Tag Archives: Obesity

Eric Biedermann, age 77, talks about what sports mean to him

This video is from an interview with Eric Biedermann of Fort Collins, Colorado. This is my first experiment with video interviews and I hope you like it. Eric is a retired Lutheran minister and has lived in Fort Collins since he retired. His main sport is badminton, although his main form of conditioning is swimming. Meet Eric.

I hope to do more interviews like this, so I would love your comments and feedback.


Bob Radocy – Today is the first day of the rest of your life

The following is a brief profile of one of the over 50 athletes that I interviewed for my upcoming book, Lesson for a Strong, Healthy Life from 50 Athletes Over 50.” To get email updates on future profiles, subscribe on this site.

Bob Radocy loves lifting and staying strong


Bob Radocy is a 60 year old archer and skier who lives in Boulder, Colorado, and who runs a company that specializes in creating prosthetics for people who have lost limbs and who want to do a sport or physical activity. Bob has been active his entire life, playing baseball in high school and hunting with his father. In 1971, Bob was in a tragic car accident, where he lost his left arm, just below the elbow. Bob’s background in physical education as well as engineering, enabled him to create a prosthetic for himself that allowed him to re-engage in activities that he enjoyed. He went on to found TRS Inc., which designs and manufactures prosthetics for active people. Bob’s says that he’d rather design a prosthetic to enable someone to run, not walk; to shoot a bow and arrow, not use a knife and fork. His work in designing prosthetics has helped thousands re-engage in activities they love, which include kayaking, lifting, climbing, running, archery, among other activities.

Bob loves being outdoors, whether it’s hiking, running, being on an archery range, or just witnessing a sunrise.  Bob told me that he feels that one measure of the richness of one’s life, is the number of sunrises you see.

A few updates on athletes I’ve interviewed. Sandy Scott will soon receive a Teschner 703 time trial bicycle as part of his sponsorship with Teschner. Sponsorship at 69? Sandy, you rock!

On my trip to New York for Thanksgiving, I read Myrna Haag’s (https://50athletesover50.wordpress.com/2009/11/01/myrna-hagg-%e2%80%93-on-a-mission/)  new book on nutrition. I really enjoyed it and learned quite a bit. My wife and I are going to try and adopt some of what Myrna discusses in the book. You can find her book at http://myrnahaag.com/pages/buybook.php.

Speaking of books; if you are trying to find a good Christmas gift for someone who wants to be active later in life, get them a copy of my first book, “Dream It, Live It, Love It,” which contains 10 interviews with athletes over 50. They are sure to be inspired. http://www.wisemediagroup.com/product_p/don10.htm

I recently uploaded a 9 minute video to Youtube, featuring some of the athletes I interviewed for my books. I’ve had great feedback on it. If you enjoy it, tell others about it. http://www.youtube.com/user/donmcgrathclimbs#p/a/u/0/gbYtdut0CGs

I recently wrote a chapter for my book where I discuss what  strong, healthy life is. It became crystal clear to me that being healthy isn’t good enough. Being healthy means being absent of illness. Will you settle for that. Repeat after me…”Hell NO.” Lead a strong, healthy life.

Lots to be Thankful for

Happy Thanksgiving to all. I hope you, like me, have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving, because even more than New Years day, I take stock of my life. So great!

A quick blog today, as I’m headed over my sister’s house shortly, for a day of family and food.

I’m experimenting with various formats for packaging interview content, so let me know what you think of this slide show of my interview with Terry Peterson. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-1kLrTOKHY

I just posted a video clip where I talk about my experiences interviewing 50 athletes over 50 at http://athletes.50interviews.com/about/ I hope you like this.

I spent some time in the past couple days with someone afflicted with Alzheimer’s disease.  Given the health of the many athletes I’ve spoken to over the past six months, it seems that 76 is too young to lose one’s ability to be connected with the happenings of the world.

This experience reminder me of something that Dr. John Ratey, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard, said in a lecture I went to. He claimed that there is a strong link between obesity and Alzheimer’s disease. The person I spent time with, indeed was obese most of her life. I believe that if you or I were to experience Alzheimer’s disease, we would take any medication, undergo any surgery, or travel anywhere to cure it. So, today, there is a medication you can take. It is called exercise!

This Thanksgiving, please take stock of the health you have, and take steps to protect it. Find an activity you love to do, and get moving.

Also, don’t forget about the photo contest where you can win $300 or an iPod. Go to http://50-k.net/contests

Gene GeBauer – An athlete through dance

The following is a brief profile of one of the athletes I interviewed for my upcoming book “Lessons for a Strong, Healthy Life from 50 Athletes Over 50; Dream It, Live It, Love It.” If you would like to see future profiles via email as well as get updates on the status of my book, please subscribe on this site.

Gene GeBauer

Gene Happy Tapping

Gene GeBauer is a 75 year old tap dancer who lives in Denver, Colorado and who danced professionally on Broadway in New York City for many years. Gene played basketball in junior high school, but quit the team when he discovered dancing. He’s forever grateful to Mr. Dimmit, the basketball coach, for supporting him in that decision. Gene discovered dancing when his doctor suggested it to Gene’s mother as a way to help his recovery from rheumatic fever. He remembers enjoying the feeling of moving in patterns to rhythm, as well as the excitement of getting to dance with the girls. After his performing career ended, Gene became a dance instructor, which he still does today. This past summer, Gene celebrated his 75th birthday, and past students came from as far away as New York City to celebrate the occasion and show their appreciation to him.

I included a dancer in my interviews with 50 athletes over 50 due to several people asking me whether dancers are athletes. After talking to Gene, it is clear to me that dancers can be considered athletes if they approach dancing the way athletes approach their sports. The physical demands are equal to those of many sports and the health rewards similar. After my book is published early next year, I plan on taking tap dancing lessons because it looks like fun and like something I can do for the rest of my life.

I recently realized that I have not been clear enough in explaining the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge in my writings and websites. There are two points that appear to keep people from joining; they think the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge is just for people over 50 years old and they can’t figure out what is in it for them. On the point concerning being only for people over 50, the Challenge is for ALL AGES. It was initially inspired by interviews with over 50 athletes, but the Challenge is for all ages, since we all can benefit from a more active life. I changed the 50-k.net website to make this point more clear. As for what is in it for those who join, below is what I recently posted on the main page of www.50-k.net.

“I was talking to someone earlier today and I asked if they had joined the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge. Their response to me opened my eyes. They asked me, “why should I?” I’m so close to and enthusiastic about the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge, that this response initially puzzled me. That is, until I looked at this website and realized that I really don’t make the benefits of joining very clear. Once I explained the Challenge to this person, they “got it” and joined. I realized then and their that I will never be able to explain this personally to 50,000 people. In the upcoming weeks I’ll be doubling down on making this message much clearer. This article is a start.

The benefits of joining the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge are two-fold; for yourself, as well as for the good of the nation and the world. By joining the Challenge, you improve your own health, as well as the health and quality of life of many.

First, a couple facts that may surprise and shock you. Over two-thirds of adults over the age of 20 in the United States are overweight, while over one-third are obese. Overweight and obesity are known to contribute to many diseases, so I won’t spend any time on why this is a problem and assume it is obvious. The technical definitions of overweight and obese are hard to grasp, so I hope the following will give you a visual of what this means.

I’m 5 foot, 9 inches tall and weigh 160 pounds. For me to simulate being overweight, I could strap 35 sticks of butter around my waist. Actually only 28 would go around my waist once, and the remaining 7 I would hold in my hands and my mouth I guess. If you are still having trouble getting a visual, if I stacked those 35 sticks of butter on my head, I would stand almost 20 feet tall. Anyway, it’s a lot of butter.

Now to simulate being obese, I would need 169 stick of butter. These would go around my waist 6 times, which would actually be longer than my torso – hard to picture? OK, I figured that 169 stick of butter, if glued or taped on my body would cover nearly 50% of my skin area.

As a side note, since I’m a pretty lean guy, the estimates above may actually be conservative, meaning that it underestimates the amount of butter I would need! Also, none of the over 50 athletes I interviewed for my book, were obese and maybe 1-2 overweight.

Second fact; the average 75 year old in the United States suffers from 3 chronic illnesses and is on 5 prescription medications. To give you a visual, I figure that in a year, they will take enough pills to fill a gallon bucket. In ten years, enough to fill a good sized fish tank. Very few of the athletes that I interviewed for my book, had any chronic illnesses.

The point is, that if you live the average, sedentary life that most of us Americans do, you will carry a lot of butter, and eat a lot of pills. Seriously, the average American is unhealthy, which has an affect on their quality of life and on the quality of life of the country, and maybe the world.

Join the Challenge for YOU: The mission of the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge is to inspire, support, educate, and reward people who want to lead a strong, healthy life by becoming more active. If you want to avoid the unhealthy state of being average, join the Challenge and be spectacular. My vision is that the members of the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge will come to the 50-k.net website to get motivated by its content, interact with a community using the forums and blogs, learn from featured posts and links, and get rewarded through contests and other forms of recognition. The Challenge will also be sponsoring events that members can take part of in person, furthering the support and community.

Join the Challenge for OTHERS: In 1998, the United States spent about $80 billion on obesity related health care. In 2007, we spent over $2 trillion on all forms of health care. Suppose that we all got active and eliminated obesity and also reduced our yearly health care spending by 10%. This would amount to a savings of almost $300 billion a year! Think what we could do with a budget like that to promote health and joy. A hope that I have for the 50-k Active/Athlete Challenge is to get our attention (especially the media) turned to HEALTH REFORM, as opposed to health care reform. If we had more HEALTH REFORM, I believe we would need less health CARE reform.

I will be working to take this message further and strengthen it on this site and in my communications in coming weeks. I’m hoping that those who considered joining before, but wondered what was in it for them, now have a clearer picture and will join the community we are trying to establish.”

I hope that if you like what I’m trying to do with the 50-k Active Challenge, you will not only join, but help me recruit people to a more active life by becoming a foot soldier for the Challenge and ask everyone you know to join. Point them to the 50-k.net website, so they can sign up and view the various slide shows, videos, and posts. I can’t do it alone and I really believe that together, we can make a difference.