Julie Weiss Completes 52 Marathons!

Julie Weiss is the Energizer Bunny of marathon runners. For 52 weeks, she kept on going and going and going.
On Sunday, she finally stopped. As she crossed the finish line of the Los Angeles Marathon, she reached her goal of running a marathon every week for a year to raise awareness for the disease that killed her father.

“Pancreatic cancer is my only competition out there and I intend to beat it,” she told TODAY.
The 42-year-old California mother of two started her year-long journey after her father passed away in November 2010, only a month after being diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. The experience stunned her.
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“People don’t know what we’re dealing with here,” she said. “It’s almost like a death sentence.”
She started her mission with a marathon in Rome and followed with a race every weekend throughout the United States and Canada. She would work her 9-to-5 job during the week and then immediately hop on a plane. She finished each race with a huge smile and arms raised — and then head back home Sunday.
“We have never had anybody do what Julie Weiss has done,” said Pam Marquardt, founder of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.

Weiss and her dad, who died a month after his diagnosis.
So far, Weiss has raised $177, 378 for the charity, according to her website www.MarathonGoddess.com, a play off the nickname she’s been dubbed by fans.
David Levine, her fiancé, acknowledged it has been a hard journey.
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“Psychologically, it was taxing, difficult, tiring,” he said.

Completing 52 marathons in 52 weeks means that Weiss has run 1,362.4 miles. That’s roughly the distance between St. Louis to Boston.
Although Weiss runs each race in memory of her father, she dedicates each marathon to a cancer victim.
“In memory of Lydia Jack, she passed at only 52, so Lydia 52 is also for YOU!” she wrote on her blog.

Weiss now plans to take a break, but she said she plans to pick up her race pace again soon. Her next goal is to run another 52 marathons in 52 weeks by 2020 to reach her ultimate goal of raising $1 million dollars for pancreatic cancer research and awareness.

Amputee Hits The Right Note

Richard Mangino from Massachusetts suffered from a serious bloodstream infection in 2002 and lost his lower arms and legs. This left him unable to do some of his favorite activities such as drawing, playing piano, and tossing the football around with his grandkids.

In 2011, Mangino underwent a double hand transplant and the surgery was successful. A team of over 40 surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, residents, radiologists and physician assistants operated for more than 12 hours to perform his surgery.

His wife told journalists

“One day in July, Mangino told his family, “I’m going to try to swim, go get the    camera,” he recalled. Carole Mangino said she held her breath as he took his strokes. “I said, ‘Oh, my God, he’s going all the way to the end!’ ” Her husband easily swam the length of the pool and then held up his arms in victory.

“It was like watching someone taking his first steps,’’ said Carole, who was so moved she cried. Mangino did drive before the transplant, using a device on the steering wheel his prostheses fit into, enabling him to turn. Playing football with    grandsons Trevor, 6, and Nicholas, 4, is new, and that is when the boys, who had not known their grandfather with his original hands, finally realized the transplant had changed him, Carole said.

Her husband, she said, “is on a cloud,’’ and the bumps in the road have been relatively minor.

Mangino takes medication for nerve pain in his arms, which bothers him especially at night. Pomahac said doctors do not have a good explanation for this type of pain. “The nerves are regrowing, and they not only provide sensations but       provide some random pain stimulus,” he said. “It will eventually go away.’’

11 Ways to Overcome Anger

Anger is something that virtually all of us have within us and is something best tackled by ourselves and our own actions.

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Anyway here are 11 ways to calm your anger!

1. Ask: “Am I improving the situation?” This works especially well with the Big Girl. If I get angry with her, she has a complete melt-down. It’s unpleasant, but her reactions have sure helped me get better control of myself. Now, when I have the urge to snap, I think, “Is this going to help the situation?” And the answer is always NO.

2. Find “an area of refuge.” I lifted this phrase from a sign near an elevator at Yale Law School—it struck me as funny. Research shows that when people’s thoughts are unoccupied, brooding sets in. So I try to “find an area of refuge” in my mind; that is, to dwell on serene thoughts instead of brooding and fussing. Along the same lines…

3. Distract myself. Indulging in “overthinking”—dwelling on trifling slights, unpleasant encounters, and sadness—leads to bad feelings. I can enrage myself by obsessing on some petty annoyance. In what the Big Man calls the “downward spiral,” I begin to rail about every negative episode in recent memory. Now I deliberately distract my thoughts, usually by thinking about some writing question.

4. Ask: am I mad at myself? Martha Beck makes the interesting argument that we brood on other people’s faults when we subconsciously identify with them; what we condemn in other people is what we condemn in ourselves. So now when someone is making me angry, I ask myself, “Can I accuse myself of the same fault?” In a telling bit of psychology, I’ve noticed Beck’s observation to be very true for other people, but not so much for myself! Do I suspect a bit of self-denial might be going on…?

5. Laugh. Humor is the answer to everything (humor and exercise). Now when I absolutely can’t hold back my anger, I at least try to insert a joke, or make fun of myself, or assume a lighter tone as I rant on. So instead of sniping out a comment like “Can you PLEASE just answer my emails so I can deal with these horrible logistics issues?!” I might say something like, “I’m thinking of getting a homing pigeon that will fly to your office and rap on your window with its beak until you send me an answer.” The added advantage of this approach is that no matter how the other person responds, I feel less angry and more light-hearted when I adopt a lighter tone.

6. Get some exercise. Physical activity can help reduce stress that can cause you to become angry. If you feel your anger escalating, go for a brisk walk or run, or spend some time doing other enjoyable physical activities.

7. Take a timeout. Timeouts aren’t just for kids. Give yourself short breaks during times of the day that tend to be stressful. A few moments of quiet time might help you feel better prepared to handle what’s ahead without getting irritated or angry.

8. Identify possible solutions. Instead of focusing on what made you mad, work on resolving the issue at hand. Does your child’s messy room drive you crazy? Close the door. Is your partner late for dinner every night? Schedule meals later in the evening — or agree to eat on your own a few times a week. Remind yourself that anger won’t fix anything and might only make it worse.

9. Unplug. Technology encourages us to react quickly. The minute we get that text or feel the phone vibration, we’re racing to respond. Reacting impulsively is a trigger for angry outbursts. Set aside time each day to be free from checking email, social media sites, and text messaging.

10. Train your mind to respond slower. Think, speak, drive, text, listen, cook, eat, and walk slower. When you slow down, you’ll feel more in control of your options and your inner life.

Leave post-it reminders on the computer, your car dashboard, and your front door. Our brains are not trained to remember many things, so write it down.

11. Sleep on it! Honestly, if I had to choose just one option to manage anger, it would be getting sufficient sleep. Sleep deprivation is a huge culprit in negative moods, including anxiety and depression.

Commit to going to bed earlier during the week. It’s nearly impossible to make calm, measured, responsible choices if you can barely keep your eyes open.

Bottom line: You have everything you need to change. With daily commitment, practice, and patience, you’ll increase problem-solving abilities so you can manage your anger, rather than have your anger manage you.

Remember, living in the past causes depression. Living in the future causes anxiety. Living in the here-and-now enables you to make healthy choices to increase emotional well-being.

 

 

8 Ways to be happier!

cornish beach
beach time!

We all want to be happier don’t we? Here at Good News Stories we have uncovered eight ways to be happier 🙂

1. Buy some happiness. Our basic psychological needs include feeling loved, secure, and good at what we do. You also want to have a sense of control. Money doesn’t automatically fill these requirements, but it sure can help. I’ve learned to look for ways to spend money to stay in closer contact with my family and friends; to promote my health; to work more efficiently; to eliminate sources of irritation and marital conflict; to support important causes; and to have enlarging experiences. For example, when my sister got married, I splurged on a better digital camera. It was expensive, but it gave me a lot of happiness.

2. Don’t insist on the best. There are two types of decision makers. Satisficers (yes, satisficers) make a decision once their criteria are met. When they find the hotel or the pasta sauce that has the qualities they want, they’re satisfied. Maximizers want to make the best possible decision. Even if they see a bicycle or a backpack that meets their requirements, they can’t make a decision until they’ve examined every option. Satisficers tend to be happier than maximizers. Maximizers expend more time and energy reaching decisions, and they’re often anxious about their choices. Sometimes good enough is good enough.

3. Exercise to boost energy. I knew, intellectually, that this worked, but how often have I told myself, “I’m just too tired to go to the gym”? Exercise is one of the most dependable mood-boosters. Even a 10-minute walk can brighten my outlook.

4. Stop nagging. I knew my nagging wasn’t working particularly well, but I figured that if I stopped, my husband would never do a thing around the house. Wrong. If anything, more work got done. Plus, I got a surprisingly big happiness boost from quitting nagging. I hadn’t realized how shrewish and angry I had felt as a result of speaking like that. I replaced nagging with the following persuasive tools: wordless hints (for example, leaving a new lightbulb on the counter); using just one word (saying “Milk!” instead of talking on and on); not insisting that something be done on my schedule; and, most effective of all, doing a task myself. Why did I get to set the assignments?
5. Take action. Some people assume happiness is mostly a matter of inborn temperament: You’re born an Eeyore or a Tigger, and that’s that. Although it’s true that genetics play a big role, about 40 percent of your happiness level is within your control. Taking time to reflect, and making conscious steps to make your life happier, really does work. So use these tips to start your own Happiness Project. I promise it won’t take you a whole year.

6. Jon Haidt, author of The Happiness Hypothesis, teaches positive psychology. He actually assigns his students to make themselves happier during the semester.

“They have to say exactly what technique they will use,” says Haidt, a professor at the University of Virginia, in Charlottesville. “They may choose to be more forgiving or more grateful. They may learn to identify negative thoughts so they can challenge them. For example, when someone crosses you, in your mind you build a case against that person, but that’s very damaging to relationships. So they may learn to shut up their inner lawyer and stop building these cases against people.”

Once you’ve decided to be happier, you can choose strategies for achieving happiness. Psychologists who study happiness tend to agree on ones like these.

7. Cultivate Gratitude

In his book, Authentic Happiness, University of Pennsylvania psychologist Martin Seligman encourages readers to perform a daily “gratitude exercise.” It involves listing a few things that make them grateful. This shifts people away from bitterness and despair, he says, and promotes happiness.

8. Foster Forgiveness

Holding a grudge and nursing grievances can affect physical as well as mental health, according to a rapidly growing body of research. One way to curtail these kinds of feelings is to foster forgiveness. This reduces the power of bad events to create bitterness and resentment, say Michael McCullough and Robert Emmons, happiness researchers who edited The Psychology of Happiness.

Racing driver showing encouraging signs

The seven-times Formula 1 champion Michael Schumacher is “showing moments of awakening” after three months in a coma in a hospital in Grenoble, his manager revealed today.

Previous updates on Schumacher’s condition had spoken of the motor racing legend showing signs of responding to stimulus. Today’s statement implies that he has progressed beyond that stage but medical precedents suggest that, after three months in a coma, his chances of complete recovery are slight.

Schumacher crashed head first into a rock while skiing off-piste at Meribel in the French Alps on 29 December last year. He has been in a coma at Grenoble University Hospital since.

Career in Pictures: Michael Schumacher
The 45-year-old has undergone two operations to reduce pressure on his brain caused by swelling and remove haematomas, and the news today comes as his first significant improvement since effort began at the end of January to awaken Schumacher.

Schumacher’s manager said no further details of his conditions would be released at this stage.

The German was skiing with his son between three and eight metres from the piste when his skis struck a rock hidden in the snow. He was projected for two to three metres and his head struck another rock. His helmet was split in two by the force of the collision.

What is a Medically induced coma?

Can be induced by powerful anaesthetics and is broadly similar to the sedation and artificial ventilation used during surgery.

Used to shut down many brain functions, lowering blood flow and pressure.

Taking a patient out of an induced coma is a delicate process, especially after a prolonged period of sedation
Doctors and relatives are looking for any signs of returning consciousness and recovery.

Last month Schumacher’s relatives said in a statement that he had been showing “small, encouraging signs”.

Investigators probing the accident said Schumacher had been going at the speed of “a very good skier” at the time of his crash in the resort of Meribel.

He had been skiing off-piste when he fell and hit a rock, investigators said.

Experts reconstructed events leading up to the crash after examining Schumacher’s skiing equipment and viewing footage filmed on a camera attached to his helmet.

Schumacher retired from racing in 2012 after a 19-year career.

He won two titles with Benetton, in 1994 and 1995, before switching to Ferrari in 1996 and going on to win five straight titles from 2000.

Source: The Independent, The BBC