CULTIVATING CALM

Cultivating Calm

By Peg Ryan
Mile High Pilates and Yoga
November 19, 2017

We all could use a little help reminding ourselves to relax.  This seems especially true in our 24/7 world where information overload never seems to cease.  There are strident voices everywhere, all of which seem entrenched in their own particular version of truth.  We receive constant messages designed to make us fearful.  Yet we race around our lives at warp speed without really spending the time necessary to evaluate what is or is not worth our concern.  As a result it’s pretty easy to fall into a state of perpetual worry.  Even if we’re not personally affected by some of the larger dangers in the world, there are plenty of localized concerns.  No need to name them; each of you reading this has a list of your own.  It’s no wonder that so many of us find ourselves in a state of chronic stress.

Maybe your own brand of stress has nothing to do with events in the news, local or otherwise.  Yet almost all of us at some point will find ourselves worried about something.  Stress is actually our body’s natural reaction to perceived threats.  It puts us on alert and releases physical reactions designed to help us address the danger, whatever it is.  There are mechanisms within our bodies that help us recognize and cope with threats to our survival.  In small short-term doses, stress can be a good thing.  Some stress can make us stronger by training our systems mentally and physically to handle discomfort.   But too much of anything can cause overload.  Then instead of adapting, the body gets thrown out of balance and many health problems can result.  In modern times, perceived threats to our survival may be more psychological than physical.  Often, if you examine your worries honestly and objectively, you will probably recognize that they are related to something that happened in the past which can’t be changed, or something that hasn’t happened yet and, in fact, my never happen.

Sometimes we don’t even realize how stressed out we are until something happens that becomes a wake-up call.  For example, a sudden illness or injury may help us to recognize that we may need to pay more attention to how we treat ourselves.  If we’re lucky, there will be a chance to turn things around and find ways to cope.  Even for those of us who do not see ourselves as chronic stress sufferers, there are times in everyone’s life when we just need to take a time-out and release tension.

So what can you do if you find yourself all wound up in a state of anxiety? Maybe you feel like you’re lacking something you need, like time, money or control over your life.  Right now we’re entering into the holiday season which on the surface should be a time of fun and joy, of giving and receiving, festive events with family and friends.  Yet too many of us find the holiday season akin to a mine field, laden with hidden traps ready to grab us when we least expect it.

Not surprisingly, my first suggestion for relieving stress is movement.  Think you haven’t got time?  Everyone has time to get up and walk around, even if it’s only for a minute or two.  If standing too much is stressing you out, then sit in a chair and do some easy stretching.  Shoulder rolls and neck stretches can help to relax.  You can, I’m sure, come up with all kinds of excuses.  But I will contend that unless you are a medical professional in the middle of a life-saving treatment, nothing you are doing is so critical that a few minutes of break time will make a difference in the outcome.  All sorts of events may be sabotaging your usual movement routine.  But no matter where you are or who you’re with there is always time for a break.  Make it a priority.  Remind yourself that not only will you feel better, but the world is not going to fall apart as a result.

Still having trouble finding time for movement?  Try breathing.  Whether or not you realize it, you’re going to breathe anyway.  So why not try focussing on your breath for a few minutes.  Just notice.  Slow it down.  Take your inhales all the way into your belly.  Lengthen your exhales to empty completely.  Try it!  Go into another room if you need to (like the bathroom, for example).  You may be surprised to find that whatever was in your head dissolves while you focus on your breath.  It may return afterwards, but you might also find that you are less tense and better able to handle whatever it is.

Another possible strategy is to let go of expectations. A friend recently said, “Every year I tell myself that whatever gets done is fine and whatever doesn’t is fine, too.  And every year that idea goes out the window as I try too hard to do too much.”  Think about it, though.  That’s pressure that we put on ourselves.  Generally, no one else expects as much from us as we expect of ourselves. It’s fine to make plans but sometimes the best laid plans and strategies can be upended in a moment through no fault of your own.  When that happens, it may not be easy to accept a different outcome.  But when you think about it, what choice do you have?  Reality is what it is, even if we were hoping it would be different.  We can blame ourselves or someone else, but placing blame is unlikely to change the situation.  Sometimes a mistake was made that we can learn from and avoid in the future.  But even that is not always possible.  Better to focus on living with the outcome as it is, whatever it is, and moving on from there.  Sometimes you might even find that outcome leads to something even better that you could not have foreseen or anticipated.  Keep your mind open to whatever happens and you just might be surprised by the results.

There are, of course, many articles and even books full of ideas for reducing stress, but here is my final suggestion.  When faced with disappointment or anxiety, making a gratitude list is something that always works.  No matter what is going wrong, there are bound to be things that are going right.  Did that new recipe not work out so well?  Take heart – most likely no one will go hungry because of it.  Were you unable to help out at that charitable event this year?  There are people in need all year-long.  Be thankful that you can be generous in a different way another time.  Did you have enough to eat today and a warm place to sleep?  Even the fact that daylight arrived when expected today and you were there to witness it is reason to be grateful.  If you really spend some time with that list, you will come up with many more things to celebrate.  When I’m tempted to regret something from the past or feel insecure about the future, it always helps me to remember that right now – in this moment – I have everything I need.  And if this moment is uncomfortable, it will pass.

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden – New Senate Republican Tax Bill Medicare Cuts

 

U.S. Senator Ron Wyden
November 15, 2017

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Ranking Member Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today gave the following remarks as the Finance Committee began consideration of a new version of the Senate Republicans’ tax bill.

It’s now day three of this tax debate, and this bill seems to get worse by the hour. It started off as a tax hike on nearly 14 million Americans to pay for multi-trillion dollar handouts to multinational corporations and new loopholes for tax cheats.

Then the news broke that these corporate handouts are going to force billions of dollars in cuts to Medicare. And Republican leaders said that entitlements are next after taxes, which means further cuts to Medicare, cuts to Medicaid, and cuts to Social Security.

Let’s cut to early yesterday afternoon. The Republicans couldn’t get through lunch without hatching another plot to go after Americans’ health care. Apparently somewhere between the salad course and the entree, it was decided that permanent corporate tax cuts should be paid for, in part, by kicking 13 million Americans off their health care and raising premiums for millions more. Let’s not kid around, this is not just another garden variety attack on the Affordable Care Act. This is repeal of that law.

That brings us to today, when the American people are learning that individuals are only getting temporary tax cuts out of this Republican bill, but corporations are getting permanent cuts. What a double standard that is. For multinational corporations their handouts are set in stone, written in ink, locked in place with the key thrown away. But not for the middle class.

The Treasury Secretary even said that was where the administration was going to draw its line in the sand — permanent breaks for multinational corporations. But they’re not drawing any lines in the sand when it comes to permanently protecting middle class families.

In fact, for middle-income families, this deal is looking worse and worse. It used to be a promise of a tax cut — cash back in their pockets. Now it’s a roll of the dice. Families are going to have to hope they’re not going to be among the millions whose taxes go up.

So bottom line, my colleagues on the other side have now shown their hand. The corporate handouts are permanent, the family breaks are not. In fact, they don’t even make it a full decade.

To pay for these handouts to multinational corporations, millions of Americans are going to lose their health care, millions will see their premiums skyrocket, and millions will get hit with a tax hike. That’s what’s on offer as of today.

Free Assistance During Medicare Open Enrollment Still Available

November 9, 2017

PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Senior Health Information and Insurance Education (SHIINE) program would like to remind all seniors there is still time to receive free assistance during the Medicare open enrollment period.

Individuals taking advantage of the free one-on-one counseling should bring their Medicare card and a current list of medications.

To schedule a meeting with a volunteer in your community visit www.shiine.net or contact one of the following regional offices:

  • Eastern Region: 1-800-536-8197
  • Central Region: 1-877-331-4834
  • Western Region: 1-877-286-9072

The Medicare open enrollment period ends on Dec. 7.

Honoring Native American Heritage

By U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.)
Nov. 9, 2017

The rich and vibrant history of Native Americans is deeply woven into the fabric of America, especially in South Dakota. I believe we should celebrate our diversity. To honor their culture and the countless contributions Native Americans have made to our society, President Trump recently designated November as National Native American Heritage Month.

Native Americans called South Dakota home long before Europeans settled in the West. South Dakota was originally a part of the vast territory of the Dakota, Lakota and Nakota people. A number of other tribal nations include the Dakota Territory in their histories as well.

Today, our state is home to nine sovereign tribal governments, comprising more than 70,000 enrolled members. I have appreciated the opportunity to work closely with tribal government leaders on a number of initiatives both during my time as governor and now as a senator.

One priority of mine has been to improve the quality of care at Indian Health Service (IHS) facilities in South Dakota. It is well-known that IHS has failed to live up to its trust responsibility to provide health care services to Native Americans, particularly in the Great Plains Region which includes our state. Decades of mismanagement and poor leadership at IHS have resulted in a health care crisis created by government bureaucrats.

The IHS facilities within the Great Plains Region have the worst health care outcomes of any of the 12 regions nationwide, including the lowest life expectancy, highest diabetes death rate, highest tuberculosis death rate and the highest overall age-adjusted death rate. This is unacceptable.

I have repeatedly said that the first step to fixing the crisis is to understand where the problems lie within the agency itself. For this reason, I introduced a bill that calls for an outside assessment of IHS. My bill would require an in-depth look at the overall financial structure, organizational structure and quality of care at the agency. The Senate Committee on Indian Affairs recently held a legislative hearing on our bill. The hearing was productive, and the testimony from Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate Chairman Dave Flute in support of our IHS assessment bill was helpful in educating committee members about the severity of the problems at Great Plains Region IHS facilities.

Our proposal is now moving forward in the Senate. The problems at IHS are at a crisis level, and our bill is a first step toward getting the agency back on track. The federal government must live up to its trust and treaty responsibility to provide quality health care to Native American citizens.

This month, as we honor the culture of our Native American friends and neighbors, I encourage South Dakotans to also acknowledge the hardships they have faced throughout history and those they continue to face today. The health care crisis at IHS is just one example of how the government has failed to follow through on its obligations to tribal members, and I will continue fighting to fix this problem.

Rounds Delivers Opening Statement on his IHS Assessment Bill

November 8, 207

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) today spoke in support of his legislation, S. 465, the Independent Outside Audit of the Indian Health Service Act of 2017, during a Senate Committee on Indian Affairs hearing. Since taking office in 2015, Rounds and his staff have analyzed the IHS and its shortcomings, concluding there are three primary areas of concern: there is no funding allocation strategy for the 12 IHS regions, there is no standard of quality measurement and there is high turnover of staff resulting in low accountability amongst management. Rounds’ assessment legislation is the first step toward setting us on a path to address the agency’s longstanding failures.

“For years, tribal members in my home state of South Dakota have dealt with unimaginable horrors in dealing with IHS facilities,” said Rounds in his opening remarks. “Tribal members are suffering and even dying due to inadequate and disgraceful care. IHS will only continue to fail unless we take a close look into the operations, funding, quality of care, and management at IHS. I believe that a comprehensive assessment of IHS is a necessary first step toward making calculated and systematic changes at IHS.”

 Rounds’ remarks as prepared for delivery:

Good afternoon, I first want to start off by thanking Chairman Hoeven, Vice-Chairman Udall and the members of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs for their dedicated service to the Native American communities.

Today, I am introducing my bill to provide for a comprehensive assessment of the Indian Health Service, S.465.

As you know, the IHS is the agency responsible for providing health care for American Indians and Alaska Natives as required by federal treaty agreement.

For years, tribal members in my home state of South Dakota have dealt with unimaginable horrors in dealing with IHS facilities.

Upon taking office in 2015, my staff and I have spent significant time trying to learn more about these problems.

In our research, we found four primary areas of concern: there is no funding allocation strategy for the 12 IHS regions, there is no standard of quality measurement, there is high turnover of staff resulting in low accountability amongst management and there is no consultation with tribes.

The IHS serves approximately 2.2 million Native Americans, who are members of 567 federally recognized tribes.

For fiscal year 2017, IHS was appropriated just under $5 billion dollars in discretionary funding and $147 million dollars in mandatory funding from the Special Diabetes Program.

This does not include third-party collections of approximately $1.1 billion dollars.

Despite a large user population and an annual appropriation of $5 billion, IHS does NOT have a funding formula.

Regional allocations are not based upon the number of people who received healthcare through IHS, regional user population growth or types of services offered.

While many believe that IHS is underfunded, from my standpoint, investing more taxpayer money into a dysfunctional system will only compound the problem. IHS lacks an efficient system and accountability; this needs to be addressed before we consider funding. Then, I agree it will be time to talk about adequate funding.

Furthermore, there are no consistent qualitative measurements. The most recent qualitative measurements are from 2008 – nearly a decade old – so it’s unclear if IHS management has a sense of which regions are successful or failing.

IHS divides itself into 12 service areas in the United States. IHS’s Great Plains Area, which serves South Dakota tribal members, has the worst health care disparities of all IHS regions, including:

  • Lowest life expectancy,
  • Highest diabetes death rate, 5 times the U.S. average,
  • Highest TB death rate, and
  • Highest overall age adjusted death rate.

To give you an idea of some of the things we are seeing and hearing in our area:

  • The Wall Street Journal reported in June 2017, “At the Indian Health Service hospital in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, a 57-year-old man was sent home with a bronchitis diagnosis—only to die five hours later of heart failure.”
  • When a patient at the federal agency’s Winnebago, Nebraska, facility stopped breathing, nurses responding to the “code blue” found the emergency supply cart was empty, and the man died.
  • In Sisseton, South Dakota, a high school prom queen was coughing up blood. An IHS doctor gave her cough syrup and antianxiety medication; within days she died of a blood clot in her lung.
  • And just this August, IHS officials announced that patients who have recently received care at the podiatry clinic in the Winnebago IHS Hospital may have been exposed to HIV and hepatitis.

Because there are not standard of quality expectations and a methodology to measure quality; these facilities are failing very basic quality performances that our people deserve. In fact, the quality problems have become so pervasive, that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, or CMS, accreditation of several IHS facilities are in jeopardy.

Throughout the past year-and-a-half, the Rosebud and Pine Ridge Hospitals in the Great Plains Region have been operating under a Systems Improvement Agreement with CMS trying to regain their accreditation status.

Thankfully, the Systems Improvement Agreement at Rosebud was completed on September 1st of this year.

However, our office was made aware of multiple timeline extensions in Pine Ridge because these IHS direct-care facilities continued to fail CMS surveys.

Just last Friday, the Pine Ridge IHS Hospital was deemed not in compliance with CMS’s conditions of participation for emergency services. By issuing a final notification for the Pine Ridge IHS Hospital, the facility is in immediate jeopardy status and hospital’s provider agreement will be terminated at the end of next week.

Termination means that IHS can no longer bill Medicare for services, impacting Medicaid funding as well. Further, future third-party revenue available to IHS to fund services, maintenance projects and other necessary costs will likely be reduced.

Finally, there is high turnover throughout the entire IHS organization.

For example, within my home state’s Great Plains Region, we’ve had 5 different area directors in the last 21 months. That’s an average tenure in this important management position of roughly 4 months. And as you may know, nationally there has not been a permanent director leading IHS since February of 2015.

Tribal members are suffering and even dying due to inadequate and disgraceful care.

IHS will only continue to fail unless we take a close look into the operations, funding, quality of care, and management at IHS. I believe that a comprehensive assessment of IHS is a necessary first step toward making calculated and systematic changes at IHS.

S. 465 would accomplish this goal and set us on a path to address the long standing failures of IHS.

My legislation would require the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services to conduct an assessment of IHS’s health care delivery systems and financial management processes only at direct-care facilities. Let me be clear, this assessment is not proposed for tribes with 638 Agreements in place; only direct IHS facilities.

This assessment I am proposing is a proven model for identifying potential reforms. We all remember the problems in 2014 in Veterans Administration health care. To address this issue Congress passed legislation calling for the Secretary of the VA to conduct an overall and systematic assessment of VA healthcare.

The integrated report was completed within the mandated timeframe of less than a year, and was officially submitted to the Secretary of the VA in September 2015. The assessment provided feedback and recommended changes that could lead to improvement in health outcomes.

The same should be done for the Indian Health Service.

Thank you.

Rest – The Other Fitness Requirement

 

By Peg Ryan
Mile High Pilates And Yoga

The majority of these blog posts are focussed on the benefits of movement and the many problems associated with lack thereof.  This weekend as the powers that be attempt (futilely, I might add)  to control the universe by getting us all to adjust our clocks, it has occurred to me that sleep and rest are often overlooked aspects of fitness that can be just as important as exercise.  Recently I listened to an interview with Dr. Kirk Parsley, former Navy SEAL and current sleep guru, about how chronic sleep deprivation is leading Americans to all kinds of illness.  Dr. Parsley speaks about the pervasive myths in our culture that sleep is for the weak.  He emphasizes what he calls the “four pillars of health: Sleep, Nutrition, Exercise, Stress control”.  If any one of the four is ignored or minimized our health will suffer.  Despite this, we continue to celebrate people who claim to sleep 4 hours per night and still achieve what appears to be success.

In fact, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers insufficient sleep to be a public health problem.   In addition to nodding off while driving, “persons experiencing sleep insufficiency are also more likely to suffer from chronic diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, depression, and obesity, as well as from cancer, increased mortality, and reduced quality of life and productivity.”  Yikes!  For those of us – myself included – who take pains to eat right and exercise regularly, it can be a huge wake-up call to realize that short-changing sleep might be just as detrimental to health as eating lots of donuts.

A related connection that comes to mind is the additional need for simple rest.  Those of us who exercise regularly may not realize that muscle gains are made during rest periods, not work periods.  That’s why strength trainers advise their practitioners to work different muscles each day instead of doing the same routine daily.   We are also told to limit particularly stressful workouts to once or twice per week.  Some stress is good as it trains the body to handle the load.  But muscles need time to adapt to the changes.  Many of us make the mistake of overtaxing our muscles without allowing them sufficient time to recover.  Even when advised to start slowly and increase gradually, we think this advice doesn’t apply to us.  I’m the first to admit to being guilty on that count.  It has taken many years and lots of mistakes to learn that it isn’t worth pushing the envelope too strongly.   Injury or illness is a high price to pay.  Still it takes practice and constant reminders to keep that message up front.

Some time ago I read the book “My Stroke of Insight” by Jill Bolte Taylor.  Dr. Taylor is a brain research scientist who suffered a stroke.  Due to her knowledge of how the brain works, she was able to retain a memory of what was transpiring as she experienced the stroke.  The book is about what she learned during that time and her subsequent recovery.  There are many lessons learned from this book, but among them was her emphasis on how important sleep was to her recovery.  Throughout the book she emphasizes the healing powers of sleep.  During my health challenges over the past few years I’ve recalled her words and agree that sleep and rest are as important to healing as any medication.

It’s not easy to keep that thought up front, though.  I’m also well aware that many people have all kinds of trouble sleeping well.  A huge pharmaceutical industry has arisen to address the problem.  There are all sorts of reasons for this, but the bottom line is that getting more sleep is not as simple as it sounds.  Our 24/7 culture is no help either.  Recently I heard the term “time-bullied” referring to how most of us feel like the there is never enough time to do all the things we feel the need to do.  But we sacrifice sleep at our peril.  Like the other 3 “pillars of health”, we need to find a balance, a way to give each of the pillars its due.  Maybe it means a bit more moderation in all things.  Hmmm. . . Where have we heard that concept before?  Simple advice yet so hard to achieve.

Still anyone who has experienced any kind of health challenge knows that life is short.  No matter how well we try to care for ourselves, its length is uncertain.  The tendency to want to maximize our time on earth can be overwhelming.  But there are benefits to being the best we can be for as long as we can manage that.  Quality of life is just as important as length, if not more so. This weekend we were given an extra hour.  Of course, it will be taken away from us in the Spring, but we can deal with that when we get there.  For now, I hope you all used that extra hour to get a little more sleep.  I know I did.  And I still feel like I need a nap.  So I think I’ll stop here and take one!

BHSU-Rapid City to host Bully Prevention and Intervention lecture by internationally renowned researcher

Dr. Dorothy Espelage. (submitted photo)

November 6, 2017

SPEARFISH, S.D. – Internationally known researcher and speaker Dr. Dorothy Espelage will deliver a lecture on “Bully Prevention and Intervention: Translating Research to Practice” at Black Hills State University- Rapid City room 112 on Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. All community members, including practitioners, educators, parents, and youth are invited.

“Preventing bullying and adverse outcomes associated with it, like depression and suicidal behaviors, is a public concern among our youth, but it is a problem that needs to be addressed by all community members,” says Espelage.

The event will be a lecture and informal colloquium hosted by Youth Voices in Prevention, Rapid City Area Schools, and BHSU-RC. The public is invited to attend and learn more about issues that impact all aspects of our community.

“If you interact at all with youth in your community then you owe to yourself and them to learn about the challenges that youth are facing at school and online as it relates to bullying,” says Espelage. “Once we understand these challenges then we can help these youth overcome them.”

Espelage is a professor of psychology at the University of Florida. She was the recipient of the APA Lifetime Achievement Award in Prevention Science and the 2016 APA Award for Distinguished Contributions to Research in Public Policy.

For more information, contact Youth Voices in Prevention at Youth.VIP@unh.edu or call 605-381-2568 or Jacob Hamik, admissions coordinator at BHSU-RC, at Jacob.Hamik@BHSU.edu or 605-718-4194.

Keeping What’s Right From Going Wrong

Photo: StockSnap/Pixabay

By Peg Ryan
Mile High Pilates and Yoga
October 30, 2017

Our bodies are made up of so many parts and systems that it’s almost impossible to think about all of them at once.  There are numerous muscles, bones and nerves, but also fluids like blood, lymphatic and spinal.  Then there are the energetic systems that enable all of those parts and systems to interact with each other.  At the cellular level, there is an entire universe within each of us.   If you think about the precision with which everything needs to interact in order to move us, it’s no surprise that sometimes things go wrong.  In fact, it’s often more of a wonder that things go right!

Among the goals of both yoga and Pilates is to help us get to know our bodies and really start to pay attention to how the different elements of mind and body work together for optimal movement.  “Optimal” is a subjective terms and may mean different things for different bodies, but the more we learn about ourselves, the more we can move toward optimization.

This week I read a great little book  called “The RBG Workout”.  What is “RBG” you ask?  It’s the initials for our Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an inspiration to all of us at any age.  Tag line for the book is “How she stays strong and you can too!”  Of course, I’m sure she is also blessed with good genes, but she has certainly had physical challenges including two bouts with cancer.  The book was written by Bryant Johnson, who has been her personal trainer of almost 20 years.  Throughout the book he talks about how tough and strong she is, but also how she progressed during those years.  The workout described in the book seems pretty challenging, but Mr. Johnson takes pains to remind readers that it took time and persistence to get her to the point where she can now do the whole workout.

One of the quotes in the book that I especially like is this:  “. . . exercise is a great equalizer.  A push-up, a squat , a lunge, or a plank doesn’t care who you support or . . . about your race, religion, color, gender or national origin.  You may have a powerful job . . . but your body will still have veto power over you.  . . . If you don’t use it, you will lose it.”  One more reminder that we are mutually dependent on all of those systems described above.   We need them, but they need us, too.  Taking care of our bodies is no guarantee that things won’t go wrong, but it will certainly improve the odds.  And if things go wrong, you’ll be better able to deal with the problems if you’ve made that effort to stay strong, flexible and mobile.

The message here is that it’s never too late to start moving and no matter where you start, you can improve.  It might take some time – maybe longer than you thought it would – and there may be moves that will continue to elude you, but if you stick with it you will make progress.   As I’ve often said throughout these blog posts, the hard part is starting.  Once you start you’re already making progress.  After that, the only obstacle standing in your way is you.  In her foreword to the book, Justice Ginsburg talks about the demands of her job.  Yet she prioritizes her workout.  When the time comes, she sets everything aside and maintains her commitment to her body and, ultimately, her health.

As Mr. Johnson says, if Justice Ginsburg can do it so can you!  Maybe not in the same way that she does, but if you can move and breathe there is still a level of exercise that each of us can manage.   The terms “balance”, “strength” and “flexibility” have multiple meanings.  Balance is not just about standing on one foot, but also about maintaining a balance in your life.  If one aspect of your life starts to overwhelm all the others, stress will result and your body will react.  Exerting strength will help you maintain the discipline you need to take care of yourself.  And flexibility will help you to go with the flow when life takes a turn you hadn’t planned on.  All of these qualities are part of what you will build when you commit to movement.

So next time you’re tempted to blow off your workout because you think something else is more important, remember that all the systems in your body are depending on you to keep them running.  All the important things in your life need you to be functioning at your best.  You’re no good to anyone if you can’t function.  Help yourself to be the best that you can be!

Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash Photos

Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash Photos
Custer, SD
October 21, 2017
Photos: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography

 

A ghoulish apparition lurks in a stone grotto watching runners pass by on the Mickelson Trail in Custer, SD at the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography

 

1K runners rip down the Mickelson Trail at the start of the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography

 

It was all about fun at the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography

 

A somewhat camera-shy runner tackles the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash 1K late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography
A temperature in the low 30’s called for an extra layer of clothing to keep the chill at bay the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash 1K late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography

 

 

Cold weather, what cold weather ? A young runner cranks it up the Custer YMCA Monster Mash Dash 1K late Saturday afternoon October 21 2017. Photo: Herb Ryan/Herb Ryan Photography