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.
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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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