Tag Archives: Don Ardell

Don Ardell – Difficulty and suffering are prerequisites for fulfillment

The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book.

Don Ardell is a 71 year-old triathlete who lives in St. Petersburg, Florida.  In 2009, he won his age group at both the US National Sprint Triathlon Championship in Newport Beach, Virginia, and the World Sprint Triathlon Championship on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Don started his athletic career playing all manner of games growing up in Southwest Philadelphia.  In high school, he ran track and cross-country.  He joined the U.S. Air Force straight out of high school and managed to earn a spot on base and All-Air Force teams for football, basketball, baseball, volleyball, softball and, of course, track as a miler. Don did anything he could to stay off KP and performing the boring duties of a lowly airman, so that he could attend courses for college credits when not off representing one air base team or another.  Don was observed by a college basketball scout during an air force tournament that led to his eventual matriculation at George Washington University on a full basketball scholarship. Thus, Don “began” his college years as a sophomore with credits accumulated at night during his Air Force years.  This made it possible to take lighter loads while playing varsity basketball, acting in student drama and musical comedy productions, and chasing coeds, one of whom he married. 

After completing graduate school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a degree in urban planning, Don took up competitive handball.  Playing throughout his 30’s, Don  won many titles, including the Minnesota state championship.  Entering his forties, Don discovered road running.  Five years later, and after many marathons, Don moved from the San Francisco Bay Area to Orlando to teach at a university and manage a wellness center.  All Don’s new friends seemed to be engaged in the relatively new sport of triathlon, so Don took that up as well.

Don’s introduction to triathlon happened as a consequence of his work.  He was the featured speaker at a hospital wellness conference in Kansas City.  While there, he was asked to do the event as a promotion for his wellness lectures.  On a borrowed bike and with the aid of all kinds of swimming aides just shy of water wings, Don survived the encounter, managing to finish the ordeal almost but not quite last, due to his strong running ability.  But, Don was hooked on the sport and, in time, would learn how to swim properly and ride a bike in a competitive manner.

Don has been involved in the wellness movement since the 1970’s.  He wrote the first popular book that helped to create a wellness movement,“High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Doctors, Drugs and Disease, published by Rodale Press in 1976.  Don has written 15 other books since and delivered hundreds of presentations at hospitals, worksites and conferences throughout the US and sixteen other countries.  His newsletter, the ARDELL WELLNESS REPORT, has been circulated globally since 1984, and over 500 editions have been produced and distributed. 

I’m sponsoring a contest for the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge members that I thought you would be interested in. It is a photo contest for people who have taken the Challenge and has a first place prize of $300 in Target gift cards, while the 2nd place prize is an iPod. All you need to do is be a member, submit a picture with your 50-k “My Active Life” T-shirt in it, and have other members vote for your photo.  If you aren’t a member yet, then go to www.50-k.net and register. If you don’t have a shirt, you can get one at the www.50-k.net store. The contest opens on 11/17/09, but I wanted to give readers of my blog a heads up. If you’re not a member, register and order your shirt today, so you can have the most time to get votes, which close on 12/17/09 at midnight. Go to www.50-k.net on 11/17/09 fo rmore information about the contest.

I also thought that you might find it funny to see how my wife Sylvia and I spent s Snowy Sunday… Climbing in our basement!



More good things happening

don mcgrath Take The Challenge

Don Urging People to Take The 50-K Active/Athlete Challenge

It is beginning to feel like that time of year when the busyness of the holidays rolls in and days fly by quickly. Next thing you know, it will be 2010. A few things are triggering this feeling for me. One is that I’m planning on traveling from my home in Colorado to my home town in upstate New York for Thanksgiving week to visit my extended family. It’s been a number of years since I’ve visited, so I’m looking forward to it. I’m also looking forward to the annual alumni dinner held by my former college (R.I.T.) running coach, Pete Todd. It will be great to see all my old buds.

A second trigger is that I am shooting to go to print in February, 2010 with my next book, “Lessons for a Strong, Healthy Life from 50 Athletes Over 50: Dream It, Live It, love It.” I’ll have a 70% draft ready by December 4th to deliver to a few others who are contributing to the book. On the list to write sections are Dr. Nikola Medic, Dr. Vonda Wright, and Dr. Don Ardell. I’m on-track to maybe slightly ahead of schedule! With the book release getting close, I will soon be starting a campaign to engage the media to help in promotion.

Another trigger is that I just booked the first speaking engagement associated with my 50 athletes over 50 project. On April 2nd, 2010 I will be speaking to The Aspen Club, which is a club organized through the Poudre Valley Health District for people in Northern Colorado over the age of 50.  The Aspen Club has over 13,000 members, so I’m hoping for a good turnout. If you or someone you know is interested in having me speak at an event regarding either the 50 Athletes Over 50 Project or the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge Project (50-k.net), please email me at don@50interviews.com.

In news related to my first book of 10 interviews with over 50 athletes, it is now available on Amazon.com for use with a Kindle, and can be found at http://www.amazon.com/50-Athletes-over-Interviews/dp/B002VLZ04C/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1257887869&sr=8-1

If you read the book and liked it, please leave a review at the site above, as it will encourage others to read it.

Don Ardell, the best-selling author who I interviewed for my upcoming book and who will be writing the forward, recently shared his experience in coming back from having a major surgery in July, 2009 and winning the Triathlon World Championship in September. Read more at http://www.seekwellness.com/wellness/reports/2009-11-21.htm

For those who don’t know, 52 year old Joan Samuelson (used to be Joan Benoit), who ran the 2009 New York City Marathon to commemorate the 25th anniversary of her Los Angeles Olympic marathon gold medal, set a new NYC marathon record for the 50-54 age group by running 2:49.09. Wow! Read more at


Just Remember: “Youth is not a time of life; it is a state of mind. Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” -Samuel Ullman, American writer