If you ask yourself the question “How good can I be?” the answer will likely surprise you!

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There are few distance runners that look like they are better suited to be wearing shoulder pads and playing on a football field than running laps around a track. If I asked you to think quickly of an American distance runner who was at the front of the pack and who also had a build-like physique that I just described, who would you think of first?

Because of his success in recent memory, Chris Solinsky is likely the first person who comes to mind for individuals who are not die-hard fans of the sport of Track & Field. Paul McMullen…


A few things you can learn from runner Dick Beardsley who has already seen a “Runner’s Toughest Race”

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What is one to do in light of heavy setbacks? The answer to that question is not simple and advice is often difficult to provide. Those best suited for providing advice on how to move forward in the face of setbacks are precisely those fortunate souls who have seen great adversity and made it out on the other side. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused great misfortune to a large number of individuals for over a year. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a great deal of civil unrest in the United States related to politics and racial discrimination in…


How to Successfully Return to Racing Even if You Aren’t an Olympian

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For most of 2020, racing was reserved for a small group of people who were allowed to compete at the professional level in small highly controlled races. In some circumstances, lower capacity events were held with extensive restrictions in place to prevent the spread of SARS-COV-2. As a public health professional and coach, I was lucky enough to assist in the development of a summer training protocol for a competitive high school team and be the lead epidemiologist on the health advisory committee for a large competitive road race. Throughout the pandemic, I did not compete in any events except…


Bringing the mighty bald eagle back from near extinction is an important lesson in long-tailed environmental processes

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About fifteen years ago I had the ability to take an environmental science course that had a module dedicated to the bald eagle. By the mid-2000s the bald eagle populations in the lower 48 states of the United States had seen large increases. The story of the bald eagle was shaping up to be a historic success story.

Up until the point I took that environmental science course, I personally had still never seen a live bald eagle in my home state of New York. That would take another 10-years until 2016 when bald eagle populations had risen further.

It…


Quick tips to advance your training

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With April upon us, the training weather in much of the country should be ideal for those looking to improve their running fitness this spring. While the better weather can be a source of optimism, many people may be uncertain of their fitness level and how to approach training. Some of this uncertainty may come from a lack of consistency due to winter weather, while some of it may come from the inconsistency because of the COVID-19 pandemic. With better weather on the horizon and vaccines providing optimism, it’s important to approach your fitness with confidence. …


Take a Moment to Address Your Physical and Mental Health During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Picture By the Author Thomas J. O’Grady — Looking Northeast Across a Frozen Lake George

We’ve heard of the “Freshman Fifteen” but how about the “COVID-19 Fifteen”? It turns out that in addition to the concerns about stress and mental health that compound the general health concerns that COVID-19 has raised, the pandemic has taken a toll on individuals’ waistline. Concerns have arisen from the COVID-19 pandemic that weight gain after long periods of inactivity and compensatory eating has made increased obesity a secondary health issue of the COVID-19 pandemic. In light of this news, it’s important to find opportunities to get out and exercise while also enjoying the outdoors. One good way to recharge…


A Great Book I Read For Black History Month and Reviewed to Connect Historically Relevant Topics to Today’s World

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Several books and movies have told the story of Jesse Owens, so tackling this larger-than-life personality is no easy task. Jeremy Schaap, who also wrote Cinderella Man, was up to the task when he wrote Triumph. Schaap manages to cover all of Owens’ important life moments while also really going into detail about the racial tensions in the United States and the broader political and military tensions brewing globally in the 1930s.

The story of Owens starts with his upbringing and both his parents’ wish for him to have a better life than they did. Upward mobility for African Americans…


It only takes a few simple steps.

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“Western society today is moving in two distinct and opposing directions. On the one hand, mainstream culture moves relentlessly towards continued growth. On the other hand, a counter-current, has kept alive the ancient understanding that all life is inextricably connected.” — Helena Norberg-Hodge

Humans are a social species, so at first glance, it should not surprise or concern us that we live our lives among thousands of strangers. However, our biology indicates we can maintain approximately 150 relationships. This number, known as Dubar’s number, would indicate that according to our biology, we thrive when we work and live in closer-knit…


A short story about my favorite scissors

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** Short intro: I was in a professional meeting once where an individual exclaimed something had reminded them of their favorite pair of scissors that they had owned as a child. That’s all that was said. I was recently reminded of it the other day and thought there had to be an interesting back story behind those scissors if they were so important. This is a fictionalized, creative idea written as a short story about what the history behind those scissors may have been.**

Natalie was a young woman in her mid — 20s. She had moved from southern France…


Pack your bags and get ready to take a journey through life

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“A minute of pain is worth a life time of glory” — Louis Zamperini

In a counterfactual world, the 2020 Olympics would by now be a note in history. Instead, we wait in anticipation of the games after a postponement to the summer of 2021. The postponement of the Olympics in 2020 was only the fourth time such a cancellation or postponement of the games that have occurred since the modern Olympics began in 1896. The previous three cancellations coincided with World War I (1916) and World War II (1940 and 1944).

Much like the previous three times, the current…

Thomas O'Grady

Thomas J. O’Grady, Ph.D., M.P.H. is a data minded professional who is an avid runner, hiker, and lover of the outdoors.

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