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IMPORTANCE of CORE STRENGTH & BALANCE

first_imgIf you have been bold enough to flip through a fitness magazine in the last ten years, you have undoubtedly read an article or two about the importance of core strength and balance.Rumor has it, finding balance and ways to strengthen your core, will help us all in various athletic pursuits. What pursuits? Golf – where better balance and core strength can help lead to monster drives Cycling – where a strong core and good balance can help cyclists reserve energy and use their legs more effectivelyRunning – where lack of core strength can lead to back problems, pain and other injuries The gospel of core strength for athletes has been preached and accepted by professionals for years. Even soft core athletes and normal folk like myself have heard and accepted the message. Strength = balance = less bad stuff like back pain, hip pain, etc. Even nursing home patients could likely tell you the importance of strength and balance in recovering from surgery or pain.I will even venture a guess that a number of us potential followers have attended classes at the gym or purchased our own  balance ball, yoga mat, or other device to aid in at home core workouts.The desire to fild balance, and strength is a noble one.But I must admit, when I hear the words “core strength,” and balance, I rarely think of my abdominal muscles. I consider my whole body, mind,  body and spirit. I think of wellness, wholeness, psychological balance and emotional strength.I consider whether my whole person at this minute, has balance. If not, I think on how and where I can find that needed core strength.For example:Long day.Feel exhausted.No outlet but that of work and routine. A friend needs help sorting through a difficult problem or a loved one calls needing someone to listen.I already feel empty, un-nourished, and have nothing left to give. My lack of balance and strength will negatively impact the way I treat people I love. They way I listen, respond, give back and encourage.To me, a life of emptiness, exhaustion and fatigue is unacceptable. Even a day of emotional exhaustion is too much. I want to feel strong, able to serve and listen. And while I cannot control the intensity of my work or the demands of ordinary life, I can control what I do to nourish and build myself up before and during the stress. I can make building core strength a priority, knowing that balance will help me get through the rough parts with enough energy left to do the real work.I own a balance ball. One day, I will use it to strengthen my actual muscles. But for now, I am reaching out for the other tools necessary to build strength.My journalDaily quite time – reflection – prayerWalks with my dogsBooksFriendsQuiet time at homeYour list will be different. I am sure of it. My husband’s would include mountain streams and running clothes. My brother’s would include some British band’s latest record.A friend of mine with two children, a full time job and a busy husband will need very different things to feel whole, and balanced at her core. She may need help with meals, child care. She may need alone time, a walk with the dogs alone, or a hot bath.If we don’t find this balance, and work on it every day, we can’t be our best selves. We break down and waste what energy we do have in feeling discouraged, alone, weak.If a 60 year old Golfer attended Titlest camp and said ” I just don’t feel like working on my balance or strength,” the instructor might inform him that his game will suffer accordingly. While it may be acceptable for an amateur athlete, I don’t think it is acceptable for our lives that we become apathetic.It is not selfish to focus on yourself in this way. It is in this context, a gift to those around you. It is a necessity in these crazy times to find balance, and wholeness.I would love if folks would share their secrets to balance. I think the more we encourage each other to seek it, the stronger all of us can be.Oh, and if any of you still have an ab roller hiding under your bed from 1995, maybe its time to dust it off as well.last_img read more

Wharton; A week in review

first_img 10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr Confession: if you haven’t realized it by now, I’m a bit of a nerd. I thoroughly enjoyed school, enough to be considering pursuing a Master’s Degree, just for funsies. So imagine my delight when, through my NTCUE experience and success, I was able to travel to Philadelphia for one very intense week of school. And not just any school – the Wharton School at UPenn is one of the most prestigious business schools in the nation.I’ll admit that I was nervous – which you already know if you read my pre-trip blog post. I was worried that I wouldn’t understand the material, that the curriculum would be over my head, and that I would grossly out of place as the only non-management attendee (I am, at present time, a Coordinator). After all, this is training for the next edition of CEOs – top executives in our industry. I’m not experienced reading call reports, dealing with personnel issues, or forming the strategic plan for an entire organization.I was delighted to discover, as DeeDee Myers had encouraged, that not only was I not out of my element, I was firmly within my element. I understood, connected with, and excelled at the content of the sessions, finding many things relevant to my current position and to my plans for future growth and advancement. I was even successful at the math – yes, math! – portions of the week (fear not; if you are considering attending the CEO Institute and are mathematically challenged, the week is not very math-intensive). continue reading »last_img read more

A Step Forward in the Promise of Ultrafast ‘Hyperloops’

first_imgMOAPA, Nev. — Hyperloop technology, which promises to transport people and goods at speeds of up to 600 miles an hour, has long seemed too good to be true. But one company says it has cleared an important step toward commercializing it by moving two of its employees through a test system.Virgin Hyperloop became the first company to conduct a human test of the technology on Sunday at its 500-meter test track in the desert north of Las Vegas. The two volunteers, wearing casual street clothes, were whisked in a pod that was levitated by magnets inside a vacuum tube to 107 m.p.h. in 6.25 seconds.- Advertisement – The ability to move people safely at this stage of the technology’s development is not that important, said the company’s chief executive, Andres de Leon. “We’re testing the program from an engineer’s point of view, not from that of a marketer’s.”In the Netherlands, Hardt, a 35-employee hyperloop company, has built a 30-meter track that lets the company test its levitation, propulsion and lane-switching technologies. The company has teamed up with Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam to research the feasibility of a hyperloop linking major airports in the Netherlands, France, Germany, Belgium and Britain. “This is a step of historical significance,” said Jay Walder, the company’s chief executive, pointing to 20 months of planning. “I don’t think you can overstate it. This is a moonshot moment. I have no doubt this will change the world.”Whether it becomes a giant leap for mankind is still unclear.Virgin’s test might be as symbolically important as it is crucial to the technology’s ultimate success. While the pod traveled at a much slower speed than what proponents of hyperloops claim the technology is capable of, company officials described it as a safety milestone.- Advertisement – Many experts are skeptical that the technology will live up to its grand promises or be economically viable.A truck striking the tube could shut the system down, said Carlo Van de Weijer, the general manager of the Netherlands’ Eindhoven AI Systems Institute. As the system aged, it would require expensive maintenance. Hyperloops also might not be able to transport as many people or goods as its proponents claim because individual pods would need to slow down to enter spur tracks.“Every breakthrough starts with a strange idea,” Dr. Van de Weijer said. “But not every strange idea is a breakthrough.”Like high-speed rail systems, hyperloop companies will have to acquire expensive rights of way, said Juan Matute, deputy director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles.The tubes that carry hyperloop pods will need to be very straight for high-speed travel, and turns will have to be very wide. Once routes are set, acquiring every needed parcel of land could become a nightmare. “If a route has been picked, there are no alternatives,” Mr. Matute said. “Airlines do not have this problem.”Still, some government officials and hyperloop entrepreneurs are determined to pursue the technology. Virgin Hyperloop, which has doubled its work force to 300 over the last two years and has raised over $400 million, has selected West Virginia as the site for a certification center and a six-mile test track. The modern hyperloop concept was first described in 2012 by Elon Musk, the top executive of SpaceX and Tesla. He offered up the idea to anybody who wanted to exploit it, and neither he nor his companies are working on hyperloops.Virgin Hyperloop, which counts Richard Branson’s Virgin Group as a minority investor, is one of several companies looking to commercialize the technology, which they hope will eventually move passengers between cities, and cargo to and from ports.If it functions as advertised, travel time could be cut significantly — a trip from Los Angeles to San Francisco could, for example, take less than an hour.Mr. Walder has intimate knowledge of transportation systems, having served as the head of New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Transport for London. Mr. Walder claimed that hyperloop technology could be the first new mass transit system in a century.“The U.S. Interstate Highway System, which began in 1956, cannot be the end of our imagination in terms of how we move around,” he said. With hyperloop, “we can have a fundamentally different transportation system.”Unlike trains, which run on fixed schedules, hyperloop pods would function more like smart elevators. Artificial intelligence would adjust destinations, the number of pods that travel in a convoy and departure times based on demand. The test also gives a sense of reality to an otherwise abstract sci-fi-like construct. “You can show the most elegant diagram but at the end of the day what is important is, will people ride it? This is an example of a picture worth a thousand words,” Ms. Luchian said. The riders sat in molded seats covered in white vegan leather, housed inside the all-white carbon fiber-clad pod.While the G-forces on the pod were three times that of an airplane, “it was much smoother than I expected,” said Sara Luchian, 37, one of the test riders and the company’s director of passenger experience. And unlike an airplane, there were no lateral forces that would have caused the pod to sway, she said. It has several projects in planning stages: a route between Pune and Mumbai in India; another between Jeddah and Riyadh in Saudi Arabia; and one connecting Chicago, Columbus, Ohio, and Pittsburgh.“We’re highly positive and very intrigued with the possibilities for hyperloop,” said Thea Ewing, a director for the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission.The council estimates that over 30 years, a hyperloop connecting those cities would displace 1.9 billion car and truck trips, reduce carbon emissions by 2.4 million tons and generate $300 billion in economic benefits.Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, a company based in Los Angeles and Dubai, has built a 320-meter test track in Toulouse, France, and is designing a 1,000-meter test track for Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates. It has also formed a partnership with a container operator at the port of Hamburg to design a system to move cargo.center_img “It felt not that much different than accelerating in a sports car,” said Josh Giegel, 35, the company co-founder and the other volunteer rider.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Hyperloop companies have been encouraged by government findings that the technology is feasible. In 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation put the Federal Railroad Administration in charge of developing standards and regulations for hyperloops.In Europe, several hyperloop companies have created a technical committee to develop standards, which they hope will be adopted by the European Union.After Mr. Giegel and Ms. Luchian entered the capsule, it was pushed into a decompression chamber to await the creation of a vacuum. At that point, the gate valve opened and the pod entered the tube, ready for the test.Virgin’s successful human tests could give true believers in the technology a psychological boost. The company’s executives believe that the system will be commercialized by the end of the decade. But it’s the movement of cargo that Hardt is developing first. “It’s less risky and it’s easier for stakeholders if we don’t emphasize passengers,” said the company’s chief commercial officer, Mars Geuze. “It’s easier to take the smaller steps.”Two other companies, TransPod in Toronto and Zeleros in Valencia, Spain, are also working to develop hyperloop systems. “This technology could be the transition to the future we all want,” Mr. Giegel said. “Today we went from infancy to adolescence.” “The No. 1 question I get from investors is, ‘Is it safe enough to ride?’” said Mr. Giegel. “We’re everyday people, we’re not astronauts. This shows that it’s safe, and observers can take this back to their investors and interested municipalities.”last_img read more