I sit down with Scott Hamilton again to discuss his new “Live Your Days” project and men's health.
Last fall I received a amazing opportunity to talk with Scott Hamilton, figure skating superstar, fellow survivor and incredible cancer advocate. To my surprise, I was offered another chance this fall. Now it's worth noting that a conversation with Scott will become a mainstay in my downfall, alongside pumpkin-spiced things and apple cider galore.
Sharing a link to a complex medical history, I first asked how Scott's health was doing.
He said he had a recurrence of the brain tumor that occurred just over four years ago. It has been vigilant in surveillance ever since and recent analysis showed it is starting to grow a bit again. However, he's done it before - in his own words, "it grows and it shrinks and it shrinks and it grows."
He'll have another MRI in about two and a half weeks. If they find that it continues to grow, he will likely need to do some kind of medical or surgical intervention. Nonetheless, he seemed very optimistic and has a clear plan for continued health.
His new effort this year is a project called "Live your days."
Live your days in a nine-part podcast series launched on October 6 (that's today!) and weekly through early December. Guests include Robin Roberts, Kristi Yamaguchi, Verne Lundquist, Alison Sweeney, Marcus Whitney, Miles Adcox, Kevin Nealon and Bart Millard. Along with the podcast, there will be a 30-day challenge that includes daily emails with practical tips, encouragement, ideas and a perspective on how to get the most out of each day. There is also Live Your Days Merchandise available and proceeds from this feedback to Scott's nonprofit CARES.
I asked Scott for more on the basis of Live your days and he had the following to say:
“I think the healthiest life is built on four pillars. The first is physical - obviously we have to take care of our body, and the second is emotional. We need to take care of our sanity, our joy, and our ability to live within ourselves properly. Then there's the intellectual part, it's another pillar that kind of allows us to be curious and grow and expand our constantly, you just know our understanding of what this life is and what its operation. The last one is spiritual - I realized that this part of my life has really awakened all other parts of my life and realized how important it is.
In addition to the genuine respect and enthusiasm he had for sharing the stories of his guests on the podcast, he was also very excited about the 30 day challenge "because it allows you to really experience and understand things. in a very beautiful way. ”
I wanted to know what Scott had chosen to start the Live Your Days project.
He returned to his recurrence of brain tumor four years ago, which was his third recurrence. His first relapse left him with a sense of fear, and he felt a heavy sense of dread in the second. However, this time around, he felt an "overwhelming sense of becoming strong." He wasn't sure what exactly strong meant, but he finally realized he wanted to be strong in his aforementioned four pillars. He gave an interview with People.com which quickly went viral. The heart of this interview really set off the springboard for Live Your Days:
“I realized that our bodies are incredibly vulnerable to a lot of different things. They are also extremely resistant. They are just meant to be, but ultimately they are temporary. Knowing this, it makes sense to be a little more intentional about how I live my days. So it's about living your days and how do you do that?
Although he had had the idea for four years, time, money and the crew never seemed to line up until this year, when the COVID-19 pandemic struck. In his words, "There has never been a time in our history where we haven't needed encouragement, information and understanding about who we are and what we are doing now."
All the pieces fell into place and he was able to bring his idea to life.
Seeing that we are both men who have faced health crises and talked about it so openly, I asked him to share a few more thoughts on how men can truly live. Their Days.
Over the years of his survival, he has noticed that women are really good at taking care of themselves. Most of the men he has met don't really want to go to the doctor because they think they're bulletproof and don't need to go. To this he often says,
“Let's just take a step back and understand that longevity is the biggest victory. It's one thing to get there; it's another thing to stay there. Whenever you know that you look at great athletes and business people, it's not that they've been successful; it's the fact that they stayed there.
Really just understand that a lot of things can happen quietly and surreptitiously. We just need to be aware and vigilant. It's not about giving up your man card or being a wimp. It's just being responsible, because a lot can happen. The earlier you get to anything, the easier it is to rise above it. "
It's about making the right choice - educating yourself about the different options and choosing the one that works best for the individual. He shared that in the treatment of cancer there is several different treatment modalities right now and he thought out loud:
“Your position in your battle in many ways depends on where you stand at the time. If you are sitting across from a surgeon, you are probably going to be cut. If you are sitting across from a hematologist, you are likely to be receiving infusions. So why not sit in front of the desks of six different people? Why not educate yourself so you can make the right choice? "
Scott plans to continue developing the Live Your Days platform.
He hopes to continue building it and "give people a lot to think about on different ways of approaching their lives." He invites everyone to discover it at Live Your Days Website and left me with one last nugget of wisdom:
"It's not how many days you have, but how you spend them."
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October 6, 2020
About six months before I turned 50, a friend tried to convince me to enter a physique contest. He had just turned 40, and was thrilled to be in the over-40 category because there were fewer guys for him to compete against. He said to me, “Kirk, you can win the over-50 category. There are only a few guys who enter. But, you have no lats or traps—most older dudes don’t. Work on your back and you got it in the bag ! ” I wasn’t too excited to enter a competition with “no competition, ” but I was pretty peeved to hear him say I had no lats or traps. My back was better than that. Although I had no intention to enter the competition, I started doing more single-arm dumbbell rows to work my back. Now, a few years later, it’s one of my favorite dumbbell exercises. Importantly, I’m not trying to break any records when it comes to weight here, like I might have in my younger days. Quality reps at low weight is the bigger focus.
There are variantes of the exercise where you see guys use a bench for support, using a hand or even placing a knee on the bench. These have their merits ( although MH sport director Ebenezer Samuel, C. S. C. S. would rather you not put a knee up ). However, I mostly do the version with no assistance from the bench with both feet on the ground as points of contact. This version works your traps, rhomboids, rear delts and rotator cuff groupes de muscles, but you also get some core work, something you greatly need as you get older. Remember, though, that the way do the exercise is subjective to your own abilities. If you need some extra support for balance, don’t hesitate to put a hand down.
tera set up for my preferred variation, pick up a light dumbbell, especially to start. Stand with your feet in a parallel stance about shoulder-width apart. Hold the dumbbell in a neutral position at your side, as if you would for a hammer curl. Place your free hand behind you, with the back of your hand on the small of your back ( you can also extend your off arm out to balance ). Next, bend over by pushing your butt back and hinging at your waist, with your knees slightly bent. There should be no rounding of the spine, and you should keep your gaze down at the floor in a neutral neck place. Lastly, as you’re hanging onto the dumbbell with your arm pointing to the floor, squeeze your shoulder blades together so your shoulders lock in place and don’t slump.
From this starting position, use your back to sweat the dumbbell up without twisting your spine. Pull up as high as you can, pause for a moment at the top and squeeze your shoulder blades together even more. Then release by lowering the dumbbell back to the starting position. tera control my pace, I usually sweat up for 2 seconds, squeeze at the top for 2 seconds, then release back to the starting place in 2 seconds.
By doing the dumbbell row unilaterally ( one arm at a time ), you’ll feel yourself being pulled off balance. You must fight with your abs and obliques to maintain balance and stability, which is why I love this exercise so much. Although you won’t be able to load up with as much weight as you would using the bench for stabilization, the extra core work you’ll get makes this version well worth putting in your arsenal of exercises. Try 4 sets of 8 to 10 reps during upper body workouts to get started.
We all know that it’s common for men to skip the doctor until they become sick, injure themselves or are faced with a serious health problem. And a majority of men will postpone seeking care for a few days to see whether they feel any better. It’s the whole ' if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it ' line of thinking.
But there are steps the men in your life can take today to improve their vitality and help prevent health problems down the road. Of course, there are some things that can’t be changed, such as family history and age, but every day choices can have a big effet on their current and future health.
Eating a diet that’s low in fat ( less than sept percent of kcal should come from saturated fats ), cholesterol, and salt, and packed with fresh fruits and vegetables ( two cups of fruit per day; three cups of vegetables per day for men up to age 50 and two and a half cups for men aged 51 and over ), whole grains and fiber can help improve your health, prevent heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Try to get 30 minutes of moderate physical activity on most days of the week. Taking a walk, jogging, swimming and mowing the lawn all count. But don’t be a weekend sports warrior. Start slowly if you aren’t normally active and gradually build up. No time ? Research shows that even short bursts of physical activity—as few as 10 minutes of soutenu activity several times a day—can help men improve their health. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program for you.
It’s important to maintain a saine weight. Excess weight, especially around the waist, can be hard on your body. Carrying too much body fat forces your heart to work harder and increases your chances of heart disease and stroke, even if you have no other risk factors ! So, try to curb weight gain as you age.
Tobacco smoke contains more than 4, 000 chemicals and is a known cause of cancer. Smoking also increases the likelihood of high blood pressure, heart disease, lung problems and other health problems. And if you think chewing tobacco is safer, think again. Not only is chewing tobacco a known cause of cancer ( carcinogen ), it also contributes to gum disease and tooth loss and may be linked to fertility problems. And, few could argue that chewing and spitting is attractive to a partner. If you smoke or chew, talk to your health care professional about ways to quit. Consider nicotine replacement therapy products that include self-help programs, if appropriate.
Whether it’s pulling out the weed whacker, going for a bike ride or grilling with the neighbors, safety is key. Here are just a few examples : Take care when moving heavy objects. It’s easy to strain yourself when lifting boxes, furniture and other heavy items. Use your knees and legs and not your back for leverage. And ask for help, if you need it. Wear appropriate protective gear for your eyes and ears when using leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other machines at home or work. Excessive exposure to noise is the most common cause of hearing loss. Wear a helmet when you ride a bike or ski and throw on reflective clothing if you go for a run after dark. When grilling, never leave the grill unattended, especially when small children and pets are around, and keep a fire extinguisher handy. The grill should be at least 10 feet from your house or any building. tera protect your skin, avoid prolonged exposure to the sun and apply ( and reapply ) sunscreen with an SPF of 15 or greater that provides protection against UVA and UVB rays.