By: Mickey Addison
Is the Niño Godzilla going to make its appearance this year? Apparently yes, the question is how strong it is going to be. The world’s climate is out of whack. Every day we are witnessing strong and cataclysmic events that were only known to have happened in the distant past. Looks like we are into the hot and drought and/or flush floods age-global warming- and this change is bringing major disruption to the planet’s climate and ecosystems.
The El Niño phenomenon is happening once again and for a while there’s been much speculation on its probable strength, but more recently as its presence is more than evident, the Niño has been named Godzilla for its magnitude. The name “El Niño” originates because this phenomenon usually appears towards the end of the year and used to coincide with Christmas time and the arrival of Jesus Christ. This name originates in South America from the impact of coastal currents in Peru and Ecuador.
A couple of days ago, the largest hurricane ever recorded in the eastern pacific struck Mexico on Friday night, it went from a tropical storm on Thursday to a Cat 5 by Friday evening in a few hours. Fortunately, it mellowed down as it made land fall thus minimizing destruction as of Saturday morning. This last summer has been one of many tropical storms and hurricanes in the eastern pacific something that only occurs every so many decades and one that is definitely related to el Niño. The waters around the equator are extremely warm as one can notice from the above map and the entire planets weather is altered. I reside in the Bay Area of Northern California and this last summer has seen plenty of beach days to the delight of beach goers. The usual foggy conditions did not occur regularly and the sun shined almost every week end at the coast with warm waters.
Because of these warm waters, the warmest I have ever felt in San Francisco since I moved to the Bay Area in 2001, have altered marine wildlife into different patterns. This last week a Great White shark was filmed feeding of a seal next to Alcatraz Island inside the San Francisco bay for the first time, in the same are that five days later a swimming completion was to take place-sketchy- and one distance that the prisoners like Al Capone and Machine Gun Kelly residents of Alcatraz when it was a prison would have loved to cover to make an escape run only 1.5 miles distance to the mainland. In addition, increased shark attacks in the Hawaiian Islands and in the Eastern seaboard of the US this last summer. Sharks showing up in areas remote to their usual waters such as in Arica, Chile last week and cold water species disappearing and being replaced by tropical marine wildlife.
This El Niño event, which has been under observation for months now, still poises the question: How strong is it going to unfold? Scientists and weather people still don’t make the final verdict because it is too hard to predict. Let’s just hope that Mini Godzilla is the one that shows up and not angry Mama Godzilla, which could unleash massive destruction around the globe in the months to come.
Preparation is key in the next few months.
I’ve been pondering recently on how to deal with injuries in general. When you are an active and sports person, as you age injuries are inevitable and they seem to reoccur more often the older you get. This is the time you start questioning your ability and capacity on a certain sports activity that you are passionate about and the reality of giving it up altogether. This scenario becomes very surreal and many thoughts start racing through your mind.
I’ve had leisure time last month in which I was able to evaluate life, unlike when we are in the daily routine-the rat race as is commonly known- when life just seems to pass as by and we feel unable to do anything about it. Sure, we meditate regularly during our routine life which gives us a certain balance, but life can be overwhelming on a daily basis because of multiple obligations that keep us busy. But during this last vacation, I took a look at the big picture once again and had to accept some things that are inevitable and keep coming at you in different ways but we just have to embrace them as graceful as possible. Your initial reaction is to be mad about these physical challenges, which is very normal because we would want to be young forever and feeling the same way when we were 20, but the years go by and time waits for no one. When we have the tranquility and peace and of mind to thinks about these things, it is during this time when we naturally make a balance of life events and the aging process that’s taking place around us. It is inevitable to question life, It happens to everyone and that is the beauty of it all. If we were the only ones having doubts and physical issues, life would be miserable, but everyone travels through this journey equally and eventually we all cease to exist in the physical world as we know it. Sure, some of us age better than others depending on many factors, but in the end we all return to ashes. Life is very short in terms of galaxy years, so we have to live to the max of our capabilities.
Genes have a lot to do on what deceases and proclivities we acquire, but lifestyle and attitude towards life have a lot to do with how we age. If you look at how people age, most of the time people that have been active throughout their life age better. When you are young, sports related injuries heal fast and you are back doing what you love in no time. The problem is that as you age, injuries heal very slowly and your level of performance diminishes terribly. This is when things get complicated and doubt creeps into your mind regarding your abilities because of pain, impact on daily living, the future, and your loved ones and people that surround you. I mention this because there are many factors that happen during this down time of physical and emotional healing and it not only affects us but the people that surround us because relations are impacted, anywhere from interaction with others-one become short tempered- to being unable to assist a parent, a spouse or a son/daughter that rely on us for physical and emotional support. Every active person or athlete goes through this process when injured and it is something that you think about and affect you.
My conclusion is that as you age your ability and performance will decrease no matter what. You have to start giving up some workouts and activities that are too intense or that can hurt you in a way that can really handicap you in your daily life, temporarily, or in some cases for life. This is the tricky part, knowing when it’s time to give something up and move into a more user friendly activity that will still give you that rush of excitement and the workout feeling of well-being. Unless you are an irresponsible dare devil adrenaline junkie, most people transition fine after a while of physical and psychological trauma which is part of the aging process. You just have to lower the intensity of your workouts but keep at it as long as you can because that’s what drives you forward and keeps you stocked. When you stop working out and retire from daily mental and physical activity you die. It is a fact of life. With life expectancy extending tremendously today, the resilient baby boomers are continuing to work out and practice their favorite sport well into their lives, which was unthinkable no so long ago. All of this because of better healthcare, nutrition, technology, knowhow, and determination.
So, keep on thriving and staying stocked about life.