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Love and Companionship for Baby Boomers

June 24, 2012 by  
Filed under Personal Development

LOVE & COMPANIONSHIP FOR BABY BOOMERS
By Michael Thomas Masters

romantic-heart
Baby Boomers can experience romantic love and companionship. Persons over age forty-five express as much romantic passion as those in their twenties. We can surely fall in love at any age, in our 50s, 60s and even 80s and 90s. This is true for all mature adults, gay, straight, bi-sexual or transgender. In fact, we boomers (and older folks) are becoming the oomph generation!

More and more Baby Boomers are entering the dating world to find companionship and to have someone to communicate with, whether or not romance (and more) follows.

People are living longer and healthier lives as a direct result of looking for love and/or companionship later in life, as well as keeping positive and healthy attitudes. Countless Boomers (and older) are far more active than previous elder generations.

Even in our media and marketing worlds, mature romance comes in a rainbow of diversity, as is evident in countless films, plays, TV programs, TV commercials and printed materials.

For instance, consider the touching, amusing, insightful and offbeat comedy-romance film, HAROLD & MAUDE. At a funeral, a depressed, twenty-year old, Harold (Burt Cort) befriends Maude (the effervescent Ruth Gordon), a seventies plus woman who has a zest for life. Maude and Harold spend much time together, even falling in love, during which time she exposes Harold to the wonders and possibilities of life.
harold-maude
On the small screen, the classic television series THE GOLDEN GIRLS remains a tribute to mature, knowledgeable and lively people, with the series main characters mostly over fifty and full of oomph!

In the past, mature or prime time adults (or seniors, if you prefer) chose more traditional venues, such as cruise ships, bowling clubs, placing personal ads and church gatherings in seeking companionship and/or romantic partners.

With the tagline, “this is what love feels like,” in the film BEGINNERS, a seventy-five years young gay man (Christopher Plummer) meets his younger lover Andy (Goran Visnjc) through social circles, which worked for this happy and loving couple.

Even though these tried and true in-person dating settings are still suitable and work for many single Boomers, on-line Internet dating and surfing has become tremendously popular, saving time, cash and even recurrent travel miles. After all, prime-time age people are far more computer literate than we often give ourselves credit.

Considering the fact that in 2012 half of all people in America over fifty are single, it makes sense that dating sites for those in their golden years are popping up worldwide. Furthermore, in our neighboring country of Canada, where 42% of the entire population is dating online, over the age of forty-five dating has become very acceptable.

Additionally, like plenty of folks under age fifty, many prime-time adults do not feel comfortable hitting the singles bars and other social gathering scenes.

At the time of meeting someone through online dating, you can get to know them better by sharing more information during initial e-mails; than you would with someone, you just start dating in-person. This is because you often spend time sending e-mail (or snail mail) messages back and forth, talking on the telephone and possibly even sharing personal photos or videos.

When you do meet for the first time, taking security precautions are essential, such as meeting in a public place, letting people know where you are going and when you will be back, and taking your cell phone with you. Such precautions are wise to follow even for non-Internet generated first dates.

Remember that human companionship and love can occur when and where we least expect it. In addition to increasing changes of meeting someone, being involved in social activities, gatherings and clubs often places us in environments with other single and interesting Baby Boomers also in search of relationships and/or love.

While further examining media Baby Boomer theme examples, consider the film LAST CHANCE HARRY in which a lonely and single man (Dustin Hoffman) in his 60s, while attending his daughter’s wedding, finds his romantic spirits lifted (and his life changed) by a new female friend (Emma Thompson) in her 50s.
love-birds
Sound a little too romantic? Hey, sometimes life can be that way. Moreover, love happens to folks of all ages!

If you consider on-line dating as an option, checkout these Baby Boomer (and plus) companionship and dating websites, or surf the Internet on your own for other dating sites and social meeting alternatives.

BabyBoomerPeopleMeet.com

Babyboomer-dating.com

SeniorFriendFinder.com

gay.com

chemistry.com (gay and lesbian)

Singleparentsmingle.com

Christiancafe.com

ChristianMingle.com

*****************************************

Michael Thomas Masters can be reached at filmguy552003@yahoo.com

Ageless in LA Eat Unprocessed

February 28, 2012 by  
Filed under health

Ageless in LA EAT UNPROCESSED

By Marjorie Hope Rothstein

chef-aj
A couple of months ago in my Intense Stretch Yoga Class, a student stopped by to drop off an immensely rich German Chocolate cake that she prepared for the teacher’s birthday surprise gift.

Suddenly, after an hour and a half of extreme poses, the faint smell of dark chocolate fudge seduced me to check it out. I found out that this student, who seemed to have pretty good flexibility, was a gourmet chef. She works with top celebs, ceo’s and leading edge medical doctors. Studied at eCornell, this former stand-up comedienne who appeared on all the late-night talk shows, including a 10-minute stint/stunt on Johnny Carson, peaked my interest. Who is this lady who claims she bakes without any of the standard ingredients and prepares unprocessed, mostly raw food? (Vegan) In fact, the initial cake was prepared for our yoga instructor without wheat, dairy, salt, oil sugar (the SOS) and most of all no animal products.
cake-me
This talented Chef AJ, is the reason why I decided to finally, once and for all, change my addictive eating habits. After decades of dieting, ad nauseum, and the upcoming fear of flying into my next decade an old, worn out and post-middle-aged fatty, I was determined to finally do something about it, with ease, joy, fun and the freedom from yo-yo diets. Watching my other fellow-post-menopausal boomerbabes try everything from the Master Cleanse to the HCG super diets and the old-standby Atkins, or the new ‘miracle’ shakes, tonics and elixirs guaranteed to make you slim and void of sensual pleasures.

I decided that if Sixty is the new Sexy, then I was going to have to find a way to enjoy food and the sybaritic pleasures of life, once and for all.

tie-sal
Chef AJ invited me to her raw food beginner’s class and after one bite of her ice blended chocolate shake filled with kale and other greens (which were undetected by my refined palate), I was in! She suggested that I take her 30 Day Challenge and become a part of “a live” community of fellow health seeking foodies who were all discovering a pathway to beating their addictions to the poor excuses of food. Of course, Chef AJ seduced me with a sampling of that German Chocolate Cake and I was hooked. Each week we would co-mingle at her intimate abode and learn about the keys to wellness through eating whole, unprocessed, alive food. After all, she is a maven who works with the top MD’s from True North Health Center (a detox clinic in Santa Rosa, CA), with notable names such as Dr, T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne, Dr. Doug Lisle (Forks over Knives, the movie) Dr. John McDougal, Dr. Goldhammer and Dr. Fuhrman (check out PBS for his special on vibrant health, “http://www.drfuhrman.com/“>www.drfuhrman.com/). Many of this information were based on The China Study.

Chef AJ is the fulcrum to their programs where she leads the way to how to eat well, by demonstrating ingenious ways to health via her magical recipes. Just like the mesmerizing lady in the movie, Chocolat, who spins a web of magic and brings people together to enjoy the sweetness of life and discover the realm of the senses. Chef AJ is the Pied Piper to feeling great and losing weight.

amer-po
In our thirty day Challenge, we have the support of daily e-mails and the bonding of strangers who are now friends, where we share our deepest secrets and celebrate the victories of overcoming addictions to processed foods, sweets and fats. We are taught that the food industry spends millions of dollars to make sure we become addicted to their products, compacted by the Pharmaceutical Drugs that keep us addicted to their quick fixes (where the side effects are sometimes worse than the curative effects) Many in the group are on their second round, and have beaten the clock with eliminating life threatening diseases through detoxing from the poisons they were consuming. Chef AJ was one of us, and cured herself of a precursor to cancer, so she is living proof that this works and committed to helping anyone and anyone who is willing to take on this challenge. From diabetes to high blood pressure, depression to severe addictions to sugar (alcohol) and fats, many of her students go on to further their education and become the leaders of their own groups.

As America becomes one of the fattest countries on the planet, we are also the most malnourished. If each person wakes up to the toxic world we live in and eliminates just one addiction, they will marvel at the baby steps and awaken to the miracle of health.
sick-am

I am on my own journey and although I want to stand on the rooftop of my townhouse in Hollywood and scream out to my ‘hood’ the benefits of eating this way, I know how it feels to have someone proselytizing their way to salvation. At the risk of being obnoxious, suffice it to say that I will BE the example. The day I finally can fit into my skinny jeans (the old non-stretchy kind, circa 1991) without lying down on the floor and sucking my stomach and eliminating my breathing for a couple of hours. This time I am doing something to eliminate my aches and pains, from a so-called hereditary ‘bouts of arthritis, fibromyalgia and years of starvation which left me lacking in nutrients. Now I am eating my way to wellness, and although this is a thirty-day challenge to detox, I am convinced I will adopt this way of life as the norm, because I am free of cravings and satiated beyond desire.
veg-sur
For many of my friends, eating meat and dairy is still a ‘necessity’, so I will not preach this way. Every BODY is different and one must follow their own inner guidance on the road to wellness. After all, this is the 21st century! I keep hearing the line from Jim Morrison, ‘She’s a Twentieth Century Fox” and I’ve changed the word to Twenty-first.
un-pro

Here are a few tips to explore this for you:

1. Chef AJ:
READ her book, Unprocessed: How to achieve vibrant heath and your ideal weight,
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1456576097/
VISIT her sites: www.eatunprocessed.com/, www.thinnervention.info/, www.vegsource.com/chef-aj/
JOIN her facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/chef.aj1

2.CHECK OUT Bill Clinton’s new diet, which saved his life.
http://www.vegsource.com/news/2010/09/cnn-interviews-caldwell-esselsty n-md-dean-ornish-md-about-bill-clintons-plant-based-diet.html

3. READ the book Forks Over Knives by T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., watch the groundbreaking movie,
http://www.youtube.com/movie/forks-over-knives
http://www.amazon.com/Forks-Over-Knives-Plant-Based-Health/dp/16151904 57

4. True North Health Center
http://www.healthpromoting.com/

5. The China Study
www.thechinastudy.com/

6. Optimum Health Institute, in San Diego, CA
www.optimumhealth.org/
The first step for Chef AJ to help her cure herself, and “where I was able to detox without having the pressure of being at work at the same time. So while I did go through some withdrawal, I was in an environment where I was actively learning about what foods caused disease and being nourished with the foods that could reverse the disease.”

Explore the vast network of wellness sites and you can change your life right now!

marg-oneLiving the 5-star life,Marjorie Hope Rothstein is a Fine Living Consultant and creative muse, guiding her clients to making conscious changes to live their best life now. Living it Up even in a Down economy, she has her finger on the pulse of the latest breakthroughs in wellness, vibrant health and natural radiant beauty while sharing it all in her columns.  Through the practice of experiencing Beauty4theSoul, her clients are creating a new blueprint for healthful lifestyle choices and alternatives, so they can awaken to the next stage of living in the fullness of a joyful life. As the quintessential Boomerbabe focused on simple pleasures, she believes that the future of health care is Self-Care and taking the first step is by visiting a wellness retreat or spa. As a spa trends specialist, journalist and personal lifestyle coach,  her motto is: The rest of your life can be the best of your life!

Contact Marjorie at the5starlife@gmail.com for a Free Copy of her Newsletter, Beauty4theSoul and if interested in learning more about
rejuvenation options, she is available for a personal coaching session.

The Potential of P4 Medicine

November 19, 2011 by  
Filed under health

hand-pod
Have any of you heard of the term P4 Medicine? The term was coined several years ago by biotech pioneer Leroy Hood. Following a complex recipe of the integration of biomedicine, information technology, wireless and mobile, a new phase of digital medicine is being born. The shorthand for P4 Medicine – Predictive, Preventative, Personalized and Participatory – is already in play. Right here, right now, we are witnessing the transformation of how we will receive and experience health care, and it is amazing. How is that happening, and how will it affect us?

The vision of P4 Medicine is that instead of waiting for clinical symptoms to appear, like a growth spotted on an ultrasound after it has spread, physicians will be able to see early warning signs of malignancies from a tiny bit of blood analyzed by genomic instruments and software. If the genes and proteins are really predictive, then physicians could take early action, or patients can focus on prevention via lifestyle. All of a sudden, the focus of medicine goes from reaction to an investment in wellness.

And then there is the technology portion. There are currently over 20,000 different mobile apps available which merge your phone and diagnostics. For example, you can now measure your blood glucose on your and send it to your physician, which, in turn, can help you better understand your blood sugars as a diabetic. (Already, this has covered Personalized and Participatory.) Once this information is predictive, it can also be preventative as well. And that’s just for starters.

The booming field of mobile-health technology is only one part of an equation that is playing into this transformation. For example, GE Healthcare manufacturers a portable ultrasound device about the same size of a cellphone. It’s called the Vscan, and it allows a physician to look directly into the heart of a patient. Here, both the patient and the physician can see the muscle, the valves, the rhythm, and the blood flow. Already, we are touching on the Participatory and Personalized element of P4 Medicine. When we have the experience of witnessing what is happening inside our own body, we can start approaching medicine differently. No longer is your physician simply informing you about news which you may feel slightly removed from. (The language is medical. You may feel a disconnect.)
van-scan
For those of you who, like me, have had the overwhelming experience of seeing your developing fetus via ultrasound, you can remember what that experience was like. For the first time, you are drawn that much closer in, witnessing life inside you. Similarly, physicians expect that patients who witness their own health in real time will be propelled to take charge of their own health care. It stands to reason that patients are more willing to make lifestyle changes that keep them healthy when they can monitor the consequences of their actions in real time.

Here at oomphtv, we aim to be a great communicator of new age 21st medicine, so stay tuned. Dr. Hood, in particular, believes that this transformative new idea in healthcare is near the tipping point. Timing is everything – we are blessed to be a witness.

If your curiosity is piqued, check out theP4 Medicine Institute for more information.
pan-image

Is Physical Frailty Inevitable as we Age

November 16, 2011 by  
Filed under health

body-well
Last week I had a discussion with two of my middle-aged co-worker friends. The topic was how do we keep ourselves fit into our later years and is physical frailty inevitable when we get into our 80″s and 90’s. The two men I was having this discussion with are in their early 50’s . Both men are the father’s of new born babies this past year (I plan to write another blog post about this subject as well) and want to be around to see their babies grow up as adults. Health is a popular topic with both of these men.

Whenever I get to this topic with these two friends I usually end up bringing up my mother ( see The Green Buddha video ) and the subject of the first oomph short documentary subject Jack Kirk ( see Jack Kirk video ) as role models of positive aging.
jeanne-look
I know my mother and Jack Kirk are exceptional people in exceptional shape for their age, but they do provide realistic role models for all of us in our middle age?

Yesterday I came across the results of an interesting study published last month in the journal The Physician and Sportsmedicine (I have reported information in this very respected journal in previous blog posts)

In the current findings, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh recruited 40 competitive runners, cyclists and swimmers. They ranged in age from 40 to 81, with five men and five women representing each of four age groups: 40 to 49, 50 to 59, 60 to 69, and 70-plus. All were enviably fit, training four or five times a week and competing frequently. Several had won their age groups in recent races.

They completed questionnaires detailing their health and weekly physical activities. Then the researchers measured their muscle mass, leg strength and body composition, determining how much of their body and, more specifically, their muscle tissue was composed of fat. Other studies have found that as people age, they not only lose muscle, but the tissue that remains can become infiltrated with fat, degrading its quality and reducing its strength.
jack-jog
There was little evidence of deterioration in the older athletes’ musculature, however. The athletes in their 70s and 80s had almost as much thigh muscle mass as the athletes in their 40s, with minor if any fat infiltration. The athletes also remained strong. There was, as scientists noted, a drop-off in leg muscle strength around age 60 in both men and women. They weren’t as strong as the 50-year-olds, but the differential was not huge, and little additional decline followed. The 70- and 80-year-old athletes were about as strong as those in their 60s.

“We think these are very encouraging results,” said Dr. Vonda Wright, an orthopedic surgeon and founder of the Performance and Research Initiative for Masters Athletes at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, who oversaw the study. “They suggest strongly that people don’t have to lose muscle mass and function as they grow older. The changes that we’ve assumed were due to aging and therefore were unstoppable seem actually to be caused by inactivity. And that can be changed.”

In multiple earlier studies, people over 50 have been found to possess far fewer muscle motor units than young adults. But that wasn’t true for the sexagenarian runners, whose leg muscles teemed with almost as many motor units as a separate group of active 25-year-olds. Running, the scientists wrote, seemed able to “mitigate the loss of motor units with aging well into the seventh decade of life.”

Of course, the volunteers in both Dr. Wright’s and the Canadian study were, for the most part, lifelong athletes. Whether similar benefits are attainable by people who take up exercise when they are middle-aged or older “isn’t yet clear,” Dr. Wright says, “although there’s no reason to think that you wouldn’t get similar results no matter when you start.”
man-arm
Until recently, the evidence was disheartening. A large number of studies in the past few years showed that after age 40, people typically lose 8 percent or more of their muscle mass each decade, a process that accelerates significantly after age 70. Less muscle mass generally means less strength, mobility and among the elderly, independence. It also has been linked with premature mortality. But a growing body of newer science suggests that such decline may not be certain. Exercise, the thinking goes, and you might be able to rewrite the future for your muscles.

Perhaps the role models of my own mother and of Jack Kirk are not that exceptional after all. And perhaps injecting a little oomph into our own lives we can be exceptional too.

Los Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run 2011 Part 5

November 9, 2011 by  
Filed under inspiration

A Race “That Just Happens”
A Journal by John DeGregory
run-sunset
NEWCOMB’S SADDLE TO CHANTRY FLATS (74.55 MILES)

I continued to press out of Newcomb’s Saddle still feeling good. I wanted to tick off as many miles as I could while I felt great, understanding that reality would set in eventually and I would be relegated to a slow climb once the big climbs came up after Chantry Flats. I had just over 10k to run to get to Chantry and all but .8 mile was more or less downhill. I made good time down to the bottom of another canyon (we have a theme going here) and passed a few more runners in the attempt. At the base of the small climb up to Chantry Flats, I could here the noise in the distance. I was relegated to glow sticks until I came around a sharp turn and there on the bluff was an electric aid station that arguably was the most energetic and well manned on the course. It was like an oasis in the dark. It reminded me of a carnival scene with multiple aid station tables, HAM radio operations, people bustling back and forth attending to runners, people kicking back, etc. I got into Chantry Flats at 3:30 a.m. (90 minutes earlier than the 5 a.m. drop dead deadline I gave myself). The tides were starting to turn. I located a porta potty at the aid station entrance and did my business. I then came out and started to weed myself through the crowds looking for Al. I was surprisingly greeted by Carrie! I did not see Mark so I found some immediate solace in that something did not happen to him. Carrie looked sick and a few seconds later confirmed that she was battling an unsettled stomach and some other flu like symptoms while on the course and had to abandon. Al took over the pacing duties and had left with Mark about 30 minutes before I arrived which meant I was still pacing myself well. Carrie refilled my hydro pack while I got into my drop bag and replenished some supplies. I had a grill cheese sandwich and that really hit the spot! I noticed Jorge Pacheco was at Chantry Flat comfortably clothed in his post run attire. I later found out that he was leading the race (predictably) into Chantry Flat but elected to drop after being on the course record for a while. His decision to drop was not confirmed but we think he may have had a hard time fueling and hydrating prompting his early day. It is amazing how so many of these elites have the mentality of all or nothing. To finish a 100 mile run is a sacred privilege no matter the time. The mindset of an elite runner is so much different. I joked with myself after saying good bye to Carrie that I was going to finish ahead of Jorge. I thanked Carrie for everything as I was not going to see her again until the finish at Loma Alta Park (no crew access points after Chantry Flats). It felt weird to know that but I was used to being alone so it strengthened me to push on. I was also glad Carrie was going to be able to sleep for a few hours in the hopes she was able to capture a second wind.

CHANTRY FLATS TO IDLEHOUR (83.75 MILES)

THE MOMENT OF TRUTH……the last 25 miles of the course and the two biggest climbs loomed. Against better judgment, I ignored my foot problems and sabotaged my plan to care for my feet at Chantry Flats. I think adrenaline and emotion overcame me at that aid station and I just wanted to keep moving. I had 3,100 feet in 6.24 miles to climb to the top of Mt. Wilson and a total of 9.02 miles to Idlehour (the next aid station). This stretch would determine my fate on this day. It was 3:50 a.m. when I got back on the trail and began the gradual ascent of Mt. Wilson. I once again fired up the I-Pod Shuffle and immediately noticed how bad my feet were. The non category climbing was a matter of minutes away and I was already compensating on the up hills to negate the pain radiating through my heels and toes as the friction of each step kept grinding into my skin exacerbating my blisters. I was relegated to leaning all the way over on the steeps much like a ski jumper in the Olympics. I was trying to minimize the heel lift in my while keeping progress moving forward. It was a tough predicament. I decided to do the best I could to go out of my own body and focus on other things. I did come in contact with “Mr. Hoorah” again and passed him which brought some resolve to my problem. He commented on how well I was moving and how strong I was. I was too tired to argue and decided to take his feedback and try to make that my reality. Eventually I found what I thought was the summit of Mt. Wilson. I came off the trail and into a clearing and immediately noticed Larry Rich sitting on a park bench with his pacer John. I stopped to exchange pleasantries and noticed Rich was in pain also suffering from some advanced blister problems. This was the moment that Rich and I were forever inseparable for the rest of the run….our fates still in the balance but our journey became one effort. Rich introduced me to his pacer John who was an incredible guy full of energy, encouragement and tough love. He kept us moving and in rhythm often getting a head of us which inspired us to push on and get to where he was. After talking briefly, Larry encouraged me to push on with him and John. I accepted the invitation and found out John was familiar with the course. He indicated we had just under four down hill miles into Idlehour but had not yet crested Mt. Wilson (of course we hadn’t). Larry got up and we began a gingerly saunter up some more vertical until we arrived at a fire road that would take us the rest of the way into Idlehour. John was great keeping us motivated to keep moving while holding us accountable to perpetual motion. We talked, laughed, took some brief respites to pee and eventually found ourselves grinding into Idlehour. I ran out of water for the second time in two days and John let me suck from his Camelbak intermittently to offset my fluid deficiencies (a novel gesture). Larry had a more aggressive exit strategy on the aid stations than I did and I was able to catch him on the sections leading to the next aid station. This was the aid station that I needed to attend to my feet so I agreed to catch up with them later not knowing if I actually would. This aid station had arguably the best team on the course. The nicest gentleman greeted me enthusiastically and asked what he could do for me. I half jokingly said I needed some foot care remembering the medical director indicated they provide no hands on medical care for runners. Before I could laugh at my own request, he immediately asked me what I needed and quickly got out a first aid kit. Before I knew it, he had my feet analyzed and the care remedy in motion which included popping my blisters (beyond the call) and covering my hot spots with mole skin and first aid crème. He lined the heals of my with duct tape to minimize the friction on my heels. This guy saved my race and to add kindness to beyond the call of duty…sent me off with a breakfast burrito. Now this was service with a smile. I chugged out of Idlehour on a mission to find Larry and John and for a brief but fleeting moment, thought I might just have a chance to finish this thing. Later I found out I was nearly two hours ahead of the cut off time at Idlehour. It was coming together slowly but surely.
run-night
IDLEHOUR TO SAM MERRILL (89.25 MILES)

Chugging out of Idlehour I quickly realized how much better my feet felt. It was not perfect, but I knew he had patched them well enough for them to be a non-factor the rest of the way (or so I was hoping). I had one more big climb up to Sam Merrill (1,960 feet in 3.77 miles) waiting for me and at the summit of Sam Merrill is when the barn starts to smell as we say in ultra running. Before the ascent up Sam Merrill, there was a little over a mile of down hill and I took it aggressively and did end up catching Larry and John prior to the ascent. The three amigos back in action. It felt good to get back with Larry and John as we picked right up where we left off. The climb up Sam Merrill was arduous and I remember Ling Chu noting in her course feedback that you could see the aid station on a bluff from afar but you never seemed to get there. Exactly the predicament! We met up with a couple other runners and a posse of five of us grinded mercifully to Sam Merrill. When we finally arrived, the realization of having the last big climb under our belts radiated but the victory was short lived as we had work to do. My feet felt great (per the predicament) and that was the last time I would think about them as everyone’s feet were hurting at this point. The Sam Merrill Station lacked karma. All I can remember from this aid station was a guy that kept negatively indicating that they only had water and Gatorade. My ammo was water and coconut juice so I was not in dire straights although as mentioned earlier, the aid stations at critical junctures of the course (notably the last 3-4 aid stations) should have been stocked with soft drinks, ice and a few other high mileage essentials. Not complaining, but it makes a difference to have cold fluids and a Coke in the later mileage. Staff mojo (or lack thereof) at this aid station kept me motivated to keep moving. I filled my hydro and blasted on toward the last aid station (Millard Campground) with Larry and John smelling the barn at 89.25 miles.

SAM MERRILL TO MILLARD CAMPGROUND (95.83 MILES)

John kept the stories rolling and the accountability in the high beam encouraging Larry and I to press on. We were both shot (our legs were worthless and the relentless climbing and downhill had trashed our quads relegating us to a consistently slow shuffle). We were not complaining but it hurt nonetheless. It seemed in hindsight like we would never get to Millard Campground. We made good time overall and eventually came to a ridge over looking the Los Angeles Basin. Larry had us look down the canyon and we could see Millard Campground in the distance. He pointed exactly to where we needed to go and it seemed to motivate Larry and I to up our pace (if even for a minute) to get there. We descended for a while longer and inside of a mile from the aid station we encountered another female runner coming up the trail to greet us. I was confused at first as to whether she was part of Larry’s crew but ended up finding out she was a friend and not associated with his crew. She knew Larry was coming and wanted to support him. She gave him a bottle of Ensure and Larry took a couple of swigs. I thought to myself how good that would taste if only I had one. Before I knew it, Larry passed the bottle back to me and I noticed it was an icy cold Coke (hallelujah!!!!!!!!) I swigged the rest of the Coke and the lady immediately ordered me to give it back to her. She quickly became our mother and within minutes had me assessed to include all of my shortcomings. 1. I was carrying too much weight, 2. I was over dressed, 3. I looked dehydrated, 4. I looked under nourished…..I chuckled inside and decided to let this lady care for me (what the heck….I needed some TLC). We arrived at Millard Campground and Larry and John decided that Larry was going to immediately continue up the trail while John got his water bottles filled. They encouraged me to do the same asking me to give my hydro pack to the lady who was our new guardian angel. I checked in and out of the aid station with Larry and continued up a slightly steep canyon out of the basin Millard Campground was situated in. John caught Larry and I felt a little weird leaving a lady I did not know behind with my hydro pack so I stayed behind and waited for her against John and Larry’s advice. They disappeared and the lady appeared with my hydro pack a few minutes later scolding me for stopping. We were now headed home.
finish-one
MILLARD CAMPGROUND TO ALTA LOMA PARK (100.53 MILES)

We quickly got in a rhythm out of Millard Campground and before I knew it, this lady was feeding me peppermint candies, gel shots and telling me to drink every few minutes (like a human metronome). We quickly caught John and Larry and once again John kept encouraging us to keep moving while giving us periodic reports of where we were relative to the hallowed grass of Loma Alta Park! Larry and I chatted intermittently trying to get our arms and minds around the realization that barring death, we were going to finish this thing. We had enough time recouped to walk it in and the utter elation coupled with the utter exhaustion made for a giddy few final miles. The last few miles were a combination of dirt fire roads and single track. We merged on to the final section of single track before dumping out on to the streets of Alta Loma. At the top of this small rise of single track was a guy who looked familiar as I got closer but I could not place him. Turns out my dear friend Monte Grix made the trip (as discussed) from Santa Monica to support me and see my finish. It was emotional seeing Monte and he quickly joined our convoy running with me all the way to the finish line at Loma Alta Park. We popped out on to the streets of Alta Loma and sure enough we had one final climb to the finish line (why not finish with a climb). We made a few turns residentially and finally ended up at the perimeter of Loma Alta Park. Larry and I insured our pacing was congruent and eventually we saw a pathway on to the grass that took us the final 100 yards to the finish line in the distance. Upon seeing us, the crowd erupted and this is perhaps the single moment in time when I remember little to nothing. The finish line at a 100 mile run elicits a myriad of thought processes and emotions. You become numb to your reality trying to grab hold of the magnitude of what you are about to experience and what you have already endured. I came across the line separating from Larry just enough to give his crew and supporters an opportunity to embrace him and allow him time in his moment of triumph. I crossed the line in 31:54.36 looking down before looking up to see Mark, Carrie and Al cheering me on while moving as fast as they could to get over to greet me. Mark and I embraced in a congratulatory hug and I found out that Mark finished 24 minutes ahead of me. I was given a finisher’s t-shirt and directed to the photographer to get a black and white photo. Afterwards, I chatted with Monte briefly and gave him a hug as he had to leave to get to work. So appreciative of his selfless dedication to coming out and seeing my finish especially in light of the fact he has a new baby Mirabella and is time strapped. I sat down briefly while my body succumbed to the fact that I had finished and starting stiffening up as is the drill at a hundred. Mark, Carrie, Al and I conversed briefly and we then decided to go to the local community pool where showers had been secured for us. Mark and Carrie said their good byes having an afternoon to catch out of Burbank. Words cannot describe the gratitude and appreciation I have for them and their efforts to get Mark and I to the finish line. Mark and I got back to the park right around 2 p.m. and met up with Dan Burke, Suzie Lister and his posse. We ate some pizza, hydrated and set up lawn chairs together and enjoyed a wonderful awards ceremony. Around 5 p.m., we parted ways and Mark and I headed back to a Best Western Motel in Pasadena to recover and recoup. Mark fell fast asleep and I could not seem to follow suit as we had both been up for 39 straight hours and my body was aching. Slammed a few Advil’s to numb the discomfort! Mark slept to nearly mid night and I went in and out of consciousness. We eventually realized we needed calories. We ended up at a Denny’s restaurant and had a mid night buffet of epic proportions.

We headed home the next morning with our finishers belt buckles and engraved plaques in hand celebrating and recounting the many moments and memories we accrued over the past two days. My wife Susan could not be with me at Angeles Crest as she was attending the wedding of a close friend in Indianapolis. I missed her dearly and so appreciate her support from afar. She always provides the support and inspiration for me to pursue my passions and I love her endlessly for that selflessness. A special thank you to Mark Barichievich (my esteemed good friend and trail companion) for always pushing me to new heights and having that perspective that always keeps things fun, meaningful and on the light side. I respect him greatly and cherish the two one hundreds we have run together. I’m sure there is another one on the horizon soon. To thank Al and Carrie for what they did is hard because they did more than a simple thank you can justify. Mark and I don’t finish the Angeles Crest 100 without their unwavering support and encouragement. They were incredible. Special thanks to all of our friends, families and ultra running buddies who provided the invaluable perspective needed to ready us for this challenge. Mark and I can’t thank everyone enough for following us round the clock on the internet and for your text messages and phone calls.
me-done

160 runners signed up for the Angeles Crest 100 Mile Endurance Run. 122 runners started the run. 71 runners crossed the finish line. A 58% finish rate! Ultra running is heart and soul. Your body is just along for the ride. To have the health and the good fortune to do these things is something I am truly grateful for. Live each day to the fullest. A day in the life and a mile in the sneakers is never guaranteed.

This was our journey at Angeles Crest. Thank you for reading this report.

John

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