• BLOG 61–Back we go . . .

    Wednesday, November 2, 2016
    In California now near San Francisco, it was south we went. We could have gone to coast route, which has more views, but that will have to wait until next trip (will you join us?)

    From Barry to the other Barry
    So–from Barry and Sue Bakalor to Barry and Annie Friedman—here we go—still in California. What great hosts these Barry’s and family were, a memory at each home that will last a lifetime.

    Millionaires?
    Boy, I recently visited some very successful friends who lead a wonderful life that they each created. Barry and Annie Friedman, through performing, writing and doing seminars, while living in a $1 million home; Barry and Sue Bakalor, our next stop, through their computer company and is at this time selling their house for $5.5 million; and, currently visiting Daniel Powell, who has a real estate company and lives the life that “He” wants, while living in a $3 million mansion.

    (And, you have to remember, I live with Tina in a van.)

    Here we go . . .
    Driving down route 99 through central California, we saw more and more growth of edibles along each side of the road. This state grows much of what is eaten in the country, as well as shipping much produce to the rest of the world.

    Lately I have been studying vertical farming, which, I think, will get bigger and bigger in the world. When you grow on a farm you have limited earth space, when you grow in a multi level building where you control the lighting, watering, temperature and the growing soil, you can grow much more.

    A big asset
    You may wonder how we arrive where we do, I must say, having GPS to guide us on this ride is truly remarkable. I’ve driven, round trip, across the US twenty times, most times alone in the vehicle, going by maps and personal direction. I remember the days of stopping off the road to find a pay phone to call and get better directions to my destination. The GPS system is such advancement in human life, what might be coming next?

    Back home
    Finally arriving in the San Diego area, I’ve seen much change in my home city. I have been here off and on over the years, I can’t believe how much change and growth there has been; hard to recognize these days.

    A job?
    The reason we came to San Diego at this time is because Tina had an interview for a temporary job. We were planning on spending the winter down in warm, nice San Diego.

    Yes, I have friends
    Also, I had wanted to come to see my good friend, Daniel Powell. I wrote before about how well he has done with his life and career. Also, this amazing person developed cancer, fought it, and won!–Makes me so happy.

    My mom
    San Diego is where I grew up. My mom has lived here since about 1967, so, of course I always visit her when I’m in the area (when I wasn’t living at her home.) A couple years ago mom died, so it is very strange and difficult to visit this city with no mom here.

    Here is the change
    After only two days in warm sunny San Diego, which was going to be our final destination for the winter, Tina found out her mother will be let out of the hospital in about one week and we need to go back to take care of her. So, here we go, from East Coast to West Coast and back again.

    Seeing the wilderness once again
    Back on the road, I-8 heading east; nice to see the desert I remember so well. As we are driving through these stunning places we love seeing the area. We took some pictures, you will see. And, in some places, we are seeing piles of volcanic rock on the sides of the road, which we have seen other places. We just think it is so neat.

    November 3—I saw we were passing somewhat close to Santa Fe, NM, so I had to go see my sister. She has been successful in her life, a proud brother I am. Here she is >> wireweaver.com. We had not seen each other or talked much since my mom died. So, I went up to the door, knocked, and after she answered we just stared at each other through the screen door for a time—it was strange–Great to see you, Kath.

    Across the top of Texas
    And, the next day we put in many miles on our way back to the east coast. Driving through the north of Texas on I-40 we saw many cows in stockyards. What a terrible life they lead, just standing around all day in the same place and getting a bite to eat now and then, but not fresh green grass. Later down the road we saw herds of cows in fields of grass, a much better life for them. These cows in the stockyards are basically being fattened up to feed humans, a sad thing.

    Staying south
    We are passing through Amarillo, Texas. Once again, the same businesses, the same traffic, the same look—every city is the same.
    Oklahoma >> moving into Oklahoma we are seeing cotton fields in many areas, nice. This area is very flat; we are used to the mountains and forests, which I like much better.

    November 5-6, 2016
    On our way from California I saw that Branson, Missouri was on the way, so, of course I had to take us to see my friends, Albert Lucas and his wife Ruth. Albert is a superb juggler who I have known since 1976. At that time he juggled with The Ice Capades, yes, juggling while skating. In Branson he is performing in the show, “Dixie Stampede“, and is one of the stars of the show.

    There is a certain juggling trick that is performed with clubs that Albert is very good at. Many years ago I started calling this trick, “Albert throws”, the name caught on and now the trick is called this around the world.

    What’s upcoming>>>
    Tina and I will be staying at her mom’s home so Tina can take care of her. Funny how that can happen, your parents raise you and you go back later to take care of them.

    But, we will be taking short outings to the wilderness and I will continue my weekly postings. Included in each post will be more inspirational segments from my books. And, I hope my writings have been improving, I am trying to be a better writer for you. Let me know . . .

    How do you like it?
    When I wrote some of my books I used this style of writing, to have an opening line before most paragraphs. I feel it gets the readers interest up to move on down the pa. You are the reader, what do you think?

    As usual, if you would like any of my books, let me know. I will send the book attached to an email.

    Next Sunday I will be writing to you from our new home base in cold Pennsylvania. Get ready to read a fun post.

    Beyond Your Potential

    The Comeback Kit, From Coma to Comedy

    BOOK THREE—FINDING SUCCESS!

    A Series of Books to Change Your Life

    By Kit Summers

    Chapter 21 – Goal Setting Toward Success

    “Without setting goals you
    have no direction at which to
    aim toward your potential.”
    Kit Summers

    Oh—The Plans I Have For Me . . .
    Goal setting has been defined in various ways over time. To me, goal setting is making a plan for the future to advance yourself and your life. People who don’t make plans for their future and who don’t have or set goals for themselves tend to wander through life, not knowing where they are going, so in the end, they get nowhere. Obviously, the process of setting and achieving goals is relevant to all occupations, studies, and professions. All human activity begins with an intention that is directed toward a goal.

    Make Your Plans
    I’m sure you’ve set goals before, even if you didn’t call them goals. Perhaps you made plans to do something simple, like getting your grocery shopping done. Or maybe you had a long term goal like retiring by age fifty-five. Whether short or long term, most people know how good it feels to finally achieve a goal that they set out to do. But, there are just as many people who tend to stop two feet short of their goals, either because the path gets difficult or maybe they get bored. I encourage you to keep driving toward the outcome that you want.

    How to get there
    The way to reach your goals is first to have a clear vision of the outcome that you desire. In other words, define exactly what it is that you want. Next, you have to take action. So many people never take action after they set their goals. If you don’t, your goals and desires will always be dreams. Your future will give you what you ask of it. Ask for a banana, and that is what you will get. Ask for great success and/or a wonderful relationship and you will get that, too. Goals give you the power to achieve your desires.

    Make Your List
    Fewer than four percent of people actually write down a list of goals for themselves. This is a shame because actually writing out your goals and thinking about them will you help you to achieve them much more quickly. Have fun while writing your goals and know that what you write can be any goal that you may dream of – anything – be it living in a mansion, eating a cookie, juggling five balls at one time, driving a Rolls Royce, or writing a book.

    Making Progress
    We need goals and strategies that allow us to see our progress. Making a list of goals I wanted to accomplish helped me to get through my recovery. When I reached the different goals that I had set for myself, I would cross them off of the list. I remember how good it would feel to see my list get smaller and smaller. Once I finished a list, I would build a new list with new goals and the process would start all over. If you don’t already have a list of goals, start one now. Set goals for yourself and make plans for all areas of your life. After listing your goals, write steps that you can use to reach your goals. These smaller steps are your map towards reaching your larger goals.

    Break Them Down
    Whether you’re a student studying for a test, a corporate president planning a yearly budget, or a father planning a vacation, this system can work for you – if you put it into action! Many people I talk with tell me that of course they have goals in their lives. Then I ask how they are working toward their goals and they say they haven’t gotten around to meeting their goals, indicating that they haven’t broken their goal into smaller goals. Without breaking your goals into smaller steps, they will remain too large and it is hard to work toward them. How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time. Ask yourself what you would do if you knew you couldn’t fail, and then move toward your goals at full speed.

    The Map
    When you set goals for yourself, map out a way that will help you to reach your goals. In my seminars, I use a goal of juggling as an example. The first step is to start with one juggling ball. Keep working on juggling the ball in various ways until you get the feel of it. When that is comfortable, take the next step which is juggling two balls. You don’t have to master each step before moving on, just get the feel for the step, get comfortable with it, and then move on. Finally, take the last step and pick up the third juggling ball. By drawing a map towards juggling and following the steps towards the final goal of juggling three balls, the goal of juggling is much more manageable. This same process can be used toward any goal or plan.

    Moving Ahead
    Goal setting is basically making plans to advance your life. Life is constantly changing though and things don’t always go as we foresee. Get comfortable with planning alternative courses of action. If you can’t continue with a goal as you had originally planned, set an appropriate alternative and develop a path to direct you to the goal by another route. Your goals will constantly be changing and growing – learn to change with them and to direct them toward success. You have to know somewhere you want to go, then you can start mapping out a route to get there. When you are setting goals and working towards them, enjoy the steps toward the goal as much as the finish line once you get to it.

    Why have goals?
    Goals are good for us because they help us to focus our attention and energy, and we can then act passionately and effectively toward our desired outcome. You don’t want to aim at reaching your goals though. Instead, aim your energy to the path leading to the goal. This is true for career goals, juggling goals, fitness goals, relationship goals, and all other goals you have.

    Stay on Course
    As long as it is within your control, stay on the path you’ve set for yourself and enjoy your time there. If you were to disregard the path, your entire effort may be weakened. If you don’t in fact enjoy the process of doing what you do, you risk not giving it your all and giving up on the goal. A short range goal would be one that you want to accomplish in a day or even a week. A long range goal might take a year, five years, or even a lifetime. We can’t put our goals out in the future and hope to one day work toward them. What we have to do is pull the future to us. Set your goals now and start driving toward them.

    Direction
    Without a clear goal in mind, you can find it difficult to decide what to do next. Goals should be set for many areas of your life – physical, family, economic, social, spiritual, mental, career and juggling. Without being clear about your goals, you will go only as far in life as what you need to get by. You must go beyond the potential you think you have. Everyone has different dreams and goals. Figure out exactly what yours are, then start mapping out a course to reach them.

    People are Here to Help
    Remember, people are here to help you. Maintain relationships with positive people who have goals similar to yours. This will help you to reach your goals much sooner. Remember though to judge yourself by your goals and your abilities, not by comparing yourself to other people’s progress or results.

    Makes Life Better
    Goal setting and self-improvement does not mean that you are dissatisfied with the way you are now. Goal setting is a way of looking to the future and seeing new paths toward success so that you can add to what you currently have. Goal setting is an aggressive way to break out of the ruts and plateaus of life to advance you. It is a plan, a desire, a passion, a mission. Planning like this is a way of getting to know yourself, what you can achieve, and what you really want out of life.

    Model Excellence
    As I was recovering, I found and modeled other people who had suffered head injuries and later found ways to do well for them self. By modeling, I mean I would do as they would do, act as they do, be on the same track of success. After my recovery, I would still use this technique and would find people whom I respected and admired and I would model them. You see, excellence can be duplicated. Think of people who have already reached the goal that you have in mind and answer the following questions.
    1. What did they have to do to reach their goal?
    2. What steps did they take?
    3. What do you think their frame of mind was?
    Get Help Toward Your Goals
    If at all possible, talk with people who have achieved the goal that you have in mind. Don’t be afraid to talk other people – we are here to help each other! I have found that every person that I wanted to talk to about how they met their goals were happy to talk to me about their success. Rightfully so, they were proud of what they had accomplished. When you talk to other people about their successes in life, ask precisely and intelligently how they reached their goals. Ask them what ideas they might have to help you avoid the roadblocks or obstacles they encountered on the way to reaching their goal. This will save you energy and time on your path to reaching the same goal.

    Writing with Finesse
    One of my most ambitious goals after the accident was to write a book about juggling. I didn’t want to write just any old book on juggling though; I wanted to write the best book ever written on the subject. I started working on my juggling book in 1985 and finally published Juggling with Finesse in the summer of 1987. Much more than just a how-to book, I included many motivational and inspirational ideas within the text. In a large way, the writing and publishing of this book was a self-prescribed therapy as I was getting back to life again. It helped to organize my mind and get my thoughts in order. By writing this book, I learned that communication is essential for everyone in life. Learning to properly use language and developing your communication skills will take you miles in life.

    Your Book
    Everyone is the author of their own lives. Think of your life as a book. As you live your life, you are always adding to the book. We are all special and unique. We all have special skills that are ours alone and no one else may know of them except you. When something happens, good or bad, that affects your life, say to yourself, “The story continues.” This helped me quite a bit as I was recovering, and I still say this to myself today. As I am working toward my goals and continuing to write the story that is my life, I find that the path towards the end result is what brings me the most pleasure, especially when I can see myself being stretched beyond what I would think is my full potential.

    Challenge Yourself
    When I am setting goals for myself, I always try to make sure that I go slightly above and beyond what I think my maximum potential is. That is, I constantly challenge myself to do more, yet am satisfied with a series of small victories. Your goals are always changing and growing, use small goals and steps towards your greater goal should be just beyond your reach.

    Do the Work
    Without having a clear goal in your mind, you can find it difficult to decide what to do next. It takes much work to figure out your goals and desires in life. Many people don’t take the time or effort to figure out what it is they really want in life. If you want success, you must work. Setting goals and planning your path might very well be the most rewarding work that you will do in your life. Remember, a goal is something we truly want to do, something very important to us. Goals are essentially making plans that allow progress. I hope you would agree with me that we all should continue to advance ourselves and make progress in our lives.

    Congratulate Yourself
    Remember to applaud yourself for every effort you make, regardless of the outcome. When you praise yourself, you are putting positive thoughts into your mind which will undoubtedly boost your self-esteem and help you to continue making progress on your goals. Each goal that you achieve should help to bolster your self-confidence and confirm the belief you the abilities to continue making progress in your life.

    How to Set Your Goals
    The following is an outline I created that has helped me to set goals and to plan for them. You may want to make copies of this for all your goals.

    A) Set realistic goals that are just beyond your reach and define EXACTLY what it is that you want to accomplish.

    B) Gather as much information as you can that will be helpful to you in reaching the goal you have set.

    C) Break your goal down into 9 subgoals or smaller steps.
    1___________________2_________________3______________________

    4___________________5__________________6_____________________

    7___________________8__________________9_____________________

    D) Think about any obstacles that might get in your way and list them.

    E) For the obstacles listed in D), list at least three alternative steps that you could take in order to still achieve the goal you’ve set.

    1__________________2___________________3__________________

    F) Visualize your goal as if you have already achieved it.

    G) Stay flexible and be willing and able to change your strategies toward your goal.

    H) Make a timeline toward your goal and your smaller steps, and then be persistent towards meeting these deadlines.

    ________________________1 month_________________________6 months

    ________________________1 year__________________________2 years

    Long Term Goals
    While short term goals are essential, it is also necessary to have long term goals projected ten, twenty, or even thirty years into the future. The idea of a thirty-year goal might sound silly, but if you want to be somewhere specific thirty years from now, you can make it happen. Just think about living as being retired in Hawaii on the beach with sand between your toes, or off the grid living as a nomad in Mongolia. You won’t get to either place unless you plan for it now and begin taking those smaller steps today.

    Tie Your Goals Together
    Keep setting goals and strive toward reaching them. Remember that the size of the goal doesn’t matter, you have to work toward it no matter what and you can break it down into as many small steps as you want to or need to. Remember, failure is a step toward success. When something doesn’t work for you one way, learn from your failure and take a different approach toward your goal. Goals are achieved little by little, step by step. Because learning goes slowly, and progress requires time, know that change sometimes takes years. It can also be helpful to see how your different goals are actually similar or how the smaller steps for one goal might help you to get closer to another goal, too.

    Read
    Read through your goal list every day, but don’t just read the words. Mix your emotions and feelings with your words in a positive frame of mind. Use your mind to THINK! Unless you mix your emotions with your thoughts, you will get nowhere. Remember that it’s hard to do this right away, it takes practice. Your desire must become a burning obsession. You alone must decide whether the reward is worth the price you must pay and the effort you must make. Remember that everything that you do starts with an idea.

    Start Now
    Take charge of what you want in life. If you demand to be rich, determine how rich, and how this will satisfy you. You have been given a roadmap in this book that can help to take you anywhere that you want to go. You have to remember that ultimately you always have total responsibility for yourself and what you do with your life. So, set goals for your life and build the life that you want – STARTING RIGHT NOW!

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  • BLOG 60–California here we come

    This is sent to you a day late, sorry on that. Trying to get this out every Sunday for your eyes to peruse, things come up. Seems like just last week I had sent you blog 50, time goes fast when you don’t keep track.

    I can tell we are in California–more people, more cars, traffic jams—AND—more people are friendly-look you in the eyes–and smile–good to return to CA.

    Oct 22-23– What a beautiful place Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks are. So intriguing to see these old Sequoia trees, trees that grow nowhere else on Earth, so unique an area. Although, once again, we are seeing areas with dying trees, too, a sad thing. This is because California has been on a drought for about four years now–hardly any rainfall.

    Once drought stresses trees, some of them lose their ability to fight off diseases and insects.

    Because of the drought, more and more trees are dying. And, because of climate change, trees that grow well at a certain elevation do not do so well with the change in weather. Yet, because sequoias are so strong with a thick bark, they can live through much, like fire and insects impeding them.

    One thing I did not know was fire helps release seeds from the sequoia tree, so fire is a good thing for these trees. Many years ago they tried to squelch all fires as soon as the fire developed. Now, fires are watched, but left to burn as natural.

    Here are some facts on these amazing sequoia trees:
    · Can grow to 94.7 meters (311 feet)

    · Can live to 3,200 years

    · Their weight can exceed 2.7 million pounds

    · The bark can grow to be 31 inches thick

    · Branches can become 8 feet in diameter

    · The trees can grow to be 40 feet in diameter at the bottom

    We went to see The General Sherman Tree, the world’s largest living tree. It’s a competition for height of trees between Redwood and Sequoia, and the two grow right in the same area. The roads we are taking limit what we see in these magnificent parks. I am looking forward to returning and doing much hiking and camping in these woods.

    We will be visiting my friend Barry in later this week. Currently he is in New York City doing a seminar on performing. I am looking forward to hearing about how it went. So, we have three days to spend; what to do, what to do?

    Until th en, where to stay?

    On freecampsites.org we saw a campground, so we aimed toward it. The dirt road got narrow and, because there had been some rain, the surface was not solid. After a ways there were hills, too, bigger and bigger.

    On Tina’s phone we saw that it was still a ways of a drive. We decided, since there were no people around, anywhere, it would be better to turn around and get out of there. If we got stuck there would not be anyone for miles, and, because we had been stuck before, we hit the road (as they say.)

    I saw that Lake Tahoe was near, so we went, but too cloudy to take good photos, sorry. Mainly I wanted to return to the area to show Tina this spectacular area. While here right now, many clouds make a dull day, yet, these clouds are not dropping rain, something the lands here need, much.

    I remember I was at this beautiful clean and clear Lake Tahoe many years ago. I went for a swim, dove to the bottom, and took a drink of the crystal clear water while down there. Seemed like a strange thing to do at the time (still does.)

    Take a look: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XANWCeKSXt8

    Having no where to stay in this tourist Mecca, at about 8pm we found a campground. We searched around for anyone working at this place, as well as called the number on the sign, nothing. So, we just took a spot and spent the night.

    We discovered later on the internet that it is $50 a night to simply stay the night. This would have been too much cost for us, so, good we were able to stay there like we did.
    Are we bad?
    Are you going to tell them?

    As we were driving through the central valley of California we saw much growth of edibles–fruit trees, nut trees and plants growing on the ground. We found out that this state grows much of the produce that the US consumes, and much of the world eats, too. Orange, lemon, avocado, nut trees, a big variety.

    Along with produce growing, we saw herds of cows, too. Cows take up so much land and use so many resources; humans need to get away from living off of these animals.

    Rice?

    We saw one sign that said something about rice fields. I am surprised they can grow rice here, it takes so much water that the state does not have.

    Then, as soon as we arrived in the Sacramento area we came upon many many vehicles. As you know, we like to be away from traffic and people and be in the wilderness, so this was hard to take. Currently driving on I-5 north, no more trees and basic California shrubbery emerges. Years ago I drove on this freeway, much, down in the San Diego area. These days much of this freeway is like a parking lot; so many people driving on this road.

    Oct 25–For a couple days we have been held up in a Walmart/McDonalds parking lot. But, getting things done with improvements to the van and cleaning.

    As I have met and dealt with people here, I am just finding that people are mostly the same worldwide. It does not matter where you are from, humans live life much the same, to me, a sad thing when people don’t find better ways to live their life and remain as they have always been.

    Oct 27-28–Right now I am typing while sitting in my friend Barry’s kitchen. Staying with my friends, Barry and Annie and their son Zed, what a great thing. I have always been impressed with Barry’s accomplishments.

    Here is Barry Friedman and his juggling partner Dan >>https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MZfyoei-Kew
    And, on the Tonight show with Johnny Carson >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2eklhxS7kI8

    Yet, now Barry has gone beyond performing in his career, helping performers make a better performance and helping people to live an exceptional life. And, his home shows his excellence he has in the world–what a superb abode; Barry and Annie have designed their house and living situation well. And, they will just go better and better for their future.

    It’s funny, I have known Barry since he was young (I guess I was younger, too?) To see him now as an adult is great to me. When young, we look up to adults and wonder how they became what they are. Now, to see the final result is tremendous. I’m sure he would never admit he is an, “adult”, as I wouldn’t, either. We are all just living our life and doing the best we can. Too bad some people don’t keep trying to reach excellence as they age.

    I mentioned before, my computer power connection messed up, so a week ago I left it off at Best Buy, this is the company where Albert Lucas bought me the computer when we were in Branson, Missouri. It was supposed to be fixed in 30 days from when I left it off. We went by the store and it happened to just arrive back yesterday, so good timing, I am quite pleased.

    Driving down on freeway 99 toward San Diego, we are seeing many produce trees (fruit, nut and avocado) on each side of the road. It’s amazing how many grow here. There must be underground watering systems; the trees look good and we don’t see any above ground watering systems.

    And, we just passed a cotton field; I did not know cotton grows in CA.

    Also seeing many cows in stockyards, smell them, too. These are places where cows are kept and they are feed and never see real grass or life. All along the trip we have been seeing many cows in open eating fresh/live grass. Tina says these cows that eat fresh grass end up tasting much better. I would think they have a better life, too.

    I wrote before about how we need to stop consuming beef so much and go more vegetarian. Better for the planet, and better for you, too.

    Sunday, October 30–From one juggling friend to another, from one Barry to another, from one big success to another, here we go. On the way down to San Diego from seeing Barry Friedman we went to visit Barry and Sue Inger Bakalor Bakalor. I’ve known them through juggling for many years.

    I knew that Barry was successful with computers, but not this flourishing. I found out that Barry developed that little box you click on to take you to a link for the store near you. He had licensed this development and has done quite well. Currently I am sitting on a couch in a suite within his house.

    Here is his company >> http://www.know-where.com/

    After raising Mark and Scott (who are also very successful) in this home, this fabulous house if on the market, they want to move to something smaller. The current price of 5.5 million is well worth it for this house and the land.

    Here is a video if you might have interest in buying? >> http://lobocanyon.com/

    Vova and Olga Galchenko are two Russian jugglers who advanced to the highest level in their juggling. Many years ago Barry and Sue found out that they needed somewhere to live in the United States. Still in their teens, Sue and Barry took them in, where these two amazing jugglers lived for a number of years.

    This was filmed in Barry’s house of Vova >> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEb3YknGUks
    Both Vova and Olga have gone away from juggling and have found the same success in the computer field as they did with their juggling. Seems that nothing can hold them back in any pursuits they attempt. From Russia, with love.

    Oct 31—Drivinig down route 1, coast highway right now through Malibu. Every house we are seeing is worth at least one million bucks. Must be some good stories in these people’s lives about success.

    Seeing this drive right now reminds me of when I rode my bike down this road in 1976. You see, during high school me and two friends decided to right our bikes down from San Francisco to San Diego on spring break. We did the 804.6 kilometer (500 mile) ride in five days.
    ============================================
    From my book >>>

    Beyond Your Potential

    The Comeback Kit, From Coma to Comedy

    BOOK THREE—FINDING SUCCESS!

    A Series of Books to Change Your Life

    By Kit Summers
    Chapter 20 Fitness and Health

    “When you exercise your
    body, you exercise your
    mind even more.”
    Kit Summers

    Prior to my accident, I worked out quite a bit and kept in good physical shape. After my life change, it was difficult for me to accept that it would take a while for me to get back to running or bicycling, or, my passion, juggling.

    For a time, my mind was not together enough to even think about exercising. I couldn’t even walk at first. While in rehab, I did a lot of stretching, and then would continue stretching on my own in my room, but this was really the extent of what I could do physically at first. I literally had to start back at the beginning and little did I know then that I would never be the person I once was.
    We all change, we all develop.

    We have to learn to direct these changes and developments to be of benefit to us rather than just going with the flow. We are what we are now, at this very moment. We will never be what we once were – EVER. After my accident, exercise would have to wait until I could catch up in my mind and body.

    When you give your body a workout, you are exercising your brain, even more.

    Blood that flows through your body also flows through and supports your brain. So, stay fit for a better and stronger mind. If you learn how to take care of your body and how to use all of its wonderful qualities, you will be much more effective, productive, and happy.

    When you are physically fit, both your body and your mind work better.

    By working out, your brain gets more oxygen, blood gets better circulation, and your body and mind work better together. Exercise prolongs your life, and it helps to fight against disease, and it gives you more stamina in tight situations.

    The health payoff of regular exercise is hard to disregard, and the benefits of exercise are available to you, regardless of sex, age, or physical aptitude.

    You just have to start!

    Prioritize time at least five days a week, even if it’s only ten minutes, and you will add a great deal of health and happiness to your life.

    I’m not saying you have to lift sixty pounds and run two miles a day. Just do enough that you start breathing heavier, and your blood flows. It doesn’t matter what activity it is either. Something is truly better than nothing.

    Get out of your head about it and just move! After you see how much better you feel with only ten minutes, I guarantee you’ll start adding even more time because it makes you feel that much better.

    There is a phenomenon in exercise called runner’s high. After a certain point of physical exertion, you will literally start to almost feel high and quite euphoric. While the term was coined runner’s high because it was typically only seen in people who ran long distances, you can really get runners high by doing any endurance exercise.

    Now, get high today.

    I have experienced this euphoric feeling through running (of course) and also through juggling. It comes at a point where you stretch your body (and mind) to the limit and then go beyond, knowing that you are reaching toward excellence. This euphoria is as good as any drug encouraged high. Stretch yourself and find your runner’s high – it is fantastic.

    This natural high is produced in your body when your brain releases natural opiate-like chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins activate the reward centers in the brain (just like drugs do) associated with feeling euphoric. Most athletes (jugglers are part of that group, as well as unicyclists, after all, it is a workout on one wheel) routinely experience runner’s high.

    Try riding on one wheel—You will love it!

    Riding a unicycle and juggling are excellent exercise activities for both the mind and the body. Besides unicycling and juggling, I also ran cross county and did the pole vault in high school. I chose pole vaulting because, like juggling, not too many people tried it. I was in pretty good physical shape at the time and I felt great.

    In high school, pole vaulting became a passion. I was able to glide over the bar at a height of eighteen feet and six inches – the best record at the school. This was the first passion that I really aimed for excellence in.

    Running and bicycling always intrigued me. I would run and ride mostly because it was terrific fun, but also because the exercise would help me in life both physically and mentally. I never tried drugs in my life, and I believe that the aggressive physical activity kept me feeling great such that I really didn’t have any desire to partake in any other mind altering substances.

    Many studies have shown that exercise promotes mental health and reduces the symptoms of depression. Although it may take at least thirty minutes of intense exercise at least three to five days a week to significantly improve symptoms of depression, the antidepressant result of regular exercise is comparable to potent antidepressant drugs like Prozac.

    Depressed? Workout and you will fix you.

    The relief may not come right away, but give it time, and you will find your depression fading away. Do not try illegal drugs as an escape from depression, and carefully consider the risks of prescription medications. Push yourself to exercise more and to stay on track in your mind and your body.

    Besides helping to diminish depression, regular physical activity can also have the follow profound and awesome effects.
    Exercise reduces high-blood pressure. Physical activity also reduces excess body fat, which is associated with high blood-pressure.
    Daily physical movement can help prevent heart disease and stroke by firming your heart muscle. This reduces your blood pressure, raising your high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels (good cholesterol) and lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) levels (bad cholesterol). As a result, your blood flow is refined, which increases your heart’s functioning capacity.
    You can experience that runner’s high that we talked about earlier.
    A good workout basically makes you feel excellent. You will be revitalized to pursue projects and passions with renewed vigor.
    Exercise helps with non-insulin dependent diabetes. By reducing your extra body fat, working out prevent and control this type of diabetes. If you don’t have non-insulin dependent diabetes, exercise will help to increase your insulin and lepton sensitivity to prevent diabetes.
    Exercise helps to lose weight. Physical activity helps to lower body fat by building or preserving muscle mass and refining your body’s capability to use calories that you eat. When exercise is combined with good nutrition, it can help manage weight and prevent obesity, a major risk factor for many diseases, including high blood pressure and heart disease.
    Habitual exercise helps to prevent back pain and can help heal other parts of your body by increasing muscle strength and improving posture and flexibility.
    8. Regular exercise encourages proper bone growth and contributes to bone strength that may prevent many forms of bone loss.

    9. You could make new friends with the same interest as you – more and more people are recognizing the benefits of working out and are prioritizing that time each day.

    Regular physical activity can get you into a better mood and help you to build greater self-confidence. Exercise will help to diminish depression and anxiety, and is a great stress reliever.

    Remember that your brain needs regular stimulation also.

    Try to think of your brain as a muscle. You must strengthen your brain muscle to have it function at its best. You can do this by challenging yourself with puzzles, math skills, or by learning a new language.

    You’ve always wanted to learn to speak Japanese, remember? Or, start writing that book that is in your head. It is important to keep that brain muscle just as limber as your body.

    As I was recovering from my accident, it felt so good to get back to bicycling and running. In fact, some of my best thoughts to put in this book came to me as I was working out.

    Exercise helps blood to flow better, especially in the brain. If the blood is flowing better, that means you will think more clearly.

    Is juggling the best exercise for the human body and mind? There is a good chance that the answer is yes. Researchers are discovering things about our brains and bodies that show juggling can be an important creator of excellent physical and mental health.

    Studies suggest we can optimize our overall performance in life by broadening our focus. Where we focus is quite important. Juggling is one excellent way to find focus. Most people have a narrow focus in their life and a lack of awareness of their own bodies and emotions.

    This lack of awareness and narrow focus can be useful when directed a certain way – when talking on the phone, when driving, or when getting a spa treatment. This directed focus is what we are doing at the time; this is the focus we want to aim for.

    When learning how to juggle, we have to develop that directed focus. While juggling, the directed focus needs to be aimed at a certain ball or club.

    As an exercise, juggling is great fun.
    When you juggle, you have to see the whole picture of what you are doing. While maintaining directed focus to know the right way to catch or throw, you will also need broad focus to see the whole juggling pattern.

    You could mindlessly sit and pedal on an exercise bike for an hour, run on a treadmill for thirty minutes, or you could juggle for a half hour. All three activities will have comparable results as far as increasing heart rate and requiring movement, yet, juggling is much more involved.

    Watching a juggling pattern is fun and mesmerizing and will benefit your brain, too. And don’t worry; you will enjoy juggling more and more as you get better at it.

    Juggling integrates use of both the right brain and left brain. When you first learn to juggle, you will break down the technique into small steps, just like you would break a big project down into small steps or milestones. This will help to teach you more about goal setting – a necessary thing if you are not doing so already in your life.

    At first you are mainly using the left brain – this is the logical, analytical, and narrowly focused side. After you have learned to juggle, you move into right-brained thinking, the side that is more creative, holistic and intuitive in nature. At this point, juggling becomes automatic and relaxing.

    Once you learn how to juggle, you are using your whole brain – a good thing!

    As I wrote before, juggling becomes almost a moving meditation of your body. The left and right movement of your hands across your body accurately changes our focus from left to right and back again, and you are using and exercising our whole brain.

    Research has shown that there is a direct association between hand-eye coordination and the aptitude to read and write. For young people, many schools are teaching juggling as a way to improve academic learning. The eye crosses midline and the undertaking improves concentration, encourages sequencing, and grows tracking ability.

    Recent study has found that it is never too late to develop new dendrites or connective cells in the brain which will only benefit you. Nerve cells are designed to be stirred by new input which builds a stronger brain configuration.

    New learning (such as juggling) creates a reserve of thick associations partially defending us against cell loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other mental disorders. Researchers acknowledge that the brain benefits most from learning that is exotic and unusual, and juggling, as you know, could not be more exotic!

    Learning to juggle gives kids and adults tangible evidence of accomplishment. Why look – I can do that trick now, and that trick! The learning is never ending.
    When juggling students perform successfully for others, their self-esteem will soar. Juggling is also being used by many companies to help add to creativity and inventive problem solving in their employees.

    Learning this skill makes us all take a second look at the other things we thought unfeasible for us. It challenges all our other thinking about what is doable.
    This skill trains you not to limit yourself in any way.
    As an art, throwing stuff in the air has been the wonder of society for thousands of years. Street performers have dazzled audiences and circus type jugglers have produced impossible feats while they have entertained thousands. I’m happy to say that I am a part of that crowd.
    Aside from the joys of performing, there are positive benefits of juggling which make it unique and truly beneficial to every person. There are many paybacks that enhance the mind and the body.

    On the subject of the mind, there has been studies showing that juggling can increase brain mass. A story most famously covered by the BBC was about an experiment conducted by a group of German researchers.

    Twenty-four people participated who could not juggle.

    Prior to conducting the tests, the subjects’ brains were scanned, measuring the size of brain matter. After the measurements were taken, the researchers taught half of the subjects to juggle three balls for at least sixty seconds. The jugglers were given three months to practice. The other half did nothing.

    After the period had passed, the researchers took brain scans of the twenty-four people again. The twelve people who did not juggle had no brain mass changes, but the twelve who learned to juggle showed an increase in their brain matter, an impressive fact.

    Researchers also revealed that the people who learned to juggle had more grey matter in their brain, which primarily consists of nerve cells in the regions that process visual motion information. To keep your brain in healthy condition, juggling is the best!

    There are many reasons that juggling is a beneficial and worthwhile skill to learn.
    Juggling is a good physical workout. Just bending down to pick up a dropped prop will give you some good exercise.
    Juggling is excellent aerobic exercise. It’s better than just jumping on a machine that makes your body move.
    Juggling improves your hand-eye coordination. Better hand-eye coordination will help you in other sports such as tennis or baseball.
    Juggling helps you to become ambidextrous. You must work with each hand and arm the same.
    Juggling improves balance. Learning to use both sides of your body evenly helps to develop your balance center.
    Juggling improves your rhythm. You must learn and develop an even tempo to be good at juggling.
    Juggling relieves stress. Almost being a meditation, juggling gets your mind off all the other junk in life.
    Juggling improves motor skills. Catching, throwing, and general movement are all improved as you practice.
    Juggling makes you more intelligent. Studies have revealed that juggling increases brain matter, and, the more matter, the smarter you are (so, what’s the matter?)
    Juggling will give you a sense of accomplishment. What you can learn and do with the skill is unlimited.
    Now that you know about ALL the benefits of learning to juggle, it’s time to learn the skill!

    ONE BALL

    Throw one ball back and forth, hand to hand, so that it crosses the same center point. The ball should reach a peak of about five inches above your head. Only watch the ball when it’s at the top arc, as it is thrown back and forth. Throw from the center and catch on the outside.

    TWO BALLS

    Put one ball in each hand. Throw a ball from one hand to the other. When the ball gets to the peak, throw the second ball underneath, so it goes to the same height as the first ball. The balls will trace a figure eight pattern in the air before landing in opposite hands. You basically do an “x” pattern as the balls go to opposite hands. The first ball you throw is the first ball you catch. Switch off the starting hand each time you make the two throws.
    It can help you work toward juggling three props by working on juggling two balls in one hand.

    THREE BALLS

    Hold two balls in your preferred hand and one ball in your other hand. Start the pattern with the hand that has two balls in it. When the first ball gets to the peak, throw the second ball. Then do the same with the other hand, and back and forth. The hand that the ball is coming to is the hand that you are going to throw with. NOW YOU ARE JUGGLING!

    It helps to think of two imaginary points, about twelve inches above each hand, at which to aim. Seen from the front, your hands should throw from the center and catch on the outside. Seen from the side, your pattern should be in one even plane.

    Remember that you release one throw at a time. Many people try to go too fast with their juggling at first. Above all, have fun with your juggling.

    To continue with your juggling, my book, Juggling with Finesse, will help you a great deal. Advance your juggling, and now that you are a juggler, buy yourself the book.

    You know all the benefits of physical exercise for your mind and your body. Start today and make it a daily habit to move and think.


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  • BLOG 59–Another big change

    So, since the van broke down ($630 I did not have), my computer decided to, too. The connection from the power cord to the computer did not work anymore,. I had bought it at Best Buy and still under warranty, I went to the store. They had to send it out to get repaired and told me it might be 30 days until it is fixed–yikes.

    I had a long blog prepared for you, at least five pages. I could try and go by memory and get words off to you, but my memory would not hold all. So, look for Blog 58 at a future time. It will have much about Yosemite, with photos, too. I’ve included a few photos now–an incredible place.

    Also spectacular, we have moved into Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks. You will read words of these two places in the next blog. So far, they are quite breathtaking (oh no, I can’t breath!) We slept last night in a free campsite in Kings Canyon, there are many paid campsites (most $19), but this has a fire-ring and picnic table–why pay when this is so nice. A big fire in the morning, then I cooked potatoes directly on the fire–loved it. You will learn more in the next blog.

    Bye for now>>>>>>Kit


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  • BLOG 58—

    Need to find blog 58


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  • BLOG 57—

    Need to find blog 57


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