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Category Archives: spa

Are We getting Older, or Better?

Between 2000 and 2010, the United States population ages 65 and over grew more than 15%. And by 2030, 70 million Americans (about one out of five) will be over age 65.[1]

 

 

 

 

 

Today’s seniors are aging differently.

Remember Grandma? When she was fifty, was she considered vibrant, active, and maybe even kinda hot? If your grandmother was anything like my own, the answer is a very definite “No!”. (Sorry Grandma.) Grandma was a terrific cook, a fascinating conversationalist, and a mean gin rummy competitor. But at fifty, she was overweight, out of shape, and didn’t expect to win any beauty contests.

Compare that with today’s Baby Boomers, who at ages 49+ command respect in all areas of life. They expect to age gracefully: to live well, feel good and to remain active and attractive.

But is that expectation realistic? At Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness, we think so.

By offering fitness classes on-site at co-ops, assisted living communities, skilled nursing residences and even memory care housing, Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness supports a healthy lifestyle at every age.

Older adults lose, on average, 30% of their muscle mass between ages 50 and 80.”   – University of Potsdam study, 2011

“It’s an exciting time to be in the senior fitness industry,” enthuses Live 2 B Healthy® president and CEO Cory Czepa. “Seniors expect to live longer and better. And the results we see show that it’s entirely possible.”

Czepa refers to the Minnesota-based company’s individual fitness tests, conducted three times each year. Test results with elderly fitness class participants, ranging from ages 68 to 105 show remarkable improvements in balance, strength and flexibility. Some individuals have shown over 200% improvement in as little as four months.

And fortunately for seniors, the company is thriving as well. Founded in 2008, the company now has a number franchise owners operating in California, Utah, Colorado, Texas, Missouri, Iowa, South Dakota, and Minnesota, and is on the path to becoming a national name.

“I wish my parents had had access to this program, and so it’s our commitment to seniors that Live 2 B Healthy® Senior Fitness will be available in every state by 2017,” comments John Meyers, director of operations.

Meanwhile, the company’s web site (www.live2bhealthy.com) offers seniors and their families tips and research on healthy aging. And franchise regions are available in many states.

For more information about the company, please visit www.live2bhealthy.com, or contact George Masmanides at GeorgeM@live2bhealthy.com.


[1] United States Census Data

 

A True American Family: A Place Where it’s NOT All About Me

I just returned from my wife’s family reunion in New Harmony Utah.  No I’m not kidding; it’s a real name, and a real feeling.

Having been an only child, and one with older parents at that, this is a serious change from my day to day life.  Being able to have an internet business, and being a writer, one is afforded a degree of personal freedom that is unequalled.  I get to go where I want, do what I want any time I want to, and have my friends over or visit them when I want, but it’s all on my terms.  My life is quite organized.  When it’s time to shop the stops are all planned sequentially and the timing is such that the stores are usually quite empty.  Shopping in the morning (right after the commute dies down)  allows me to skip the traffic jams, not have to wait in long check-out lines, and generally avoid people.

This “planning” and organization went out the door the second we got to the airport.  The only two airports that grant access to New Harmony are Salt Lake City, about 4 hours away, and Las Vegas, about 3 hours away.

We chose the latter.  Despite the hedonistic appeal of the city to foreigners to gamble, drink, and purchase sex, Las Vegas is to me a quintessential arm pit.  After the obligatory visit to the Bellagio fountains, the city seems to run out of charm quickly, and have that replaced with street barkers handing out whore trading cards amid the rubble of a shabby tinsel town drowning in its own excrement.  There are other places to “party” and certainly other attractions around the area, but the “strip” doesn’t hold up well if you stray off a block or two, or have to behold it in daylight.

In three hours we went from 2,001 feet to 5,800 and that was among the least of the changes.  The skank of the bowels of Vegas yielded to the amazing desert and Zion Park.  The painted rocks and canyons were an absolutely stunning contrast to the city behind, and we quickly lost the hurried frustrated feeling and began to succumb to “vacation mode.”

Upon arrival at our hotel, we were greeted by a few family members (only about 10) milling around the grassy area by the swimming pool, next to the lobby.  It was not clear at the time, but this was to become the family conference room for the next few days.  There were Pace’s flown in from Florida, Denver, Portland, and Chicago.  My wife came from a family of 5 kids, and the families descended on this tiny “Little House on the Prairie” community with the eagerness of a cloud of locusts on a ripe corn field.  After serious deliberation it was decided that the cloud would migrate towards a local Mexican cafeteria.  Every place we descend upon immediately becomes Pace Place.  The kids range from 2 years old to 21, the eldest being my daughter who actually gave up another huge family reunion with her mother’s (we divorced a few years ago) side of the family.  The entourage of the Robert Leslie Pace “posterity” numbered 21 folks for this event, so getting everybody to agree on anything is nothing short of a miracle, but it gets done.

We held golf tournaments, the great 5K “Pace Race” the morning of the reunion, had the reunion itself, visited local aunts, parents, grandparents, and cousins, had a family softball game, field trip to Kolob canyon with another fairly long jaunt, and visited the family ranch and graveyard, all with absolutely minimal planning and discussion.  There was barely any dissent, actually none among the family, and a minimal amount from the resident “only child.”  Things didn’t go according to plan, because there basically wasn’t one.  Dinner, save for the structured events, seemed to simply occur.  The plans for breakfast got botched the first day, but we all got fed.  Nobody seemed to keep track of which kids were riding with whom, to what destination, but in the end everybody arrived safe and happy.  The girls all got along great.  My 21 year old daughter became the “pied piper” of the younger cousins, a role identical to that she would assume when she returned home and drove up to Pine Mountain Lake to be with her Mom’s family of 20 or so.

The weekend ended with an impromptu Fourth of July parade, the time actually not set until the passing thunder storm could be assessed, and a carnival on the baseball field at the end of the street.  It wasn’t clear who paid for all the prizes for the kids, but it’s a pretty small community (population 190 as of 2000) and they take care of each other.

On the way back in the plane there was a young adult that thought it would be a great idea if he plopped his head in the window to watch the landing, and make sure that nobody else could.  It seemed odd to observe the “it’s all about me” attitude that can be the mantra of so many.  It is my sincere hope that the feeling of community and family love that has been my experience this weekend, can linger a bit in my day to day life and help me to live it a bit more skillfully.

Thank you Mary for sharing your beautiful family with me.

 

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Top Tips for a Great Team Building Away Day

Team building is a useful way for businesses to get their employees together and achieve a number of business goals, as well as having a bit of fun at the same time. There are numerous ways in which team building can work, from a simple brainstorming session in the pub to a full on day out in professionally run venue, this type of activity can be very beneficial for both morale and the business in general. In this article we outline some top tips that can make these days run as smoothly as possible.

Find the right venue

For some purposes a car park might suffice, however many of the most effective team building days happen when the right venue is chosen. To make it an “away day” feel like just that, it’s a good idea to pick a venue that is out of the office but not so far that attendees will feel like they’re going to spend all day travelling.  The best venues will have a reception area where bags can be left and people can relax in comfort, flexible meeting rooms, and other outdoor spaces for some of the more fun or abstract team building activities, as well as free flowing refreshments on offer throughout the venue. Very often venues with all the top notch facilities will be on the outskirts of big cities or housed in some of the most attractive buildings in the country – this means they really offer an ideal location for productive team building.

Get the right balance of activities

Team building days should be fun but they are also useful if a business is hoping to get a message across or after lots of new staff members have joined in order that everyone can get to know everyone else. Therefore it is important to get a good mix of activities for the away day. These can range from the gently competitive such as a school-style sports day or go-karting to more collaborative activities such as assembling a huge art installation that highlights your company‘s corporate values. Other worthwhile activities include simple ice breaking games for those who may take a little while to get into it and even days where it appears there’s very little to do with work but collaboration is very important such as cookery workshops.

Supercharge your brand

Several conference venues have in recent years taken the innovative step of creating branded space for a business that is using its facilities. This can be a real benefit for a team away day because it really gives the event a professional air and can make attendees feel like they are part of something significant. The best conference providers will be able to customise the required space with everything from brand logos adorning the walls to whether solid oak floors or carpets are required in the business “hub”. Many businesses have found that creating this type of bespoke space is ideal for embellishing an atmosphere of quality – especially in regards to training and team building as it shows employees that their workplace is prepared to go that extra yard.

Obviously there several other ways in which team building activities can be done, however it is certainly an aspect of business that should not be avoided – in the very least it can be a fun day out for everyone.

Jonathan has been away on many training days and in many meeting rooms with a variety of companies. He has found training away days very useful and a good morale booster.

 

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We Are So Spoiled It Makes Me Ill. Hooyah! Let us Give These Brave People a Moment of Consideration and Thanks.

While the newsreels play out a perfect scenario of success, we sit back on our couches and pat each other on the backs for what “we” just did in Pakistan.  We all have the images in our heads (myself included) that Navy SEALs are invincible; highly trained and disciplined young men and women that somehow through deification become invincible the second they pass BUD/S INDOC.  Not to mention things like that if you fail the OC (obstacle course) twice you are out.  Contrary to the “GI Jane” opinion, you don’t necessarily have to ring “the bell” yourself.
In truth it takes a SEAL 30 months of training before they are ready for deployment.  The SEALs that emerge are ready to handle pretty much any task called on including diving, combat swimming, navigation, demolitions, weapons, and parachuting. The training pushes them to the limit both mentally and physically but that doesn’t make them invincible.
These young warriors aren’t anything like our wonderful Hollywood caricatures.  A model SEAL is 5’10” and 175 pounds, about the only similarity to the Charlie Sheen, Sylvester Stallone, and Keifer Southerland avatars we watch boldly walking down mud streets or wading in rice patties, guns blazing, as the venerable enemy drops silently in droves at either side.  Obviously these made up lipstick wearing Adonis’s wouldn’t last 5 seconds in an actual fire-fight, but that’s not the point.
As we sip our white wine with our fat asses on that couch, congratulating ourselves for a job well done (and for those of you who have been and done, this obviously does not apply to you) let us take pause to reflect upon just how “easy” it was to kill bin Laden.  We get a picture of the Spec-Ops guys gearing up for the pre-op briefing, huddled around Dennis Haysbert and the rest of The Unit, casually leaving their all very attractive wives for another mysterious little “outing.”  Every now and then one of them might be injured, but there is very seldom any wholesale gore, and it is very easy for them to “leave no man behind.”  We also have a tendency to look at the statistics of that particular (bin Laden) mission and have it validate our Jack Bauer image of what Spec-Ops duty is like:  build a practice scenario, shoot at some dummies, get briefed, get on a plane, get on a Blackhawk, insertion, recon, flash-bang, fire a few quick shots, egress, extraction, and appearance with the President.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/POLITICS/05/06/bin.laden.obama/index.html?eref=mrss_igoogle_cnn
I t would be fine if life were so simple.
We can all mouth the words “war is hell.”  Very few of us can appreciate how true that is.  Sure we’ve all seen Ben Hur , Apocalypse Now and Saving Private Ryan but the familiarity of the stars, the surreal nature of the sets and the dislocation of the context makes it beyond our sensibilities to comprehend or relate to.  It becomes as abstract as a computer game where the figures just disappear when you kill them or the car always returns to the track no matter how many times you crash.  A more true representation of “war” can be found in BBC History of World War II if you have the time, and the stomach to sit through it.  It would change your life.*
We have so much to be thankful for, and so much to regret.  Joseph Schumpeter (economist)  was correct in his publication of 1942 (Capitalism, Socialism and Democracy) in asserting that the success of capitalism will lead to a form of corporatism and a fostering of values hostile to capitalism, especially among intellectuals. The intellectual and social climate needed to allow entrepreneurship to thrive will not exist in advanced capitalism; it will be replaced by socialism in some form.   (Does this sound like anything we have been hearing lately in political debate?)
The end result of this is that we Americans have spent beyond our means, that stockholder equity has dictated that we ship our jobs offshore, that our past industrial success has left us with an abnormal dependency on foreign oil, and that the greed, arrogance and ignorance of our people has left our country gasping and vulnerable.  Can we get it back? Hell yes, but not without hard work and sacrifice.  Corporate bail-outs and pork-barrel legislation should be punishable by death.
So we got ourselves in a bit of a jam.  There are people out there that hate us:  Shiites, Sunnis, Cripps, Bloods, you name it.  In some part we have to be aware of the disparity that our opulence has caused, and the result of our largely Christian Evangelistic society and the push-back it can instigate.  We have been fortunate and not always particularly diplomatic about it.  We have all experienced the “Ugly American” at some point in our foreign travels, and I have had the good fortune to be able to travel extensively and hear what some extremely intelligent people actually think about us and our politics.  Since that experience it has been a comfort to watch BBC News more often than FOX, if you know what I mean.
The “war” on terrorism didn’t start on September 11, 2001.  It did not end on May 2, 2011.  How ironic it would have been if they could have negotiated the operation one day earlier.  “Bin Laden comes to infamy on 9/11 and is executed on May Day,”
* If you want just one example of what kind of hell a SEAL operation can actually endure I encourage you to read the story at the following link.  It is not my liberty or bandwidth to articulate how many stories there are like this, or how many young heroes have given their lives in the service of their country, and the pursuit of this threat.  Suffice it to say that the administrations statement of “no casualties” on this operation makes me sick.  This was part of a huge global operation that eventually culminated in a victory.  No victory for American service men and women comes cheap, nor should their sacrifices be overlooked.  Hooyah!
Please note that they had it right, even then. This Op was in Asadabad, where we finally caught him. They opened the door.  They did NOT die in vain.
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=37856
This Op stared out with a crew of 4 SEALs.  Take a look at how “Jack Bauer” this turned out:
11 Navy SEALs and 8 Army Task Force 160 aircrew died in the battle.
 Marcus Luttrell, Matt Axelson, and Danny Dietz each received the Navy Cross, the second-highest decoration for valor in the military.
For his actions, Michael Murphy received the Medal of Honor on October 22, 2007.
The men who gave their lives on the helicopter are:
Staff Sgt. Shamus Goare, 29, Danville, Ohio.
Chief Warrant Officer Corey Goodnature, 35, Clarks Grove, Minn.
Sgt. Kip Jacoby, 21, Pompano Beach, Fla.
Sgt. 1st Class Marcus Muralles, 33, Shelbyville, Ind.
Major Stephen Reich, 34, Washington Depot, Conn.
Sgt. 1st Class Michael Russell, 31, Stafford, Va.
Chief Warrant Officer Chris Scherkenbach, 40, Jacksonville, Fla..
Master Sgt, James Ponder III, 36, Franklin, Tenn.
Chief Petty Officer Jacques Fontan, 36, New Orleans, La.
Lt. Cmdr. Erik Ristensen, 33, San Diego, Calif.
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffrey Lucas, 33, Corbett, Ore.
Lt. Michael McGreevy, Jr., 30, Portville, N.Y..
Petty Officer 1st Class Jeffery Taylor, 30, Midway, W. Va.
Senior Chief Petty Officer Daniel Healy, 36, Exeter, N.H.
Petty Officer 2nd Class James Suh, 28, Deerfield Beach, Fla.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Eric Patton, 22, Boulder City, Nev.

 

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If You Have Had Trouble Accessing a WordPress Blog…

Alexia Tsotsis Mar 3, 2011

You have no idea how hard it was to get this post up, as WordPress.com, our blog host, is currently under a denial of service attack. It’s been almost impossible to access the TechCrunch backend for the past 10 minutes (everything seems to be stable now) and users have been receiving a “Writes to the service have been disabled, we will be bringing everything back online ASAP” error message.

From the VIP blog post:

WordPress.com is currently being targeted by a extremely large Distributed Denial of Service attack which is affecting connectivity in some cases. The size of the attack is multiple Gigabits per second and tens of millions of packets per second.

We are working to mitigate the attack, but because of the extreme size, it is proving rather difficult. At this time, everything should be back to normal as the attack has subsided, but we are actively working with our upstream providers on measures to prevent such attacks from affecting connectivity going forward.

We will be making our VIP sites a priority in this endeavor, and as always, you can contact us via xxxxx@wordpress.com for the latest update. We will also update this post with more information as it becomes available

WordPress did not mention the origin of the attack (DDoS =! Anonymous) and I have contacted founder Matt Mullenweg for more information. WordPress.com currently serves 30 million publishers, including VIPs TED, CBS and TechCrunch, and is responsible for 10% of all websites in the world. WordPress.com itself sees about 300 million unique visits monthly.

Update: Automattic and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg tells us that this is the largest attack WordPress.com has ever seen, and is likely to be politically motivated:

“There’s an ongoing DDoS attack that was large enough to impact all three of our datacenters in Chicago, San Antonio, and Dallas — it’s currently been neutralized but it’s possible it could flare up again later, which we’re taking proactive steps to implement.

This is the largest and most sustained attack we’ve seen in our 6 year history. We suspect it may have been politically motivated against one of our non-English blogs but we’re still investigating and have no definitive evidence yet.”

You can check here for the latest status updates.

Image via: blogohblog

Update 2: Looks like everything’s back to normal.

 

Monday morning wisdom

An old man once said …There comes a time in life, when you walk away from all the drama and people who create it. You surround yourself with people who make you laugh, forget the bad, and focus on the good. So love the people who treat you right, pray for the ones who don’t. Life is too short to be anything but happy. Falling down is a part of life, getting back up is living!!! Thanks Doug for this!

 

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This is a most lovely grey day. Happy Valentine’s Day to you, all of you! It is great to be alive!!!

When I woke up this morning my head was pounding. My mouth was dry and my lips cracked from breathing through my mouth all night. I opened the curtains and it is cold and raining outside, the kind of grey drizzle that does no good, just keeps the sun away. The lawn is littered with fallen debris. As the house is inspected it reveals dirty dishes in the sink, an unmade bed in the guest room, clothes spewed all over our bedroom where I have been living out of a suitcase for the weekend, books and papers scattered about the living room. There are used towels on the floor in my bathroom, and we are out of toilet paper.

I cannot remember a more beautiful morning in my life. The dishes, clothes, and towels are all over because we just had my wife’s father and my brother-in-law down from Portland for the weekend. One of the papers cluttering the living room was a beautiful Valentine card from my wife. We are lucky enough to have a lawn for debris to be scattered over, and this rain is the first we’ve had in over a week and it is mid February.

I guess it’s all a matter of perspective. What makes this such a beautiful morning is that I have the wife, the lawn, good friends, a new family (after I was divorced I got to keep the old one, so now I have two) and more importantly my heart is beating regularly.

Yesterday was one of those “ah ha” moments, or wake-up calls. Atrial fibrillation is a condition of cardiac arrhythmia usually reserved (at least in middle-aged men) for those either on a drinking binge reminiscent of spring breakers in Cabo, those with heart conditions, or those extremely dehydrated or on stimulants like caffeine or cocaine. I had none of those conditions so it was a bit of a surprise when I awakened to find my heartbeat rapid and shallow and about as regular as a ping pong ball in a clothes dryer.

This happened to me before, so I tend to downplay what does not seem immediately life threatening. The in-laws, wife, and I were scheduled to drive down to Pebble to join our wonderful sponsors at Hertz for a day of fun, food, and watching Bill Murray and Matt Cain. Oh, yes, and there was also golf being played. They having flown down from the great Pacific Northwest to attend the event, and my wife being the driver and also a great fan of the “amateur” celebrities it made no sense for them to miss the event to watch me lie in a hospital bed tied to all sorts of tubes, wires, and monitors. With a little reluctance they dropped me off at the ER at 8:00 in the morning, kissed goodbye, and all said they hoped to see me sometime again, in THIS lifetime.

The emergency room was jammed, but having a heart disorder no matter how trivial (guess there is no such thing as a trivial heart disorder in their minds) guarantees you a bed immediately. Having done this before I know was somewhat hoping to have the opportunity to spend an hour or two in triage watching the AT&T before being admitted. No such luck.

Having to suffer the indignity of immediately disrobing and being connected to an intravenous drip, an electroencephalogram (EEG), blood oxygen monitor, respiration monitor, linear accelerator, and wind tunnel, I was now prepared for my treatment. The first time this happened within 30 minutes they had me on blood thinner, my second drip bag of hydration, and 60mg of Soma to try and regulate my heartbeat which was vacillating between 100 and 300 beats per minute. My normal resting rate is 60.

This was not the case yesterday. The ER was jammed, so basically I got a bag of saline and was left alone – completely alone – for about three hours. There were some other brief encounters, but in general no progress, and no human contact for almost eight hours. There is no better format for meditation and introspection that comes to mind than sitting, watching your heartbeat racing in the “danger, warning will Robinson” zone on a monitor, trussed up like a thanksgiving Turkey, and just waiting. The occasional alarm would bring in a worried nurse/technician to look at the monitor, adjust the alarm threshold and DO NOTHING. I have no disrespect for Kaiser, but there are some horror stories that leave its reputation somewhat short of Johns Hopkins, so being left alone with my own mind it was quickly apparent that there was indeed the distinct possibility that there would be no future in my future.

With even this remote possibility, however self-created, comes certain clarity. I need to treat my loving wife, all of my friends, and family with more than mere respect, with palpable gratitude. That rainy blustery morning outside the bedroom window is one of the most beautiful things in creation. Every single person that can be helped by what we do as a marketing agency is precious. Every opportunity to turn someone’s business even more slightly towards the path to success is a unique gift from God to help. Random acts of kindness like sending $100 to help a friend I haven’t seen in ten years sponsor a short film even if it never amounts to a thing, every $10 check to the Southern Poverty Law Center, heck a $5 check to the Rush Limbaugh drug rehabilitation fund, anything anyone can do to help another is your great karmic responsibility.

Let’s all redouble our efforts to include what we share on the net. Is what is being written and broadcast truly intended to be helpful or is it self-serving? When we host an event is it truly crafted to educate our audience, or is it a veiled attempt to provide just enough information to “hook” them into being customers. Question the ethics, even the karma if you will, of what you are producing. The Buddhists call this “right livelihood.” It doesn’t take much explanation. When you speak at a convention or meeting, when you teach a class or sponsor a meet-up sincerely ask the question of your audience “are you being served?”

After eight hours of an extremely uncomfortable experience lying on a hospital bed, unable to turn, bleeding from the holes in my arms, and dying of hunger the doctor comes in and tells me “it’s not working.” This is sobering news as it means that they are going to have to stop my heart and start it again with electric shock. Although time is a factor, since my wife is in Monterrey with her family, they asked if “just in case” anything were to go wrong the procedure could be scheduled when she could be there with me. Short of asking if I wanted a priest, that was somewhat devastating news. We decide to postpone the procedure until the next day.

Since the sole reason for my fasting all day was in case I need what they call “cardio conversion” ( which is doc-speak for killing you and bringing you back to life) I was finally allowed a turkey sandwich (my now most favorite of all foods – ever). Figuring it to be symbolically my “last supper” I abandoned my diet and even had real mayonnaise on it.

Upon completion of said meal I took one last look at the little heart monitor which had been so disappointingly displaying rather random blips and squiggles for the last eight hours, and started crying. It revealed a sweet, absolutely regular, normal heartbeat.

A mandatory “safety” hour later I was released. I kissed the orderly (not sure he totally enjoyed that, but what the heck) promised to name my next pet after the doctor, and would have paid the bill with antique silver dollars had they asked.

Since my wife was still at the Pro-am and I didn’t want to bother any of my friends (whom I now adore one and all) it was decided to walk the two and one half miles home. What’s that line from “My Fair Lady?”

“I have often walked down this street before, but the pavement always stayed beneath my feet before…”

The exhilaration and resolve for re-dedication to a more skillful position of loving-kindness towards all that is, can be fleeting after such an experience. My earnest prayers are that if only for a moment, it will be remembered and take priority over the usual knee jerk reaction to the next person that cuts me off in traffic.

Go hand a perfect stranger a flower today!

 

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