively, consider talking to a professional, i.e. therapist, nutritionist, or joining a gym. Another idea is to find that App device, if so inclined.

There’s no harm in starting before the Christmas holidays. If you’re too busy, that’s a poor rationalization for your health. What kind of future do you expect, if you are not taking care of you? Continue to keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating along the way.


PS

Congratulations Tony on your five minute improvement from last year’s 50 K in Washington State. This means 2015 is going to be good for you.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Yoga is Good

  
"You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving."

– St. Francis de Sales
  Yoga is good for you

 As an ultra-marathoner, it’s not surprising that I support and recommend running for mental and physical health. And, I also believe that trail running is more advantageous than road running. It’s no secret that I average about 50 miles a week of running. However, I know that not everyone is able to run. So, I have no trouble with finding other ways that can help with health.

For instance, in the Blue Shield of California Better Living Newsletter, Fall/Winter 2014, there was some information about discovering the benefits of yoga. The points made were as follows: 1.] Yoga can help reduce anxiety through breathing. When an individual reaches the “alpha state,” this means that it is a helpful way to help our body respond to stress. This state will allow muscles to begin to relax and as a consequence, it lowers heart rate and blood pressure as we begin breathing more easily. Slowing down heart rate and blood pressure are important for a healthy heart. 2] As we know, aging results in our joints becoming less fluid. And when one practices yoga, on a regular basis, this allows joints to become more lubricated and makes the many daily tasks of movements easier to perform. Lubricate your joints and move more easily. 3] Unfortunately, falling is a leading cause of injury among older adults. In fact, one in three adults 65 or older falls. Yoga encourages slow, careful movement that can strengthen muscles. And supposedly the result is better balance, which can help prevent falling.

 On a personal note, even though my muscles are strong, I sometimes fall when trail running. It might be a tree root or rock camouflaged by leaves that pops up and gets me. Since I know that I might fall, especially when I’m tired,  daydreaming and do not pick up my feet, I run with two handheld water bottles for my protection( to break my fall). Maybe, yoga would cut down on my falling or tripping?


I must admit that so far I haven’t taken advantage of learning yoga. That’s something I’m willing to consider. There are no negative side effects of learning yoga. In fact, at times, my sister will do a yoga pose and see if I can do likewise (I smile to myself when I imitate her). In any event, yoga or not, keep moving, laughing, smiling, loving, bonding and appreciating.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Finding Meaning at Any Age

 Finding Meaning 

Just recently I saw the movie “The Grudge Match” starring Sylvester Stallone and Robert De Niro. This movie is about two former boxers of championship caliber. Prior, they split two previous fights. They didn’t like each other then and do not like each other now.  They decided to have another boxing match, even though they haven’t trained but have aged. So, the two of them start training for this fight, which is hyped in the Pittsburgh area.

Although not a great movie, the story depicts two individuals that have a passion for fighting. That passion never left them even though they matured. They still have that” fire in the belly.” It wasn’t difficult for them to come out of retirement and train. It showed that they were willing to sacrifice and put in hard work for something in which they believed. And for Stallone’s character, fighting gave him meaning and he was willing to risk physical injury in the process.

When you have passion, love what you’re doing and that activity gives meaning, it’s not difficult to understand why someone would risk injury. Just ask any professional football player or for that matter any past player and ask them if they would do it again. Their answer more than likely is of course
.
The moral of the story is that when you have meaning and passion in your life you are blessed and more than likely have little regret about the past, involved in the present and look forward to future. Age is simply irrelevant in many respects.


And don’t forget to keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating in the process.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

PTSD in the Military

  PTSD in the Military

I read an article in The National Psychologist-September/October 2014 regarding the effects of war on our military personnel with PTSD. In the article, the following disorders were cited in the Korean War: 1) Gastrological and skeletomuscular. While in the Vietnam War: 2) Thyroid disease, arthritis, psoriasis, and diabetes .And In the Iraq and Afghanistan encounters: 3) Alcohol abuse, arthritis, and digestive disorders, including ulcers and depression.

 Current military PTSD victims report that they feel a burden on society, they don’t belong, and experience emotional negatives related to combat exposure. Research shows that these three variables are most common among those military individuals that exhibit suicide behavior.

Statistics show that suicide was the second leading cause of death among US military personnel. For example, employing data from 2012 shows there were 319 suicides among active-duty service-members and 203 suicides among reserve service-members. On the other hand, there were 237 combat related deaths of active-duty service-members in Afghanistan. Another interesting statistic shows that soldiers who reported abuse as children were 3 to 8 times more likely to report suicidal behavior than those non-abused when young.

Prior to the Mideast military actions, there were about 14 per 100,000 suicides among veterans. Today, that number (Mideast military actions) has more than doubled to about 30 per 100,000.

 It is clear that suicide behavior has increased in the military since the turn-of-the-century.  What might be the cause for increased suicide behavior in our current military?

It would seem to me that being in the military is unlike, in terms of degree, any other experience. For instance, there are countless examples of the closeness of the military brothers that forms especially in combat conditions. These veterans become part of a close knit family and form cohesive bands. In fact, one often hears of one soldier, sacrificing his life in order to save his brothers. So, the survivors have difficulty coping with all the losses from that the experience. Not only that, the survivor often experiences survivor’s guilt. In combat situations, the individual can die, experience physical complications, PTSD, and live with survivor guilt. Does anyone go unscathed?

For the survivors, they go from one intensive support system and then return to the real world. They often believe that they don’t belong, they are a burden to society and lack meaning in their life. How would you deal with mental and physical components, if you just returned to civilian life after combat tours?


We have measures of the economic costs of war for the last decade. However, the human costs cannot be overlooked. I don’t know if our country’s warlike behavior has made us feel safer. And, even if we do feel safer, does this justify the consequences for our veterans?

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Run or Walk for Your Health

I just read a December 5, 2014 article from The New York Times (thanks Tony). As we know, walking has been hyped as being an efficient way as far as aerobic exercise is concerned. Well, this article referenced a couple of studies comparing running to walking. We all know that running is associated with reversing aging in many ways. What about walking? Will it provide the same benefits?

Supposedly, older people who walk typically have a lower incidence of obesity, arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, longer lifespans compared to sedentary people. Everyone talks about the benefits of walking. What is also true is that walking ability declines with age.  Older people who employ walking as their primary exercise, as the years increase, walk more slowly, with greater difficulty, and experience fatigue more easily.

One question that the researchers asked, “is physical slowing inevitable?” Past research of aging walkers found that they begin using more energy with each step that results in making movement more tiring and harder. Then, these researchers wondered “can running affect the physical ease of movement in older people?”

Likely, if you are a walker, you might say” I’m going to stick to walking because of my bad knees or whatever.” However, if your runner, you might say” I’m addicted and I’m going to keep to my running and hope it’s not just a rationalization.”

And then there was research. One group (men and women in their mid to late 60s or early 70s), walked at least three times a week for 30 minutes or more. The other group ran   three times a week for at least 30 minutes or more. Of course, those who have more questions, go to the research. Also, in the procedure were specially designed treadmills that measured biomechanics. The participants also wore masks to measure oxygen intake.

And then there were findings:1) are you surprised that the runners were better, more efficient walkers than the walkers and they required less energy to move at the same pace as the volunteers who walked regularly.2) They even found that 70 year-old runners  had about the same walking efficiency as your typical sedentary college student. On a personal note, I am 10 years older than my sister who has a personal trainer eats healthy, etc.. There is no way that she can walk with me on the hills. Just ask her.

One researchers explanation for the advantage of runners: 1) with prolonged aerobic exercise, mitochondria increases within muscle cells. Mitochondria provides energy for the cells which allows people to move for longer periods of time with less effort. 2) Runners have better coordination between their muscles, which means utilizing fewer muscles to contract for movement, which allows for less energy being used.

For me, psychologically running is important because I can still do it, even though it’s difficult at times. Running allows me to think positively about myself, my health, and my friendships and still allows me to be competitive. In part, that’s why I end each post with: keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.


That is my secret. What is yours?

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Brilliant Chris Christie and Magic Pills

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

Brilliant Chris Christie and Magic Pills

As we all know, we continue to live in the age of the “Pill.” In fact, I remember when “The Pill” came into being, and was the savior as far as birth control was concerned. Well, today the pill remains even more powerful. Just look or listen to all the TV and radio commercials regarding the various benefits that the pill is supposed to provide; follow the advice of that TV or radio celebrity about the advantage of this or that product; visit any number of available health food stores in your community or online; go to the states where any form of marijuana is legalized; or visit your favorite physician to receive that prized prescription. Does that mean that the pill has become one of the commandments regarding better health and that’s all we have to do in order to remain healthy?

We would all agree that Chris Christie is one smart politician, and is just plain brilliant. However, Christie, like many worship the mighty pill. In a recent New York Times Magazine interview, Christie told the interviewer that he is healthy because he takes vitamins. Doesn’t this smart man look into the mirror and see a grossly obese man? We all know or should know that obesity and BMI index is associated with diabetes, premature aging, risk of heart disease and other related illnesses, etc. etc. etc.

Unfortunately, Christie, like others, rely on the distortion and rationalization that’s all they need is a pill and they will be healthy. Let me add that while Christie was doing this interview, he was grazing on a large bowl of Nachos that he loves. This brings to mind a conversation I overheard during a recent Thanksgiving dinner. One  member commented  that she does not understand why she doesn’t lose weight because she exercises. Oh yeah, she brought yummy desserts (there were too many calories to count).

If there is a magic pill, as far as aging is concerned, that would be exercise. Of course, that’s only part of the story. In the book “Stopping the Clock” there’s a chapter on the “Pioneers of Antiaging Medicine and Their Personal Secrets of Longevity. Not one of these pioneers limited their secrets to medication and/or vitamin supplements. I totally agree with the pioneers that we require more than a pill as far as our health is concerned.


If you want my advice, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding and appreciating. I am cognizant that I left out dieting or eating properly, as well as eating in moderation.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Chris Christie ,Vitamins,Lap Band Surgery and Brady Hoke

  Brady Hoke, Chris Christie and vitamins
  Well, today started with a bang. Early this morning, I was interviewed by Warren Pierce of radio station W JR -760 on your dial. During that interview, I talked about Bo Schembechler’s competitiveness during the tumultuous 1960s. Warren was not aware of Michigan’s Mellow Men (Thom Darden, Reggie McKenzie, Mike Oldham and Glenn Doughty, Butch Carpenter, Billy Taylor and Mike Taylor    ) and the fact that Coach Bump Elliott facilitated the rental of that house for these players. I also mentioned that this group of seven men, with Coach Schembechler’s approval, blocked the entrance to the engineering building on campus. The interview time went by so quickly but it was so much fun.

WJR has very special meaning for me. For me, a good portion of my time in early childhood was spent listening to the radio since we didn’t have a TV. As a youngster, listening to the radio, i.e. Lone Ranger, the Shadow, and The Green Hornet etc. was very important in my developing years. Aside from these programs, I also listened to sports, and grew up with announcer Van Patrick.  Patrick was an honorary member of my family. I was a fan of the Detroit Lions, Detroit Tigers, and Detroit Red Wings. The Detroit Pistons were not in town yet.

So thinking about WJR brought back special memories about growing up in Detroit. Even then, sports were extremely important to me. In fact, reading John R Tunis, the author of stories about sports, was also a favorite activity of mine. I read about sports, I listened on the radio to professional sports, and I played unorganized sports in and around my neighborhood. Having the opportunity to go back to my roots, so to speak, was terrific and that started my day.

Then, the stage was set for the Ohio State and Michigan, big game held in Columbus, Ohio. On Michigan’s first possession, Gardner, threw an interception and the Buckeyes scored quickly. Michigan then scored two touchdowns and held the lead until about two minutes, going into the half. However, Ohio State’s quarterback ran for a touchdown, tying the score, leaving little time on the clock. In the third quarter, the Buckeyes received the ball and scored, taking the lead. Michigan came back to score, making it a game until the Buckeyes put the game away in the fourth quarter.

ABC’s announcers were talking about that more than likely this is Brady Hoke’s last game as Michigan’s coach. Maybe Brady Hoke should have taken Chris Christie’s advice. According to an article in The New York Times Magazine November 23, 2014, Christie takes vitamins and lap- band surgery for his health. Brady, if you had done as Chris Christie, perhaps your health and job security would be more secure.

Well, I just completed another 6 ½ miles today and thus totaled a little more than 75 miles of running this past seven day week. I take vitamins, but I also exercise, rest and utilize recreation for my health. And as I say in closing, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating.


Go Blue! There is always next year.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Born in the USA

"Living well and beautifully and justly are all one thing."
– Socrates

  My 75th Birthday

Tuesday was my last trail run in my first 74 years. My trail run today was about 12 ½ miles. I decided to take Tony’s advice and run for at least 57(reversing number 75) miles for the week. On Sunday, I ran a little over 21 miles and a little over 6 miles on Monday. So in my first three days of the week, I totaled over 40 miles. My birthday run today will total 8 to 10 miles with Madhu. That means, I will easily reach my goal of over 57 miles on “Turkey Day.
After a good couple months of easy running, I’m starting to increase my mileage for 2015. On New Year’s Day,  I have registered for a 10 mile trail run (Resolution Run). I also registered for a 50 K (Jed Smith) for February 7, 2015. In December, I plan to register for a 50 K (Way Too Cool) held March 2015.

I must admit I been somewhat distracted as a result of the marketing of Bo’s Warriors-Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football. There have been presentations to the University of Michigan Alumni Association, radio interviews, etc. But now I have to get more serious with my running.

Activities associated with my book have been fun, but simply running on the trail has been a way of life for me. It has provided me with excellent health, friendship and pleasure. In other words, it’s been good for my physical and mental health.


Life has been good as I figured out what works for me. In closing, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating. Further, beat Ohio State
.  Go Blue!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Warren Pierce Show -WJR Radio

While watching Monday night football with Chris and Tony, I brought up the fact that I beat Tony to Cool the day before, even though he took a slightly longer running route. Both Chris and I were delighted that I beat him. After that discussion was over, Tony told me the trail he wanted to run for the next day and I agreed.

Tuesday is our typical running day. As we were heading out to run this morning, he told me he would race me to the wooden bridge at Brown’s bar. Again, he knew that I would likely take a shorter trail. I asked him why he didn’t tell me the night before that he wanted to race. He replied that he didn’t want me to worry and lose a night’s sleep over it. Then he admitted that he wanted to see how he would feel in the morning.

Well, on our race, I heard him coming up behind me, and he caught me prior to the wooden bridge. He was pleased and I was less pleased. I might add that there was plenty of laughter on Monday evening and Tuesday morning regarding our discussion. In essence, we laugh a lot at our idiosyncrasies. Further, Chris was about a 2: 25 marathoner; and Tony and I are still waiting to experience the “runners high.” As far as we are concerned, it’s simply a myth. We all laugh about that also.
On Anot
her note, I was pleasantly informed that I was invited to be on The Warren Pierce Show, Saturday, November 29th at 7:50 AM on station WJR. For those that don’t know, I’ll be talking about my book “Bo’s Warriors-Bo Schembechler and the Transformation of Michigan Football” prior to the Michigan, Ohio State rivalry game. Hopefully, Michigan will pull the upset like they did 45 years ago against the Buckeyes. Make sure you tune in Saturday morning to the show.

 I must admit that I grew up in Detroit, Michigan, listening to WJR, since my family didn’t receive a television set until I was roughly an adolescent. So, I listened to the radio stations WJR, WWJ and WXYZ. Anyway, I’m likely to have many dreams this week that pertain to Detroit.


In the meantime, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating. Don’t forget, Go Blue!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Gestalt Psychology and Boredom

In a recent post ADHD http://ithasnothingtodowithage.blogspot.com/ a psychiatry professor attempted to explain certain ADHD’s symptoms as a result of a chemical imbalance of dopamine in the brain. The idea was that the dopamine receptors, namely D2 and D3 (associated with reward circuits) were fewer in patients with this diagnosis. He talked about symptoms of inattention, focusing, and lack of concentration. For example, apparently this diagnosis affects 11% of individuals in United States ages 4 through 17.

This article brings to mind a study by one of Kurt Lewin’s students (Karsten) in 1928. Kurt Lewin was a brilliant Gestalt psychologist. In his field theory model, he studied the individual within the environment. He believed that behavior: B =f (p, e). Simply put, behavior, is the function of the person (p) within their environment (e). In his model, he defined need as a hypothetical state located within the organism. And that need went into action until the need got met. To simplify, this cognitive field of learning and motivation employed numerous concepts including: topological, vectors, valences, goals, purpose ,foreign hull, barriers, life space, perception, needs ,attention,  and force to name a few.

Some characteristics of an ADHD diagnosis include the following: often fails to finish things he or she starts; easily distracted; has difficulty concentrating on schoolwork or other tasks requiring sustained attention; has difficulty sticking to a play activity; has difficulty sitting still or fidgets excessively.

Keep these symptoms in mind, Karsten in the experiment had her subjects repeat the same task again and again, although the subject was presumably free to stop when he had enough. It was hypothesized whether or not attention, a hypothetical need accompanying a task, could be discharged by having the subject perform it over and over. The results of the study demonstrated that the subjects showed satiation, but apparently tried to overcome it by using various devices or by variation in the task. They showed inattention, and fatigue after a time.

I somewhat replicated this study with my university psychology students. I had them repeat a paper and pencil task over and over again for roughly 15 to 20 minutes. It didn’t take long for satiation to set in for some. In order to deal with their boredom, some enhanced their drawing’s, some wandered and let their pencils repeat the task in various orders; some started talking with fellow students, some became restless; room noise increased; and some got very sloppy with their drawings. There was plenty of distortion of shape, distortion of rotation, perseveration, and integration as satiation set in. In other words, satiation or boredom prevailed with symptoms associated with ADHD. Now of course, dopamine levels of my students were not evaluated. Nor was the ADHD diagnosis made on these college students. Perhaps, some had this diagnosis, along with impaired dopamine levels.
The purpose of this study was to show the effects of satiation within Lewin’s field theory model. The findings suggest that some students act out based upon the repressive, restrictive and boring school environment. So if your child or loved one has some of the symptoms, it is important to evaluate the person’s environment since satiation may be an important overlooked variable.

So, keep moving has many advantages, along with smiling, laughing, bonding, loving and appreciating. When one is bored or satiated, the person acts very differently.

PS

I thought about writing this post on Sunday’s run with Tony. I ran about 21 miles, and that gave me an opportunity to think while I was moving. Running works for me.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

ADHD,Ritalin,Dopamine,Montossori,and Nomadic Hunters and Gathers

  ADHD and Paleontology
An article in The New York Times, November 2, 2014 got my attention. This article was written by a clinical psychiatry professor regarding A. D. H. D., This professor believes that individuals with this diagnosis have impaired, dopamine receptors (D2, D3) in their rewards circuits. And as a result of these lower levels of dopamine receptors, the individual has more problems with inattention. He went on to say that medication like Adderall and Ritalin help by blocking the transport of dopamine back into neurons and this results in increasing their level (dopamine) in the brain.

Further, he went on to say that those that had an ADHD diagnosis in Paleolithic times had an advantage since these individuals were nomadic hunter gatherers. Being a hunter gatherer meant that you were on the search for food and lived the exciting life because you never knew where your next meal was. It also put you in contact, with many different females because of always being on the move. For these, activity novelty and movement were a good thing.  And then man discovered, and invented agriculture. With this discovery came along a life that became more routine, and likely boring.

In other words, having an ADHD diagnosis was an advantage at first in the evolutionary cycle, but that all changed with the invention of agriculture. So today’s ADHD individual seeks curiosity, exploration, manipulation and activity. And if this is true, how can that individual function effectively in a rigid sitting like being at a desk in a school program or sitting at a desk in some office. One theory of motivation is tension reduction. For these ADHD individuals, tension reduction doesn’t work. They need an environment that is actually tension induction.

So this psychiatrist believes that it’s important to be in the right environment for individuals with this diagnosis. More than likely the ADHD person becomes bored, inattentive and restless in many of today’s venues. What becomes interesting to some becomes very negative or uninteresting to the ADHD individual. And an explanation of why some individuals seem to outgrow their ADHD symptoms is because as adults have found work that is more interesting, creative and challenging. They don’t have to function on one thing at one time. They can have three computer screens and leave many Tabs open at one time and flourish in that activity.

It is also clear that some computer games are more drive inductive (inducing), which means the more you play the more excitement and challenge. If you have a child or know somebody that does have an ADHD diagnosis or is doing poorly in school, it might be related to the school environment. And if you don’t want to use meds, then think about changing the school or the teaching philosophy. A Montessori, more hands-on or even a technical training school might assist greatly.


As you know, it’s my motto to keep moving, smiling, laughing, appreciating, bonding, and loving.

ADHD ,Paleontology, Dopamine ,Montessori and Ritalin

  ADHD and Paleontology
An article in The New York Times, November 2, 2014 got my attention. This article was written by a clinical psychiatry professor regarding A. D. H. D., This professor believes that individuals with this diagnosis have impaired, dopamine receptors (D2, D3) in their rewards circuits. And as a result of these lower levels of dopamine receptors, the individual has more problems with inattention. He went on to say that medication like Adderall and Ritalin help by blocking the transport of dopamine back into neurons and this results in increasing their level (dopamine) in the brain.

Further, he went on to say that those that had an ADHD diagnosis in Paleolithic times had an advantage since these individuals were nomadic hunter gatherers. Being a hunter gatherer meant that you were on the search for food and lived the exciting life because you never knew where your next meal was. It also put you in contact, with many different females because of always being on the move. For these, activity novelty and movement were a good thing.  And then man discovered, and invented agriculture. With this discovery came along a life that became more routine, and likely boring.

In other words, having an ADHD diagnosis was an advantage at first in the evolutionary cycle, but that all changed with the invention of agriculture. So today’s ADHD individual seeks curiosity, exploration, manipulation and activity. And if this is true, how can that individual function effectively in a rigid sitting like being at a desk in a school program or sitting at a desk in some office. One theory of motivation is tension reduction. For these ADHD individuals, tension reduction doesn’t work. They need an environment that is actually tension induction.

So this psychiatrist believes that it’s important to be in the right environment for individuals with this diagnosis. More than likely the ADHD person becomes bored, inattentive and restless in many of today’s venues. What becomes interesting to some becomes very negative or uninteresting to the ADHD individual. And an explanation of why some individuals seem to outgrow their ADHD symptoms is because as adults have found work that is more interesting, creative and challenging. They don’t have to function on one thing at one time. They can have three computer screens and leave many Tabs open at one time and flourish in that activity.

It is also clear that some computer games are more drive inductive (inducing), which means the more you play the more excitement and challenge. If you have a child or know somebody that does have an ADHD diagnosis or is doing poorly in school, it might be related to the school environment. And if you don’t want to use meds, then think about changing the school or the teaching philosophy. A Montessori, more hands-on or even a technical training school might assist greatly.


As you know, it’s my motto to keep moving, smiling, laughing, appreciating, bonding, and loving.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gun Violence, NRA and Freud

  
In The National Psychologist, September/October 2014, there was an article titled “American Culture Steeped in Guns.” There were a couple of points pointed out by the writer that included: 1. Middle-aged white men are buying more and more guns 2. The likelihood of white men purchasing firearms increases the farther they live from the city 3. Ads among gun manufacturers involve a warrior in camouflage gear 4. At one time more white men dominated our culture than today 5. This population of white men believe that the gains by minorities in America were not earned through hard work, but instead through special privileges 6. Further, that the educated elite are the ones that are more powerful and have more status.

It should also be pointed out that the human species are the only living organisms that prey on its own kind for reasons other than survival. In the animal kingdom, killing is related to survival, food, territory and procreation.

According to Freud, Fromm and others, humans have the potential for violence, but not all express this aggression. Freud would talk about the unconscious as well as the irrational id (aggressive impulses) being held in check by the superego (conscience). So according to his theory, (and not related to survival, food, territory, or procreation) man’s sexual and aggressive impulses are not successfully being held in check by man’s conscience or superego.

Fromm would add that these gun tooting warriors are purchasing the gun as a symbol (i.e. power protection status), but based on feelings of a disturbed self, inadequacy, insignificance, weakness and vulnerability. It’s safe to say that not dealing with what goes on in one’s inner world can’t be fixed by a gun, guns, or automatic weapons.

The gun manufacturers are smart as they are preying on the vulnerability of this subculture. The put out misinformation such as about restrictive gun laws, threats to the Second Amendment, the shortage of bullets, etc.

So, the likelihood of easily available weapons will remain in our culture; as well as the likelihood for more mass shooters prying on those that are vulnerable.


The moral of the story is to know thyself, keep moving, smiling, laughing, loving, bonding and appreciating. And if you do so, there’s a greater likelihood that you have a well-functioning superego or conscience. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Magical Thinking, Placebos,-We Need Them?


Just last week, while running on the trail with Tony, we talked about motivational strategies that were meant to improve running ability. The following are ideas that I’ve used over the years, my friends have used or I have observed. Some might call it magical thinking.

We can call the strategies an affirmation. For example, when I ran the Western States 100 and I was simply tired and exhausted, at times I said to myself  “I can.” That expression was positive self-talk and used to facilitate and help me to keep going and continue running. Well, I did complete the run, but I don’t know for sure whether or not that affirmation was the sole reason for my success. The dictionary defines affirmation, as the assertion that something is true. I wouldn’t hesitate to give that advice to anyone. However, it’s an interesting research question.

In medicine, placebos are used and the dictionary defines placebo as a medicine given merely to please the patient. I can think of a few research examples by Helen Langer. In her research, Dr. Langer told hotel workers that cleaning rooms was exercise. The women in the study, lost weight, as well as having better BMI scores. In another study, she had eight men in their 70s stay in a decorated 1959 style facility with black-and-white televisions, Perry Como, and Frank Sinatra records, etc. for five days. At the end of five days, these men had lower blood pressure scores and walked more effortlessly likely the way they did in 1959.

I bought a pair of compression socks that are supposedly beneficial and therapeutic to assist in my running. The first time that I wore the socks, I thought they helped. I see many people wearing them during running events, but I can’t say whether or not they work. I also make a morning smoothie after first being introduced to it by my ride and tie and running partner friend Jonathan Jordan. I have a professional blender and put in many fruits, vegetables, nuts, etc. I even add Green Vibrance for additional nutritional benefits. Just think of all the nutritional bars, gels available on the market designed to give you that extra. Heck, you can get a five hour energy drink. That might be great for a trail ultramarathon.

The running shoe manufacturers have developed all types of running shoes designed to give you that edge. Currently I use Brooks as the shoe of my choice. Tony has gone to a shoe that he claims reduces his painful feet after a run. He also has special socks that he uses for races. I prefer tights and Tony wears shorts.

Watching baseball, Johnny Gomes comes to mind. He steps in the batter’s box. Gomes adjusts his gloves as well as his batting helmet(2-3 times) prior to every pitch. Sometimes it looks as if the batting helmet adjustment covers his eyes even though I know it doesn’t. He’s not the only one who has a pattern of behaviors before every pitch. They all seem to have their style.
A number of years ago, I got it in my head that I had to total about 50 miles or more of running a week. That number could be accomplished over seven days, six days, five days or whatever. I was not stuck on the number of running days per week, but only stuck on the number of total miles. Well I’m still continuing that behavior. Some might say that I’m nuts, superstitious, or I even use those numbers as placebos.

Affirmations (the assertion that something is true), placebos, superstitious behavior (a belief entertained, regardless of reason or knowledge), self-deception (deceiving oneself), or even rationalization (justifying the behavior after it happens),all have one thing in common, in that they’re not based on scientific proof, reason or knowledge. So we can all fool ourselves in regards to our behavior or the behavior of others. However, individuals that use the strategies have faith in them. And more than likely no rational argument can convince them otherwise. It’s amazing what goes on between our ears, and hopefully what you believe is beneficial for you.


I must admit that I’m still looking for that edge. On the other hand, I can assert, but I can’t prove that at age 75, I can continue to run ultra-marathons because of my superstitious behaviors. I must admit that writing this piece brings a smile to my face. What brings a smile to your face?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Geriatric , ADA,and The New York Times

 ADA ,Knee Replacement and The New York Times
I just came across an article in the November 2, 2014 of The New York Times that talked about the new buildings and its effects on older people. This geriatric professor pointed out that the new buildings were gorgeous. However, he claimed that some of these buildings had side entrances for the older adult programs because they didn’t want to scare off younger people. He went on to say that the hallway were too long; chairs without armrests; poor lighting; narrow heavy doors; and lack of regularly spaced chairs. He thought that even though these buildings are ADA compliant, they still don’t meet the standards for adults who are older that have physical, sensory or cognitive challenges and might be frail as well.

Statistically over 40 million Americans are 65 or older and 11 million-the fastest-growing segment of the older population are over age 80. The Professor believes that new buildings should be designed to accommodate this population.

My thinking is that I want to be as healthy as I can and not worry about heavy doors, seating without armrests, etc. My wife Linda had knee surgery replacement on October 13, 2014. Her second knee replacement surgery is scheduled for December 12, 2014.

Linda, on her own, called a number of facilities to check out their swimming pool criteria so that she can rehab herself and be ready and strong for that second surgery. No one had to tell her this. Nor did anyone have to write a prescription. Because she is self-motivated, she is taking control over her physical health. Did this trait just start? No, of course not. She has been a self-motivator and physically active individual her entire life. So she takes responsibility for her health like water rolling off a duck’s back. In fact, at this moment in time, she is at the pool. Good for her.

I believe we have to start young and change the thinking and behavior of many, so that when they reach maturity they are physically and cognitively strong to meet the challenges of their individual evolution. So if you want my advice, sir, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding and appreciating.
PS

Oh by the way, today, Tony and I plan to run about 22 ± miles the trail. “If you don’t know the trail, you don’t know where you’re going.”

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Valor,Band of Brothers and Peyton Manning

 Valor, Band of Brothers, Bo Schembechler and Peyton Manning

While I was on my elliptical this morning, I was watching a taped program from a Veterans Day program “Concert of Valor.” While watching this concert, I was moved by the Spirit of the entertainers as well as the audience. It was very patriotic to say the least and that was neat. Early on in the program, an orthopedic surgeon from Truckee, California story was told. After losing one of his two military sons, this surgeon at age 60, wanted to enlist. Initially, he was turned down because of his age, but an intervention by President Bush facilitated his serving. The word valor fits for him and all his fellow comrade veterans.

Valor is defined as exhibiting bravery, especially in battle. The word also suggest heroic courage, being strong and boldness in braving danger. While I was interviewing Mike Keller for my book “Bo’s Warriors” he commented on how he felt connected to his Wolverine teammates and referred to them as “Band of Brothers” Keller made it clear that while playing for Michigan, it felt like being in the military as far as the bonding and love for his teammates was concerned. He was not associating practices and games with actual battle conditions like in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler had no difficulty in providing examples of military generals and historic battles in motivating their players. A key component in forming a band of brothers is the cohesiveness of the group and working for a common goal. Their love, they’re not wanting to let their comrades or teammates down, and submerging their individual egos for the will of the group is unprecedented. Coach Bo Schembechler was a genius at bringing the group and narrowing its focus on the team. For him it was the team, team, and team.

Related to being part of the group is the following: “When you find your trail, keep on it because that will allow you to know your destination.” This simply means that it may take a while to find your path. Commercials like Joe Montana for the correct shoe; Brett Favre for the correct sock; Peyton Manning for the correct pizza; or some correct drink; or some correct compression device; or some correct exercise equipment may work as a placebo to assist while on your journey. Placebos are fine and good motivators. However, remember that motivation, drive, goal, or valor is found from within. When you have found “your trail,” it’ll be perfectly clear, and I mean perfectly clear. Although the journey may have bumps and turns, the path will become clearer and clearer. You’ll know that you found your own pathway.


 For me, some of those early side trails, intersections, etc. included being part of the football team, becoming a PhD psychologist, finding Ride and Tie, ultra running and connecting. It took a while for me to find my way and I’m sure you will too. Remember the trail is not always clear because our goals change. And it may take a while to know or realize that you’re on the right path. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding and appreciating.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Valor,Band of Brothers, Bo, and Peyton Manning

 Valor, Band of Brothers, Bo Schembechler and Peyton Manning

While I was on my elliptical this morning, I was watching a taped program from a Veterans Day program “Concert of Valor.” While watching this concert, I was moved by the Spirit of the entertainers as well as the audience. It was very patriotic to say the least and that was neat. Early on in the program, an orthopedic surgeon from Truckee, California story was told. After losing one of his two military sons, this surgeon at age 60, wanted to enlist. Initially, he was turned down because of his age, but an intervention by President Bush facilitated his serving. The word valor fits for him and all his fellow comrade veterans.

Valor is defined as exhibiting bravery, especially in battle. The word also suggest heroic courage, being strong and boldness in braving danger. While I was interviewing Mike Keller for my book “Bo’s Warriors” he commented on how he felt connected to his Wolverine teammates and referred to them as “Band of Brothers” Keller made it clear that while playing for Michigan, it felt like being in the military as far as the bonding and love for his teammates was concerned. He was not associating practices and games with actual battle conditions like in Afghanistan or Iraq.

Woody Hayes and Bo Schembechler had no difficulty in providing examples of military generals and historic battles in motivating their players. A key component in forming a band of brothers is the cohesiveness of the group and working for a common goal. Their love, they’re not wanting to let their comrades or teammates down, and submerging their individual egos for the will of the group is unprecedented. Coach Bo Schembechler was a genius at bringing the group and narrowing its focus on the team. For him it was the team, team, and team.

Related to being part of the group is the following: “when you find your trail, keep on it, because that will allow you to know your destination.” This simply means that it may take a while to find your path, your trail or your way before you know where you’re going. Commercials like Joe Montana for the correct shoe; Brett Favre for the correct sock; Peyton Manning for the correct pizza; or some correct drink; or some correct compression device; or some correct exercise equipment may work as a placebo to assist while on your journey. Placebos are fine and good motivators. However, remember that motivation, drive, goal, or valor is found from within. When you have found “your trail,” it’ll be perfectly clear, and I mean perfectly clear. Although the journey may have bumps and turns, the path will become clearer and clearer. You’ll know that you found your own pathway.


 For me, some of those early side trails, intersections, etc. included being part of the football team, becoming a PhD psychologist, finding Ride and Tie, ultra running and connecting. It took a while for me to find my way and I’m sure you will too. Remember the trail is not always clear because our goals change. And it may take a while to know or realize that you’re on the right path. In the meantime, keep moving, laughing, smiling, bonding and appreciating.