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What’s Your Excuse?

I have a neighbor – his name is Dick Walther – and I call him the bionic man. He is going to be 93 in June and runs circles around most people. His level of energy, IMG_1310enthusiasm and his positive disposition is contagious. He was just highlighted in the “Hero’s Issue” of Tennis Magazine and is the winner of USTA’s 2014 Senior’s Service Award and inducted into the USTA Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame. He is a former engineer and fought in World War II and started playing tennis in the 1940’s. However, it wasn’t until after retirement that he enrolled himself in a Professional Tennis Registry certification course and began coaching at Kent Place School… at the age of 75. He also started the Summit Tennis Association and revitalized and revived multiple tennis courts across the city to repair them for more active play and give back to the community. He still plays in the USTA League event in the 90-95 age group. Dick inspires me.

Dick is the perfect example of the premise mind over matter (my daily mantra in my classes and discussion in a previous blog post) and the notion it is never too late to make things happen.

Once again quoting Deepak Chopra’s book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” based on quantum physics, he advises on how to “defeat entropy,” to “believe” enough to control physical changes and to “reinterpret your body” to create renewal. By practicing these philosophies, we can elongate our lives by perpetuating healthy physical reactions within our body, starting on a cellular level. Chopra’s premise is that the more positive our mind is, the more beneficial the effect it will have on our body.

For example, as a society, we naturally anticipate retirement and have a mental image of what that entails. We tend to fall into that role and our minds and bodies begin to shut down – thinking that is the end of our active life. It is believed this has a direct correlation with a decline in health and increase in disease. Those societies that are not privy to retirement – ie. the IMG_3036farmer who has no choice to feed his family, will work until he can’t work anymore. His mind frame never shifts to “it’s time for my steady decline until I reach the end of the road.” They naturally live a more active, longer life because they never consider the alternative. Similar to the story of Dick. He has never quit or believed it is time to stop.

If you believe in it, it can happen. If you visualize yourself doing it, it becomes real. If you are fearful or convince yourself it’s not possible, chances are, you will have a difficult time and your body will shut down. By keeping your mind in a constant state of functionality, your body will naturally follow.

So just when you think you want to give up, or it’s too late to make a difference, think of Dick.

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  • Robin Kelley

    Loved this article. All so true and never too late to accomplish anything. Thank you so much for the inspiration.

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What To Do When You Can’t Do Anything

This week, I had the fortune of having reconstructive ACL and meniscus surgery. I say fortune because what they say is true – “what doesn’t kill you makes you ww v2stronger”. Let me summarize this as best I can… It’s like telling Wonder Woman she no longer has superhuman powers and battle skills and can no longer use her Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets and invisible airplane. Not to mention her rockin’ tiara (that’s clean, washed hair in my scenario). And yes, for all intents and purposes of this blog, I am “Wonder Woman” in this scenario.

What have I learned when I can’t do anything?

  1. Patience. Patience to rest and recover and know that every day will get a little bit easier. Appreciating the love and patience of my family, particularly my husband, who stood by my side 24/7.
  1. Life goes on. A little set-back does not determine my future. In fact, it probably helps me get there faster as I become introspective about where I’ve been and what’s to come.
  1. I will become superhuman again, but in the meantime, appreciate others stepping up to the plate. Friends and family make the world go round and without them, you can easily fall.
  1. Battle skills. Oh, mark my words…I will be able to battle again, and battle stronger than ever before. Watch out future Tabata clients, I am gonna kick-your-ass when I return.
  1. Lasso of truth. It’s hard to take someone out of their complete comfort zone and submerse them in a helpless situation. Sitting still…not my forte. But definitely my moment of truth. I have two choices – let the situation bring me down or conquer it and push myself to get stronger every day. Guess which I chose?
  1. Indestructible bracelets. Let’s call this my need for control. Yep, no secret I like to control my situation. Although I prefer to call it ambition and organization. It mostly pertains to my ability to get a million things done in a mere 15 minutes. Let’s bring that down a notch. I can now drink a Starbucks, read a magazine and have my leg in a stretching machine…all at the same time! Go me. Maybe lack of control is not such a bad thing.
  1. Invisible airplane. Humm…if only I had one I would fly my broken ass to the fastest PT facility in the world and cut the recovery time in half. Hell, maybe I don’t need a plane after all since we all know I will break records in that department.

So, here’s my summary. Things get broken and plans get changed. It does not have to change your ambition or spirit. In fact, if you take it all in, there is probably a message hidden in there somewhere. My message is to slow down and look around me at the amazing friends and loving family whose support I am eternally grateful. And, of course, get excited for my future superpowers with my new bionic leg.

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  • Nancy Francischetti

    Hi Deb- so glad your surgery is in the past & your recovery is progressing nicely. I am inspired by your thoughtful insights penned in this post . Your positive outlook is the best coping mechanism and your ability to inspire others to do the same , no matter what one is facing, is a gift . Thank you for sharing your thoughts and friendship! Peace to your day &I wish you a speedy recovery!!

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Mind Over Matter

As several of you may have experienced when I teach Tabata, I chant a lot about mind over matter. It’s a proven fact – if you convince your mind you can do something, you can conquer it. It’s also the theme of many of our daily posts on our Facebook page HeelsToLacesFit. One of the most recent being: “It always seems impossible until it’s
done
”.

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There are numerous studies that have shown by controlling your mind, you control your body. This can be applied in so many ways – in times of stress (physical or mental), in your reaction to your environment, in relationships and in the power of healing.

It’s no secret I am somewhat obsessed with Deepak Chopra. In his book “Ageless Body, Timeless Mind,” based on quantum physics, he advises on how to “defeat entropy,” to “believe” enough to control physical changes and to “reinterpret your body” to create renewal. By practicing these philosophies (in addition to fueling our bodies with healthy diets), we can elongate our lives by perpetuating healthy physical reactions within our body, starting on a cellular level.

Our cells renew every day. In fact, 98% of the atoms in our bodies are exchanged for new ones every year.  Chopra’s premise is that the more positive our mind is, the more beneficial the effect it will have on each and every cell we reproduce in our body.

We can mentally control and change our physical reactions. It’s a fascinating concept. You can change your body, and your outlook, simply by changing your perception. It’s how we interpret our external world. If we convince our mind we can physically accomplish the task at hand, our body will follow. If we can replace stress with positive intention we can rid ourselves of the negative reactions that follow…such as aging, damage to our organs and physical ailments.

It goes back to the premise – how are you going to react to what’s in front of you?

– If you believe you can conquer it, mostly likely, you will.
– If you are fearful or convince yourself it’s not possible, chances are, you will have a difficult time and your body will shut down.

Over time, by practicing positive thinking, you will see the positive effect it will have on your body, and in turn, the image you project to the outside world. Spending less time focusing on your obstacles in front of you and more energy on how you are going to succeed effects every aspect of your being.

So I challenge you to predetermine how you will deal with your task at hand. Begin by eliminating the fear and believing you will excel. Convince your mind you are capable…and see how your body follows.

To leave a comment on this article or any other blog entry, please fill in the “Leave a Comment” box under each blog entry on our site: Heels to Laces.

  • Robin Kelley

    Love this post! I think it’s all so true. Just have to remember it when the going gets tough. Great reminder.

  • Michelle

    Changing your perspective is the best thing you can do! Ditto to this whole post. I love that we have the power inside of us to continue to make or break our mindset and if we focus on the positive energy and thinking, we will succeed in ways we never knew before. Thank you for the reminder and encouragement. Rock on!!!!

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