Thursday, August 17, 2017

“Anti-Aging” Is Out of Style at Allure

Beauty magazine Allure is giving the heave-ho to the term “anti-aging,” and, instead, is ready to “celebrate the beauty in all ages.” Actress Helen Mirren, age 72, is on the cover of its September issue.

“Having a beauty magazine appreciate aging instead of trying to fight it is a huge step in changing the way society thinks about growing older,” says Dr. Noelle Nelson, author of “Happy Healthy…Dead: Why What You Think You Know About Aging is Wrong, and How to Get It Right.” “If a magazine like Allure recognizes the simple loveliness in aging, so can the rest of us.”

Nelson explains that as we age—every wrinkle, every scar—tells a story about our lives. “Imagine reaching age 60 with no laugh lines!” she says.

During her research for “Happy Healthy…Dead,” she discovered people in their 70s, 80s, 90s, even 100s who are thriving, enjoying life and accomplishing great things. It led to her creating “Meet The Amazings!” on Facebook where she celebrates people who understand that life is to be lived with enthusiasm and gusto, whatever age or physical condition. Since she began Meet The Amazings! in 2016, she’s posted over 100  of these “amazing” stories.   

“Growing older is a wonderful thing because it means that we get a chance, every day, to live a full happy life,” says Michelle Lee, Allure editor-in-chief on August 14, 2017 on the magazine’s website. “I hope we can all get to a point where we recognize that beauty is not something just for the young.”

The magazine’s website also includes quotes from 29 celebrities including Oprah Winfrey (age 63), Ellen Barkin (age 63) and Diane Von Furstenberg (age 70) about their positive views on their later years.

“Some may think, ‘oh, they’re celebrities, of course they’re going to enjoy life,’” says Nelson, “but I’ve found countless numbers of amazing older folks, from all walks of life and all economic conditions who have the exact same, enjoy-life-to-the fullest attitude.”

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Making Good Times Out of Bad: the Ken Nwadike Story

Once upon a time, there was a man who wanted desperately to run in the 2014 Boston Marathon – as many runners did -  for the simple reason that it was the first Boston Marathon after the dreadful 2013 bombing. But the Boston Marathon is different from most marathons, in that you have to qualify in order to enter it. Namely, you have to have completed your previous marathon in a certain amount of time, depending on your age category.

Well, the man in question was 23 seconds short of the qualifying time he needed in order to enter the marathon. But here he was, in Boston, now what?

He had a number of options.

1. He could get angry. I mean, after all, what’s 23 seconds? And who makes up these qualifying times anyway?

2. He could blame, well, pretty much, anything and anyone. The weather the day of his previous marathon, the shoes he was wearing, the argument he had with his S.O. the night before, not to mention the arrogant marathon elite who made up these (stupid) qualifying times in the first place.

3. He could get depressed. There was only one 2014 Boston Marathon, there would never be another. This was going to be an historic run, and he was going to miss it. Serious bummer.

4. He could beat up on himself. Why, oh why, wasn’t he swifter? What was wrong with him that he couldn’t even qualify for the Boston Marathon?  How dare he think he could run the thing?

Any of which could easily have led to his turning tail and going home, angry or depressed, take your pick.

Instead, Ken Nwadike attended the Boston Marathon in his own way. He made a “Free Hugs” sign, and with that and a camera on a tripod, he gave out hugs and smiles to the runners that passed him by, his way of encouraging and supporting them. No self-pity, no blame, no anger.

From that humble beginning, Ken began his widely acclaimed Free Hugs Campaign, which states its purpose as follows: “Continuing the nonviolent movement of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the mission of the Free Hugs Project is to spread love, inspire change and raise awareness of social issues.”
When things go wrong in our lives, as they do from time to time – sometimes seemingly all the time! – we have a choice. We can dwell on the “ain’t it awful” part, or we can pause, take a deep breath, assess the situation, and find a positive direction in which to go.
Sure, there are times when it’s important to mourn, grieve, get pissed, and otherwise allow the bad feelings to have their way with us. But it’s never in our best interest to stay with those feelings, to let them run rampant through our hearts and minds as we rehash the awful/unfortunate situation over and over again.
Whether it’s something relatively small in the scheme of things, like missing a marathon, or large, like losing a loved one, let Ken’s story inspire you to take that breath, re-orient yourself, and move on to doing something worthwhile with the experience.
Life rocks! So can you.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Meet a Champion Who Gives New Meaning to Never Ever Ever Give Up

There are people in life who amaze you, and then there are people who are so far beyond amazing that there are no words to describe them.

Such a one is 17-year-old Kobey Pritchard from Indianola, Iowa who is a state-level competitive wrestler. He’s eying a future NCAA championship—and doing so with only one leg. Yes, you read that correctly, Kobey trains like a fiend to achieve with one leg what many athletes dream of with two. And that’s without the benefit of a prosthetic.

Kobey’s leg was amputated when he was six due to cancer. When he found the prosthesis uncomfortable, he switched to crutches. Which means he trains--sprints, lifts weights and works out--on crutches.

Why did I choose to introduce you to Kobey? Because he gives new meaning to “never ever ever give up!” I don’t care which goal you have in mind, most of us fall down, not on dreaming our dreams, but on keeping-on keeping-on when the going gets tough. Can you imagine the number of challenges, not just physical, but mental and emotional that Kobey has faced as he’s worked his way ever closer to his wrestling championship dreams? Yet none of them have deterred him from keeping-on.

So what’s the secret? How can you develop a Kobey-like “never give up” attitude?

1. Don’t listen to other people’s nay-saying.
Whenever you go for a significant goal, there are bound to be people who will say “You can’t do that, you’re too young/old/short/tall/lazy/etc. (fill in the blank)” or “What makes you think you can do it?” or “You’ve never managed anything like that before” or any number of other “You can’ts.” The one thing you can’t do – is listen to them!

2. Hitch your wagon to a star.
Whatever you dream of doing/being, someone else either has done it, possibly in another field, or has come darn close. Someone you can admire, be inspired by, and in a sense, pulled forward by. Look for such people – alive or long gone – to help you remember that whatever it is, you can do it!

3. There’s more than one way of doing things.
Kobey has had to develop techniques and skills that are different from the more traditional wrestling holds in order to win despite his missing leg. This is not a “one size fits all” world. There are as many ways of doing things as there are individuals on the planet. Have the courage to go outside the usual ways of approaching your goals whenever you feel stymied by the ways most people have adopted.

You truly can achieve whatever goal it is you have in mind, as long as your passion for that goal fuels you, and your absolute faith in your ability to somehow, some way, accomplish it is unwavering.