Posts Tagged ‘family’
Last summer I attended the Athletes International, Athletes Award banquet. One of the award recipients that evening was retired NFL player Kermit Alexander of the San Francisco 49ers. Kermit is known for his tackle that injured Gale Sayers of the Chicago Bears, however this story titled ” Kermit’s Song” that was featured on ESPN, shows another side. Kermit and his family were kind enough to share their story with us, and I want to pass the story on. The story lets us see sports, athletes and life’s opportunities in a new light. Life offers us many opportunities that we may ignore, this story made me more aware of the opportunities we all have and moved me to be to be more active in making a difference.
Opportunities do not come with their values stamped upon them.
Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does. ~William James
As a parent of an athlete I have seen first hand the benefits and positive effects of youth sports. The benefit of participating in sports, goes beyond the obvious physical and health benefits. Sports can help kids develop character, social skills, self discipline, confidence and even improve academic achievements. If kids are activaly involved in sports, they are less likely to develop delinquent behavior. As a community we should recognize the social and economic consequences for students that don’t have the opportunity to be involved in sports or other after school activities. Children and teens who are unsupervised after school are more likely to use alcohol, drugs and tobacco, engage in criminal and other high-risk behaviors.
When we think of athletes, many people have an image of the “dumb jock”, but we are beginning to learn that stereo type couldn’t be further from the truth. In-fact student athletes often do better in school and on standardized testing. Students that participate in sports also have a lower drop out rate.
It is believed that physical activity has a positive effect on learning. Studies show that sports and physical activity in general improve concentration, memory and a students classroom behavior. After engaging in structured physical activity, young children have improved mental focus, concentration and attitude toward school. Studies have show that aerobic activity increase blood flow to the brain improving memory. It is also suggested that aerobic exercise promotes brain cell growth and regeneration.
A survey of 75 Fortune 500 companies showed that 95% of corporate executives at or above a vice-president level had participated in high school sports.
Mood, Attitude and Character
Participating in sports reduces anxiety and depression and improves self-esteem. Sports promote social interaction, friendship, self discipline, leadership, teamwork, cooperation, trust, respect and improve coping skills. Participating in sports has also been shown to reduce anxiety and depression and improves self-esteem.
Aerobic activity releases endorphins, which relax us and reduce depression. In addition to increasing endorphins, exercise in general can raise levels of glucose, serotonin, epinephrine, and dopamine which can help balance behavior.
My experience raising an athlete
We introduced our kids to sports at a young age with fun, unstructured play and family activities. My little guy isn’t old enough for organized sports yet, but my teenage son has been playing organized sports since he was five. We let him experiment with several sports, so he could learn what he excelled at and enjoyed the most. He has done karate, baseball, soccer, hockey, basketball, golf, track, skateboarding and football. We always let him choose what activities he wanted to do, but once he started, he had to finish the season. Some sports he liked more than others, and some he is admittingly better at than others.
One of the biggest things I noticed is how sports help social development. When my son was about nine, he invited both, kids from school and kids from his football team to his birthday party. I couldn’t help but notice that the kids that played sports, interacted with new people more easily. I am not referring only to the kids from his football team, but also his friends from school that played other sports. The athletes were more social and confidant, while the kids that didn’t play sports were timid about interacting with new kids. I could look around and see most of the kids playing together, while a few had segregated them self from the group and needed encouragement to participate.
A few years later my son switched schools twice in a year, to meet his academic needs. He began the school year at a public school. When I picked him up from school the first day, he told me he had friends at this school, that he already knew from sports teams he played with. A couple weeks later, he was switched to a private school. Before he started at the new private school, we were invited to a pool party, to meet some of the other boys in his grade. I was impressed with how quickly my son transitioned into the group. We were only there a few minutes, before he was playing football with the other boys. I honestly feel that playing sports has given him a social advantage, and now that he is in high school sports is an academic motivator. Anyone with a teenager will probably agree, they need all the motivation they can get. Lets not forget that teenagers are also exposed to things like drugs and alcohol, and although some athletes may participate in these things, a serious athlete is more likely to avoid them because they are conditioning their bodies to be competitive.
An athlete cannot run with money in his pockets. He must run with hope in his heart and dreams in his head. ~Emil Zatopek
Sports, Fitness and Athletes Series: More than fun and games
Best of Both Worlds AZ is dedicating a series to sports, fitness and athletics. We would like to explore the world of sports and the benefits it has on us all. There is more to sports than fun and games, sports can have a social and economic benefits for a community. Sports and Fitness, contribute to an individuals physical and physiological health and can bring family and friends together. It is also important to recognize that many athletes, contribute and give back to the community. We welcome your thoughts and ideas.
I recently picked up these crayon rocks at Whole Foods, I thought my 4 year old son would like them because they look like rocks. It was later that I learned that the rock shape will help improve the tripod muscles preparing his hands for handwriting. My son already loves rocks of any kind, but he could not wait to start using his new rock crayons. Unlike traditional crayons, they are not easily broken. He seems to prefer them to his traditional crayons, I’m not sure if it’s because they are easy to use or because the rock shape makes them fun.
Clementine Art, was created by a teacher in Boulder CO, because she was concerned about chemicals, dyes and additives that were in art supplies. She began by making play dough from natural ingredients in her kitchen, and from there Clementine Art was born. Clementine Art products are non-toxic, natural, and environmentally friendly. Even the packaging is made from 100% post consumer recycled, reusable material and all the products are made in the United States.
I still remember all of the “Made in America” commercials from the 80′s. Wal-Mart built an image on selling American made products, now you can’t find many products in Wal-Mart, or anywhere that are made in America. Researching the effects that globalization and outsourcing has had on American independence and its economy, helped me to understand the importance of supporting companies that still manufacture their products in the United States. There is plenty of debate over globalization and outsourcing, and how it truly effects America. I may be a little over my head on this one, but I care about this country and the future it holds for my children. I worry about America’s safety, independence, economy and its deficit. I worry if my children will have the education and skills they need to compete for jobs, or if there will even be enough jobs for my children. We can’t put all of the blame on the companies that manufacture outside the U.S., they are trying to stay competitive in a price driven market. American made products are generally going to cost more than products made in China, however they are worth the price difference.
I fully understand that advances in technology are a big factor in the decline of manufacturing jobs, however globalization and outsourcing contribute to the loss of American jobs. If you don’t believe me, try to find a product that is MADE in America, its like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. When we think of manufacturing jobs, the first thing that comes to mind is the factory workers, however engineering jobs are also effected. Manufacturing design and engineering is a declining field in the U.S. labor market. According to Fortune magazine, in 2006 China was expected to produce over 600,000 engineering graduates alone, India 350,000, and America only about 70,000. ( I know this is old news, but it was new to me)
American manufacturing played a major role during World War II
The United States took the place of Britain, France, and Germany as a financial and industrial leader after World War I. The world market of industry, food and minerals was largely dominated by the United States. American industry and manufacturing gave us an advantage during World War II, because American factories were quickly able to begin the production of war materials. The American military was desperately short of weaponry and supplies when it entered the war, but was the most equipped military in the world by the end of World War II. It took the cooperation of the American industry to quickly design and mass produce planes, tanks and weapons. The United State was able to supply arms to allied nations. The American government also stimulated new technologies, developed new sources of supply for raw material, began producing synthetic rubber and aluminum.
Chrysler’s ” imported from Detroit” featuring Eminem, may be one of the most memorable commercials of the 2011 Super Bowl. The commercial reminds us of the impact we have on our own economy and our fellow Americans that are dependent on the manufacturing industry. Detroit is a great American city and it was built largely on it’s manufacturing industry.
Points of interest
- Factories and money are shifting to countries not friendly to the USA or democracy.
- Without American factories, Americans could lose access to vital goods in the event of a political conflict.
- When Americans lose crucial skills and cutting-edge technologies, America becomes less competitive economicly.
– Buying products made in the United States helps American independence, and its ability to manufacture products.
- U.S. buys more from other countries than it sells, consumer goods account for 40 percent of the trade deficit for goods.
- According to the Business Insider, one prominent economist is projecting that the Chinese economy will be three times larger than the U.S. economy by the year 2040.
- Between 1995 and 2005, the United States lost more than 3 million manufacturing jobs
- For or every one manufacturing job there are several others jobs created (truck drivers, accountants, research & development, clerical, etc.).
- Products that are not made in the United States may not be subject to the same regulations, consider all of the recent recalls.
- When you buy products made in America you have some assurance that production is in accordance with U.S. labor laws.
- Products made in America require less transportation (shipping), and often use more energy-efficient forms of production.
Products that are not made in the United States
Sadlly, many American iconic products are
no longer made in the United States.
Radio Flyer Red Wagon
NBA Uniforms ( made by Adidas)
Fender Stratocaster – You can still find a classic version of the Fender that is made in California for about $600. more than the standerd version that is made in Mexico.
Anheuser Busch brews in Japan, China and Germany, however it still has many plants in the United States.
What can we do?
It can feel like we don’t have a lot of control over the matter, but we need to change our way of thinking. Do we really want to be known as “consumers”? America didn’t become a great country by being complacent and lazy. If the people of Egypt can overthrow their entire government, I think Americans can influence the way American companies do business. I am not suggesting we protest or riot, however we can start by purchasing American made products and demanding American companies quit outsourcing. We can send letters and emails to companies that outsource jobs and let them know that we will no longer purchase their products or support their company as long as they continue to outsource jobs. We need to educate ourselves on the issue and pay attention to where products are made. Share information about products that are made in the U.S., and encourage friends and family to support the companies that still operate in the United States. Recognize and support business such as restaurants, stores and contractors that use and supply American made products. We can also elect leaders that will put bills into effect that encourage business to operate within our country.
I don’t pretend to know everything or have all the answers, I suggest that everyone do their own research. I encourage readers to share their thoughts and opinions. If you know a product that is made in the United States please share. Is their a product that we would be surprised to learn is no longer made in America?
That Tragic Day
On the morning of January 8th, 2011, US Representative Gabriell Gifford was holding an open meeting in front of a Safeway grocery store near Tucson, Arizona. A shooter, 22 year old Jared Loughner, targeted Gifford, shooting her in the head, and then opened fire on the crowd. Laughner shot 19 people, 6 of the victims died. Laughner stopped shooting when he ran out of ammunition. When the shooter attempted to reload he was hit over the head with a chair and 74 year old Bill Badger tackled the shooter to the ground, even after he himself had been shot. The gunman was subdeud by Bill Badger, Roger Sulzgeber and Joseph Zamudio. The gunman attempted to reload at which point Patricia Maisch grabbed the magazine. Badger is a retired Army colonel and credits his military training for his quick response. Other heros include Daniel Hernandez who acted to slow the Gifford’s bleeding and Dorwan Stoddard who died trying to shield his wife from the gun shots.
Bad Guy – Good Guy? – The Other Person With A Gun
Before Joseph Zamudio helped hold down the gunman, he was inside Walgreens and heard the shots, he reacted quickly running outside. Zamudio was carring his firearm, as he left the store he clicked the safety off and had his hand on his gun that was concealed inside his jacket. When Zamudio arrived on the scene he saw Badger holding the gun, and initially thought he was the shooter. This brings up an important point, if you carry a firearm and you are on the scene of a shooting you need to think before you act. The person with the gun may not be the actual shooter, and you don’t want anyone, especially the police to mistake you as the shooter. This kind of mistake or “friendly fire” can happen in combat or during police action. First responders and those in the Military are trained to size up a scene upon before taking action. Unlike Badger, Zamudio did not have any military training. Zamudio admits he hasn’t had any formal weapon training, however he was raised around guns and is very comfortable with his firearm.
The Debate Continues
It’s one of the most debated subjects, to carry or not to carry. Many people like to express their Second-Amendment right to bear arms. There are also those that think that stricter gun laws are needed. Some people have this idea that gun owners want to run around like a vigilante, others simply believe it is their god given right to protect themselves and their family. People in favor of stricter gun laws feel that citizens don’t need a weapon for self defence because we have police for that. Gun advocates point out the violence and chaos after Hurricane Katrina, citizens were left to fend for themselves. With the Tucson Tragedy at the forefront of our minds, more and more people are talking about carrying weapons. Some people criticize Arizona gun laws and the recent shooting near Tucson has further ignited debate over gun laws. Recent debate includes whether or not students should be allowed to carry a weapon on campus.
Whether you are for or against citizens being able to legally conceal and carry weapons, you should read this story about Zamudio, the young man that ran to the chaotic scene of the shooting in Tucson, especially if you do carry a weapon. Running onto a scene where there are gun shots can be very confusing, and it may be difficult to identify who the bad guy is. The attached story includes the different dynamics of this tragedy and how serious split second decisions were made by this young man, with no special training. Understand how these actions can save a life.
Arizona law no longer requires you to obtain a concealed weapons permit, in order to conceal a weapon, however I would still recommend taking the class if you plan to conceal and carry. I have taken the class at Scottsdale Gun Club, and learned a lot about the laws and my rights to carrying a firearm and defending myself in a worst case scenario.
We will always remember the heros and victims of this tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families.
Like so many things, I learned about the three month rule from a client. (Yes, parenting tips are another perk of the job.) One of my clients told me about creating the three month rule when her daughter was a teenager and I think it may be one of the best parenting tips I ever learned. It’s pretty simple: If your teenager has done something and didn’t get caught, they can tell you at the three month point and not be punished. Its sort of like a statute of limitations for teens. It’s important that parents hold up their end of the agreement, or their teenager will never tell them anything again. Let your teenager know that you will still want to discuss the issue with them but no matter what they tell you they will not be punished. This is a great way to open up communication with your teenager and to understand what is going on in their life. It also gives you an opportunity to have a mature conversation about what they are doing, and hopefully influence them in a positive way.
I think that many parents are in denial about their teens and have a ” not my kid” attitude. I remember being a teenager and I can tell you that some of the kids that had really strict parents were the most rebellious. Teens may be tempted to try things, and have regrets after the fact. If they are comfortable talking to their parents, then you can provide them with the tools to avoid a similar situation in the future. I don’t believe as parents we should be our children’s friend, but we should try to not be so intimidating or judgmental that our kids can’t talk to us. Often our kids want to tell us things but are afraid. The teen years are difficult, it’s the time in your life that you try to find your identity and face the pressures of your peers. Teenagers are also dealing with the transition from child to adult. If we want to prepare our children for the adult world, we need to be able to have adult conversations.
Parents should be prepared for anything from skipping class to drugs, alcohol and sex. Remember, you can’t flip out! Listen to what they say, stay calm while you discuss your views and invite them to ask questions. If parents use the three month rule fairly, it can be an amazing parenting tool. Try it, let me know what you think.
Recently I received an advertisement in the mail for a local smoke shop, the add included a coupon for legal bath salts. Obviously, I wondered if there are any bath salts that are illegal, and why would a head shop sell bath salts. The truth is the bath salts are being used as a drug that creates an amphetamine like high and hallucinations. Ivory Wave, Bliss, White Lightning and Hurricane Charlie are all a new type of drug that is being sold as bath salts in many smoke shops. The so called bath salts are being ingested, smoked and snorted to create a dangerous high. The drug has already been linked to several deaths including one young man that plunged 300ft to his death while suffering severe paranoid delusions. The drug is believed to cause severe swelling and irreversible damage in the brain. The bath salts drug can also cause the heart rate to increase to dangerous levels.
It seems as if there is always a new drug popping up, and now these drugs are being marketed as harmless products such as bath salts and herbal incense. I believe that the places that retail these products are very much aware that they are being used as a drug and teenagers are the targeted consumer. I don’t see any argument that they are unaware of their use or dangerous side effects, when it is all over the news and internet. Personally, I am outraged that these shops continue to put these products on the shelves when they know they that they are putting the lives of young people in danger. I would like to see the manufacture and retailers held responsible for the deaths that come from these drugs. Why has there not been a huge class actions lawsuit?
[ Read about: Salvia “The Teen LSD”]
Parents should take time to talk to teenagers about the dangers of using these drugs. I also think it is okay to look through you kids stuff to be sure that they don’t have any thing like this that can hurt them. They may get mad and say you are invading their privacy, but that is better than planning a funeral for your child.
Better the child cry today than the parent cry tomorrow.
[Read about: Teens - Sippin On Some Sizzurp]
Red Friday or Red shirt Friday’s is a campain to show solidarity and support for our troops. Red symbolizes the blood spilled by the brave men and women of the Military and is a reminder of their sacrifice. Red Fridays is not intended as a political statement, just a nice way for Americans to show they support the brave men and women that serve our country. If you were not already aware of Red Friday, now you are. I hope to see everyone wearing red on Friday’s.
George Strait and his band have vowed to wear red on every Friday tour date, they have also asked fans to show their support by wearing red on Friday’s.
You can find a large selection of Red Friday shirts on cafe press, they even have shirts for your dog. (How cute is that?)
Fashion Forward Friday’s
If we are going to wear red every Friday, we had better go shopping. Oh-darn! (sarcasm)
Best of Both Worlds AZ Supports Red Friday’s
Saturday December 10th, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Festival of Cheer in Peoria at Peoria Sports Complex offers fun things to do for the entire family. Celebrating cultures, families, and holidays around the world. Tickets are only $5 for children, $7 for adults and $20 for a family pass of four. Children six and younger may enter for free. Free photos with Santa, Kids’ Play Land with twenty tons of snow, crafts, Cultural performances, dance and songs all included in admission.
Ice Skating in Downtown Phoenix!!
NRG Ice at CityScape, a skating rink at Patriots Square Park in downtown Phoenix, is open to the public through mid-January.
Kids will enjoy one of the short “Skating with Santa” sessions, which take place at 6 and 8 p.m. every day through Dec. 22. After some time on the ice, each child will have an opportunity to talk with Santa about his or her Christmas wishes. Visitors can bring their own skates or rent them on-site.
November 27th-December 17th
December 18th-January 1st
January 2nd-January 15th
Saturday & Sunday 3pm-11pm
Located at 1 E. Washington St., Phoenix. Admission is $10 per person.
For more info call 602-772-3909
Junie B. Jones Play at Tempe Center for the Arts now through December 24th.
Junie B. in Jingle Bells Batman Smells!
This play, based on three of Barbara Park’s best-selling books, recreates the world of intrigue that is Room One. Recommended for age five and older. Ticket prices are $20-$25 and can be purchased on the Tempe Center for the Arts website. www.childsplayaz.org
Nutcracker Ballet at Ballet Arizona in Phoenix at Symphony Hall, December 10 through December 26th. Don’t miss this classic and magical performance!
Tickets available at ticketmaster.com/baz Prices range from $17-$121.
December 11th is Wigwam’s Annual Tree Lighting where the transformation of the resort’s front lawn to a winter wonderland of holiday music, hot cocoa and house-made cookies, trolley rides, letter writing to the troops and a special visit from the North Pole. A grand holiday tree featuring hundreds of sparkling lights will light up the evening event.
December 18th, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Breakfast with Santa at Wigwam Golf Resort and Spa in Litchfield Park, 300 E. Wigwam Blvd. A holiday to remember featuring a hearty breakfast, each child is welcome to sit on Santa’s lap and receives a holiday candy cane. Mrs. Claus will share some of her favorite holiday stories.
$25 for Adults, $12 for children 3-12 and under 3 complimentary. For reservations please contact 623-856-1094.
Saturday December 11th is Holiday Harmony Snow & Glow is at the Scottsdale Civic Center Mall, from 3:30-6:30 p.m. 3939 N. Drinkwater Blvd. The annual tree lighting and toy drive feature live performances and interactive booths. There are snow and sledding areas. Santa Claus drops in for visit. Food and drinks, including a cash bar for those 21 and older, available. Admission is free, but donations of unwrapped toys are requested. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with questions. 480-312-0217. www.scottsdaleaz.gov.
DEC. 15 from 5:30- 8:30 p.m. is Winterfest at Scottsdale Bible Church, 7601 E. Shea Blvd. FREE!
Tons of imported snow create a play area, complete with two snow slides. Activities include hay rides, a petting zoo, bounce houses, holiday crafts, a live Nativity scene and a rock-climbing wall. 480-824-7200. www.scottsdalebible.com.
DEC. 10 and 17 Holiday Music and Festivities from 6-8 p.m. at Scottsdale Quarter, 15169 N. Scottsdale Road. Hot chocolate with Mrs. Claus, live radio broadcasts and snowfall. High-school choral groups perform at 6:15 and 7:30 p.m. FREE! See website for school groups and dates. 480-483-4012. www.scottsdalequarter.com.
The last year for ‘The Christmas Carol’ at The Herberger Theatre is December 4th -24th, located at 222 E. Monroe St. in Phoenix, Admission: $28.50-$70.50. Call 602-252-8497 for details. www.actorstheatrephx.org
DEC. 18th and 19th 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. is the Winter Wonderland Express at The Enchanted Island Amusement Park located in Phoenix, 1202 W. Encanto Blvd. Phoenix. The amusement park is transformed into a snow-filled wonderland. Take the C.P. Huntington train to the snow area and play in tons of the white stuff or take a ride on a sled. Santa Claus visits hot cocoa and candy canes are included. Free. 602-254-1200, www.enchantedisland.com.
Science of Snow Week DEC. 27th through JAN. 1st 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday at The Arizona Science Center in Phoenix, 600 E. Washington St.
It’s snowing at the museum! Experience the science of snow, with themed activities and live demonstrations, including how to make snowflakes, how snow forms and what causes it to snow. Kids can also play in the snow. Free with general admission. $12, $10 for age 62 and older and ages 3-12, free for members and age 2 and younger. 602-716-2000. www.azscience.org.
Tempe Market Place lets it snow twice nightly beginning November 26th through December 24th at 7pm & 8pm! Come join the holiday fun!
Saturday December 11th, 7 p.m. at The U.S. Airways Center in Phoenix is the 19th Annual Christmas Mariachi Festival showcases stellar performances by some of the finest Mariachi groups in the world, including Latin Grammy Award winner Ana Bárbara, as well as Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan, Mariachi Reyna de Los Angeles and Mariachi Sonido de Mexico. Tickets sold at Ticket Master, prices from $40-$75.