Exercise Is The Only Investment That Guarantees A Positive ROI


 

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Life is lived in color, but sometimes the answers remain black and white.  

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

Joe

full color cover

Sometimes The Bastard Returns is available on Amazon.com Paperback: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-

20/detail/1492763365

 

Kindle: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-20/detail/B00HGVPCXG Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com51tXIOPTNwL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 For over three and half years I maintained a 130 pound weight loss, then last year I lost my way and found a relapse in obesity. I am discussing my battle with recidivism. **************The information, advice and opinions contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.*********** Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition-ebook/dp/B008R8KA1Q and on Create Space https://www.createspace.com/3903024************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

Am I Addicted To Good Health? Yes! Are You? If not — Why?


 

 

*********************************************************************************

Life is lived in color, but sometimes the answers remain black and white.  

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

Joe

full color cover

Sometimes The Bastard Returns is available on Amazon.com Paperback: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-

20/detail/1492763365

 

Kindle: http://astore.amazon.com/fathfinobl-20/detail/B00HGVPCXG Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com51tXIOPTNwL._SY344_PJlook-inside-v2,TopRight,1,0_SH20_BO1,204,203,200_http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 For over three and half years I maintained a 130 pound weight loss, then last year I lost my way and found a relapse in obesity. I am discussing my battle with recidivism. **************The information, advice and opinions contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.*********** Obesity Undone, is available in both paperback and kindle versions at amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition/dp/1477624333 http://www.amazon.com/Obesity-Undone-Beyond-Weight-Edition-ebook/dp/B008R8KA1Q and on Create Space https://www.createspace.com/3903024************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

RE-LAUNCH of ObesityUndone.com


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow that I have achieved my 2nd interval goal of 244lbs, which is a 50lb drop in weight, I am re-launching the online version of Obesity Undone.

http://www.obesityundone.com/

Subscribers will have access to:

-Weekly motivational videos
-Weekly Video Replies to Emailed Questions
-Weekly Exercise/Eating Spotlight 

-Videos about 3 E’s

-The EATING
-The EXERCISES
-The mental ENERGY

Private Email 

All of this is available for a monthly $10.00 subscription, which will billed each month to your credit, debit or PayPal account.

Is Obesity Really A Complex Issue?


(The below is a repost, with a few edits, of a column I originally wrote for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch in 2009)

There has been much talk and debate about national health care, and whether is here, will be even larger, or will be defunded.  I am not going to discuss politics or the pros and cons of universal health care, that is in the control of the politicians, and we all are aware that they are the most under-qualified group to be taking this on.

Obesity was a status symbol in Renaissance cul...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am going to discuss one of the major risk factors to our health, one major risk that we, ourselves, can actually control — Obesity.

I heard on the news that obesity  is a complex problem that did not have a simple solution.

Okay, let’s examine this ludicrous statement.  Generally speaking, unless a person has an underlying medical or hormonal condition, there is no reason for one to be overweight or obese. I’m sorry to burst many people’s excuse-seeking bubbles — but that is a fact.

  • We control our bodies.
  • We control what goes in.
  • We control the amount of exercise we put out.

The problem is not complex — it is too much sugar, too much high fructose corn syrup, too much processed fast foods, not enough lean proteins, not enough fresh raw vegetables and not enough getting from behind the computer and moving.

The solution itself is also simple — cut the sugar, cut out the  high fructose corn syrup, get rid of the highly processed refined garbage Americans are shoveling down their gullets and replace them with lean proteins, raw fresh vegetables, healthy fats, low glycemic fruits and get up and get moving.

Today we have more obese people in the United States than those who are simply overweight.

This is a real problem

This problem will lead to real diseases.

The morbidly obese are going to stress the U.S. health care system to a degree that not all the private or public health insurance money will be able to handle.

A  few years ago, a local school district was given a grant from the State Education Department to fight childhood obesity. I don’t know why they needed $5,000. I could have told them how to do it for a fraction of that amount. Has anyone ever seen school menus today? While healthy options are available, there is still plenty of sugar laden and processed junk on the menu.
Side note: if your school still has soda machines — get ‘em out.

Physical education must be a five day a week class and a regimented exercise program is a necessity. We need to teach children fitness as a lifestyle from their earliest and most formative years. I will even come in and design it.

My good friend, the Yonk, at his highly influential blog The Lu Lac Political Letter, mentioned how a company had an incentive program for its employees. The employees were paid for taking steps to be responsible for their own wellness. Sounds like a good plan, but what passes for dietary guidelines and exercise plans really do very little  for the morbidly obese. Again, I will come in a design the program and then I will make sure people stick to it. If you want to pay people to take care of themselves okay, but give them the guidance and the accountability to stick to it.

I remember when HMO’s and PPO’s first started in the mid 1980’s. One of the great parts about my plan was that my gym membership was paid in full by the health insurance company. I used that membership; however, I knew many who joined but then were out of the gym within a month. The result was that the good intentions of helping their insured get fit, ended up just costing the insurance company more money than it saved and they changed the benefit to a discount and then eventually did away with it.

In the United States, we are focused on our health care crisis. We are trying to figure out how to pay for care. I am sure that there will be something in one form or another by the end of the year; however, we really need to stop focusing solely on the “care” part of  health care and start putting an emphasis on “health.” Unless we act today, for some, tomorrow may be very bleak.

Aloha, Ciao and Stay Healthy,

Joe

************The information contained herein is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

Inspiration Revisited — Part II


I was asked my a friend if I ever met the young woman whom I mentioned in my previous post, Inspiration Revisited.  Well, I did and I wrote about it a couple of years ago.  The column was intended to be in the Pittston Sunday Dispatch, the paper that printed the original column, but for whatever reason, it was never printed in the paper’s pages.  And, I did submit it several times.

Last night I was at a bodybuilding event/fundraiser for the incredible young woman I first saw last year around this time. Here is the much requested follow up:

“Handicapped is a mental state!”
by: Chiropractor Doc Iokepa Leonardi

Last December, I wrote a column describing a very inspirational moment.  I saw a young person who was missing her left arm and leg ferociously training with the look and intensity of many champion athletes I have met over the years. At the time I didn’t know her story. I didn’t even know her name.

Since that column appeared, I have had many people tell me about the incredible Stephanie Jallen. During a meeting with Senator Ray Musto and his wife, Frances, I was encouraged to have a face to face with Stephanie. I made a phone call to the Senator’s Pittston office and within hours I received a return phone call from Stephanie’s proud and supportive mother Deborah Jallen.

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006

Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, 2006 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the course of my life, I have had the chance to train with champion bodybuilders and strength athletes, I have broken bread with multi-millionaires, talked politics with national and state elected politicos and I even had the chance to campaign with the great Lynn Swann. The people I have met are all impressive in their own right, however compared to Stephanie Jallen, well, there is no comparison — Stephanie is in a league all her own.

This impressive person will make you forget that she has just embarked on her teenage years. She answers questions and discusses her life with the poise and confidence of someone who has spent eternity in the limelight.

I asked Stephanie how I should refer to her in this column.

Should I say she is handicapped?

A special needs person?

I wasn’t sure what term to use.

She told me I should refer to her as normal and that is when she uttered the title of this column.

Prior to skiing, Stephanie had been involved in basketball and soccer. Then a little over four years ago, she received a letter inviting her to a PA Center for Adapted Sports Clinic. There she discovered skiing. Instructors wanted Stephanie to ski in the seated position, but the nine year old Miss Jallen would not hear of it. She insisted and obviously got her way — she would ski standing up.

A chance meeting with personal trainer Ernie Baul occurred at a fundraiser that would impact her future training. Stephanie’s congenital condition caused her left side to be underdeveloped, leaving her arm very short, tapering down to one digit. Her left leg had to be amputated when she was an infant. Ernie focuses her training on underused muscles and works especially hard on keeping her hip, leg, knee and ankle strong and stable.

Stephanie told me that Ernie’s training program has translated into a dramatic improvement in her performance.

In the last year, the fiercely competitive athlete entered her first international competition — the Huntsman Cup in Utah.

How did she do? How does three gold medals and a bronze sound?

Paralympic Movement flag

Image via Wikipedia

Stephanie is a talented skier who is on track for the 2014 Paralympics to be held in Russia. Her ability has led her to be competing above her age level.

She is not limited by her lack of a full left arm, nor by her lack of a left leg.
She can, however, be limited by funding.

It is not an inexpensive endeavor Stephanie has undertaken. Unlike the professionals, USOC and corporate sponsors that dominate the Olympic games, the Paralympics have no such financial backing in place. Several fundraisers have been held, but money can become a limiting factor.

In today’s sports environment, we glorify steroid bloated baseball bashers, but sometimes true sports heroes are here at home.

Stephanie is getting help with her training thanks to the generous spirits of the before mentioned Ernie Ball, who trains her at no charge. Larry Danko has shown his heart fills his massive chest by allowing Stephanie pro bono use of his first class facility. We are the valley with a heart and it is my hope that we adopt Stephanie’s journey as our own.

The news continues to give us many people to be ashamed of — Stephanie Jallen is someone of whom we can be very proud!

I do not think of  Stephanie as a handicapped athlete.

I don’t think of  her as a special needs person.

When she wins the gold at the Paralympics, I won’t think of   her as a Paralympic Medalist.

She is — Stephanie Jallen, Athlete; Stephanie Jallen, Champion.

https://www.createspace.com/3903024

calihttp://www.obesityundone.com/

Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com and CarbSmart.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, What’s Weighing You Down, w/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website http://www.betterlifeseminars.com.
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************The information contained herin is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting and videos do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions No guarantees are made or to be implied.************

 

Inspiration Revisited


I wrote the below column a little more than two years ago.  I still receive comments about it, so I thought I would re-post it here, as a way to kick off the beginning of my 48th year on planet Earth — I absolutely  love getting older.  There are aspects of my life that could be better, and some that could be much worse.  Most importantly, I have a great family, relationship,  I am in good physical health and I am very fit,  but I do have 2 minor complaints; reading glasses and nose hair. So, in the grand scheme things are going well. However, if you are ever feeling down and out about reaching your fitness goals, please read the following.  Joe

Inspiration

By: Joe Leonardi

As I am writing this the Thanksgiving holiday has just passed, it is time to get back on the workout wagon. A day of gorging and feasting is followed by a return to the track to run and the gym to lift weights.

The heating rays of our star Sol barely warm the northeast from November to March, but today’s cloud cover made for a particularly dank, dreary, desolate day. So gray were the skies that my usually high motivation to exercise was replaced by the blahs.

I completed my laps around the stadium oval and drove off to the second half of my daily, personal biathlon. I parked my car, hefted my bulk from the driver’s seat, opened the trunk and grabbed my gear. I slowly passed through the gym entrance closing the door to the dismal day behind me. I peered down the hallway and fought the urge to turn on my heel and exit. Eventually, I plodded my way down what felt like an unending corridor. A stop at my locker to put my clothes away lasted longer than usual. I finally progressed to the weight room trying to come up with any excuse not to.

I scanned around hoping that someone was using the leg press machine – no one was. I stared at the one hundred pound plates I would need to lug up and onto the machine and thought ‘maybe I’ll just use the forty-fives’. My mind and body were both in agreement, I was not in the mood, but I forced myself onward.

As I neared the equipment the sun caught my eye. It was not the center of our solar system, it was the rays emanating from a young girl pausing between sets of her routine. A broad smile dominated her face as she talked with her barking, bellicose personal trainer. She then turned her attention back to the cold, unyielding iron. A smile no longer was apparent, it was replaced by a look of ferocious intensity. It is a look I have seen before; in the eyes of the elite athletes I have trained with and treated over the years – it was the look of a champion.

Then I noticed something that should have been apparent, but I was so caught up in first her joy for what she was doing, then the intensity which she carried it out, I did not see that she was missing one arm and one leg. The inability to grip the bar with two hands did not deter this young person’s enthusiasm for her training. I smiled outwardly, but inwardly I was ashamed at my mental attempts to avoid exercise.

Inspiration is found in many forms, but on this day the ultimate inspiration was brought forth by another’s joy and passion; another’s delectation for an activity that I have had an on and off relationship with since my parents purchased my first barbell set from Sears when I was twelve years old. More inspirational though, was the way she was dealing with what was apparent adversity – seemingly she was ignoring it.

Cover of

Cover of Rocky

In the last Rocky movie, when junior was complaining about trying to live in his father’s large shadow, Stallone’s iconic character uttered the following statement. “The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward. How much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done! Now if you know what you’re worth then go out and get what you’re worth. But ya gotta be willing to take the hits, and not pointing fingers saying you ain’t where you wanna be because of him, or her, or anybody! Cowards do that and that ain’t you!”

Sure it is a line from a movie, but the girl I watched today, she did not appear to cower. Now, I don’t know her story, I don’t know her name, I never saw her before today, I don’t know anything other than the following:

There are many excuses not to do, but there are few legitimate reasons. Life is not fair, it is not easy and no matter what our problems are, whether they appear trivial or extreme, they need to be handled and life needs to be more than just lived.

I was not the only one affected on this day. I chatted with another person who was equally inspired.

Finally, the word “can’t” should be abolished from my vocabulary. When I don’t feel like going to the gym or going to the track or facing a difficult situation I will forever remember what I saw today and will know what can be accomplished.

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Physical Culturist and Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book, “Obesity Undone” and a contributor to NaturallySavvy.com. He is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcast or television outlet. His web site www.ObesityUndone.com is available to help you reach your goals.

He has appeared on 94.3FM’s The David Maderia Show, Bounce Back to Your Brilliance w/Angel Tyree, What’s Weighing You Downw/Dr. Marilyn Gansel on FTNS radio, Nurture and Nutrition on Blog Talk Radio, Low Carb Conversations with Jimmy Moore and Friends, BlogTalk Radio’s Toni Harris Speaks, Internet Radio: Cathie’s Talking, TV -35′s Storm Politics with Tiffany Cloud, WILK’s The Sue Henry Show, Magic 93′s Frankie In The Morning, WBRE’s PA Live, SSPTV’s News 13, Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast; and the one and only Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast.
Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at docjoeleonardi@betterlifeseminars.com and check out his website www.betterlifeseminars.com.
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************The information in the videos is for information purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease or disorder. The posting that I write do not apply to those with an underlying medical or hormonal condition. I advise anyone embarking on a weight loss and fitness plan to have a thorough medical evaluation. You want to be sure that you are physically able to exercise and you don’t have any underlying medical conditions.************

cles

Obesity Victimization Does Not Defeat Obesity


The recent earthquake and hurricane that effected the northeast part of the country reminded me of the horrific tragedies in Japan and started me thinking and reflecting.

In my Navy days I visited Japan on several occasions.  I have fond memories of both the country and the people.  Those I was honored to have met possessed a strong character and an incredible work ethic.  They demonstrated  a widespread respect for people and an apparent dislike for personal weakness.  Those I had become acquainted with were not excuse makers; they were doers.  Although currently,  they remain genuine victims of horrific natural and now man-made disasters, with incredible resolve they have taken the steps necessary to deal with their very real adversity.

Observing their strength led me to think about the victim mentality so prevalent here in our own country. There are those that are merchants of victimhood whose sole goal is to convince others that they are victims and that they need to:

-One; blame someone

-Two; rely on someone else to relieve their victim status

Radio Talking Book

Image by kiddharma via Flickr

Locally here in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre, PA, WILK  Newsradio’s talk jock Steve Corbett is a classic example of victimhood peddling.  Utilizing desperation, delusion and demagoguery he attempts to convince people that their lot in life is the result of one group and their salvation is in the hands of another group.

What would drive someone to knock the downtrodden further down?

When did we lose the inner power of the Rugged American Individual?

What does any of this have to do with weight loss or fitness?  Perhaps nothing, but more than likely — everything.

I started wondering about differences between true victims and people who are convinced to become victims.  Concerning obesity, this victim mentality comes from movements like the Fat Acceptance Movement or Fat Rights groups. These organizations want people to feel victimized because of their choices.  I emphasize, I am not referring to those whose obesity is caused by a genuine underlying medical condition. I am speaking of those who do not take the appropriate steps to control their weight and fitness levels, yet wish to take control.

Senator George McGovern speaking at the Richar...

Image via Wikipedia

I have heard more excuses than I can recall as to why one is obese and out of shape.  Hell, I used most of those same excuses myself.  However, there must come a time when you look in the mirror an accept responsibility for your current physical condition.  Yes, there is some general, genuine blame to go around:

-Dr. Ancel  Keys

-Senator George McGovern

-The U.S.D.A. Food Pyramid

-And others I’m sure

However, blaming others only increases your victimization.  By placing blame, you also are looking for someone else to fix the problem.  Here is the cold, hard reality.

  • You are responsible for gorging on the foods you should not eat.
  • You are responsible for not getting up and moving around. 
  • You, and only you, are responsible to improve your physical condition.

I understand how hard, cruel and unfair life is.  Much of my life is collapsing around me.  Not to go into specifics, but things in a large part of my world are not good.  If not for the mental discipline that allowed me to take control of my physical condition and weight, I can only imagine how much worse matters would be.

NYC - Rockefeller Center: Atlas & GE Building

Image by wallyg via Flickr

Like the primordial titan Atlas supporting the earth’s sky, it is the strength of my mind, combined with the healthiness of my body, that will not allow my legs to collapse under the crushing weight upon my shoulders.  We are capable of commanding only one factor in life — ourselves.  So, take charge and don’t allow anyone to manipulate you into a becoming a victim of obesity..

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Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond weight loss.

Dr. Joe Leonardi is available to appear on any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Entercom’s Outlook on Northeast PA with Shadoe Steele, Citadel Broadcasting’s Sunday Magazine with Brian Hughes, Lisa Davis’ Your Health Radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast, Dr. Robert Su’s Carbohydrates Can Kill Podcast.

Dr. Joe Leonardi also will come and speak to your group; to learn more about his motivational speaking fees and availability contact him at fatthenfitnow@me.com 

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The Triumph Of The Human Spirit; Bethany Hamilton, Soul Surfer


Movies, books, articles and stories have touched us all at one time or another.  Some stir us with negative emotions of outrage and anger.  Yet, others move us to action.  Moreover, others open our eyes to the realization of just how wonderful life is and inspire us to be more than we are.

 

Bronze Statue of Rocky Balboa, standing just n...

Image via Wikipedia

 

The first movie ever to motivate me was Rocky.  The story of the broken down, never could have been a contender fighter was as uplifting as it was powerful.  How many kids cracked a half dozen or so eggs into a glass and felt the raw liquid slime slip down our throats?  We convinced ourselves that it was delicious, and fought the reflex to expel the uncooked concoction, confident that we would be able to workout harder and heavier because it helped The Italian Stallion go the distance.

While the real life Ali-Wepner match may have sparked the fighting style, the tale of Rocky Balboa is Hollywood myth.  To paraphrase a cliché — Life is more uplifting than fiction.

 

Photo by Noah Hamilton

Image via Wikipedia

Recently, I took my girlfriend’s daughter to see Soul Surfer; the real life account of Bethany Hamilton.  For those who don’t know; thirteen year old Hamilton was a rising surf star based in Hawaii.  One day while training on the ocean, a shark attack almost took her life.  While she survived the attack, the shark severed her left arm at the shoulder.

 

If there was a give reason to simply give up one’s dreams; that may have been it.  Yet, the young woman wasn’t about to quit.  After the attack, all she thought about was getting back on her board and competing.  When the task became  to be too difficult, she was ready to abandon her life’s ambition.

On a volunteer mission to help the tsunami-ravaged people of Thailand, she was given the opportunity to see human suffering up close.  Returning home, she was overwhelmed by letters from people across the globe who were inspired by the failed efforts that caused her to want to quit.

After some serious soul searching, Bethany Hamilton made the decision that what had happened to her would not derail her ambitions.  She made the choice to not simply overcome her circumstances, but to be better because of them.

One of my first columns that I authored for the Pittston Sunday Dispatch was about  local Paralympic skier; Stephanie Jallen. I discussed how I did not want to work out on a particular day just because I was tired.  I was inspired not to walk out of the gym or take it easy by the example of Miss Jallen.

I walked away from the movie feeling much the same way.  Life can be hard, brutal and downright unfair. There are fear and hate mongering harbingers of doom,  such as WILK’s Steve Corbett, who will tell you how awful your existence is —  but it is up to us how we chose to respond to adversity.

You can wallow in the angst and pessimism of those around you and quit on yourself, or you can follow the motivation stories of Stephanie Jallen and Bethany Hamilton and  take charge of the only thing in life you actually have any control over; yourself.

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Chiropractor, Dr. Joe Leonardi is the author of the life changing book; Fat Then Fit Now;  A life beyond wight loss.

He is available to speak at no charge to any school or any youth group. He will make himself available to any talk radio, internet podcasting or television outlet. He has appeared on Public Television WVIA’s State of Pennsylvania and Call the Doctor; Lisa Davis’ Your health radio; Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb podcast; Hank Garner’s Podcast.

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“Handicapped is a mental state!”


Last night I was at a bodybuilding event/fundraiser for the incredible young woman I first saw last year around this time. Here is the much requested follow up:

“Handicapped is a mental state!”
by: Joe Leonardi

Last December, I wrote a column describing a very inspirational moment.  I saw a young person who was missing her left arm and leg ferociously training with the look and intensity of many champion athletes I have met over the years. At the time I didn’t know her story. I didn’t even know her name.

Since that column appeared, I have had many people tell me about the incredible Stephanie Jallen. During a meeting with Senator Ray Musto and his wife, Frances, I was encouraged to have a face to face with Stephanie. I made a phone call to the Senator’s Pittston office and within hours I received a return phone call from Stephanie’s proud and supportive mother Deborah Jallen.

In the course of my life, I have had the chance to train with champion bodybuilders and strength athletes, I have broken bread with multi-millionaires, talked politics with national and state elected politicos and I even had the chance to campaign with the great Lynn Swann. The people I have met are all impressive in their own right, however compared to Stephanie Jallen, well, there is no comparison — Stephanie is in a league all her own.

This impressive person will make you forget that she has just embarked on her teenage years. She answers questions and discusses her life with the poise and confidence of someone who has spent eternity in the limelight.

I asked Stephanie how I should refer to her in this column.

Should I say she is handicapped?

A special needs person?

I wasn’t sure what term to use.

She told me I should refer to her as normal and that is when she uttered the title of this column.

Prior to skiing, Stephanie had been involved in basketball and soccer. Then a little over four years ago, she received a letter inviting her to a PA Center for Adapted Sports Clinic. There she discovered skiing. Instructors wanted Stephanie to ski in the seated position, but the nine year old Miss Jallen would not hear of it. She insisted and obviously got her way — she would ski standing up.

A chance meeting with personal trainer Ernie Baul occurred at a fundraiser that would impact her future training. Stephanie’s congenital condition caused her left side to be underdeveloped, leaving her arm very short, tapering down to one digit. Her left leg had to be amputated when she was an infant. Ernie focuses her training on underused muscles and works especially hard on keeping her hip, leg, knee and ankle strong and stable.

Stephanie told me that Ernie’s training program has translated into a dramatic improvement in her performance.

In the last year, the fiercely competitive athlete entered her first international competition — the Huntsman Cup in Utah.

How did she do?
How does three gold medals and a bronze sound?

Stephanie is a talented skier who is on track for the 2014 Paralympics to be held in Russia. Her ability has led her to be competing above her age level.

She is not limited by her lack of a full left arm, nor by her lack of a left leg.
She can, however, be limited by funding.

It is not an inexpensive endeavor Stephanie has undertaken. Unlike the professionals, USOC and corporate sponsors that dominate the Olympic games, the Paralympics have no such financial backing in place. Several fundraisers have been held, but money can become a limiting factor.

In today’s sports environment, we glorify steroid bloated baseball bashers, but sometimes true sports heroes are here at home.

Stephanie is getting help with her training thanks to the generous spirits of the before mentioned Ernie Ball, who trains her at no charge. Larry Danko has shown his heart fills his massive chest by allowing Stephanie pro bono use of his first class facility. We are the valley with a heart and it is my hope that we adopt Stephanie’s journey as our own.

The news continues to give us many people to be ashamed of — Stephanie Jallen is someone of whom we can be very proud!

I do not think of  Stephanie as a handicapped athlete.

I don’t think of  her as a special needs person.

When she wins the gold at the Paralympics, I won’t think of   her as a Paralympic Medalist.

She is — Stephanie Jallen, Athlete; Stephanie Jallen, Champion.

Dr. Joe Leonardi