Archive for the ‘Thought of the Day’ Category

Understanding Sport

There are many people in society with the opinion that sports should have little relevance. Some argue that time, energy and money should be focused on more important things. Many think sport is a silly, money driven industry that provides unnecessary entertainment. Some condemn competition and others fear losing. Others just hold that opinion without much justification.

I have never understood this. Athletics have always been a big part of my life. However, please don’t confuse me as being a world class athlete. I was able to participate on athletic teams in high school because I went to a very small high school on Hatteras Island, North Carolina. Frankly, if I grew up in a city and attended a large high school, I would have never had an opportunity to play the games that I played. But thank god I did.

What I have understood and have always felt, is that sports teaches many life lessons. Examples could go on for days… Sport teaches things like working with others to accomplish a goal. Sport allows you to learn how to compete in a fair way, without stepping on someone to advance. Sport teaches you to accept defeat when you just aren’t good enough, yet motivates you to get up the next day and be better than the day before. Sport teaches effort, dedication and forms character. These things many people already know and understand.

But until last night (note this was written the night after the 2016 UNC VS Villanova national title game) I never understood why sport and athletics were so special. It took me watching my Tar Heels suffering the most heartbreaking loss in program history to teach me why so many people place such a high value on sports.

What I now understand, is that an athletic competition in which an individual is emotionally invested is an emotional roller coaster like none other. Life is an emotional roller coaster, but life’s up and downs usually occur over years, months, weeks and days. Sure, many decisions and events of life happen in the blink of an eye. But typically the emotions of daily life rise and fall much slower than those in sports. In sports, you can be desperate one moment, on top of the world the next, and then, immediately crushed. Many Tar Heel fans know this too well after last night. And for anyone else who loves sports, you too have similar experiences.

Now what we all must understand , is that life goes on. More importantly, we all must understand that these highs and lows in sports are unique. Strangely, the heartbreak should be cherished just as much as the glory; the success as much as the failure. These highs and lows in sport, as well as other events, ad texture to the adventure we call life. This my friends, forces us to grow and become better people. This is why sports matter!
R. Garrett Tandy Jr.
M.A.Ed., CSCS, Titleist Performance Institute CGFI
Personal Trainer
Highlands Country Club
Lost Tree Club
Follow me @GTandyFitness

Dr. Karen Pape, a leading researcher in neuromuscular rehab of those with special needs, specifically Cerebral Palsy, adds my quote to her blog from a recent conversation her and I had.  Check it out!

Check Out This Site

Posted: February 8, 2015 in Thought of the Day

For anyone with an interest in sports performance, corrective exercise or working with those with special needs check out Dr. Karen Pape’s website. Lots of good perspective on human movement. Most of her work is working with individuals who have Cerebral Palsy… None the less, many of these concepts of neuroscience can be applied to human movement across the entire spectrum of movement ability.


Inner City Weightlifting

Posted: December 6, 2014 in Thought of the Day

check this video out from ESPN. What a great organization for weightlifting and helping others…as well as society as a whole.

Understanding Golf Fitness

Posted: December 1, 2014 in Thought of the Day

Golf is a complex sport! If you play, you probably have figured that out by now. In order to be a skilled golfer it takes time, consistency, and dedication. A good golfer improves their skills by taking lessons, playing often and through lots of practice!
An overlooked aspect of playing good golf until recent years, has been a golfer’s fitness level. Today, most good golfers work on some aspect of their fitness in order to improve their game. Strategy, equipment and focus are all important parts of golf. However, your body is responsible for executing the golf swing and the more efficiently the body moves the better you can take advantage of the golf skills you have mastered.
Unfortunately, some golfers might not know where to start, while others may be confused as to which aspects of their fitness need improving in order to help their swing. Sometimes the information regarding golf fitness may be convoluted or conflicting. It seems each golf magazine has a “Top 5 Golf Exercise for You” article in every issue. Though, the key in improving one’s body to improve their golf swing lies in finding the appropriate exercises for the individual and following the same process previously mentioned in regards to improving skills.
One aspect that is most often confused is the idea that simply making one’s muscles stronger will allow them to produce more clubhead speed. While strength is an important concept of creating power it is not the only requirement. Having appropriately mobile and stable joints is a prerequisite for the body’s ability to create power and subsequent clubhead speed. While this concept may be a bit hard to understand, try to imagine jumping high in the air without bending your ankles, knees, or hips. Regardless of the strength an individual’s legs, one cannot jump very high without the joints in the legs moving.
On the other hand, not every golfer needs to improve the mobility and stability patterns in their body. The golf game of one who is already flexible may be best be improved by adding some specific strength or power exercises to their fitness routine. Another individual may only need a few golf specific sequencing exercises to improve their golf swing.

When the phrase “treat yourself like a dog” is used most of us conjure a negative mental image of various things related to the topic at hand, or perhaps a stray or injured dog that has been neglected. Many of us throw this term around loosely claiming that “he was treated like a dog.” Judging by the popularity of this phrase, it would seem the general consensus is that the life of a dog is rough. While there are numerous dogs that get abused, that live without homes or go hungry, there are many dogs that have it pretty damn good. Often times us humans treat our dogs better than we treat ourselves.
How many times have you seen someone at the grocery store meticulously analyzing dog food to feed their canine family member, and then taken a peek in the dog owner’s shopping cart to only see junk food to be consumed by that person and the rest of their family? Many people make sure their pets get adequate exercise whether it’s letting them run around a dog park or have someone take their dog for a walk. However, the same individual will fail to establish exercise habits for themselves. As dog lovers we make sure our dogs are hydrated, entertained with toys to fetch and well groomed because they are man’s best friend. However, at times we skip these things for ourselves.
So if you want a thought to ponder….I encourage you to treat yourself like a dog. Make sure you are getting proper nutrition and getting some old fashioned exercise. Take a day to relax and let someone scratch your belly …..Or get a massage. Go get that manicure or pedicure you have been putting off because you have been busy. Take a golf lesson or go for a kayaking adventure. Eat peanut butter out of a bone or chase your tail around in circles. Whatever it is that makes you happy, enjoy yourself as a dog would. Treat yourself like a dog!

Here is the first article I wrote for the Highlands Newspaper a few years back….I thought I’d share it.

Research shows us that the number one reported reason for physical inactivity among adults is the lack of time to exercise. Most adults are conflicted with working and raising families either in single parent homes or homes which both parents work. Many adults spend their days commuting to work and dragging their children across town to school and extracurricular activities. By the end of the day, most people just do not have time to exercise…Supposedly…
I have two arguments with research regarding this issue and it stems from the fact that the research is based on the individual’s perception of their time. My first argument is that we all only have 24 hours in a day and most people have numerous activities that fill their day. Yet there are plenty of people who get the recommended amount of exercise each week. There are CEO’s of major companies who work long hours, raise families and still manage to squeeze in sufficient amounts of exercise. I see super mom’s and super dad’s all the time who run a small business, work at a school, or work for private companies that find a way to make time for exercise. So, why can’t everyone find time to exercise?
My second argument against adults who claim they don’t have time to exercise is that they still find time to watch television or get on Facebook. I am guilty of this, I spend way too much time watching television and on the computer and I always complain about not having enough time. I would be willing to bet that if people would turn off the TV’s and computers at home and spent that time exercising they would exceed the recommendations for physical activity suggested by health organizations. I feel that it is not that people do not have the time to exercise, but it is more that they choose not to spend their time being physically active.
For those who still feel like they do not have enough time to exercise, here is some good news….It does not take that much time being physically active to gain major health benefits. The CDC suggests 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity and two days of total body resistance training each week. That breaks down to 30 minutes a day if your workouts are efficient. If you feel like you do not have 30 minutes a day, workout harder! If you participate in activities that are intense enough to make it difficult to carry on a conversation you can cut the 150 minutes of aerobic activity to 75 minutes, which is only 15 minutes a day. I think we can all find 15 minutes a day to help prevent things like heart disease and cancer so we can stay around a little longer for our friends and family….or is there not enough time in your day?

Labor Day Swim

Posted: October 10, 2013 in Articles, Exercises, Thought of the Day
Tags: , , ,

On Labor Day, Diana Nyad completed her childhood dream of swimming the more than one hundred mile distance between Cuba and the Florida Keys, becoming the first person to do so without a protective cage. Not only did Nyad have to complete this journey without a protective cage, for her record to be official, she had to swim continuously until the journey was complete. This requirement caused eating and staying hydrated to be a difficult task. Additionally, staying awake for fifty three hours straight was a bit of a challenge as well. Perhaps the most difficult part of Nyad’s swim was the large amount of salt water she ingested with every breath caused by the protective jellyfish mask she wore, which put her in a severely dehydrated state.

To me, act of athleticism did not seem like much fun. Initially, this appeared to be a senseless act to accomplish a personal goal and not to mention, downright crazy. I told one of my clients that if they ever hear about me participating in such a heroic endeavor, to find me and remind me that it is not something I want to do. Conversely, the truth is there is much to learn from Nyad’s swim. The truth is I have nothing but respect for what was accomplished. The efforts put into preparing for the swim and the extreme conditions that were endured are something we all should admire.

However, what I admire most about Nyad’s Labor Day swim is that she completed this swim on her fifth try and at sixty four years of age. Let me be clear, I do not feel sixty four is old. Undoubtedly, Diana Nyad has proven that. But, I don’t think any of us would blame a sixty four year old for giving up on such a physically exhausting goal, especially after failing on four previous attempts over the past thirty five years. But, she didn’t give up. She continued to improve both mentally and physically. Nyad didn’t care that she was sixty four; she simply wanted to get better. She wanted to accomplish a goal, set a record and catch the dream she had been chasing since she was eight!

While Nyad’s swim was a bit crazy, it was not just a senseless act to accomplish a personal goal. Nyad swam to inspire us to not give up and to prove that we are never too old to chase our dreams. Many of us may not be old or ever dream of attempting a physical feat such as previously described. But, I hope we are at least inspired to undertake a new task which may have previously seemed unattainable, continue to work on a previous goal that may have become too challenging and realize that we shouldn’t let trivial difficulties get in the way of things that would be beneficial, fun and enjoyable.

I am on Twitter

Posted: May 22, 2013 in Thought of the Day

Hey everyone,
Follow me on Twitter @GTandyFitness