Monday, September 30, 2013


It would be a gross understatement to say that Nationalized Healthcare has gotten a lot of press recently. I have written previously on things pertaining to healthcare but the following  letter nails it as far as what the status of healthcare in the U.S. is today. As a nurse for 20+ years, I can say that this writer's observations are correct.

Again, people must take control of their health and well being---believe me--you don't want to end up in a hospital unless it's absolutely unavoidable. This means we must stop treating our bodies like they're garbage cans, putting whatever we feel like into them. We must also be informed consumers(patients). Far too many people give more consideration to buying a car than to what kind of effects and interactions the pills their Doc prescribes will have on them or what the long term consequences their diet and lifestyle will have.

"A letter from a nurse
As the heated debate about Obamacare continues our politicians and media are failing to talk about the real problem. Obamacare is only adding to the problem that already exist, so what's the real problem? The problem is that we DO NOT provide healthcare in this country, we provide a health industry that practices medical care.

What that means is healthcare's goal is to maintain a healthy person as compared to medical care which treats sick people for profit. Medical facilities hire the bare minimum staff that is mandated to maximize profits. Nurses and aids are over-worked and barely have enough time to finish their work. They are told to clock out even if they are not done to save money on overtime. The days of a nurse sitting at the bedside of their patients and talking to them are gone.

As a nurse of 20 years I have seen the profession that I love become hijacked by the pharmaceutical and insurance industries. When I started nursing, we would apply ice and heat for pain and sore muscles; today we hand out opiates and muscle relaxants for the same thing. After realizing that I had become nothing more than a Pez dispenser for the pharmaceutical industry I left the field.

Thirty years ago my mother could take me to our family doctor and reach in her purse to pay him when we were done. Today you might get charged well over $100 the minute you sign in and have your temperature taken. We have turned the human body into nothing more than a bunch of billing codes for the insurance industry.

If we were practicing true healthcare we would reward doctors for maintaining their patients healthy and preventing them from having to constantly seek care. The current system of medical care that we have rewards doctors financially for the amount of care they render. In essence the more you go to the doctor the better for business and the biggest winners are Big Pharma. This type of care leads to unnecessary test, unnecessary treatments, and unnecessary medications which often cause other conditions that need to be treated as well. This revolving door of care for profit only increases the cost for everyone and it's in the best interest of the health industry to create and maintain as many CUSTOMERS as possible.

The debate shouldn't be about Obamacare or the uninsured, it should be about the cost of care, but all you hear on TV and from our politicians is about the cost of HEALTH INSURANCE. Obamacare will not fix our current problem of high costs, it only provides the Health Industrial Complex with more customers under the current failing system."

In closing--ask yourself this question---am I living a life that promotes health and well being?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

For Those Who Compete, Remember This

Rushing  to get this one in before the end of day. Remember the following the next time you are competing. I am unsure of the author, it may have been Dr. George Sheehan.

"Without exception, mental fatigue sets in before physical fatigue. Even the greatest of athletes thinks he is tired before his body is really physically tired. Through courage, pace knowledge, and confidence, you can overcome this feeling of being tired and perform much closer to your real capacity."

So true! Once again, we see the necessity of the mind being prepared as well as the body.

Work day today, hours on my feet, lots of lifting.

How was your day?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

On Becoming Successful

The following is a reminder that if you want to achieve a goal sometimes you have to make adjustments in the way you live and think. To many who are looking from the outside in, the adjustments may seem radical or extreme, but to that certain individual who wants it, it's all part of the process.
Once again, athlete, coach, philosopher, Percy Cerutty, explains it so well. I continue to wonder, why are there no athletic coaches offering observations like this these days?  

"One of the evidences of greatness, either to be or arrived at, is the ability to live a solitary life, if need be. The person desiring success or greatness may find that they must act as if they abandon the world(as others know it): they must renounce all the petty goals and pleasures(as others understand them) and give themselves over to the task as they see it with as complete a dedication and subjugation of the self, as far as comfort and subsidiary goals are concerned, as if the whole matter was one of life and death. So, if you're not prepared to go it alone, if you are not able to stand firm on your decisions,if you do not feel you will go on---cost you what it may--if you do not have that almost constant need to strive higher, success may well elude you."

Not much you can add to that except-- remember to enjoy the process.

30 minute run over a hilly course with stretching after.

What did you do?

Friday, September 27, 2013

Things To Give Up

Came across the following recently and felt it would be good to pass it along. It made me think and do a little self-evaluation. We all need to do a some self-evaluation from time to time.

Things You Should Give Up:

"Doubting yourself.

Negative thinking.

Destructive relationships.

Fear of failure.


Criticizing others.




All addictions."

I wish I'd considered destructive relationships when I was much younger. For those who want to be at the top of their game physically, hopefully your relationships are encouraging and supportive, not the other way around.
The reality--we should all give up  the above 'behaviors'--the other reality, we can if we truly want to.

Easy 40 minutes easy running, stretching and walking after.

What did you do today?

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Some Thoughts From Colin

New Zealander Colin Livingstone is a former successful distance runner, now U.K. based coach. Witty and insightful, he has much to offer distance runners and all athletes. Consider the following:

"Every race (or event) should be a journey of discovery. Intelligent training maximizes potential and minimizes risks. It is great to have goals, but the world will not end if you miss them. Accept the situation and come back fighting.. All things come from training."

"The most important thing is to have a go; the real gold is found in personal achievement and improvement over many years."

"Training removes you from the common man or woman."

I love that last quote, it is so true.

Did some running through the woods today, was attacked by 3 dogs. Thank God there was a table I was able to jump up on. Interestingly, the two women who owned the dogs ignored my comment that they needed to be put on a leash(the dogs). They just kept stepping, not even bothering to leash them. The funniest part was when I went to the office of the wooded area(Poplar Grove Plantation), the lady I spoke with about the incident told me that she didn't like putting her dog on a leash either, then added that her dog responds to voice commands. I reminded her that there are leash laws. I am a dog owner but I wish I could say this to all dog owners, I know we love our dogs, BUT, they are not human, they don't think like humans, they don't need all the things that humans need, they will be just fine going for a walk on a leash as they will running wild.
Since this is the second time I've been attacked by dogs in 6 months I later purchased some pepper spray. The only question is, do I use it on the dogs that attack next time or their owners?

So how was your day?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Improving Our Well-Being

Dr. Weil is my go to guy on all matters pertaining to health. He offers up the right mix of the conventional(he is a physician) with the alternative. Dr. Weil always looks to deal with the cause of the problem or illness, not just the signs.
Below he provides some thoughts on how to enhance your spiritual health and well-being. I don't know how 'spiritual' the following is but what he has to say can certainly improve your well-being.

"Connect with nature. You can do this by walking or sitting in a natural setting. Just allow yourself to absorb the surroundings.

Make a list of people in your life whose company you feel more alive, happy and optimistic. Make an effort to spend more time with them.

Bring flowers into your home and enjoy their beauty.

Listen to music that you find inspirational and uplifting.

Admire a work of art that raises your spirits.

Reach out and try to resume connection with someone from whom you are estranged, practice forgiveness.

Do some sort of service work. Give some of your time and energy to help others."

It's funny how simple practices like the ones listed above have the ability to improve your life.

I would add this ---avoid people who are negative. I know people whose whole attitude is poisoned by a preoccupation with the political goings on in this country. A waste of time and energy.

20 minutes at 3/4's pace--5 minutes easy jogging before and after.

What did you do today?

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Way To True Peace and Contentment

Go your way because you want to, not because that is the way they say you should go.

Dress the way you choose, look the way you desire but do not copy others.

Be an individual, do not suppress the urge to be a non-conformist out of fear that others will not accept you.

There is nothing wrong with being a loner if that's the way it turns out to be.

Don't be afraid of the quiet or being silent.

Come to understand that less is better.

Be a doer not an observer.

Seek out new adventures and challenges.

Don't experience life vicariously by watching others.

Be comfortable and at peace with the life you are living.

Monday, September 23, 2013

So You've Decided to Commit

You've made the decision to pursue what some might call your dream. This dream may be an athletic one, but it doesn't necessarily have to be. I talked to a friend recently who was in the process of devoting most of his time to becoming an artist. His family thought he had lost his mind. After years of being concerned about what his family thought, he decided to go for it. After some initial anxiousness my friend said he's never been happier. For those of you who have been hesitating,I say now is the time. Why live a life of quiet desperation?
Some suggestions:

You can begin by either writing down or telling yourself daily that this is something you truly want to do. It's funny how getting caught up in "worldly" affairs can cause us to forget or view our athletic(or other) dreams as being frivolous. One day you have these dreams, the next they are forgotten and you are focused totally on all things monetary. Remind yourself daily as to what you really want.
Now, recognize the fact that you are in control of what you do and what you want irregardless of what others think. Obviously this is not a license to be selfish but think about it, we're talking about a commitment  that takes how many hours a week, 6, maybe 10 or 12 hours at most? There are 168 hours in a week. As a sports psychologist once wrote, "determining your own path with a minimum of outside influence increases your level of investment."
This seems like a given but now is the time to set short and long term goals. I'm always surprised to find that many athletes don't do this. Obviously these goals, especially the short term ones, need to be changed periodically. Setting goals is an essential part of the committing process.
Begin today to live the life you love.

45 minutes easy running with stretching after, calisthenics too. A beautiful day.

What did you do?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

What's Needed

A psychologist determined what state a person and/or an athlete had to be in to perform optimally. At some point all of us could benefit by checking this list.

We need to be:

 1. "Physically relaxed 2.Low anxiety 3. Optimistic 4. Effortless 5. Alert 6. Self-confident 7. Mentally calm 8. Energized 9. Enjoyment 10. Automatic 11. Mentally focused 12. In control".

To gain the above qualities it takes practice, experience,preparation and a certain amount of time. It's all part of the process of being ready.

Work day, six hours walking and lifting.--stretched after.

What did you do?

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Two From Arthur

Arthur Lydiard was the greatest running coach ever. In addition, he laid down the system that most sensibly and efficiently trains and develops athletes. His words below are applicable to all athletes.

Sometimes, seemingly simple advice can be the most profound. Consider this first quote from Arthur:

“It's just a matter of understanding what's necessary and discipline yourself to do it.”

Lastly, Lydiard offers this:

  “Athletes need to enjoy their training. From enjoyment comes the will to win.” 

 Sensible training, should not be a grind or work-like, it should in many ways offer an escape from all that.

35 minutes easy running in the woods, stretching after.

What are you doing today?

Friday, September 20, 2013

Our Youth and Endurance Running

A friend recently sent me an article about the lack of younger U.S. runners on the National scene these days. He asked me what I thought of the article, below is my response:

This is always  a favorite subject of mine---one that I've been observing for awhile---it's real simple and the author hits on one of the reasons-- the 'everyone's a winner mindset' that prevails these days among those teaching and guiding our youth sure makes shooting for the top less attractive--especially when it takes more work--then, just look  how Runner's World has changed since the 70's--from performance oriented, to just finishing oriented--- -I'd be willing to bet that there is another,bigger reason for the lack of young emerging U.S. distance athletes--- as a nation our children are becoming less and less interested in endurance sports--there are too many other things like the cellphone-the computer(Facebook) and video games to keep their attention, besides, endurance training involves work, very unappealing to the majority of youth these days. There is not going to be any resurgence or boon amongst our youth, their interest in endurance athletics is long past. We are into a whole new time for kids and young adults, running is no longer appealing as it once was, our youth are less active then ever. In fact, they are running commercials on the radio that  are geared towards parents telling them about the benefits of having their kids play outside for an hour a day. Think about that for a minute, just give it some thought for a moment. If you are over thirty-five years of age you really can't help but be shocked by such an ad and the reality that it has gotten to this point.

Quite predictably, in the comments section after the article, many wrote to say that the numbers were  skewed and inaccurate. I suppose the fact that we now have the highest all-time number of children, youth and young adults  overweight, obese and unfit is inaccurate too?

To the naysayers I offer up this--- each generation has interests, activities, etc., they engage in. Those interests often change, in part, due to advances in technology and society.

The good news---your children don't have to be like this! You can see to that.  Shame on you if you are faithfully working your body everyday and allowing your kids to become sedentary and lazy!

30 minutes at 2/3's pace--5 minute slow jog after--stretching too.

How was your day?

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Not To Hurry

Most often, to reach your goal(s) takes time. People are not as patient as they once were, they want results sooner not later. Successful people are patient people. From the seldom read archival writings of writer, coach. philosopher Percy Wells Cerutty consider this:

"The serious athlete does well to remember there is no haste on the creative plane, that Nature cannot be hurried, that the greater the eventual accomplishment, the longer the time, the more strenuous the effort."

The above reminds me of something former '68 American Olympian marathoner Ron Daws said, he wrote that he  knew he didn't have the natural talent many of his competitors had, but, through time and careful preparation, he defeated them.

As I always say, enjoy the process, the journey, it all plays out in the end.

35 minutes easy running today---a beautiful day indeed ,stretching  and walking after.

How was your day?

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I believe most people, including athletes, don't drink enough water.

Consider the following:

Water makes up 55 to 75 percent of your total bodyweight.

Drinking five glasses of water a day can lower the risk of deadly heart disease. A Loma Linda University study found that  people who drank five eight-ounce glasses of water daily were about half as likely to die of coronary heart disease as those who drank two glasses or less.

For athletes:
Water helps you recover from workouts, aids in the fat-based fueling of muscles and provides for storage of water inside your cells. When you become dehydrated, all of these functions become less effective and your performance levels lower.
Water contributes to energy storage by being stored alongside glycogen. If you do not drink enough water to facilitate this, extra glucose  remains in your bloodstream until it reaches your liver. Then the glucose is stored as fat. You can actually get fatter when you do not consume adequate amounts of water.
Your vital fluid blood is made up of 90% water. We all know that blood transports needed nutrients and energy to working muscles.

I say it's time to buy a home water filter if you don't already have one, there's a variety of good filters out there and they don't cost all that much. You can't really put a price on something that is essential to your health. We're not talking about the newest miracle supplement here, water is one of the vital substances needed to maintain life, health and well being.

Eight hours on my feet at work plus walking and lifting, stretching later.

What did you do today?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

At-one-ment Time

Training with others is a good thing to do at times. If you are a runner, easy workouts or long runs are an excellent time to have others along.
However, there are occasions in training when you need to be alone, alone with your thoughts, alone to think and prepare mentally, free of the distraction of having to interact with others.

Percy Cerutty, athlete, coach, philosopher, had this to say on the necessity of training solo:

"For the mind to become lost in the subject at hand there must be no serious interruptions, or any interruptions at all. There must be ample training opportunities wherein the activity and the person merge into one. This can never be attained other than in reasonable isolation or solitude."

He goes on to state that he believes that those who will not take what he calls, at-one-ment time, "will most likely never achieve the successes that otherwise could be theirs."

20 minutes at 2/3's pace, felt good but not as fit as I believe I should be--stretching after.

What did you do today?

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Often Forgotten Health Benefit of Aerobic Exercise

A test was done among three groups of volunteers--one group were well conditioned men--another were average men, while the third group were men in poor physical condition. The subjects were given 1 1/2 pints of heavy cream to drink and nothing else. It was learned from blood tests done after, that the well conditioned bodies lowered their total fat to normal within four hours while some of the deconditioned men took up to 10 hours. Those running the test had this to say after:
"Consider all the fat your body takes in during the day and you can understand the body's job of getting rid of fat. Some bodies can't do it, and problems become inevitable because of that fact."

But here's the interesting conclusion---"Ideally, healthy fat metabolism depends on a combination of a low-fat diet and aerobic exercise, but studies have shown that a high-fat diet and aerobic work are preferable to a low-fat diet and no exercise."

To those who think their diet alone, or their diet and say, yoga, or something like Tai-Chi, is their ticket to long-term health and longevity are misguided.
Interestingly, Dr. Paavo Airola shocked healthy eating buffs 50 years ago when he said the same thing, he wrote that it would be better to have a poor diet and exercise rather than a great diet and no exercise. The benefits of daily aerobic work cannot be stressed enough!

35 minutes running the hills with stretching after.

How was your day?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Think About It--Don't Rush

It's a short day today. I'd like to begin by asking that if you know others who would enjoy this blog I'd appreciate your passing it along. Apparently the title I chose, "The greatest comeback...... " is not real conducive to getting notice on Google. Little did I know that when I picked the web 'address' there were a multitude of others with that title or something like it or related to it.

Consider the following two points--

If we want to be at the top of our game physically--then it is important to give consideration as to what we are trying to accomplish with each day's workout. Even something as easy as a 25 minute run needs to be given some thought and a determination made as to how it is going to benefit you. On an easy run like that we should recognize we are building aerobic fitness, this workout is laying the foundation for increasingly stressful work. Too many people give more thought to combing their hair then to what is going on with themselves during training.

Something else--never regard your workout as something to get in so you can quickly move on to your next activity. To the serious person who wants to be at the top of their game, your physical training is just as important and vital as mealtime, sleep, social and relaxation time.

What thought, or lack there of, that we give to our mental and physical training, reveals much about our level of commitment.

Tough work day today---stretching after--calisthenics too.

What did you do?

Saturday, September 14, 2013

A Few More Thoughts on Alcohol

I know I posted a fairly long article on alcohol awhile back but what follows are some random thoughts on alcohol and being at the top of your game mentally and physically. I believe that some of the things I am about to say are feelings and views held by many.

Not drinking, or stopping drinking, for me, is a conscious decision. That means I make a daily decision not to drink. Many days that decision doesn't have to be made because I don't have a desire to drink and don't give it much thought.

Another thought--I don't think I ever knew anyone who had a six pack of beer in their frig and had a can from time to time. It's kind of like the potato chip commercial--it's tough to eat just one.

Yet another thought--two drinks and I'm buzzed, is that healthy?

One more thought--Too often I drank not for 'pleasure' but out of anger and frustration with my life situation. Decidedly unhealthy behavior.

I see a society that drinks and makes it the focal point of their leisure time. That was me at one time, and in retrospect, I don't believe that's a wise choice of anyone's time. With that said,I certainly don't condemn or think less of anyone who drinks.

Speaking as an athlete and a writer, I believe alcohol serves no useful purpose in anyone's life who wishes to be at the top of their game mentally and physically. It provides zero nutritional benefits,in reality, it depletes your body of essential B vitamins.

I am much more creative and productive when I don't drink. When I'm competing, I tell myself that I have an edge on others because I have disciplined my body, most other competitors drink while I don't.

Going against the grain of what others do is not easy, especially in the beginning but recognition that you are your own man(woman) and in control of yourself and your destiny can be a great feeling if you choose to recognize that fact.


30 minutes easy running--again--stretching after--a great day overall

How was your day?

Friday, September 13, 2013

On Achieving Success

Before you set out to achieve something--

1.You must believe that within you, you have the ability to achieve said goal.

2.And perhaps more importantly---

Do you really want what you say you want?
With that said, "it behoves every would be successful person to sit down quietly and examine not only  themselves as to ability, but as to their ambition. Is it a whim, or is it a true and burning desire?"(P.W.Cerutty).

An ideal life is one with challenges.

30 minutes in the woods easy--a lazy day--walking and stretching after.

What did you do?

Thursday, September 12, 2013

To Be or Not To Be

What follows, is in many ways, a continuation of yesterday's post, a presentation of the facts in light of how certain others say we should eat. These are the facts, not wishful suppositions. As I mention later, it's a long article,but,if you want to be at the top of your game mentally and physically, you are willing to put the time in.

Although I have been a vegetarian(not a vegan) for a long,long time I recognize that there is a lot of misinformation circulating regarding the benefits of a vegetarian, and particularly,a vegan diet. I initially became a vegetarian because I thought it was the healthiest way to go. After several years I found that this was not necessarily so. The Okinowans, who had not adopted a westernized diet, had more people living long vigorous lives than anyone else on the planet. They also had the most people living to be 100 years or more. Their diet includes a certain amount of meat and fish. Ultimately, the proof of the benefits of a diet or way of eating is found in the health and longevity of the people who follow it.Below is an article that presents the facts. It is not what many vegetarians or vegans like to read but facts are facts. On a personal level,my reasons for being a vegetarian are now moral and religious. I do consume some dairy from organic and humane,animal friendly sources. I feel no pangs of guilt from doing so. I would add that however you choose to eat, try to get your food from organic sources and avoid those places that are abusive in the way they raise and keep animals. With that said, in a perfect world it would be my hope that people would not use animals for food because of moral reasons. But, everyone has a freedom of choice. What follows is a lengthy read but well worth taking the time to look over.

"Making the rounds on the internet is an article resurrected from a 1999 issue of Vegetarian Times, 22 Reasons to Go Vegetarian.”

“Consider making this healthy choice as one of your new year’s resolutions. . .” says the teaser. “Stacks of studies confirm that a diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables and grains is your best bet for living a longer, healthier and more enjoyable life. There are literally hundreds of great reasons to switch to a plant-based diet; here are 22 of the best.”

"Leaving aside for the moment the fact that a “plant-based diet” is not necessarily the same as a vegan diet, and that in the US a diet containing fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains is a marker for prosperity and health consciousness (and therefore would naturally give better results than a diet lacking in these items). Let’s examine the 22 reasons given for adopting a vegan diet.

1. You'll live a lot longer

"Vegetarians live about seven years longer, and vegans (who eat no animal products) about 15 years longer than meat eaters, according to a study from Loma Linda University. These findings are backed up by the China Health Project (the largest population study on diet and health to date), which found that Chinese people who eat the least amount of fat and animal products have the lowest risks of cancer, heart attack and other chronic degenerative diseases."

Reference please? We haven’t found such statistics in a search of the medical database.

In spite of claims to “stacks of studies,” there is actually very little scientific literature that carefully compares mortality and disease rates in vegetarians and nonvegetarians. In 1991, Dr. Russell Smith, a statistician, analyzed the existing studies on vegetariansim1 and discovered that while a number of studies show that vegetarian diets significantly decrease blood cholesterol levels, very few have evaluated the effects of vegetarian diets on overall mortality. His careful analysis (see sidebar below) revealed no benefit from vegetarianism in terms of overall mortality or longevity. In fact, Smith speculated on the possibility that the available data from the many existing prospective studies were left unpublished because they failed to reveal any benefits of the vegetarian diet. He notes, for example, mortality statistics are strangely absent from the Tromso Heart Study in Norway, which showed that vegetarians had slightly lower blood cholesterol levels than nonvegetarians.2

Since the publication of Russell Smith’s analysis, two significant reports on vegetarianism and mortality have appeared in the literature. One was a 2005 German paper that compared mortality in German vegetarians and health-conscious persons in a 21-year followup.7 By comparing vegetarians with health-conscious meat eaters, the German researchers eliminated the major problem in studies that claim to have found better mortality rates in vegetarians compared to the general population. Vegetarians tend not to smoke, drink alcohol or indulge in sugar and highly processed foods. To compare these individuals to meat-eaters on the typical western diet will naturally yield results that favor vegetarianism. But in the German study, both vegetarians and nonvegetarian health-conscious persons had reduced mortality compared with the general population, and it was other factors—low prevalence of smoking and moderate or high levels of physical activity—that were associated with reduced overall mortality, not the vegetarian diet.

The other was a 2003 report that followed up on The Health Food Shoppers Study in the 1970s and the Oxford Vegetarians Study in the 1980s.8 The mortality of both the vegetarians and the nonvegetarians in these studies was low compared with national rates in the UK. Within the studies, mortality for major causes of death was not significantly different between vegetarians and nonvegetarians, although there was a non-significant reduction in mortality from ischemic heart disease among vegetarians.

As for Colin Campbell’s China Study, often cited as proof that plant-based diets are healthier than those containing animal foods, the data on consumption and disease patterns collected by the Cornell University researchers in their massive dietary survey do not support such claims. What the researchers discovered was that meat eaters had lower triglycerides and less cirrhosis of the liver, but otherwise they found no strong correlation, either negative or positive, with meat eating and any disease.9

In his introduction to the research results, study director Campbell refers to “considerable contemporary evidence supporting the hypothesis that the lowest risk for cancer is generated by the consumption of a variety of fresh plant products.”10 Yet Cornell researchers found that the consumption of green vegetables, which ranged from almost 700 grams per day to zero, depending on the region, showed no correlation, either positive or negative, with any disease. Dietary fiber intake seemed to protect against esophageal cancer, but was positively correlated with higher levels of TB, neurological disorders and nasal cancer. Fiber intake did not confer any significant protection against heart disease or most cancers, including cancer of the bowel.

In a 1999 article published in Spectrum, Campbell claimed the Cornell findings suggested “that a diet high in animal products produces disease, and a diet high in grains, vegetables and other plant matter produces health.”11 Such statements by the now-famous Campbell are misleading, to put it mildly, and have influenced many unsuspecting consumers to adopt a vegetarian lifestyle in the hopes of improving their health.

2. You'll save your heart

"Cardiovascular disease is still the number one killer in the United States, and the standard American diet (SAD) that’s laden with saturated fat and cholesterol from meat and dairy is largely to blame. Plus, produce contains no saturated fat or cholesterol. Incidentally, cholesterol levels for vegetarians are 14 percent lower than meat eaters"

“Stacks of evidence” now exist to refute the notion that cholesterol levels and consumption of saturated fat have anything to do with heart disease, but this is a convenient theory for promoting vegetable oil consumption at the expense of animal fats. The International Atherosclerosis Project found that vegetarians had just as much atherosclerosis as meat eaters.12 Vegetarians also have higher levels of homocysteine, a risk marker for heart disease.13

The standard American diet is not, unfortunately, “laden with saturated fat and cholesterol.” It is, however, laden with trans fats and refined vegetable oils, both derived from plants, and it is these processed fats and oils that are associated with the increase in heart disease, not saturated animal fats.

3. You can put more money in your mutual fund

"Replacing meat, chicken and fish with vegetables and fruits is estimated to cut food bills."

Some plant foods, such as nuts and breakfast cereals, are very expensive. And any analysis of your food budget must necessarily include medical and dental expenses, and also account for reduced income due to missed days at work, lack of energy and the behavioral difficulties that result from B12 deficiency. A lowcost vegetarian diet that renders you incapable of performing a well-paid, high-stress job—the kind that allows you to put money into a mutual fund—is a poor bargain in the long-term.

4. You'll reduce your risk of cancer

"Studies done at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg suggest that this is because vegetarians’ immune systems are more effective in killing off tumour cells than meat eaters.’ Studies have also found a plant-based diet helps protect against prostate, colon and skin cancers."

The claim that vegetarians have lower rates of cancer compared to nonvegetarians has been squarely contradicted by a 1994 study comparing vegetarians with the general population.14 Researchers found that although vegetarian Seventh Day Adventists have the same or slightly lower cancer rates for some sites, for example 91 percent instead of 100 percent for breast cancer, the rates for numerous other cancers are much higher than the general US population standard, especially cancers of the reproductive tract. SDA females had more Hodgkins disease (131 percent), more brain cancer (118 percent), more malignant melanoma (171 percent), more uterine cancer (191 percent), more cervical cancer (180 percent) and more ovarian cancer (129 percent) on average.

According to scientists at the Cancer Research UK Epidemiology Unit, University of Oxford, “Studies of cancer have not shown clear differences in cancer rates between vegetarians and non vegetarians.”15

5. You'll add color to your plate

"Meat, chicken and fish tend to come in boring shades of brown and beige, but fruits and vegetables come in all colors of the rainbow. Disease fighting phytochemicals are responsible for giving produce their rich, varied hues. So cooking by color is a good way to ensure you’re eating a variety of naturally occurring substances that boost immunity and prevent a range of illnesses"

Salmon, eggs and butter have beautiful color. Nothing prevents meat-eaters from adding color to their plate by using a variety of vegetables and fruits. The nutrients from these plant foods will be more easily absorbed if you serve them with butter or cream. Animal foods provide an abundance of “naturally occurring substances that boost immunity and prevent a range of illnesses.”

6. You'll fit into your old jeans

"On average, vegetarians are slimmer than meat eaters, and when we diet, we keep the weight off up to seven years longer. That’s because diets that are higher in vegetable proteins are much lower in fat and calories than the SAD. Vegetarians are also less likely to fall victim to weight-related disorders like heart disease, stroke and diabetes"

Studies do show that vegetarians on average have lower body mass than non-vegetarians, but vegetarianism does not confer protection from stroke and diabetes and provides only minimal protection against heart disease. Some people do gain weight—lots of weight—on a vegetarian diet and many vegetarians are far too thin.

7. You'll give your body a spring cleaning

"Giving up meat helps purge the body of toxins (pesticides, environmental pollutants, preservatives) that overload our systems and cause illness. When people begin formal detoxification programs, their first step is to replace meats and dairy products with fruits and vegetables and juices."

There are no studies showing that elimination of meat from the diet helps “purge the body of toxins.” The wording is interesting as it implies that vegetarianism will render a sinful body pure.

Most plant foods today are loaded with pesticides and many components in animal products support the body’s detoxification system—such as iron in meat, amino acids in bone broths, vitamin A in liver and saturated fat in butter.

No doubt about it, however, toxins are everywhere, in plant foods and animal foods. Health conscious consumers need to do their best to reduce the toxic load by choosing organic plant foods and pasture-raised animal foods.

The Honolulu Heart Study found an interesting correlation of Parkinson’s disease with the consumption of fruit and fruit juices.16 Men who consumed one or more servings of fruit or fruit drinks per day were twice as likely to develop Parkinson’s as those who consumed less fruit. Commentators proposed either high levels of pesticides or natural nerve toxins called isoquinolones that occur in fruit as the cause. Salicylates are another component of fruit that can lead to problems. So even the consumption of “healthy” fruit is not necessarily safe.

8. You'll make a strong political statement

"It’s a wonderful thing to be able to finish a delicious meal, knowing that no beings have suffered to make it"

Not a single bite of food reaches our mouths that has not involved the killing of animals. By some estimates, at least 300 animals per acre—including mice, rats, moles, groundhogs and birds—are killed for the production of vegetable and grain foods, often in gruesome ways. Only one animal per acre is killed for the production of grass-fed beef and no animal is killed for the production of grass-fed milk until the end of the life of the dairy cow.

And what about the human beings, especially growing human beings, who are suffering from nutrient deficiencies and their concomitant health problems as a consequence of a vegetarian diet? Or does only animal suffering count?

Of course, we should all work for the elimination of confinement animal facilities, which do cause a great deal of suffering in our animals, not to mention desecration of the environment. This will be more readily accomplished by the millions of meat eaters opting for grass-fed animal foods than by the smaller numbers of vegetarians boycotting meat.

Vegetarians wishing to make a political statement should strive for consistency. Cows are slaughtered not only to put steak on the table, but to obtain components used in soaps, shampoos, cosmetics, plastics, pharmaceuticals, waxes (as in candles and crayons), modern building materials and hydraulic brake fluid for airplanes. The membrane that vibrates in your telephone contains beef gelatin. So to avoid hypocrisy, vegetarians need to also refrain from using anything made of plastic, talking on the telephone, flying in airplanes, letting their kids use crayons, and living or working in modern buildings.

The ancestors of modern vegetarians would not have survived without using animal products like fur to keep warm, leather to make footwear, belts, straps and shelter, and bones for tools. In fact, the entire interactive network of life on earth, from the jellyfish to the judge, is based on the sacrifice of animals and the use of animal foods. There’s no escape from dependence on slaughtered animals, not even for really good vegan folks who feel wonderful about themselves as they finish their vegan meal.

9. Your meals will taste delicious

"Vegetables are endlessly interesting to cook and a joy to eat. It’s an ever-changing parade of flavors and colors and textures and tastes."

To make processed vegetarian foods “taste delicious,” manufacturers load them up with MSG and artificial flavors that imitate the taste of meat. If you are cooking from scratch, it is difficult to satisfy all the taste buds with dishes lacking animal foods. The umami taste is designed to be satisfied with animal foods.

In practice, very few people are satisfied with the flavors and tastes of a diet based exclusively on plant foods, even when these foods are loaded up with artificial flavors, which is why it is so difficult for most people to remain on a vegan diet. Vegetables are a lot more interesting and bring us a lot more joy when dressed with egg yolks and cream or cooked in butter or lard. But if you are a vegan, you’ll be using either liquid or partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, both extremely toxic.

10. You'll help reduce waste and air pollution

"Livestock farms create phenomenal amounts of waste, tons of manure, a substance that’s rated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a top pollutant. And that’s not even counting the methane gas released by goats, pigs and poultry (which contributes to the greenhouse effect); the ammonia gases from urine; poison gases that emanate from manure lagoons; toxic chemicals from pesticides; and exhaust from farm equipment used to raise feed for animals."

The problem is not animals, which roamed the earth in huge numbers emitting methane, urine and manure long before humans came on the scene, but their concentration into confinement facilities. Only strong, committed, persistent and focused human effort will accomplish the goal of eliminating these abominations—the kind of strength, commitment, persistence and focus that only animal foods rich in cholesterol, zinc, good fats and vitamin B12 can sustain. In nature and on old-fashioned farms, the urine and manure from animals is not a pollutant but a critical input that nourishes plant life. As for methane, the theory that methane from animals contributes to global warming is just that—a theory, one that doesn’t even pass the test of common sense.

Without urine and manure to nourish the soil, plant farmers need more pesticides, more chemicals. And there’s only one way to eliminate exhaust from farm equipment used to raise plant foods for vegan diets—pull those plows with horses and mules.

11. Your bones will last longer

"The average bone loss for a vegetarian woman at age 65 is 18 percent; for non-vegetarian women, it’s double that. Researchers attribute this to the consumption of excess protein. Excess protein interferes with the absorption and retention of calcium and actually prompts the body to excrete calcium, laying the ground for the brittle bone disease osteoporosis. Animal proteins, including milk, make the blood acidic, and to balance that condition, the body pulls calcium from bones. So rather than rely on milk for calcium, vegetarians turn to dark green leafy vegetables, such as broccoli and legumes, which, calorie for calorie, are superior sources"

References, please?

The theory that excess protein causes bone loss was first presented in 196817 and followed up in 1972 with a study comparing bone density of vegetarians and meat eaters.18 Twenty-five British lacto-ovo vegetarians were matched for age and sex with an equal number of omnivores. Bone density, determined by reading X-rays of the third finger metacarpal, was found to be significantly higher in the vegetarians—these are lacto-ovo vegetarians, not vegans, so they will have good calcium intake.

Dr. Herta Spencer, of the Veterans Administration Hospital in Hines, Illinois, explains that the animal and human studies that correlated calcium loss with high protein diets used isolated, fractionated amino acids from milk or eggs.19 Her studies show that when protein is given as meat, subjects do not show any increase in calcium excreted, or any significant change in serum calcium, even over a long period.20 Other investigators found that a high-protein intake increased calcium absorption when dietary calcium was adequate or high, but not when calcium intake was a low 500 mg per day.21

So meat alone will not help build strong bones. But meat plus dairy is an excellent combination. The chart below illustrates the difficulty of obtaining adequate calcium from green leafy vegetables or legumes and contradicts the claim made above that leafy green vegetables and legumes supply more calcium on a per-calorie basis. The opposite is the case. The RDA for calcium can be met for under 700 calories using cheese or milk, but requires 1200 calories for spinach and 5100 calories for lentils. And not even the most dedicated vegetarians could choke down 13 cups of spinach or 32 cups of lentils (that would be almost doubled once the lentils were cooked) per day (see sidebar, below). Leafy greens present additional problems because they contain calcium-binding oxalic acid.

Calcium assimilation requires not only adequate protein but also fat-soluble vitamins A, D and K2, found only in animal fats. The lactoovo vegetarian consuming butter and full fat milk will take in the types of nutrients needed to maintain healthy bone mass, but not the vegan.

12. You'll help reduce famine

"It takes 15 pounds of feed to get one pound of meat. But if the grain were given directly to people, there’d be enough food to feed the entire planet. In addition, using land for animal agriculture is inefficient in terms of maximizing food production. According to the journal Soil and Water, one acre of land could produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes, 30,000 pounds of carrots or just 250 pounds of beef."

No land anywhere in the world will produce 50,000 pounds of tomatoes, 40,000 pounds of potatoes or 30,000 pounds of carrots per acre year after year after year unless bolstered with fertilizer. Such land rotated with animal grazing will be fertilized naturally; without the manure and urine of animals, synthetics must be applied—synthetics that require large amounts of energy to produce and leave problematic pollutants, such as fluoride compounds, as a by-product. And much of the world’s land—mountainous, hillside, arid and marginal areas—is incapable of producing harvestable crops even with a large fertilizer input. But this land will support animal life very well. Eliminating the animals on this land in order to produce vegetable crops will indeed create famine for the people who live there.

13. You'll avoid toxic chemicals

"The EPA estimates that nearly 95 per cent of pesticide residue in our diet comes from meat, fish and dairy products. Fish, in particular, contain carcinogens (PCBs, DDT) and heavy metals (mercury, arsenic; lead, cadmium) that cannot be removed through cooking or freezing. Meat and dairy products are also laced with steroids and hormones."

Pesticides and heavy metals are found in animal foods only because they are applied to plant foods that feed the animals. Pasture-based livestock production and wild caught fish do not contribute to pesticide residue. Conventionally raised vegetables and grains are loaded with chemicals.

Vitamin A obtained in adequate amounts from animal foods provides powerful protection against dioxins like PCBs and DDT.23 Vitamin B12 is also protective. Good gut flora prevents their absorption. Humans have always had to deal with environmental carcinogens—smoke is loaded with them—and heavy metals like mercury, which occur naturally in fish. We can deal with these challenges when we have adequate amounts of the nutrients supplied by animal foods.

14. You'll protect yourself from foodborne illness

"According to the Center for Science in the Public Interest, which has stringent food standards, 25 per cent of all chicken sold in the United States carries salmonella bacteria and, the CDC estimates, 70 percent to 90 percent of chickens contain the bacteria campylobacter (some strains of which are antibiotic-resistant), approximately 5 percent of cows carry the lethal strain of E. coli O157:H7 (which causes virulent diseases and death), and 30 percent of pigs slaughtered each year for food are infected with toxoplasmosis (caused by parasites)."

The most common source of food-borne illness by a long shot is fruits and vegetables.24 Problems with animal foods stem from factory farming practices. Milk, meat and eggs raised naturally do not present problems of food-borne illness.

15. You may get rid of your back problems

"Back pain appears to begin, not in the back, but in the arteries. The degeneration of discs, for instance, which leads to nerves being pinched, starts with the arteries leading to the back. Eating a plant-based diet keeps these arteries clear of cholesterol-causing blockages to help maintain a healthy back."

This item is pure speculation. One of the most common side effects of cholesterol-lowering is crippling back pain. The muscles that support our spine require animal foods to maintain their integrity. And the bones in our spine need a good source of calcium, namely dairy products or bone broth, to remain strong.

16. You'll be more regular

"Eating a lot of vegetables necessarily means consuming fiber, which pushes waste out of the body. Meat contains no fiber. Studies done at Harvard and Brigham Women’s Hospital found that people who ate a high-fiber diet had a 42 percent lower risk of diverticulitis. People who eat lower on the food chain also tend to have fewer incidences of constipation, hemorrhoids and spastic colon."

Konstantin Monastyrsky, author of Fiber Menace, begs to differ. He notes that because fiber indeed slows down the digestive process, it interferes with the digestion in the stomach and, later, clogs the intestines. The results of delayed indigestion (dyspepsia) include heartburn (GERD), gastritis (the inflammation of the stomach’s mucosal membrane), peptic ulcers, enteritis (inflammation of the intestinal mucosal membrane), and further down the tube, constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, and Crohn’s disease. Hemorrhoids and diverticulitis are other likely results—scientific studies do not support the theory that fiber prevents these conditions.25

17. You'll cool those hot flashes

"Plants, grains and legumes contain phytoestrogens that are believed to balance fluctuating hormones, so vegetarian women tend to go through menopause with fewer complaints of sleep problems, hot flashes, fatigue, mood swings, weight gain, depression and a diminished sex drive."

Let’s see now, hormones in meat and milk are bad (see Item 13), but by tortured vegetarian logic, hormones in plant foods are good. Where is the research showing that vegetarian women go through menopause with fewer complaints? Numerous studies have shown that the phytoestrogens in soy foods have an inconsistent effect on hot flashes and other symptoms of menopause.26

The body needs cholesterol, vitamin A, vitamin D and other animal nutrients for hormone production. A vegetarian diet devoid of these nutrients is a recipe for menopausal problems, fatigue and diminished sex drive—the dietary proscriptions of the puritanical Graham and Kellogg work very well for their intended purpose, which is to wipe out libido in both men and women.

Lack of cholesterol, vitamin D and vitamin B12 is a recipe for mood swings and depression. If you want to have a happy menopause, don’t be a vegetarian!

18. You'll help to bring down the national debt

"We spend large amounts annually to treat the heart disease, cancer, obesity, and food poisoning that are byproducts of a diet heavy on animal products."

We have commented on the link between vegetarianism and heart disease, cancer, obesity and food poisoning above. The main change in the American diet paralleling the huge increase in health problems is the substitution of vegetable oils for animal fats. A secondary change is the industrialization of agriculture. The solution to our health crisis is to return to pasture-based farming methods and the animal food-rich diets of our ancestors.

19. You'll preserve our fish population

"Because of our voracious appetite for fish, 39 per cent of the oceans’ fish species are over-harvested, and the Food & Agriculture Organization reports that 11 of 15 of the world’s major fishing grounds have become depleted."

Let’s pass laws against overfishing! And let’s provide the incentive to anti-overfishing activists by pointing out the important benefits of seafood in the diet.

20. You'll help protect the purity of water

"It takes 2,500 gallons of water to produce one pound of mutton, but just 25 gallons of water to produce a pound of wheat. Not only is this wasteful, but it contributes to rampant water pollution."

Reference please?

If a sheep drinks one gallon of water per day— which is a lot—the animal would only need about 600 gallons of water to yield almost eighty pounds of meat. That’s less than eight gallons of water per pound, much less than the water required to produce a pound of wheat.

21. You'll provide a great role model for your kids

"If you set a good example and feed your children good food, chances are they’ll live a longer and healthier life. You’re also providing a market for vegetarian products and making it more likely that they’ll be available for the children."

You may not ever have any children if you follow a vegan diet, and in case you do, you will be condemning your kids to a life of poor health and misery. Here’s what Dutch researcher P C Dagnelie has to say about the risks of a vegetarian diet: “ A vegan diet. . . leads to strongly increased risk of deficiencies of vitamin B12, vitamin B2 and several minerals, such as calcium, iron and zinc. . . even a lacto-vegetarian diet produces an increased risk of deficiencies of vitamin B12 and possibly certain minerals such as iron.”27 These deficiencies can adversely affect not only physical growth but also neurological development. And following a vegan diet while pregnant is a recipe for disaster.

You will, however, by embracing vegetarianism, provide a market for vegetarian products—the kind of highly processed, high-profit foods advertised in Vegetarian Times.

22. Going vegetarian is easy.
Not necessarily. It takes time to prepare vegetarian,and particularly vegan meals properly."

The irony of it all? Good health doesn't depend on whether or not you eat meat, it involves many other factors like how much you eat, the quality of your food,exercise,lifestyle,alcohol consumption, etc.,etc.

40 minutes easy running, stretching after.

What did you do today?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


In my lifetime, the areas where I have seen the most frauds making a good living are televangelists and those in the field of diet and nutrition. The following post comes after reading an article by a self described sports nutritionist, "Dr." Graham. He advocates eating an 80-20-10 diet. By this he means, 80% of our food should come from carbohydrates, while the other 10%'s come from fats and proteins.
As I have said before, it's a nutritional Babylon out there. Fad diets and eating styles are passing as the way to go despite the fact that they are not backed up by any proof of their claims. People are telling me this is the way I should eat but there are no people who have lived long vigorous lives on their diet, AND, I have to watch and make sure I don't develop a B-12 deficiency from this way of eating.
There is a science involved to our bodies,what its needs,how it utilizes the foods it takes in, etc. If you don't nourish your body right, it doesn't grow or  repair itself. And let me add this, our bodies can tolerate most anything you feed it for quite some time before the deficiencies and problems arise from a particular diet. Also, for some reason, our need for protein has been downplayed in favor of carbohydrates by many of the new nutritional experts. This is contrary to the fundamentals of nutrition and physiology.What follows is a little of what I call Nutrition 101--The Necessity of Protein.

"Proteins are often called the building blocks of the body. Protein consists of combinations of structures called amino acids that combine in various ways to make muscles, bone, tendons, skin, hair, and other tissues. They serve other functions as well including nutrient transportation and enzyme production. In fact, over 10,000 different proteins are in the body."

And a little more in regards to protein below:

Protein is one of the three macronutrients found in food; the other two are fats and carbohydrates. Protein accounts for 20 percent of our body weight, but why do we need protein in our diet, and what foods are healthy sources of protein?
Why Do We Need protein? Protein is important to many physiological functions in the body, and is a vital component of body tissues, enzymes, and immune cells. It helps to:
  • Keep the immune system functioning properly
  • Maintain healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Help the body produce enzymes                     Proteins are complex molecules made up of amino acids. These amino acids link together in specific numbers and unique combinations to make each different protein. Therefore protein is an essential component of the diet, because it provides the amino acids that the body needs to synthesize its own proteins. Proteins also interact with nutrients by binding with them and carrying certain vitamins and minerals including iron, copper, calcium, Vitamin A, and vitamin D. As a result, inadequate protein intake may impair the function of these nutrients. Recent studies suggest that protein makes a meal more satiating, which in turn could help people maintain a healthy weight. A 2005 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increasing protein from 15% to 30% of total calories, and reducing fat from 35% to 20% of calories - resulted in sustained weight loss [1]. What Are Healthy Sources of protein? A wide variety of foods contain protein, including meat, fish, dairy, whole grains, nuts, seeds, eggs, beans and vegetables. How healthy a protein-rich food is typically depends on what else it contains. For example:   
  • Fish is an excellent source of protein, however, most fish is loaded with harmful contaminants like mercury, so should be eaten in moderation.
  • Meat is one of the main sources of protein in many peoples' diets.
  • Eggs are also abundant in protein.
  • Plants such as beans and nuts provide a good source of both protein and fiber.
Some foods contain all of the essential amino acids that the body needs; these are called complete proteins. There are other foods, however that provide some or none of the essential amino acids, and are referred to as incomplete proteins. Eggs, dairy foods, meat, fish and poultry are typically considered to be complete proteins. Vegetarians or vegans often do not have a source of complete protein in their diets, but can easily obtain all of the essential amino acids by eating a variety of beans, grains, nuts, seeds, and vegetables.

It's well worth the read. There are things that we sometimes think we know, but in reality we don't know as much as we thought.

Long work day ---8 hours lifting--walking--stretching after. Exhausted.

How was your day?

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Factors Needed For Athletic Success

Factors Needed For Athletic Success as well as factors needed to live life fully.

"Power--i.e., muscular strength, stamina, an overall fit organism.

Technique--i.e., 'Know-how,' being the master of the details of the event or endeavor.

Confidence--i.e., will to win and courage. Both these are dependent somewhat upon inherited factors and past experience justifying a hopeful approach.

Persistence: This factor shows up in steady and continued training, irrespective of 'feelings', weather or other conditions, social or other 'temptations' or interruptions.

Character: this factor is mainly the result of early training, a mature and realistic attitude to life, an accepting of responsibility for our behavior and acts. Also, to strive hard, to learn, to suffer, to win or lose; in this way character is made."

It's interesting--involvement in athletics can develop good character, but,  if you have good character going into athletics, it's a huge plus towards achieving personal success.

The above 'Factors' quote was by athlete, coach, philosopher Percy Wells Cerutty.

Hour long walk with stretching before,during and after--

How was your day?

Monday, September 9, 2013


Many adults believe having a coach is essential to their achieving athletic success or helping them reach their optimal physical condition. In some cases people do need a coach, particularly those who are clueless on how to train. I believe it is essential that every athlete who says he wants to do well in athletics, read and study up on their sport. Refusing to do so is a sure indicator that they are either lazy or don't really want what they say.
Ultimately though it all comes down to this:  In the words of coach and writer Fred Wilt--
"The athlete must always remember from the very beginning, that the burdens of physical effort and internal motivation are his exclusive responsibilities."

A common misconception is that a coach will take you to the 'next level.' As a coach and a former coach of H.S. athletes, I have seen many more bad coaches than good ones, many more.

Another nice day--40 minutes easy running in the park--stretching after.

How was your day?

Sunday, September 8, 2013

On Failure

I don't know the author of the following but it is a must read--

"Failure never destroys, only the reaction to it does. If failure is utilized efficiently, every time we collapse into a pitfall we can learn at the same time how to avoid the problem the next time. The person who has never fallen, or who has fallen but not learned from the experience, will forever  be victim of the pitfalls, unable to attain his goal."
That would make a great poster--"Failure never Destroys, Only the Reaction to It Does."

"Giving up as a result of failure usually weakens character and makes it easier to fail in the future."
So true! Also, add to that, Giving up as a result of failure makes it easier to quit in the future.
In many ways, how we deal with our athletic commitment as well as our response to competition serves as an indicator as to what kind of person we are.

Hard working day today---stretched --rested.

How was your day?

Saturday, September 7, 2013

The Necessity of Weight Work

I know what I said the other day about weight lifting. but, to be at the top of your game physically, you must lift weights. As you read the following paragraph you will learn about an important and often forgotten benefit to lifting weights.

Although aerobic exercise will burn calories, it doesn’t really change your metabolism.
What does: lean muscle mass. “Muscle helps you burn more calories even after your workout is over,” says Halevy. The more lean muscle mass you have, the higher your resting metabolic rate (the baseline amount of calories you burn in a day), says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., the director of fitness research at Quincy College, in Quincy, Massachusetts.

And if you are still not convinced, read this--Here's what a regular weight lifting routine will do for you.

Increases HDL - High Density Lipoprotein (good cholesterol) and decrease LDL - Low Density Lipoprotein (bad cholesterol).
Reduces risk of diabetes and insulin needs.
Lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
Lower high blood pressure.
Lowers risk of breast cancer - reduces high estrogen levels linked to the disease.
Decreases or minimizes risk of osteoporosis by building bone mass.

Reduces symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)
Reduces stress and anxiety.
Decreases colds and illness.
Increased muscle strength, power, endurance and size with enhanced performance of everyday tasks.  You will be able to do everyday tasks like lifting, carrying, and walking up stairs with greater ease.

By working the muscles through a full range of motion, weight training can improve your overall body flexibility.  Increased flexibility reduces the risk of muscle pulls and back pain

Likelihood of Injury:

Strong muscles, tendons, and ligaments are less likely to give way under stress and are less likely to be injured.  Increased bone density and strength reduces back and knee pain by building muscle around these areas.
Body Composition:
Boosted metabolism (which means burning more calories when at rest) with reduced body fat.  Your overall weight may not change, but you will gain muscle and lose fat. Over time you should notice decreases in waist measurements and body fat measurement.
Muscle Tone:
The conditioning effect will result in firmer and better-defined muscles.
The way you sit and stand are influenced by the health of a network of neck, shoulder, back, hip and abdominal muscles.  Stronger muscles can help you stand and sit straighter and more comfortably.  You may notice improved balance and stability.

State of Mind:
As you begin to notice the positive physical changes in your body and develop a regular exercise routine, your ability to handle stress effectively will improve. Weight training allows you to sleep better, i.e., fall asleep quicker and sleep deeper.  
Clinical studies have shown regular exercise to be one of the three best tools for effective stress management.
It's back to lifting 3x's a week for me.
35 minutes easy running in the woods, stretching after.
How was your day?
The first day of the week is an excellent time for new beginnings. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

On Running

The joy and love of running. It's hard to explain to those who haven't done it. It's a feeling.
Dr. George Sheehan, as he so often did, really nails it as he describes the simple pleasures of running.

"For every runner who tours the world running marathons, there are thousands who run to hear the leaves and listen to the rain, and look to the day when it is suddenly as easy as a bird in flight. For them, sport is not a test but a therapy,not a trial but a reward, not a question but an answer."

The fall--autumn marathon time---a very special and exciting time of the year. When I lived in Buffalo, you could feel the excitement in the air as you did your laps in Delaware Park preparing for the fall Skylon Marathon. A single focus and purpose by so many people.
The good old days of running.

25 minutes at 2/3's pace--felt worse then it should have--stretching after.

What did you do?

Thursday, September 5, 2013


"We have so many negative influences out there that are pulling us down. I try to keep all the negative stuff out of my brain because negativity is like a poison, it develops an acid condition in your body." Jack Lalanne.

Negative thoughts prevent you from going for it; they tell you, you can't do this because you're too old, or you have too many commitments or it's all just child's play.
Negative thoughts keep you locked into the safe and familiar.

What you want to do is as worthy as you believe it is. It has nothing to do with other's opinions. Never discount the fact that 'misery loves company.' Most people who have resigned themselves to playing it safe can't be expected to enthusiastically encourage someone who is doing something  they wish they could do.

Take the next few days to plan out a new goal, challenge or adventure. Plan a journal and begin this Sunday.

Surround yourself with positivity and people of like mind.

40 minutes easy---stretching after with a little swimming.

How was your day?

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Three From Teddy

It's a short day today--got in late but I definitely wanted to put something out there.
I don't know much about Teddy Roosevelt but he has a huge number of quotes attributed to him that are so insightful and true.

Keeping with the theme--'no, success is not just for someone else, it can be for you'--consider these:

"With self-discipline most anything is possible."

Too many people are not quite as disciplined as they think they are.

"The only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything."

What do they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained?

"It is hard to fail, but it is worse never to have tried to succeed."

This quote by Thoreau comes to mind--
"Most men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them."

I have met many people through the years that have told me that their lives are boring. Others are living each day in a kind of stupor, existing, not truly living.

Challenge yourself---step out of your comfort zone.Your life will take on a whole new meaning and dimension.

Work day today--just easy stretching before and after.

How was your day?

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Learning From Diana Nyad

In case you haven't heard or read about it, 64 year old Diana Nyad completed a 110 mile swim from Cuba to Florida.

At the end of this post there is a link to an excellent New York Times article which chronicles her swim.

Not surprisingly,we can learn a few things from her remarkable accomplishment.

First off, she is 64 years old, well beyond the age that most swimmers would even consider such an endeavor.
Secondly, this was her fifth attempt. As you will read in the article, her success was built on her past failures. After each unsuccessful attempt, she reassessed, made adjustments and continued on. Sound familiar?

Two things Nyad said really hit home to me:
"We should never, ever give up."
"You are never too old to chase your dreams"

Many of us think that when others achieve success it's because those people are 'special' or unusually gifted. We tend to put them in a certain class or up on a pedestal and say--"that's them, it couldn't be me, they're different. Too often, the only difference, especially in the case of older athletes like Nyad, is that they believe and have the determination and persistence that we folks haven't developed.......yet.

30 minutes continuous hill running up a 70 meter hill in the woods--Hey--when you live near the ocean you have to use whatever incline you can find. Stetching after.

How was your day? Check out the link below.


Monday, September 2, 2013


As much as I would like to think that it is, running is not the only exercise you should do to stay fit and healthy all your life. I mean, it can be your primary athletic choice but it needs to be supplemented by things like calisthenics, stretching and.....weight lifting.
Weightlifting, to me, is boring, it's something I have to force myself to do. But, I recognize the necessity and benefits of doing it, especially as I get older. Also, since when did everything you do for your health and longevity have to be 'fun' ?
The benefits of weight training  are well documented. Of course, an important benefit for those of us who are getting older is that it helps deal with and slow the loss of muscle mass and tone.

Consider the following:

'The limited research in this area (weightlifting)suggests that men and women of middle age will respond to systematic progressive resistance with weights by becoming more powerful and more flexible, with more endurance and less fat. The reasons why this is true are rather complicated, having to do with the body's biochemical goings-on following the stressful exercise of this sort. Some of the studies indicate that one of the reasons workouts with weights cause middle-age men to gain more power and muscular shape then workouts of the jogging track or handball court may be that the stress of progressive resistance weight training causes the body to produce more then the normal amount of the male hormone, testosterone, whereas the stress of the other exercises doesn't." by Terry Todd.

As an aside, as I read the above it made me think of the older runners I've known over the years whose sole exercise was distance running, Too often I've seen poor posture, spindly arms and legs, as well as a slight paunch, even on the slim runners.. I'll be honest, they were (are) hardly the picture of health.

If you aren't lifting, now is the time to start, 20 to 30 minutes 3 times a week is all you need. It will make you a better overall athlete, no doubt about it.

10 minute slow warm-up,  15--100 meter strideouts with a 15 minute easy warm down--stretching after.

What did you do today?

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The True Benefits

To be at the top of our game mentally and physically I believe it is essential to challenge ourselves physically. I believe the best way of doing this is through competition. Preparing for competition accomplishes many things. It gives us a goal, demands that we be organized, disciplined and follow a plan.
As a word of caution, I would add that too many people equate athletic success with trophies, medals and age group victories. Those 'successes' are superficial and temporary. The real,deeper benefits are described below by the Australian athlete/coach/philosopher Percy Cerutty:

 "Perhaps the greatest success is found when we achieve victory over ourselves. And that, perhaps, is the greatest reward that can be obtained from participation in athletics and sport, generally--the victory over our own nature, our  weaknesses, our tendency, perhaps, to rush to alibis, palliatives, and excuses, rather than to admit our moments of weakness: of capitulation(surrender). So we come to the realization that the qualitative factor in success is purely personal, and that it is not something that can be measured only by the distance ran, the time recorded, the weight lifted or thrown, the height jumped, or the victories achieved over others. In this way success is subjective although the aims and ambitions may appear purely objective."

I have read the above quote many times and I'm always amazed by the truth and depth of his words.

If you haven't as yet committed to an athletic goal that includes some form of competition I would encourage you to do so today, on this, the first day of the week.
It has the potential to be life changing.

45 minutes easy running in the woods with stretching and walking after.

How was your day?