74yr Old Olympian Teaches Vets to Swim

Dr. Jane Katz has been swimming all her life. In the sixties she fought to get synchronized swimming into the Olympics, and though it wasn’t officially recognized by the international event as a competitive sport until 1984, she was part of the 1964 U.S. Swimming Performance Team for the games. And though she never got to compete as an official Olympian, she will be defending several gold medals this year at the National Senior Games in Birmingham, Alabama.

However, Katz recognizes that not everyone was raised to have a love of swimming ingrained in them like she was, and she thinks that’s a shame. “Learning to swim for the first time is life changing,” she says. “It’s a survival skill, and it’s fun!” That’s why, in her spare time between training for the upcoming games, the 74 year old Katz W.E.T.s 4 VETS, a program she launched two years ago at John Jay College in New York. The course uses holistic water techniques and physical therapy exercises to help rehabilitate American veterans who are reentering civilian life.

Each term, Katz gives out an award to a member of her class, an award named for her late husband, former Air Force Capt. Herbert Erlanger, who was also an anesthesiologist in New York City. This year, the recipient is a vet who served in Afghanistan, Jonathan Martinez. He credits Katz with easing his transition back into his normal life, no easy feat. “Water activities completely changed my life, and I couldn’t have done it without Jane, and without her program.”

The Trick to Being Happy NOW!

 

According to his website, James Altucher is an entrepreneur and investor. He is also the author of the Wall Street Journal bestselling book “Choose Yourself.”

Altucher has an award winning podcast in addition to his website, and in both he creates inspirational messages and advice for those who are looking to leave the rat race and jump into business ownership.

In one of his most recent posts, he shares information on the Magic Trick to being happy now, instead of waiting for your ship to come in.

 

He shares with readers how low he sank emotionally, knowing that he was going to lose his business and facing an IRS investigation. The hours and hard work he had put in had  not paid off in the end. Instead of spending time in the present with family and friends, he had sank himself into his business and lost everything. He gave up the magical moments in the present reaching for a future that never materialized.

The magical moments only exist in the present and, once they are gone, will never happen again. We miss those moments by focusing on the past or seeking the future and let the present slowly slip away.

Magic and Abundance only exist in the here and now because the past and future don’t.

His message is that he doesn’t mean to live only for the moment because everyone has responsibilities. You have to DO those things and then be grateful. He states that you must find five things that you are grateful for and list them. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to your list. Or create a new one as the list will always change. The past lies. The future won’t come true. The abundance and magic are only here and now.

The Magic Trick

If you always bring yourself back to that present moment, the future will take care of itself. The abundance will grow every time you bring yourself back to the present and count the things you are grateful for.

Best Days to Begin a Diet

Have you ever wondered why New Year’s resolutions are successful? Okay, okay, maybe they’re not always successful, but they definitely have a better success rate than changes you make on normal days. Jason Riis says it’s because New Year’s Day is a “temporal landmark;” basically it’s a day we’ve designated in our minds as a milestone. Riis, who recently authored a report about the idea, says that these days affect how we think about our ability to change. “On certain days … you just have a different view of yourself. You become more forward thinking.”

This doesn’t mean that you should put off that new diet or decision to exercise until next January 1st. According to Hengchen Dai, co-author of the report, these temporal landmarks come as often as every Monday. The fresh start to the week can be all the push someone needs to decide that this is the time the diet is going to work, that they really are a new person this week. It really is mind over matter. “It’s changing the perception of the self,” says Dai.

However, some people burn out on a normal week, and by the weekend are back to their old habits. Other temporal landmarks that have a more significant feel (and thus provoke more profound mental change) are birthdays, anniversaries, the first day of a new semester or season, or even the first day of the month. Gyms, whether they’re public or university facilities, are always more busy at the beginning of the month or the semester because people instinctively feel it’s the right time to reinvent themselves. And while some people don’t follow through with that commitment, they are more likely to than if they were simply starting their new routine on a random day.

This means that perception of ourselves and of what it means to have a fresh start are key factors in how successful we are at things like losing weight. So the next time you think it’s silly to wait until a milestone to begin a diet, instead reframe it as waiting for a temporal landmark, when you’ll actually wake up as a new person ready to make a change!

 

Elsa’s Frozen Margarita

It’s officially summertime, people, and that thermometer is creeping up higher each day. If you get uncomfortable in the heat (and let’s face it: everyone has their limit) you’ll do anything to cool down. When all else fails, sometimes watching a movie about a winter wonderland while sipping a cold drink can make all the difference, and we have just the thing.

Presenting: Elsa’s Frozen Margarita! Get it? Frozen like the movie and frozen like… well, margaritas? … maybe the heat is getting to our heads already. Anyways, if you’re faced with a super hot day and no way to combat it, pop in the bluray, whip up one of these, and just LET IT GO!

The recipe is pretty straightforward, with some small Frozen twists that make it the perfect summer drink. Start with grand marnier and simple syrup (which is just sugar melted in hot water, with a 2:1 ratio in favor of the sugar), then add your tequila. Elsa looks like she has a heavy pour on this one (maybe being queen is harder than it looks), but you can add whatever you’re comfortable with. Then it’s just a ton of lime juice, stir, and use your magic to turn it blue! What, you can’t do that? Well, in that case, some blue food coloring will work just as well.

 

Then just coat the rim in blue salt – or sugar, depending on your level of sweet tooth! The finishing touch is adding dry ice to the pitcher to give your cocktails that magical smoky look! After that, the only thing left to do is pour yourself a big margarita and watch Elsa and Anna rediscover the magic of sisterhood! Cheers to that!

 

 

A Pinterest Plug-in That Changes Everything

West Elm, that slightly expensive but super classy furniture and decor company, has a new feature on their website, and it’s a game changer. It’s called the Pinterest Style Finder, and it uses your Pinterest boards to find you West Elm items that it thinks you’ll enjoy! Most people can’t walk into a store and tell the clerk that they like “midcentury design with modern metallic elements,” but they can recognize what they like when they see it. This is why Pinterest is such a great site: users can curate their style based on things they like online, adding photos and items and articles to certain “boards” that have themes like Home Decor or Winter Clothes.

So how does the West Elm Style Finder work? Go to their Pinterest Style Finder site here

https://pinterest-style-finder.westelm.com/

and paste the URL of your favorite Home Decor Pinterest board into the search field. The West Elm algorithm looks at all the items and photos you’ve pinned and generates a list of WE products that it thinks matches your particular style, things like rugs and furniture and mirrors and pillows! Couldn’t be simpler, right?

Of course, there are some pitfalls whenever you ask an algorithm to return results based on human data (just like how Google Translate isn’t always spot-on). For example, maybe you have a bunch of photos of red couches on your board, but the links to those couches don’t ever say anything about the color red, they just mention the general shape or style of the couch. The algorithm most likely won’t be able to pick up on the fact that you want a red couch based on the pictures, they’ll use the data that the sites return to them to suggest couches in similar styles but not necessarily colors. Still, it’s a fun application to use when you’re looking to buy at West Elm, and it may suggest things you wouldn’t necessarily pick out for yourself, but which you end up loving! And at this point, the technology can only get smarter!