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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.

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.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Finding Bill Gates

Finding Bill Gates

Just recently I read an article in the October 26, 2014 edition of The New York Times. The statistics quoted in the article was alarming and brought reality home. It seemed to me that the “American Public” was not getting any smarter and that people just seem more opinionated. In the article, the writer talked about his father, a World War II refugee who did not speak English when he arrived in the United States In 1951. His father, purchased a copy of the New York Times and began to teach himself to read and speak English. Not only that, he graduated from college and eventually earned a PhD and became a university professor. This man bought into the American dream that was possible back then. However, today’s statistics suggest that economic and educational mobility are now greater in Europe than in America. Well, that’s sobering and here are some statistics cited as to why America has fallen behind.

America, at one time, led the world in mass education. By the mid-1800s most American states provided a free elementary education to the great majority of white children. While in Great Britain, in 1870, only 2% of British 14-year-olds were in school. And by the 1930’s, the US was the first major country in which the majority of children attended a high school. And in 1957, only 9% of 17-year-olds in Great Britain were in school. Until the 1970s, we were preeminent in mass education and some believe that was the secret to America’s economic rise. Since 1970s, things have changed dramatically.

For example: 1. currently, more young men in America have less education than their parents (20 versus 29% 2. If your parents didn’t graduate from high school, only 5% of you made it through college. While if you lived in another industrialized country, about 23% of you made it through college. 3. Russia, leads the way and has the largest percentage of adults with a University education. At one time we were first. 4. In 2000, the US ranked a respectable second to the share of the population with a college degree. Currently, we have dropped to fifth place. And, among 25 to 34-year-olds, we are in 12th place behind South Korea in first place. 5. Among industrialized countries, 70% of their three-year-olds are enrolled in educational programs. However, in the United States, the figure is 38%. 6. Although American teachers work longer hours, they earned 68% as much is the average American college educated worker. In industrialized countries, their teachers average, a respectable 88% .7. Our educational system is dependent on local property taxes. That’s great for rich kids in the suburbs and disastrous for inner-city kids who need more assistance.
We have heard for years about economic inequality and maybe something to do with that is related to this negative educational trend. While we have a number of private colleges, we know they are creative in attempting to entice students to enroll. However, that doesn’t seem to solve the diminishing educational enrollment problem in our country.

The priorities in our culture seem to center around the military, homeland security, or in economic terms-guns versus butter as was pointed out by Pres. Eisenhower when he talked about the great military-industrial complex. The government and especially social media, radio and TV have done a great job in promoting fear. Too bad other than Bill Gates were not putting more effort into fixing educational inequality in our country.


Have we lost our way?

Sunday, November 9, 2014

What Is Your Mindset ?

Part Two    Our Mindset
Previous research has shown the power of placebos and the measurable physiological changes that take place. There’s one study that followed 4000 subjects over two decades and found that men who were bald in the study were more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who had their own hair. Langer believes that baldness is a cue for old age, and that these men may actually have been led by their thinking to waist ratio compared to the control group.

 Another study evaluated, the length of sleeping time of subjects... Langer wondered whether the biochemistry of type II diabetics could be manipulated by having the diabetics believe that their blood glucose levels would follow perceived time rather than actual time. In other words, would those levels spike and dip when the subject expected them too simply by telling them they slept either more or less than they actually did. And the findings suggested that’s exactly what happened to these diabetics.

 My wife Linda had a knee replacement about three weeks ago. She was still experiencing discomfort in one area of her knee and was discouraged by thinking something was wrong. She had a post-surgery appointment with her physician. She walked in with crutches. The surgeon told her that she was experiencing discomfort in that area of the knee because that’s where the location of the surgery was and that she should expect discomfort in an area. It was normal and it would eventually be pain-free. He also told her that she could go swimming, go in a hot tub and that her wounds had healed. Linda felt better and walked out of the consultation without her crutches. She is no longer the patient. Her mindset changed, as well as her behavior.

To sum up, how and what we think, determine who we and what we become on a physical and psychological level. This means you might have to change your expectations. If you can’t do it on your own, find someone to assist you.


In the meantime, keep moving, smiling, laughing, bonding, touching, loving and appreciating as it will make all the difference.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How to Think

 The Power of Positive and Negative Thinking
Unfortunately, my father had type II diabetes. And if that wasn’t bad enough, I believe that his thinking about his disease further contributed to his unhappy emotional state. I remember him talking about his disease and what the future had in store for him. He knew that his eyesight would deteriorate and that he would likely lose his limbs as a result of poor circulation. The point is that he didn’t view himself-his expectations as having a good future regarding his health. In other words, negative expectations played and contributed to his mental state.

On the other hand, my mother was a master psychologist. As she was growing older, I talked to her about moving to an “old folks” facility. I should’ve known better, but I didn’t at that time. My father died and my mother lived alone in an apartment. When I made my inappropriate suggestion, she replied, “I don’t want to live among old people.” She was sharp as a tack and I wouldn’t dare play her in the game of Scrabble since I knew that I didn’t have a chance of winning. She loved being around younger people and especially being a mentor or a psychologist to her young friend Charlotte. Charlotte had relationship difficulties especially getting along with her mother. My mother was there to counsel her and she did.

Mother also sang and played the piano. She loved music and talked about Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. She also loved hearing the records of Mario Lonza, Tom Jones and other heartthrobs. She sang and she played. She also loved the movies-Doctor Zviago and the music from the movie- Laura’s Theme. Going back to an earlier time was very therapeutic for her.

And in the 1970s, when I did research for my dissertation one of the variables that I studied was expectancy. As it turned out, that was the most statistically significant independent variable of my research. Just today, I read an article in the October 26, 2014 edition of The New York Times Magazine about some of Ellen Langer’s experiments.

Dr. Langer believes in the unity of the mind and body. One set of experiments centered on taking older folks, and placing them in a living facility-a time warp, so to speak, to when they were significantly younger. This home was set up to include Perry Como, Ed Sullivan, black and white TV, books and magazines of the 50s, no mirrors or anything to remind them of the present. These eight men lived in this environment for only five days. After the five days in this environment these men began to feel as if they were 22 years younger. In fact, these men were suppler, showed greater manual dexterity and sat taller than individuals in the control group. Dr. Langer believed that these men put their mind in an earlier time and their bodies went along for the ride
.
 Her current research is looking at stage IV metastatic breast cancer. She is evaluating whether or not the power of the mind can affect the ugly “C”. She believes that our culture teaches us that we have no control over certain things and she is out to test that notion.


To Be Continued

Monday, November 3, 2014

Team Sports in Decline

Are you surprised that participation among boys and girls aged 6 through 17, declined by approximately 4% in US team sports, such as basketball, soccer, baseball and football from 2008 to 2012? It is also true that the population of these kids in the US declined 0.6%. For more statistics: baseball bat sales fell 18%; football sales dropped 5%; and team uniform sales from basketball and soccer did not increase. However, total sporting-goods dollar sales rose by 2.1%.

Additional statistics: participation in high school football dropped 2.3%(comparing 2008-2009 to 2012-2013 seasons); high school baseball participation rose by 0.3% -but percentage participation in baseball and softball-little league fell by 6.8%; basketball participation fell 6.3% in the 6 to 14 age group;  and youth soccer participation was flat between the years 2008 2012.

A number of reasons given for the fall in physical activity (anywhere from 2 to 4%) for children are as follows: 1. Increasing costs 2. Excessive pressure on kids 3. Decline in school physical education programs 4. Other options, i.e. volunteering in the community, social networking, video games, etc. 5. Sport is not fun for children 6. Overworking kids and searching for the elite athlete 7. Physical injury.

On the positive side, increase participation in lacrosse, and in ice hockey have grown, but these two sports have limited numbers of participants.

I have two issues (if this is a trend) regarding the above. Team sports can provide for team bonding or cohesiveness-a sense of belonging, functioning as a unit, etc. what this means is that it’s a good model for learning about interpersonal relationships along with taking direction from others. One has to put one’s ego in their pocket so to speak and become part of the group. Often less of “me” and more of “we” has major benefits for our society like providing for emotional stability and working together for that common goal.

Also, I am concerned about inactivity. As our nation deals with all kinds of health issues and there is so much controversy regarding health care, the important picture is missed. The concern, interest and noise generated would be more beneficial if the focus was on getting individuals to become more physical and taking responsibility for their well being. We all know that physical activity can replace medication and should be the treatment or prescription of choice.

My prescription for better living includes: moving, laughing, smiling, bonding, loving and appreciating. What is your prescription?


Today’s source is the Wall Street Journal, January 31, 2014.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Managing Anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Why Do Good/Bad Things Happen?

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

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

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

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

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


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

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Running a Half Marathon

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

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

Saturday, October 25, 2014

How Depression Affects Accelerated Aging

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

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

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fun With the Reunion and Book Launch

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

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


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

We are signing rapidly while Coach Hoke has the floor

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

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

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