Monday, July 23, 2012


This past Thursday night, I went with one of Legacy's clients to a shooting range.  (I always want to - and sometimes do - say 'driving range' can tell what was in my life before!)

It is a curious place for me to be, for sure.  The NRA was always a four-letter word to me.  I didn't like their friends in high places and I thought they were a bully organization.  Charlton Heston, for heaven's sake.  I also write this just after the shooting in Aurora, Colorado (I was born in the Army Hospital there, ages ago!) and I know the topic of guns is swirling around all over the country.  I will say that I believe the sale of assault, semi-automatic weapons should be illegal.  No citizens are being denied their right to bear arms if they are not allowed to buy a weapon like that...that is just ridiculous lobby posturing.

In addition, until taking the Navy SEAL hand gun class Legacy offered our clients in June, it never occurred to me that I might be having dinner in a restaurant filled with folks carrying a concealed hand gun.  That's a pretty sobering thought, especially when I see what is being posted on the internet in response to the insanity in Colorado.

Having said all that, there I was with Harriet Langston, at the indoor shooting range.

Legacy had sponsored a day immersion at an outdoor range with Scott Phillips of TacFrog, a former Navy SEAL, who teaches the correct handling of a hand gun and how to shoot "the Navy Seal way".
Having never even touched a gun before that immersion, having never even wanted to, I was surprised at how intriguing shooting a gun was for me.  Once I overcame the concern/fear that I might accidentally shoot someone, I wanted to learn how to shoot "the Navy SEAL way," wanted to see if I could consistently hit the target, wanted to see if I could manage my fear, settle my nerves, learn the technique, enjoy this experience that was so outside my comfort zone.  I left that Saturday, after over six hours of instruction and practice, exhausted but pleased that I had been able to withstand the heat, my lack of skill,  blistered and bruised hands...glad that I had taken advantage of this opportunity to try a new experience.  As a coach of others, it was a good lesson for see how another professional teaches a new skill, to be the student of something foreign for a change, to only have the responsibility to listen, practice, and learn something.

So, there I was at the indoor shooting range!

Harriet is a wonderful 'teacher' herself.  She has been a shooter for quite some time,  a good one at that. She enjoyed the immersion as much if not more than anyone and was so thrilled with Scott and his ability to teach her new things, allowing her to hone her already considerable skill set.

She wanted me to practice what we had been taught by TacFrog, to become more proficient, to love the process and get results.  And I did with her help!  I became better skilled at two things that plagued me during the class:  loading ammo into the cartridge (no, it is NOT a clip) and controlling the kick or recoil so that the next bullet wouldn't jam in the barrel.  Hooray and success in both areas.  Hitting some bull's eyes was really secondary to being able to say I had gotten better in those ways.  Harriet's patience with me and her thrill at being able to help me practice what we had learned several weeks ago was so helpful.  It made all the difference in my level of comfort and success.  Thank you, Harriet!

I will go back to the range and practice again and look forward to the next opportunity I have to work with Scott Phillips through another Legacy day immersion.  I think, especially as we age, attempting to learn something new is just about the most wonderful thing you can do for your brain!

P.S.  This is me holding Harriet's last target...she is a damn fine shot!

Sunday, April 22, 2012


April 22, 2012 is a day for us to appreciate the unbelievable resources we have on Earth and to pledge to do our best to protect the offerings that nature unfailingly provides us.  The EarthDay Network is encouraging its supporters to pledge 1 billion acts of green.  Sounds like a big undertaking, doesn't it: overwhelming in fact.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."  Margaret Mead

What can an ordinary person do to create an "act of green"?

Have a picnic!  The Nature Conservancy, an international conservation nonprofit, is hosting the largest picnic ever by setting up "Picnics for the Planet" events throughout the world.  Even if you are not a part of this vast undertaking, go to a local park with your family and enjoy being outside with an old-fashioned meal outdoors.

Plant a tree!  Green World Campaign restores indigenous ecologies and lessens the climate crisis in environmentally-damaged locations by planting trees in the communities that desperately need them.  Go to your local nursery and buy a sapling to plant in your yard.  Each year add another sapling as an Earth Day celebration.  On an average sized urban lot, it takes ten trees to neutralize the impact of the CO2 that one person living in a house on that lot expels every day.

Enjoy a local trail or walking path!  Legacy Performance and Integrated Wellness Center donates to DORBA, Dallas Off-Road Biking Association.  Our contribution provides the tools and infrastructure used to build trails in Dallas county.  It also lets local municipalities know that we care about and use the trails built and maintained on their properties.  These trails are for off-road bikers and hikers.  As the trails are build in urban forests, DORBA pledges to leave the smallest footprint possible, retaining the natural eco-system with the least human impact.  Certain trees are off-limits for cutting in order to create a trail.  Known nesting grounds are left untouched.  Water areas are kept as pristine as possible.  Trails are created with a reverence for what nature has gifted us.  They become  "sacred places", if you will, bringing people into the out-of-doors in an inter-active way.  DORBA members are charged with maintaining the trails in the spirit in which they are designed and offered to the public for rest and recreation.

Saturday, April 21st., Legacy took a group of hikers to Big Cedar Wilderness Trail for a morning of hiking.  Big Cedar is the best trail in DFW and one of the top in the entire state.  The terrain is varied, going from smooth soft single track, to long sweeping descents, and finally some incredible Texas climbing.  Two years in the making, the Trail has 17 miles of mountain bike and hiking choices.  Once completed, Big Cedar should have over 30 miles of cross country trails.  Our group hiked about 7 miles  with gluten-free snacks, clean water, and a few Myo-fascial Stretches and an ELDOA at the end of the adventure!

The Trail Steward is Shadow Jons, an artist in trail design and construction.  Located atop one of the most breathtaking escarpment areas in North Texas, Big Cedar boasts the highest elevation in the city of Dallas.  Winding through cedar and hardwood forest, trails descend into a valley in dramatic elevation changes.  Bobcat, coyote, abundant bird life, butterflies of all descriptions...hills, meadows, water, trees...dappled sunlight...hugh boulders...there is something for everyone.

Our goal at Legacy is to enlist our clients as volunteers to create and maintain a Legacy Trail at Big Cedar, thereby creating a community of our people involved in creating a legacy for generations to come.

Monday, November 28, 2011


...and you want to know how to be happy.

Think happy thoughts!

I could actually end the blog right there since there is no secret to happiness and there is only one act that creates that state. But you might get angry and that doesn't take us to the happy place.

"Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be." Abraham Lincoln

There are two minds: conscious and sub-conscious. The conscious mind is the queen bee, the boss. The sub-conscious mind is the drone, the one that gets stuff done. Here's the happiness rub: the sub-conscious mind knows no limits and does whatever the conscious mind tells it to do...the conscious mind is built upon perceptions of reality, so-called facts, that are usually built upon negative mental constructs.

"Our vastly more developed brain is fertile ground for a harvest of suffering. Only we humans worry about the future, regret the past, and blame ourselves for the present. We get frustrated when we can't have what we want, and disappointed when what we like ends. We suffer that we suffer. We get upset about being in pain, angry, about dying, sad about waking up sad yet another day. This kind of suffering - which encompasses most of our unhappiness and dissatisfaction - is constructed by the brain, It is made up. Which is ironic, poignant - and supremely hopeful. For if the brain is the cause of suffering, it can also be its cure." Buddha's Brain by Rick Hanson, PH.D.

Science, specifically the study of the plasticity of the brain, is showing how the flow of thoughts sculpts the brain. This breakthrough, coupled with the study of esoterica and contemplative practices like meditation, means that anyone can use their mind to shape their brains in order to realize greater happiness, love and wisdom. Not to mention freedom from the disempowering memes that wreck havoc on our emotional body.

Conscious mental events are the result of a temporary coalition of synapses that form and un-form, in seconds,. Neurons can also make lasting circuits, which get strengthened each time
a connection is made. For example, some event happens to a child which makes the child believe he or she is unloveable. Going forward, any event which recreates that initial emotion in the child/adult, serves to "prove" the truth of the initial response. Each time that emotion is unleashed, the strength of the emotion is reinforced until that is all he or she believes to be true. "See, this just proves how unloveable I really am."

The thought the mind creates becomes a self-fulling prophecy because the sub-conscious mind brings to fruition that which the conscious mind believes.

This might seem to be an impossible loop to change. The concept of brain plasticity means that the adult brain remains open to change as long as we live.

The brain regulates the flow of energy and data. If we focus on how we intentionally direct this flow through our neural circuits, we can directly alter the brain's activity and it's structure.

Science has also shown that when compassion and mindful awareness is in our lives we can harness the social circuits of the brain to enable the transformation of our relationship with our own self.

That means we can intentionally create positive change in ourselves, in our lives.

As miraculous as the mind is, the conscious mind can only hold one thought at a time. If you are counting backwards from one hundred and I ask you to spell your mother's maiden name, something is going to have to give! If you are blissful about something in this moment and a sad bit of news comes to you, you will not be able to be both happy and depressed.

Step one in the art of happiness is to have a thought or a memory that is guaranteed to create a smile. Step two is the practice of becoming happy. When a sad, angry, fearful thought comes to mind, replace it with the "happy" thought. You can't hold both thoughts. Impossible. Step three is the 'taking responsibility for your thoughts' part of the process. You have a choice every time you think a negative thought: continue to wallow in it or replace it with something positive.

Try this for thirty-days. It's called "The Mental Diet" and you can find out about it in U. S. Anderson's book, Three Magic Words.

Many people who are working on this aspect of their lives use an affirmation, a prayer, a simple word they can repeat easily no matter where they find themselves, or short blessing to replace the disempowering thoughts when they come into mind. You can work with a coach or mentor, someone who teaches meditation. Meditation doesn't need to represent some Eastern philosophy, but can be viewed as a practice for calming the mind and letting happiness come in.

"It isn't what you have, or who you are, or where you are, or what you are doing that makes you happy or unhappy. It is what you think about." Dale Carnegie

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

No One Wants to Discuss "Poop"

Poop, as in the stuff that issues from your colon.

No one wants to talk about it, but how well your colon works is an indication of over-all health. The colon (large intestine) is five to six feet long and about three inches in diameter. Peristalsis is the rhythmic contraction of the colon designed to push feces through this tube-like organ. A backed-up colon is a toxic colon.

Unfortunately, in our culture especially, it is not uncommon to hear of clients whose "normal" rhythm only produces a bowel movement once every two or three days. There are many people, usually women, who have bowel movements every five to seven days...even going ten days between evacuation of the colon.

I repeat: a backed-up colon is a toxic colon.

Your poop can tell you a lot about what is going in in your digestive system. I could hazard a guess that most people look at their stool before they flush, but do they really look at their stool? Here are some of the things you can learn about what may not be operating at optimal levels, just by studying your own poop...

...undigested food particles in your stool are not normal and can be a sign of food intolerances or an inflammation somewhere in your digestive system. First of all, chew your food until it is liquid. Digestion starts in the mouth.

...diarrhea is your body's attempt to detox! Alternating between constipation and diarrhea is a signal you need to re-evaluate your food program.

..."rabbit pellets" can mean you are dehydrated or have impaired peristalsis.

...a larger than life bowel movement that is hard to pass is often an indication that your diet is based on too many dehydrated and processed foods, especially protein bars or shakes.

...feces that is hard to flush is usually lighter in color than a normal bowel movement and may point to a deficiency in bile, which the body creates in order to break down fats.

...if your sh#t stinks, detoxify immediately. Smelly poop is often a result after a surgical procedure where a general anesthesia is used, exposure to a toxic environment, or a diet which consists of processed foods.

Help is on the way!

Dietary and lifestyle changes positively effect a sluggish colon. While those are being put in place, becoming habitual, there is a group of exercises that can radically improve colon peristalsis.

Your abdominal muscles attach to the organs in the abdominal cavity of your body. That means the colon, too. By learning a specialized set of abdominal exercises and the specific order in which they should be done, you can "exercise" every part of the colon: ascending, hepatic angle, right transverse, left transverse, total transverse colon, spleen angle, descending colon, and the sigmoid colon. This results in creating the rhythmic contractions your colon should have in order to move feces through the large intestines. Done daily, you create colon health as you build strong, beautiful sub-umbilical abdominals.

It's a win-win!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

IS GLUTEN-FREE JUST A FAD... hula hoops, the Rubik Cube, or Chia pets? I mean you can't even shop in a Safeway grocery store without seeing shelves devoted to gluten-free packaged goods. When something goes mainstream, it usually means it is the beginning of the end of the hype and we all sit back and wait for the next "new thing."

Gluten-free is no fad, people, and gluten-intolerance is no joke.

Gluten is a protein (gliadin is the actual name) which is found in grains like wheat, barley and rye. Foods made from these grains contain gluten. But gluten can be found is plenty of products that are not the usual suspects, like bread, baked goods or pasta. Examples include condensed canned soups, vegetable cooking sprays, artificial coffee creamer, some veined cheeses such as Roquefort and blue, communion wafers, lip stick and lip balm, glue on stamps and envelopes, toothpaste, cosmetics, lotions and creams and prescription drugs, health supplements, vitamin pills, and so forth.

But we have been eating and using these products for years. Why all of a sudden are we talking about gluten being a problem?

Let's face it. Modern day grains are not our grandmother's grains. And it starts with the soil. Plants grown in the few inches of top soil covering the earth carry the nutrients of the soil
in the roots, leaves and fruit of the plants. Back in the day, our farmer forefathers didn't use chemical fertilizers, anti-fungal agents, anti-bacterial sprays or toxic pesticides. There was no need for such additives and the soil was healthy, full of the microscopic life that created a fertile growing medium. The plants (food) grown in such soil contained the nutrients in this rich soil. In addition, the seeds used to grow the plants were probably heirloom seeds which ensured a purity of genetic material, if you will, from which our food was derived.

Those days are over. When industry turned from a war-time product base to a peace-time economy, the technology created to fight a war turned to how to make life "easier" for the modern to have foods that were processed for a long shelf-life, took no time to prepare, and could be grown in great quantities. Fertilizer, petro-chemical additives became a part of the food supply system in the form of soil and crop additives. Now we are dealing with seeds that have a built-in pesticide that turns away insects. All of these farming changes have created a "dangerous grain" and we are seeing the physical results of ingesting gliadin that comes from a toxic group of crops.

A person can become gluten-intolerant at any age. Just because you could eat your weight in pasta, enjoy toast for breakfast and cake for dessert when you were in your twenties and thirties doesn't mean that the bloated, tired, depressed, fat, chronically GI distressed person you are in your forties and fifties isn't related to your inability to digest foods that contain gluten.

Strong digestive health is a key component in overall vitality. The old saw is correct: we are what we eat and digest and metabolize. Many factors can wear down the integrity of the health of the gastro-intestinal tract and food sensitivities and toxins loom large in that equation.

Most people need to be off gluten. Recent research shows 1/33 Americans have celiac disease, the most extreme manifestation of gluten intolerance (UMD study). There is a gene for gluten intolerance appearing most commonly in folks of English, Irish, Scandinavian, Scottish, Eastern European and Jewish descent. Gluten sensitivity is common in those with alcohol and food-related disorders or a history of that in the family. This sensitivity to gluten is a risk factor for diabetes, infertility, osteoporosis, obesity and autoimmune conditions.

The good news about gluten-free products being everywhere is that is it really easy to go gluten-free now. If you could characterize yourself as fat, tired and depressed, you owe it to yourself to test whether becoming gluten-free could change your life. Try to go "free" for a week and see how you feel. If you don't know if you are sensitive to gluten, contact us and we can give you an easy questionnaire which will help you determine your level of intolerance.

My own personal experience with going gluten-free four and a half years ago manifested itself with rapid weight loss, cessation of all spring and fall seasonal allergies, sleep rhythms corrected to normal, and acid reflux meds no longer name just a few!

Gluten-free is not just a fad. It's the road to health and vitality.

Monday, May 30, 2011


Who isn't these days?

The pace of life is hectic...even if some of that is self-imposed and not mandatory. We are all juggling many responsibilities in our personal and professional lives. Unfortunately, our stress management skills or coping mechanisms may not be adequate to protect us from the ravages of the stress in modern day life.

Like everything else, change comes only when we decide we want to change. The first step in successful stress relief is deciding to make a change in how we manage stress. Then it helps if we recognize what our stress buttons are and some aren't so obvious.

Stress isn't going to disappear even if we pretend it doesn't exist or that we are handling it just fine! And like any new skill, it will take some practice to perfect once we have chosen a tactic for our own stress relief.

Most "experts" rank meditation as one of the top five relaxation techniques. All agree that everyone can benefit from learning a relaxation technique. The choice is ours. It doesn't matter which one we opt for as long as it works for us and we practice it regularly.

To that end, Legacy Performance and Integrated Wellness Center has developed a few things we think are of tremendous help in dealing with stress that may cause loss in vibrancy and health.

Simple as 1•2•3 Stress Management:

Step 1: Be sure to eat clean, nutritious food. This is essential in building a body that can handle stress. We have created The Training Table at our Center. Our clients can come pick up an organic meal prepared by From Seeds To Table for take home or to enjoy after a training session. We also offer Recovery Shakes and Protein Smoothies along with Purely-B Grapefruit Juices (stress destroys the vitamins in the body, especially the B vitamins).

Step 2: Use the highest quality, most complete whole food supplements during times of extreme stress. This helps your body deal with the destructive aspects of stress until you are less stressed and your body can manage on its own. As crazy as life has become, everyone needs a good B vitamin, vitamin C, adrenal support and some help in blood sugar stabilization.

Step 3: Create some stillness in your life! DiscoverHealth says "Every day, devote a little time to take yourself out of the 'busyness'game. First, eliminate all forms of intrusion. Then close your eyes, breathe deeply and let your thoughts float downstream like a log carried by the river. You can practice meditation or relax in a hot bath with aromotherapy. When a thought comes up, just watch it float away."

To that end, The Legacy Center now has a Relaxation Room. This is a soothing, quiet space that encourages meditation. Relaxing tapes specifically for calming the mind are available as are pillows, throws, soft lighting...all for your use as you seek to calm and relax.

In addition, for almost a year, we have been sponsoring Guided Meditation evenings. This is usually planned for once a month and we bring Trudy Evans, C. H., into our Center to teach and lead participants through meditation techniques. These evenings have been extremely popular and Trudy will come to the Center to do a private session, if a client so desires.

Stress doesn't have to be a constant companion. Learn how to enjoy the moment, live in the now, control a mind that is running at 100 MPH. Learn how to maintain health and well-being while repairing the toll that stress can take on mind and body.

If you would like to experience how calm feels, contact us for an appointment. Our email is or 214-843-1184. relaxation&2Dtechniques

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

What the heck is ELDOA?

Do you want the simple answer or the complex one?

ELDOA is an acronym in French for Etirements Longitudinaux avex Decoaptation Osteo-Articulaire.

The English translations is LOADS...Longitudinal Osteo Articular Decoaptation Stretches.

(Now you are asking which answer is the simple one and which the complex, right?!)

We know that the human spine is a complicated and vital structure. Compression and articular blocks can cause pain, arthrosis, neurological pinching, disc compression and pathology, and articular lesions. ELDOA is a highly effective solution to these ailments.

An ELDOA technique puts the myofascial chains into tension around the point of a primary lesion, thus making the lesion point the center of decoaptive (separating) forces. This myofascial tension solicits a postural normalization of a particular joint, resulting in many benefits.

ELDOAs consist of very precise postures which target a specific articulation, providing relief from pain and recuperative balance. The advantage of learning these exercises is that they take only a minute each day to perform, while reducing pain and improving posture.

When I first became acquainted with ELDOA, I had pain radiating from my left glute down the outside of my left leg all the way to my ankle. I had "shrunk" from 5'6" to a little under 5'51/2". I had experienced what I called sciatic pain that actually kept me bed-ridden for several days. The pain was so excruciating that I could barely get into or out of bed and sitting down, even to go to the bathroom, was an ordeal.

I had never heard of ELDOA or of its creator, Guy Voyer, D.O., but I started doing L5/S1 (which creates space between the 5th lumbar disc and the 1st. sacral disc. I did this religiously, every night before bed, desperate for relief.

And I got it!

In just a few months, the pain completely disappeared. I am once again 5'6" and aspiring to become 5'8" (why not?). I have had the supreme good fortune to partner with Scott Herrera, who introduced me to ELDOA in the gym four and one half years ago. Through Scott, who is enrolled in Voyer's doctorial program, I met Guy and become a student of his work on ELDOA and Myo-fascial Stretching.

Legacy Performance and Integrated Wellness Center is doing ground-breaking work, integrating the ELDOA and MFS into performance and fitness programs with all our clients. It has helped our clients deal with pain and injury issues. Our semi-private training classes enable clients to work on their programs several times during the week as they continue to book one-on-one training sessions with us. The ELDOA program at Legacy is an indispensable component of our overall Wellness and Performance Programs.

It works.