Tuesday, May 24, 2011


       A comment by fellow Blogger Catalyst to a recent post on the Amgen Bike race
started my wheels turning.
Is it time to end the hypocrisy about athletes and “performance drugs?”

Bikers race 135 miles and climb 10,000 feet. The NFL turns bodies into ramming machines. All athletes train long, tough hours and “play hurt.”

Why is Gatorade, a shot of cortisone or a blow of oxygen legal, while other substances are banned? Some may be helpful.

Some context- I’ve been an amateur athlete for 60 years. As a journalist I’ve covered NCAA and professional sports. Coaches, trainers and athletes are friends. I went through an NBA rookie camp on assignment. I know the pain in training rooms.

“Someday we’ll be replaced by bionic jocks,” Len Elmore said to me from a neighboring cybex knee machine.

If a “drug” does no harm to health and if sanctioning bodies can establish competitive standards, why not permit athletes to “treat” “repair” or even “assist” their bodies undergoing abuse? We treat cholesterol, blood pressure and etc. Why can’t pharmacology help and, perhaps, prevent harm or later suffering?

Professional authorities should approve a formulary of drugs that aid the body, not those that merely give a competitive edge. We expect super-human performance. Let’s control and supervise performance assistance “medicines.”

Getting this matter under control of sanctioning bodies and the medical community will also help young athletes.  Today some school kids are going on-line to buy supplements over which there is no quality control.  
Katherine turned the compost today.
She is a third generation "composter."  Her mother Lana and I began composting back in the mid west.  Lana's mother was an early composter as well.  
Here you can see a raised bed and a tomato cage that will eventually be the
beneficiary of this natural fertilizer.
We've experimented with a variety of "compost heap" and/or containers.
The bottom line is easy in and easy out.  The coastal temperatures here allow for a slower process, but it is working.  I'll close on this topic with the thought that composting is also about ethics and sustainability.  That could launch a long conversation some day! 
       If you are a frequent reader of the blog you've seen posts with updates and letters from my friend Bob Foster who is fighting leukemia and preparing for a Bone Marrow Transplant.  Earlier this week you saw his wonderful post about fly fishing.  Here's an update.

Subject: "It's always something. If it isn't one thing, it's another" --Rosanne Rosannadanna (Gilda Radner) SNL

Got to return to Mayo three days next week for more intensive chemotherapy. The previous protocol controlled the blood counts, but not the leukemia. Bone marrow is still 80& to 90% compromised. The preferred status is for the CLL to be less than 50% of bone marrow. Blood tests led us to believe otherwise. That is why Mayo verifies with bone marrow biopsies.  Still on track for transplant evaluation June 16th - 24th. Three options:
  1. SITUATION: The Myloma treatment ( no, I don't have Myloma, but this drug has been successful in some CLL patients) devastates the leukemia, putting the bone marrow below 50%. ACTION: Proceed with reduced intensity BMT
  2. SITUATION: Myloma treatment has some impact, but does not push the bone marrow below 50%. ACTION: Treat a second time and re-biopsy                                       
  3. SITUATION: The Myloma treatment has no effect on the CLL. ACTION: Proceed with a full intensity BMT protocol. 
We pray for Situation #1, but are prepared for situations #2 or #3. Ironically, the Lord has showered more business opportunities on us this week. I fully trust my colleagues to do what is necessary to help bring these blessings into the house. 

The coaches had a game plan. The ball snapped. What? The other coaches also have a game plan? My Mayo coaching staff just called time out. We are making some adjustments to the secondary coverage. Nothing more. Nothing less. It's still early in the 1st Q.  


      Bob is one of the most inspiring people I know. He is also heck of a good writer and was a world class sports broadcaster.
      See you down the trail.

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