Thursday, September 30, 2010

Timbs chatting with his students in MCOM 377

Here's a little podcast that I created of me talking and singing (well, sort of singing along with Sheryl Crow). Just exploring the power of the Internet to enhance communication.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Magic and power of the Internet/Dog and man speak

I'm an old guy. Not used to all this modern technology. But I never cease to be amazed at the power of the Internet.

Tonight, for example, my dog Michael Jackson and I created a video message that I zapped to students enrolled in my course in Community and Civic Journalism. (I just did the talking; Jackson pushed the buttons on my MacBook.)

Have a listen and look by clicking here.

Whaddya think?

The wave of the future (or even of the present) as an effective, quick way for professors to communicate with their students?

Hey bro

This blog post is for my one and only little brother--Eddie Timbs.

Here's a rare photo of him.

Little brother, can't wait till we get a chance to hit the links again.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm slow but I'm happy...

An interesting article by Judith Graham in yesterday's Charlotte Observer focused on how folks in their "golden years" (which I guess I'm on the front end of) may be slower mentally and physically, and yet more content and happy than ever.

The writer quoted a 68-year-old man from Florida saying this: "I've noticed a distinct change from when I was younger. Then, I was quicker to anger, more defensive, much more anxious. Now, I have a greater sense of inner peace. I don't feel the need to prove anything to anyone."

So why is it that older folks often say they feel happier and more stable and better adapted than at any other time in their lives--even as their cognitive and physical abilities diminish?

An expert on aging explains that as we grow older and understand that our time is short, our priorities shift. Instead of tackling tough new challenges--such as trying to move up the ladder at our job or impress others in our profession--we put our energies and time into those things, places or people that we're closest to.

Food for thought for all of us in our "golden years."

Men who lack adult supervision

Les Forest, an old USAF buddy of mine, sent me these hilarious photos. If you're a guy, you can relate. And if you're a woman, you probably can see the "guyness" in them. Enjoy.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Google Gravity

Just learned about Google Gravity from my students. Click here and notice the strange effects.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

People from India are smart and politically ambitious

In mid or late-October, eight students from India will be visiting Winthrop University.

I already knew that Indians are smart, and maybe you did too, but you may not be aware that:

•32.5% of Indian Americans have bachelor's degrees, while only 17.5% of the U.S. population have these degrees

•the median household income of Indian Americans is $90,528, compared to $52,029 for the U.S. population

•nearly 38% of Indian Americans held advanced degrees in 2008, compared with 10.2% for the U.S. population

•6 Indian American candidates are running for the U.S. House of Representatives this year

•Nikki Haley, who was born Nimrata Randhawa, is the Republican nominee for governor of South Carolina. (I didn't know Nikki was of Indian ancestry. Ms. Haley's photo accompanies this blog post.)

•Bobby Jindal, governor of Louisiana, is an Indian American

For more info. about one of our nation's most affluent, educated immigrant groups, read this article in USA TODAY.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Speaking out on behalf of hurting veterans and others

Here's a speech I wrote and gave at the Mountain Home Veterans Adminstration Medical Center in Johnson City, Tenn., on Sept. 10, 2010.

The occasion was the last day of Suicide Awareness/Prevention Week.

“Savoring Every Minute of the Life You Have Right Now: How To Defeat and Get Beyond Those Forces That Try To Tear You Down”

Life is short. Almost like the blink of an eye, it’s over.

Consider this:

If you live to be 85, that’s 31,025 days.

Or 745,000 hours.

Or 45 million minutes.

So if you’re 44 years old, that means you have roughly 22 million minutes left to be alive—IF you reach the ripe old age of 85.

But, as we know, none of us has the promise of even one more minute.

The past is gone. The future is uncertain. All we have for sure is the here and now.

So how, exactly, to SAVOR every minute of the life you have right now?

Notice how that word SAVOR rhymes with FAVOR?

Because a person who “SAVORS” something quote “derives or receives pleasure from it.”

A person who savors every minute of life enjoys life.

But again, how exactly to savor every minute of the life we have now?

It can be tough.

Because we don’t EVEN REALLY have 45 million minutes to savor.

The average person sleeps about one-third of the day. Or, over the course of a lifetime, for about 15 million minutes.

Well, you might say, that still leaves us 30 million minutes to savor.

Not really.
We have to work about 35 years.

Based on a workday of 8 hours, and factoring in time for vacations weekends off, that comes to about 4 million minutes that we’re slaving away at some job.

That leaves us 26 million free minutes to savor, right?


Think about all the unpleasant things that we have to deal with throughout life.

Things like paying bills, or standing in lines, or doing our taxes, or going to the doctor or dentist, or attending funerals, or fussing and arguing with people who drive us crazy, or taking out the trash, or pulling weeds or cleaning up messes or visiting jails or being stranded in traffic.

These things suck our energy and consume millions of minutes of our time. We don’t usually savor doing them. They’re just part of life.

So now, ballpark estimate, subtracting for all the unpleasantness that most of us have to endure in life, we have only about 15 million minutes, if that many, that we can savor.

That means we better make the most of the precious savorable time that we have.

So back to the first part of the title of my address:

“Savoring Every Minute of the Life You Have Right Now”

That’s a big challenge—even for the most fortunate of us.

And if you’re not so fortunate, or if you’re in a shaky situation, imagine what a struggle it can be to try to get pleasure from life.

Wonder what it’s like right now for those 33 miners trapped almost a half mile beneath a desert in Chile?

Rescue workers drilled a borehole extending down to where the miners are stuck, and they’ve been able to send oxygen, food, water, clothing, medicine and letters from loved ones down that hole.

They’re cautioning it’s going to be a long, difficult chore, maybe taking till Christmas, to bore and grind the shaft wide enough so that the trapped miners can get out.

Meanwhile, a half-mile under the surface of the earth, the miners hang on for dear life.

It’s gets hot down there, almost 100 degrees. And it’s desolate and lonely—what could be more awful than being entombed 2,200 feet under ground?

And then there’s the constant threat of another cave-in that could doom the entire rescue operation and kill all 33 of them.

Those poor, beleaguered miners are hanging on by the thinnest of threads. Today, as I speak they’ve been holed up in that deep copper and gold mine shaft for 35 days—without a bathroom, without being able to touch their wives or family members, without seeing or being able to feel the sunshine.

And yet they keep hoping and praying.

No one has ever been stuck for that long, so far beneath the earth. And some naysayers contend that it will be a long shot, at best, to save them.

Still, the trapped men hang on. Incredibly, some just a few days ago were reported laughing and joking and singing with their family members--via a phone connection strung down through that half-mile deep borehole.

It would be a stretch to say that these desperate souls are “savoring every minute” of their lives down in that wretched, stinking, dusty, black hell pit. But they ARE living and making do. So if they’re not exactly right now “savoring every minute of their lives,” I’d say they’re faring the best they can under dire circumstances.

And that’s something.

Savor every minute of the life we have now, folks, even if it’s not a perfectly happy or completely safe and comfortable life full of sunshine and rainbows and hugs. We have to do this to realize our full humanity.

One person who did this at the very end of his fairly short time on earth was 50-year-old Arland D. Williams Jr.

Never heard of Mr. Williams?

Flash back to January 13, 1982, to Washington, D.C.

If you’ve been to D.C. in the winter, you know how brutally cold it can get.

On this particular January day, it was freezing in our nation’s capital. The wind howled and a fierce snowstorm pounded the city.

At the airport, pilots tried to decide whether to take off or stay put.

Passengers had boarded their planes, and many of the big jets were idling or taxiing on the runway.

Meanwhile the snow continued to fall heavily, the wind blew ferociously, cutting to your bones, and the jets started to accumulate ice on their wings.

What to do if you were a pilot that icy, snowy, windy day?

Take off?

Scrub or delay the flight and send your fidgety passengers back to the terminal?

One pilot—of flight Air Florida 90 bound from D.C. to Fort Lauderdale--decided fatefully to gamble with the lives of his 74 passengers and three fellow crewmen.

As the snow, and wind and ice thrashed against Air Florida flight 90, a Boeing 737 jet, the pilot was cleared for takeoff.

Inside that big jet, the 74 passengers, one of whom was Arland D. Williams Jr., buckled up and nervously glanced outside their windows.

But I’m sure many of them figured that soon they’d be out of this nasty weather and bound for sunny, warm Florida.

The pilot of that big jet took off, and yes, it got airborne.

But because it had so much snow and ice on its wings, it stayed in the air only 30 seconds before crashing into the icy Potomac River.

Can you imagine the screams from the terrified passengers as the aircraft roared, left the ground, but then lost lift and plummeted from the sky—nose-first—into that icy river?

I’ll never forget the footage of that jet crash on CNN.

There on the TV screen, it was as if some sort of real life heroic drama were being played out.

I could see part of a plane’s tail section sticking out of the Potomac River. And I also noticed a few passengers bobbing in the icy water--desperately clinging to the twisted wreckage of the jet.

Above them a rescue helicopter hovered.

I kept wondering: How long can those hurting, freezing people last?

The helicopter would lower a life line and one of the people in the water, a balding middle-aged man would grab it and pass it to one of his fellow passengers.

Again and again, the chopper would lower that life line with a flotation collar, and again and again, the balding middle-aged man would snatch the line.

But instead of wrapping it around himself, he’d pass it on to someone else. Then he’d help wrap the line around that person.

I wondered how much longer can any of them could last. Because it was freezing cold and wet and they were hurt badly… And why wasn’t that one guy, who kept getting hold of the lifeline, pulling HIMSELF to safety…?

Finally, the chopper had yanked all but one of the handful of surviving passengers out of the river.

That last guy, the last man treading the icy, cold water, the one who kept refusing the lifeline for himself but who grabbed it and gave it to others—was Arland Williams Jr.
Arland Williams Jr., who had saved so many that awful day in January 1982, perished in the Potomac River. Because when the helicopter made its last return trip to pick him up, he had drowned.

This is what a clergyman said about him:

“His heroism was not rash. Aware that his own strength was fading, he deliberately handed hope to someone else, and he did so repeatedly. On that cold and tragic day, Arland Williams Jr. exemplified one of the best attributes of human nature, specifically that some people are capable of doing anything for total strangers.”

You might be wondering: Why is he telling us this? What does it have to do with savoring every minute of the life you have now?

Well, the story of Arland Williams Jr.’s heroism goes to the heart of my message.

Remember what I said about not being promised another minute and we can only be sure about one thing—the here and now?

Mr. Williams understood that.

He’s freezing in that icy river. His hands and feet are numb and hypothermic blue from the cold. He’s got cuts and he’s bleeding. And he’s barely got enough energy to keep his own head above water.

And yet there he was—up to his last breaths—helping others—in this case total strangers to him.

He made the very most of what he could do in that icy cold, death river that afternoon. And I’m certain, that in his own way, he savored his last few minutes of living.

You know…I’m not trying to sermonize with you today, but I do believe noted preacher and book author Rick Warren said something recently that makes total sense.

Mr. Warren said this:

“Life is a series of problems: Either you’re in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.

“The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort.”

Warren says all of us have to work hard and diligently every day to escape our self-centeredness, our own problems, our own issues, our own pain.

Translation: We have to get outside of ourselves, beyond ourselves, and help others.
Lots of us have daily to-do lists, but if all we’re doing with those lists is helping or serving ourselves, we’re selfish.

Because it’s not about what we do for our selves, it’s what we do for others. That’s the true measure of character.

So in that regard, Arland Williams Jr. had it totally right.

He took the focus completely off himself that horrible day of the jet crash and gave his all to his fellow passengers—making the most of his last few minutes of life.

Sometimes, granted, it’s really hard to get outside of our selves. We get so caught up in the daily grind of JUST BEING that the thought of helping others seems kind of ridiculous.

A few days ago, for example, my heat pump went out at my condo in South Carolina. And not only did it quit working, water from the inside of the heat pump had flooded my living room and hall, soaking my new carpet.

So there, miserably, I was: Another semester had just gotten under way at the university where I teach. That means all kinds of meetings and workshops and students and other beginning-of-the-semester demands. And I’m dealing with a ruined, squishy wet carpet, an expired heat pump, and, worst of all, a swelteringly hot condo.

I frantically started peeling back the carpet to check the water—and it was a big mess!

Then I began moving and scooting and lifting furniture —a task made even harder and sweatier when you’re doing it in 95-degree temperatures.

And while I’m struggling with all this, I’m dreading the idea of having to spend thousands of dollars for a new heat pump.

“Why, God, is all this happening to me?” I wondered. “Why, and especially why at the beginning of a new school year, am I having to deal with all this? Am I being punished?”

I’m sure all of you, too, have been in bad situations —predicaments that have strained you emotionally, physically or mentally--and that make it hard to savor every minute of the life you have now.

But here’s what we have to do, folks, when bad stuff like that happens to us: We just have to suck it up and keep going…

We have to be like Nike: Just do it!

Get past it. And get on with savoring every minute—or at least as many minutes as it’s possible for us to savor—of our lives.

Figuring Out What It Is We’re Supposed To Be Savoring and Doing:

A downside is that many of us never quite figure out what we’re REALLY supposed to be about. We never really fully understand our true self.

Yes, we go about our daily tasks of eating and sleeping and doing laundry and working and talking on our cell phones and buying stuff and checking our email, but we never quite grasp what exactly it is we were put on this earth to do or be.

For sure, we were put here for a specific purpose, and I have to believe that unless we learn what that purpose is, we never can fully savor our life.

Joel Osteen, a popular televangelist, has stressed that all of us are unique children of God, meaning that we each have skills, talents or gifts that no one else in the universe possesses.

Osteen says that we were made to do certain things, and if we want to have a fulfilling life, we should find out what those things are and start doing them.

Sometimes, some of us know what they are, but we shy away from doing them for fear of failure.

How can we hope to even begin savoring every minute of our life if we withdraw or shy away from our purpose?

Yes, we might fail and make mistakes, even at things we are gifted at doing, but life is difficult. I think it was meant to be that way to test our resolve and keep us on our toes.

Imagine that your life is a moving truck. You’ve got choices:

One: You stay put safely and securely on the side of the road and gaze longingly or curiously at the truck as it speeds by you.

Two: You stand, closed-minded and looking downward, not outward or upward, in the middle of the highway and let the truck run over and crush you.

Three: You take a bold chance and put yourself in the driver’s seat, thereby living your life to the fullest, going wherever you want, when you want, with whoever you want and however you want.

Yes, every now and then you’ll lose control and run off the road. (Sometimes that truck can seem to be driving you instead of the other way around!) You might even get lost or turned around.

But at least, if you’re in the driver’s seat, you’re exploring your options and taking control of your own life, picking up the pieces if you crash and getting back on the road and on your way to your destination.

Yes, it can be messy, ugly and disappointing as you travel that road, trying to do what you were born to do or even just trying to figure out your purpose in life.

But that’s the way a truly savorable, successful life seems often to be—messy, ugly, full of unexpected twists and turns, but ultimately worthwhile and uplifting.

•Albert Einstein, a German-American physicist who gave mankind the theory of relativity, was the leading scientific thinker of the 20th century. But did you know that he once failed an entrance examination to pursue study as an electrical engineer in Switzerland? They said he wasn’t smart enough!

Some folks discover their purpose in life against huge odds.

•Helen Keller became deaf and blind at age 1. But learning to communicate with sign language and by feeling people’s mouths as they spoke, she prevailed in a life of darkness and silence. She wrote 11 books, learned five languages and became an inspirational champion for people with disabilities all over the world.

•Abraham Lincoln was born in a primitive log cabin, and the love of his life, his mother, died when he was only 9 years old. He had less than two years of formal schooling, and the only book he had at home to read as a child was the Bible.

As a man, the tall, thin, gawky-looking Lincoln suffered from what was then called “melancholy” (today known as “clinical depression”). When he became interested in politics, he ran hard—but unsuccessfully—for office several times. But despite all that, Lincoln became our nation’s 16th president. Today, he’s regarded as one of the three greatest presidents in U.S. history.

•You may be too young to have ever heard of him, but Tom Dempsey was born without toes on his right foot. That didn’t stop him from making the most of what he had. He kicked field goals and extra points for the New Orleans Saints. And in 1970, he kicked the longest field goal—a 63-yarder--in the history of the National Football League. That record kick still stands today.

•And lastly, how could I give a talk at a Veterans Hospital in Tennessee without mentioning one of the Volunteer State’s true authentic heroes? His name was Alvin York and he might be the most unlikely of all the heroes I’ve mentioned here today—given his meager beginnings in Fentress County, Tennessee, where he was born in poverty in a two-room cabin. The third of 11 children, Alvin York during his youth was a Bible-believing pacifist—someone opposed to warfare or violence of any kind. He even registered for the draft for World War I as a conscientious objector. Being a fighting soldier was the last thing he wanted.

But Alvin York, who had resisted being involved in any sort of violence and who his mother once feared “would amount to nothing,” answered the call of duty.

He became our nation’s most decorated soldier of World War I, being awarded the Medal of Honor for disabling 32 German machine gunners, killing 28 German soldiers and capturing 132 others.

But who’d a thunk, who’d a dreamed that a poor, troubled, uneducated boy from backwoods Tennessee could have accomplished so much? Could have saved so many of the lives of his fellow soldiers?

Not that this business of finding your true calling and savoring every minute of the life you have now is easy.

Sometimes you do your best to discover your inner self or to figure out your purpose in life. You take classes. You read books. You color inside the lines, just like you’re supposed to. You pick the brains of your friends and family. You take a self-inventory of your talents and skills. You follow all the self-awareness steps and guidelines that seem to work for others.

And still, you’re at square one—just as befuddled as ever about your purpose and self identify.

Reminds me of a cartoon I recently saw depicting a dog stepping out of a shower.

“Dang,” the dog growls. “Three showers and I still smell like a dog!”

So if you search, study, focus, meditate, grapple and pray, and you’re still confused about your purpose, or frustrated about knowing what life change will make you savor being alive, take heart.

This whole searching for purpose, transforming your self and savoring life thing can take a while.

I’m reminded, in this regard, of a conversation between two stuffed animal characters—a rabbit and a skin horse—in the children’s book, “The Velveteen Rabbit.”

If you know that story, you might recall that the skin horse was wise, but old and bedraggled.

“What is REAL,” the rabbit asks the skin horse. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”

Replies the skin horse: “Real isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you. . .”

“Does it hurt?” the rabbit asks.

“Sometimes,” the skin horse responds. “But when you are REAL you don’t mind being hurt.”

“Does Real happens all at once, like being wound up, or bit by bit?” the rabbit wonders.

“It doesn’t happen all at once,” the skin horse says. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or who have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby.”

So okay, let’s say somehow, by luck, serendipity, God’s grace and guidance or through your own hard work and introspection, you find your purpose in life and can began savoring every minute of why you’re here.

But then forces or people try to block or defeat you.

How Do You Defeat and Get Beyond Those Forces That Try To Tear You Down?

If you were here and heard me speak last year, you might recall some of my suggestions.

One tip I offered was to attach yourself to upbeat, positive, nurturing people—folks you can talk to or who care about you and will listen to you. And they don’t’ necessarily have to be mental or physical care professionals. Sometimes just a good friend or close, supportive family member can help get you past your depression or funk or whatever “down state” you’re in.

That said, sometimes our closest and most caring friends and family members do all they can for us, but we’re no better. Full disclosure here: With me, about 12 years ago, I had reached the end of my rope. Despite all the encouragement and support I received from friends and family, I still couldn’t shake the miserable, dark forces that crippled my life.

I was, it seemed, doomed to be clinically depressed for the rest of my days.

Those closest to me had wrapped their arms and hearts around me, but I still felt defeated and full of despair and sadness. I couldn’t work, couldn’t think, couldn’t write, couldn’t focus, couldn’t come up with even one reason to keep on living.

And at that point, when I’d just about given up on life, I came here—to Mountain Home VA Medical Center.

They put me in pajamas and therapy and kept me in this safe place and gave me medicine, which they made me take. And the nurses and doctors here and folks like good-hearted Doris Call of the professional mental health social worker staff worked with me to put me back on track.

And gradually, “bit by bit,” to steal a phrase from the Rabbit in the book “The Velveteen Rabbit,” this old downcast Vietnam era veteran got better, stronger, got back to where I could enjoy life again. I regained my confidence and sense of worth and my desire to live life, and for that, I’ll always be hugely indebted to this medical center and its caring professional staff.

Bottom life: I’m an example of a person who almost waited too late to seek professional help. But when I did go after that help, when I got beyond my fear of the stigma of being hospitalized with fellow depressed and hurting veterans, I finally started taking baby steps toward recovery.

Don’t be like me. Don’t wait so long to pursue help—outside your circle of family and friends—if you require it.

Because if you’re not your strongest, most healthy self, there’s no way you can defeat those demons that try to tear you down. And if you can’t defeat the demons, there’s no way you can savor every minute of the life you have now.

Another tip I offered last year, and that I’ll repeat now, is to get yourself a dog.

They’re not called man’s best friend for nothing. All a dog wants is to be petted, loved and wanted. They’re great and loyal listeners, too. They never argue, complain or interrupt.

Is some irritating or negative person or bothersome thing or problem weighing heavily on your mind, preventing you from being at your best? Get your dog and take him for a good long walk and talk it over or THINK it over with him. You’ll both feel better and stronger. He’ll wag his tail and do his business and you’ll feel better for it. Don’t ask me why but you will. Dogs innately infuse us with positivity and happiness. They make us want to wag OUR tails.

And if you don’t have a dog, attach yourself to a close friend or confidante—especially if you’re going through a tough time.

Because we as humans, even when we’re healthy and strong, are not hard wired to be alone. If we’re in a desperate situation, we need even more NOT to isolate.

Maybe you’ve read the novel “Robinson Crusoe” —about a man shipwrecked and stranded on an island. For 25 years, the poor guy’s only companions in that godforsaken place are his parrot, his dog and a tame goat. He battles loneliness and mental illness, giving up all hope of ever seeing or talking to another human being.

But then one day, out of the blue, he notices that he isn’t alone after all. Bloodthirsty cannibals lurk on a nearby beach. They build fires and roast their fellow cannibals and devour them.

Robinson Crusoe, the shipwrecked Englishman stranded there for 25 years, rescues one of the savages just before he’s about to be eaten.

Crusoe names his new cannibal companion “Friday.”

Friday becomes not only Crusoe’s first human companion in a quarter century. He turns into the best friend, helpmate and protector that a man could ever have.

Folks, when our backs are against the wall, when we’re up against big odds, we shouldn’t be going it alone. We need a “Friday” to walk with and boost us, to talk to us and be a good listener.

So dependent are we on human contact and support, particularly when we’re in dire straits, that some people have done just about anything to make sure they’re not going it alone.

Remember the movie “Cast Away”?

It’s about “Chuck,” a Fed Ex employee stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes on a flight over the South Pacific.

With not another soul on the island to interact with, Chuck befriends a blood-splattered Wilson Sporting Goods volleyball.

He names the ball “Wilson” and for four years Chuck has regular conversations and arguments with Wilson—his one and only friend.

When Wilson washes overboard from a raft, Chuck almost goes out of his mind..

Because now he has absolutely no one to talk to.

Ladies and gentlemen, hopefully none of us will get as desperate and lonely as Chuck and befriend a volleyball. And we won’t be like Robinson Crusoe and take up with a cannibal.

But again, we’re hard wired in this world not to be alone. We need regular human contact, even when we’re doing well. And when we’re in a bad way, we require it even more.

Lastly, I know that last year I mentioned exercise as a way to combat depression and help keep us healthy—mentally and physically.

Whenever any forces try to tear us down, exercise can be one big part of a healthier lifestyle and help us think more clearly and correctly.

Two experts on physical fitness have recently written that if we’ll quit eating crap and that if we exercise six days a week—YES, SIX DAYS A WEEK--we’ll optimize our day-to-day living and feel better and stronger.

They refer to it as feeling “functionally younger.”

And while exercise or anything else that we do CANNOT reverse the process of aging, it can limit age-related disease and age-related decline.

Exercise—again six days a week—is a key to overcoming the signal inside your body that says you should be starting to die.

That’s because our bodies want us dead. Our bodies are sinister. They want to start decaying.

Every year, we get a little slower, a little fatter, a little less sexual, and not as quick or sharp in our mind as we used to be. Plus our muscle mass and coordination gradually declines.

Exercise helps slow that process down. It changes our blood chemistry and helps us age better and more gracefully.

Age is not something we can avoid, but decay IS something we can avoid.

No excuse, ladies and gentlemen, for any of us NOT to exercise on a regular basis if we truly want to feel better and act better physically and mentally.

And no procrastination! If we want to work on improving our liveds and defeating the forces that try to tear us down—we need to jump right away into the deep end of the pool or hit the jogging or walking trails or begin stretching our muscles on the treadmill or in the weight room. We need to move our butts, our legs and our arms—SIX DAYS A WEEK. The blood needs to be gushing through our hearts at a good pace.

See you at the gym folks!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Want to avoid rotting? Then don't NOT exercise!

I've come across a really interesting book titled "Younger Next Year: Live Strong, Fit and Sexy Until You're 80 and Beyond."

The book is by Chris Crowley and Dr. Russ Greenfield--two folks recently interviewed on WFAE 90.7 FM radio station in Charlotte.

To hear the podcast of their interview, click on this link and then scroll down to the "Younger Next Year" show that was rebroadcast on Sept. 2, 2010. Listen to the podcast by clicking on the "Listen" icon in the gray bar.

The authors assert that while exercise cannot guarantee that our life will be extended, it can make the quality of our life radically different.

They stress that if we’ll quit eating crap and that if we exercise six days a week, we’ll optimize our day-to-day living and we’ll feel better and stronger.

They refer to it as feeling “functionally younger.”

And again, while exercise or anything else that we do CANNOT reverse the process of aging, it can limit age-related disease and age-related decline.

Exercise—again SIX DAYS A WEEK—is a key means to overcome the signal inside your body that says you should be starting to die.

That’s because, according to these two authors, our bodies want us dead. Our bodies are sinister. They want to start decaying.

Every year, according to the authors of this book, we get a little slower, a little fatter, a little less sexual, and not as quick or sharp in our mind as we used to be. Plus our muscle mass and coordination declines a little bit every year.

Exercise helps really slow that process down. It changes our blood chemistry and helps us age optimally well.

Age is not something we can avoid, but decay IS something we can avoid.

No excuse, ladies and gentlemen, for any of us NOT to exercise on a regular basis if we truly want to feel better and act better physically and mentally.

I'm on my way to the West (fitness and wellness) Center right now!