Tag Archives: Exercise


Crash the Class

B.YOU Bounce Class

We wanted to know why so many people are raving about B.You’s bouncing approach to fitness. So, we recently crashed a B.Bounce class held at the New Albany location.

“Bouncing – aka rebounding – is widely used across the world in physical therapy clinics because it is a perfect way to increase core strength, improve posture, strengthen muscles and improve coordination while keeping your joints safe from injury,” says B.You.

The class “takes all of these benefits and combines them with intense choreography, fun lighting and killer music for an exhilarating cardiovascular fitness class. You will burn a tremendous amount of calories, be drenched in sweat, have a smile on your face and be ready to come back for more.”

Sign us up! (No, we’re not kidding; we signed up because we had to try it for ourselves.)

B.You302 Pearl St.New AlbanyByoufitness.com

*B.You also has Louisville locations in St. Matthews and Springhurst. You also can find the fitness studio on social media.


With the Greatest of Ease

screen-shot-2017-12-28-at-4-22-52-pmLouisville’s Terri Kendall is an aerialist, flying above the crowd on silks or a rope. Even at 50, after an injury, she’s not letting her dream get away. It took her too long to get there. Thanks to

Terri Kendall turned 50 last year – which is kind of astounding, given how active and powerful an athlete the Louisville native still is.

But that’s not what this story is about.

Like many people who reach that age, Kendall discovered that 50 is just the number that follows 49.

What’s more pertinent, though, is the story of Kendall’s athletic life at the formation, when she was a preteen in suburban Chicago and showing an aptitude for soccer, softball, football, tumbling.

“I started playing softball at 11 and field hockey at 14, and I sort of really never stopped.”

It was another cultural era, however, and it nearly strangled her promising career.

It was the mid-to-late 1970s. There weren’t a lot of programs available for girl athletes. And not a lot of parents looking to encourage their daughters into the sports world.

“My parents wanted me to play music,” she said, “but I was a jock. I ran as fast as the guys, I played as well as the guys.

“I kept coming home, saying I want to try ice skating, I want to try gymnastics,” Kendall said. If any of her three brothers had shown any extraordinary athletic promise (they didn’t), “I’m sure my parents would have been all in.”

She recalled begging her parents for gymnastics lessons. (“I was super-acrobatic.”) They wouldn’t pay the $13 an hour. “But they were willing to pay $650 for my brother to learn karate.”

She said the minute her brothers wanted to play baseball, “they signed us all up – me for softball.”


This is not to shame Kendall’s parents. It was just a different time, not long after Title IX had been passed, and the culture was slow to change.

Boys = sports. Girls = music lessons.

“I tell the girls I coach (now), ‘You don’t know how lucky you are,’ ” said Kendall, who coached field hockey for 10 years in the Louisville school system, five of those years at DuPont Manual High School. “I say to them, ‘You have parents who drive you to practice. I used to have to take a bus or ride my bicycle or walk. You have parents who pay for you, support you.’ They pay hundreds of dollars for their daughters to play.”

Even after excelling in high school sports, despite attending three schools in three different states, Kendall ended up enrolling at Western State Connecticut University, a Division III school with no athletic scholarships.

And then she dabbled, finding every possible outlet for her abilities – softball, field hockey, soccer, football, running races, competing in triathlons, mountain biking, road biking, men’s lacrosse, men’s ice hockey, roller hockey – while turning her psychology degree into a career as a school psychologist with Jefferson County Public Schools.

She played well into her 40s, until her knees began to give out, as knees do when you’ve been as active as Kendall was for so many years.


And then it was February 2010, she recalled. “A friend of mine, who was already doing aerials, called me. ‘Hey, we’re doing a circus workshop, want to come?’ I said, ‘Sure, why not, I’ll give it a try.’ ”

She had always been a climber. “My mom said they couldn’t hide Christmas presents, because I’d find them.”

So, she scrambled up the rope, 15 or 20 feet in the air, and her life instantly changed.

“I looked out across the theater and I was happier than I’d ever been in my life. I thought I wanted to do this forever.”

She was performing by July.

Years of playing in front of crowds gave her the necessary stage presence. And she had the upper-body strength, which she said is usually a struggle for women. But she acknowledged that it took her five years to get polished.

“I cringe at early videos of myself. I was a jock, I never had dancing or gymnastics or cheerleading. I’m not a natural toe-pointer. I wasn’t used to straightening my knees. It took me awhile to perfect my eye gaze. I had to work very hard on how to pose with my hands. I’d always thrown balls with my hands, or held sticks. My hand changes were choppy and clunky.

“I had to transition from a jock to a graceful performer.”

Transition completed. She had become a major, accomplished, in-demand aerialist. And happy, fulfilled, satisfied. “If I’m grounded for a week, I feel crappy. I just want to be up in the air.”

Which was why the events of last year almost did her in.


“I hurt myself overtraining a couple of tricks, and tore my labrum [cartilage that helps keep the ball of the shoulder socket in place].

“They call it an ‘overuse injury,’ ” she explained. “I had pain, but I kept pounding. I should have listened to my body.”

Surgery was contemplated. She hesitated. Would she recover enough to ever perform again? After all, she was about to turn 50.

“I had reached an advanced aerial stage,” she said, “one that I had been striving for, for years. So, the idea of taking a huge step back, or not coming back at all, was a lot to think about.

“I had a lot of questions, and a lot of tears. I hate to say it, but I don’t know who I am when I’m not being athletic.”

She said she read a lot of social media posts on the procedure. “There were many negative blogs. But there was one from a woman, a fanatical rock climber who trained, ate and was fit like me. She raved about the result, and that convinced me it would be okay.”

Dr. Ryan Krupp of Norton Orthopedic Specialists, performed a procedure called a bicep tenodesis, a procedure that involves cutting the biceps tendon from its attachment at the labrum and then reattaching it below that previous attachment site along the humerus bone


Medically, thanks to Dr. Krupp, the procedure was a success.

But emotionally, “I was a mess,” Kendall said. “It was a dark time. When you’re used to training hard and frequently, it’s natural that you’re going to drop when you stop. And I dropped really hard. I had thoughts I don’t normally have.”

She admitted now that she questioned what her usefulness was anymore and even not wanting to be alive.

“That’s not who I am. I’m a more positive person than that,” she recalled.

Kendall started taking a supplement to boost her serotonin – “an amino acid, not an antidepressant”screen-shot-2017-12-28-at-4-24-37-pm

– and felt better after a week and a half. “I stayed on it until I started training, to get my biochemistry back to normal.”

Physically, Kendall still had some pain and range-of-motion issues, but two months of stretching and working out four times a day, plus physical therapy twice a week, have helped restore the future for her.

However, there’s still that magic number to deal with.

“When I turned 49, I woke up bawling. This year, I sort of laughed. Fifty? No way! The fact is, aerialists around the country perform into their 60s.”

Today, Kendall is grateful for where she is and what she has. She’ll retire from JCPS in five years. Her two daughters are doing great; the older one is getting married this year, and money’s not tight like it so often was.

Kendall has her own company, XALT, and also works with Louisville Turners Circus, Circus Mojo, Cirque Louis and Art After Dark Entertainment. She does fundraisers, company parties, picnics, festivals, and the occasional state or county fair.

Kendall also did a big ballroom party in a French Lick hotel this past New Year’s Eve.


Both of Kendall’s daughters showed some athletic ability. Kelsee, 24, played field hockey at Manual and just graduated from the University of Louisville. Nina, 14, plays soccer at Noe Middle School.

The girls are also getting into aerials. Is there a mother-daughter act in the future?

“Kelsee just started, so I’m not sure about her goals,” said Kendall. “She is working on building strength. She used to do gymnastics competitively, but that was over 10 years ago.”

However, she said, “Nina has been performing with me for a couple years and made really good money ¬¬– especially for a teen! We did some acts together, and we may do a duo act again someday – I hope.”

One thing is for sure. Terri Kendall is not going to let little things, like turning 50 and having shoulder surgery, deter her. She has worked too hard and fought too long for that moment when an audience gives her love – smiles and applauds, and appreciates her for what’s she’s doing up in the air. She’s not about to be grounded.


Kentuckiana’s Fittest

Four Barrel CrossFit hosted 6th annual event

Photos by Jason Applegate

Sept. 30

Four Barrel CrossFit

Four Barrel CrossFit hosted the 6th annual Kentuckiana’s Fittest competition at their New Albany location. The event – known as simply “KF” to the local CrossFit community brought out 180 competitors – and scores of spectators – who competed in five events throughout the day.

screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-4-00-24-pm screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-4-00-47-pm screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-4-01-10-pm


Just Start


Story & Photos by JD Dotson 

It is hard to believe that I spent most of my adult life as a heavy smoker. I smoked a pack and a half to two a day throughout my late twenties and thirties, trying and failing to quit many times. Applying patches to the back of my arm (too itchy), nicotine gum (they didn’t last), taking medication (made me sick), even hypnotism (just fell asleep) all failed to make me a nonsmoker.

I remember standing on the street with a friend watching the runners for the Ketucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and Marathon pass and saying, “I would like to run a marathon someday.” My statement was met with laughter. “You will never be able to run 26 miles,” said my friend.

At that moment, something clicked in me. Being told I would never be able to do something lit a fire. It was then I realized all the tricks and remedies hadn’t failed me: I had failed myself by making constant excuses. I decided then and there to quit and run.

I decided on a date to quit and I was determined. I couldn’t and wouldn’t fail again. The date I chose was the last day smoking was legal inside bars in Louisville, June 30, 2007.

I started my running journey with the goal of finishing a marathon at some point just as soon as I quit smoking. “Running” might be a bit of a stretch. I was hacking a bit, lungs aching and my pace was just above a brisk walk. But I was out there. Every day. For a year and half, I ran 5Ks and 10Ks and a half marathon all the while thinking “someday I will run a marathon.”

My hacking and aching decreased while my speed increased. A buddy of mine mentioned he was applying to the New York Marathon. Out-of-state runners can apply and potentially be picked lottery-style. The odds were slim, but I filled out the application anyway. Not too long after, I received a notice that I was entered to run in the 2010 New York City Marathon! I won the lottery! I really didn’t think it was actually going to happen, so I had made no plans, but I knew well in advance so I had plenty of time to prepare.

Preparing for a race is different for different people. I had been running for a couple of years, yet never considered myself a runner. I thought of myself as a smoker who runs so he doesn’t start smoking. I also considered myself a guy who ran so I could reward myself with extra dessert. I knew that I would have to change the perception of myself if I was going to get through this race. So, I enlisted help through the downtown Louisville YMCA’s training program, led by Lesley Kinney and Andrea Thomas.

The group met twice during the week for group runs, and early Saturday for the long run. We were given a schedule that broke the mileage down by day and information on nutrition and stretching. Our group runs would take us all over the city, the parks, across bridges and back. Some runs consisted of nothing but hill repeats, always different and always new.

I know that I needed, in the beginning at least, a group to commiserate with and support. It helps having running coaches that challenge and support all types of runners. The group consisted of seasoned runners, people like me with some running experience, absolute beginners, people coming back from injury, and even walkers. We began our miles with Lesley and Andrea’s guidance and encouragement and there they were at the end offering support and cheering us on. I needed that and I know I was not alone.

In November 2010, on a cold but sunny day, I completed my first marathon in New York City. It was an emotional experience, especially when I could see the end of the race, thinking of my recently passed father, getting a call from Mom as I stepped across the finish line, seeing my husband’s face and finally feeling like a runner.

I’m not a competitive person. I know I am not the fastest runner. But, I am faster than the person who isn’t doing it because they didn’t believe they could. I am faster than I was as a 2-year-old smoker. If I could offer the best advice to someone preparing for any type of race it would be to just start. Just start.

It helped me to sign up for races way in advance, and tell people I was going to do them. I never wanted to waste money or have to tell people that I bailed.

Join a group. There are running groups all over Louisville and Southern Indiana. Kentucky Derby Festival offers a training program for the races and it’s free.There are running groups for all levels and ages; find the right one for you. Being accountable to not only myself, but to other people kept me going.

Invest in a good pair of running shoes and let an expert help you pick them out. I go to the running experts at Pacers and Racers in New Albany. They are really good at finding the right fit for me, the right shoe for the way I run. The wrong shoe and fit could really cause problems.

I listen to music when I run and have found a few playlists that get me going, but always be aware of your surroundings. I have been busted once or twice “run dancing.” I don’t recommend it for safety reasons (but sometimes the music moves me).

Map My Run running app is great because I like to see that recorded progress. The app will give you a rundown of your mile splits and map out routes. I can also follow the progress of fellow runners and friends that use the same app.

Running is a perfect sport for me. I either do a lot of thinking and planning when I run, or I sometimes just get lost in it. Other than good shoes, I don’t really need a lot of equipment to run, and I don’t have to wait on other people. Running buddies are great and I definitely have some that make me a better runner, but I can be alone just as easily.

I view running similarly to the way I view a cross country road trip. The destination is important. I want to get to the destination for sure, but I am going to enjoy the trip. I have a tendency to stop both a run and a road trip to pull over and take a good picture. Enjoy the trip, mix up your route, run everywhere and soak in all the scenery. We live in a beautiful part of the country. Get out and explore!

Finally, the biggest bit of wisdom I can pass along to anyone getting out there is to be good to yourself when you’re running. Drink water, recognize aches and pains and care for them, realize that you may not be the fastest, but you’re there – you are a runner!

Follow JD Dotson at @runstheuniverse on Instagram.


screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-2-09-17-pm screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-2-09-34-pmNORTON SPORTS HEALTH TRAINING PROGRAM KICK-OFF

The official Kentucky Derby Festival training program 

6 p.m. Jan. 11

Kentucky Derby Museum

This FREE Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon training program features 14 weeks of organized group runs, training tips and preparation. Trainees have the opportunity to talk with professionals about nutrition, training tips, injury prevention and education.


Pacers and Racers in New Albany has a great race calendar – and more – on their website.

Go to pacersandracers.com.


Ready, Set, Run!


So, You Want To Be A Runner


By Remy Sisk | Photos by Danny Alexander

Dr. Ryan Modlinski first started running in medical school as it was one of the only forms of exercise that easily fit with his busy schedule. He quickly began to relish the mental benefits of running – being able to let stress from school go and clearing his mind of all the things he had to do. But he also, of course, saw the physical benefits of running and exercising regularly. On days when he ran, he had more energy, was less tired, slept better and was just an all-around happier person.

Today, Modlinski is a nonsurgical orthopaedic physician with Norton Orthopaedic Specialists as well as the medical co-director of the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon and helps patients achieve their fitness goals every day. Modlinski also believes that everyone, even people who consider themselves couch potatoes, has more potential than they realize to get up and get moving. All you have to do is take that first step.

screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-1-42-23-pmIf exercise isn’t currently part of your schedule, Modlinski encourages changing that as we head into the new year. And for those who are setting fitness goals and making resolutions, the number one priority must always be to be healthy.

“The most important thing about this is getting healthy because exercise can play a wide variety of roles as far as treating a lot of different chronic diseases. It’s not just being more fit or running a specific time,” he said. “Chronic exercise has been known to reduce high blood pressure, high cholesterol and improve joint pain. There are so many medical benefits that I stress to patients… . I say, ‘Look, at the end of the day we’re doing this to be healthy, and then the secondary goals of time and distance can come later.’”

However, with any lifestyle change, setting specific, concrete goals is only natural. Modlinski said those interested in turning over a new leaf in exercise must first assess themselves to be sure they are setting goals that are realistic. To do so, you need to figure out where you are at the start: What are you able to do without fatigue, shortness of breath or pain? It’s a subjective situation to be sure, but fitness devices such as Fitbits and Garmins can help you figure out when you may be pushing yourself too hard, as Modlinski says in training, you should challenge yourself at a level that’s just beyond where you are now.

When the average person hears about a runner in the news or online, it’s usually due to some sort of extraordinary triumph. If you’re just starting out, comparing yourself to a well-seasoned athlete is not an advisable way to approach your journey, Modlinski cautioned. “Some people have this idea that they get from a family member or see in a magazine that, ‘Gosh, this lady ran a full marathon in four months – I can do that!’ And that’s great for that person and you can do a full marathon, too, but let’s have a more realistic timeframe. Considering where you’re starting from, maybe that’s going to take us a year or nine months to accomplish. So, we always want to come up with a realistic compromise on their goals.”

As with most endeavors, the beginning is always the most difficult. But once you’ve decided that becoming a runner is something you want to do, putting in those first three weeks will have unparalleled payoff in the end. “The first three or four weeks are very difficult with any new routine, whether it’s exercise or quitting smoking,” Modlinski said. “A lot of studies have shown that three weeks seems to be a magical time for some strange reason to recondition and reprogram the brain. So, I tell patients, ‘Look, you may not like this for the first three weeks. You may hate life. You may be a bear to your family. But if you can get past those first three weeks, you’ll start to feel a lot better. You may not see a huge weight change or anything, but you’ll feel more energy and you will feel better.’ And once we get there, then it’s not hard to convince that person to stick with it.”

As you set out in your training, Modlinski also advises taking it at a pace that doesn’t rock your current routine too severely. This will help prevent burn out and is also the best method to get your body used to your new regimen. “I stress to patients that you will get stronger and better by pushing the body and allowing it time to adapt,” he said. “Taking a day off between training actually helps you get a little bit better. When you get farther along in your journey, maybe we can go up to four or five days a week. And we talk about not biting off too much as far as a timeframe. So many people set a goal by a certain date or a certain race. If they start in January for the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon and they get off their schedule by a week or two, then they start to panic and start to press more, which can lead to more pain and injuries and less success with their goals. So, if it’s your first (race), I’d throw out the deadlines and timeframes.”

With all those factors in mind – focusing on being healthy, setting realistic goals and sticking to a reasonable pace of training – you’re ready to run. Just keep in mind that every individual is different, Modlinski said. What takes someone else three months may take you six, and what takes you four weeks could take someone else eight. Listen to your body and push yourself. As long as you keep your own health in focus, you are positioned for success. And once you achieve your goal, every late-night gym session or early morning run will suddenly seem worth it.

“It’s exhilarating,” Modlinski said of finally crossing the finish line. “No matter what your time is, the concept of starting toward a goal for 10 weeks or three months or six months and setting out from where you start to where you finish and then finishing that race and finishing it healthy and feeling good gives you a great sense of accomplishment and motivation because you can finish it and say, ‘I felt great, I felt amazing, it was such a thrill to do this and accomplish a goal I set out to do – now, what’s next?’”

“A lot of studies have shown that three weeks seems to be a magical time for some strange reason to recondition and reprogram the brain. So, I tell patients, ‘Look, you may not like this for the first three weeks. You may hate life. You may be a bear to your family. But if you can get past those first three weeks, you’ll start to feel a lot better.”

Dr. Ryan Modlinski, nonsurgical orthopaedic physician with Norton Orthopaedic Specialists


FIVE TRAINING TIPS with Stephanie Fish 



If you’ve never done a race at all, maybe your first goal is a 5K and then maybe a 10K and then a half marathon and then a full. A lot of people who have never run a day in their life want to go for the long one right off the bat, and I can tell you it’s very, very hard to do that.


Find a running buddy or running group. It’s really hard to achieve some of these goals by yourself. That helps people stay accountable and also train properly. Having people with you can also keep you motivated.


A training plan will keep you on schedule with where you need to be and make sure you’re not moving too fast or too slow. With a schedule, you can also throw in some days of rest and cross-training, which helps prevent overtraining and/or injuries.


Nutrition is something that people tend to forget. In training for anything, 50 percent of it is physical and 50 percent is nutrition. You can’t go out and try to run five miles if you haven’t eaten anything or you’re not properly hydrated.


The Triple Crown of Running is almost the perfect goal-oriented training program to get you to that half marathon. It starts with a 5K then a 10K then a 10-miler, and any person who ever comes up to me and says they want to do a half marathon, I immediately tell them that they should sign up for the Triple Crown as it gives you great racing experience and helps you build up to the half marathon.

Join Stephanie Jan. 11 at the Kentucky Derby Museum as Norton Sports Health kicks off its training program for the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and miniMarathon. The free event will take place at 6 p.m. and will be the inaugural event for the 14-week program wherein participants will be able to talk with professionals about nutrition, training tips, injury prevention and education. For more information, visit derbyfestivalmarathon.com.

screen-shot-2017-12-05-at-1-52-24-pmROCK OUT WHILE YOU RUN 

with Ben Davis

Sure, Ben Davis is co-host of “The Ben Davis and Kelly K. Show” on 99.7 WDJX (and one of the funniest people we’ve ever met), but did you also know he’s a dedicated runner, too? If he’s not streaming one of Alpha Media’s radio stations (99.7 DJX, B96, G105.1, 102.3 Jack or Magic 101.3) or listening to a true crime podcast (or picking up dog poop) while he runs, Ben has these songs on repeat to keep him motivated.


The beat and the attitude is perfect!


Attitude is key with this one.


I like music that I can keep the pace to.




To keep things random and upbeat.


Yep, the whole album.




I just like this song right now.


Just a fun song.


Just a gritty rock song that will pump anyone up.

*You can find a link to Ben’s playlist on the Extol Sports Facebook page. 


CTE: Let’s Use Our Head on This

screen-shot-2017-11-06-at-5-14-34-pmBy Jim Biery

When I was seven, I was a typical kid who couldn’t wait to go outside and play with my friends. As I ran down the hallway and started down the hardwood stairs, I was also trying to save time and put on my shirt in the process. Halfway down, I missed a step and went head-first into the next to last step. After the crying was done and Mom had wiped all the tears away, I went next-door to play.

After a couple more pals showed up, we were ready to ride bikes. But the mother of my next-door neighbor said before he could go play he had to pick up the mess he left in the basement. We all joined together to help him out. Once we got to the basement, things began to change.

When I tried to look around for the toys we had to pick up, all I saw was black. I looked at the light in the corner and it looked just like the sun. No details of the lamp but just a round sphere of color. After a few failed attempts to see anything on the floor, I went back home and told my Mom what was happening. She took me straight to the family doctor, and he confirmed my first of a handful of concussions.

So, why am I telling you about something that happens to just about every kid in the world? (After all, most kids will fall, run into something or get hit in the head with an object.) It’s because, fairly recently, we have become aware of what multiple concussions can do to the human brain. It’s called chronic traumatic encephalopathy or CTE.

Let’s start with understanding exactly what I’m talking about.

The definition of a concussion is temporary unconsciousness caused by a blow to the head. The term is also used loosely of the aftereffects, such as confusion or temporary incapacity. A concussion is also know as as mild traumatic brain injury (MTBI).

CTE, according to a recent Mayo Clinic report, is “a diagnosis only made at the time of an autopsy studying sections of the brain. CTE is a very rare condition. … CTE is a progressive, degenerative brain disease for which there is no treatment.”

The symptoms of CTE are difficulty thinking, impulsive behavior, depression, short term memory loss, and difficulty planning and carrying out tasks.

If you ask anyone who may be over the age of 50 (yours truly would fit into this category), these are the same symptoms of everyday life. So, why is football getting the lion’s share of the blame for CTE?

There have been a growing number of parents who have decided that football is too dangerous to play and have kept their kids out of the sport. Of course, parents are making these decisions to try and protect their kids, however you might be surprised to know what sports and activities bring the most danger to participants.

Jennifer Graham of Descret News reported researchers’ results in an article from April 2016. Researchers analyzed ER visits between 2003-2016 dealing with head trauma and concussions.

They put sports and activities into six categories: Contact sports like football, soccer, etc.; roller sports; skiing; equestrian; aquatic; and snow boarding.

The number one leader with 45 percent of ER visits was equestrian sports. Interpersonal contact sports was second with 20 percent of the reported visits. If we applied the same protective logic to results like these, little Suzy would never get that pony she has always wanted.

Listen, I’m not trying to say that riding horses or skateboarding or even snow skiing are inherently as dangerous as contact sports, but the only difference is that no one – to my knowledge – is taking actions to try and persuade people not to participate in these activities if someone chooses to. So why are we doing so with football?


Concussions can be caused by all kinds of events, butwhat I’m wanting people to focus on is not to limit what a loved one does because of fear of what could happen, but to do research and continue to improve safety features of any given sport. Many steps have been taken to improve safety. For instance, kids under the age of 12 playing soccer are not allowed to use their heads to advance or try to score a goal. This is called a “header” and can cause damage to both the heads and necks of young soccer enthusiasts.

We can’t always prevent kids from doing what makes them happy and what they enjoy. My grandmother was so protective of my mother that she was not allowed to even ride a roller coaster. She told me this as I was growing up and said that it was something she wished she had done as a child.

Thankfully for me, my mother decided she would not place any of her kids in the preverbial plastic bubble. Unfortunately for her, I was jumping off roofs as a child. I would, of course, jump my bicycle over anything I could find to jump: trash cans, sewer pipes, even other kids! Yes, this did lead to some pretty gruesome crashes. Once while riding my bike no handed, I hit a sewer cap and flipped over the handle bars and knocked myself out.

Let’s not bury the sport of football to try and solve the concussion issue in kids. That’s like throwing the baby out which the bath water logic. How about we teach proper tackling, improve equipment and look for other ways to play sports of all kinds more safely instead of just telling people not play what they want.


Rediscovering History

Falls of the Ohio guided tours show off the best of the fossil beds 

By Remy Siskscreen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-45-15-pm

If you’ve lived in Southern Indiana or Louisville for any amount of time, then you’ve surely heard of the Falls of the Ohio. Located on the shore of the Ohio River in Clarksville, the falls is among the world’s largest exposed fossil bed of the Devonian Period. These expansive 390-million-year-old fossil beds are open 365 days a year for visitors to explore on their own, but there’s also a multitude of guided tours available, which, as Falls of the Ohio Assistant Manager Brad Kessans affirms, help give the astounding fossils and park in general a bit more context.

“We’re a vast fossil bed, so sometimes it’s hard, even if you know where a fossil is, to locate it without a GPS,” said Kessans. “But we are familiar with where the best fossils are and what those fossils are. So, on the guided hike, you get taken directly to some of the best spots versus having to explore for hours to stumble upon these places. We also utilize scrub brushes, water and water bottles to get the dirt, silt and sediment off of the rock so we can expose the natural limestone that carries the fossils. … Also, most fossils are not in their entirety and totally visible – sometimes you only can see the top or bottom of a fossil – and our experts are able to identify those whereas a lot of amateurs are not.”

screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-45-20-pmGuided tours are usually on the weekends and scheduled fairly regularly, and the easiest way to stay completely in touch with what’s going on is by checking out the events section of the Falls of the Ohio State Park’s Facebook page or by browsing the events calendar on the Indiana Department of Natural Resources website. They’re also completely free outside of the $2 parking fee that all visitors pay whether going on a tour or not.

An upcoming event that Kessans encourages folks to check out is the Outer Bed Fossil Hike on Oct. 7. “If you have the opportunity and you’re physically able to make it to the outer beds, which are the rock structures that people see across the waterway, they’re only accessible maybe two months out of the year by foot, but if you can make it, they are the place to go,” Kessans said. “The fossils are larger, for the most part untouched and you actually have some Silurian – which is the time period before the Devonian – mixed in out there. So, you can experience both time periods in certain parts of the outer beds.”

On the tour, visitors can expect to not only explore these magnificent fossil beds and examine the staggering history present in them but also learn a bit more about the history of the falls as well as its unique and extraordinarily varied ecosystem.
screen-shot-2017-09-25-at-6-46-34-pmAttendees to tours – or just solo explorations – can also expect to get a workout at the falls. “We’re right on the Greenway Project, which is a huge recreational and exercising source,” Kessans said. “So, we’re part of that and also have our Woodland Loop Trail. And then on our fossil beds, there is a little bit of leg workout involved because of the varied elevation. So, one could definitely get a workout here.”

Whether you’re looking to work up a sweat or just wanting to leisurely take in the scenery, Kessans said it’s important the community get out and explore the Falls. Its fossil beds are only matched in splendor by its history, and, on the guided tours specifically, you can discover both – just don’t come looking for dinosaur fossils.

“People say ‘fossils,’ and they always relate back to dinosaurs,” said Kessans, “so people come here and know we’re a fossil bed and ask, ‘Well, where are your dinosaur bones?’ But our fossils about 200 million years older than dinosaurs, so that’s pretty amazing. But if people are wondering, that new layer of rock – the Jurassic or dinosaurs – has been shoved out of here and eroded away due to glaciers, so that’s why you don’t find dinosaur bones in Indiana.”


201 W. Riverside Drive






The Final Say | September 2017

By Zach McCrite

By Zach McCrite

Role Play: If I Were Athletic Director At Louisville

I should be an athletic director.

Well, I guess I should first explain: I am not qualified to be an athletic director at the collegiate level.

Why? Well, I’m not real good at raising money.

You got to be the ringleader of raising a lot of dough when you’re an A.D. I’m just not good at that. I could do it once. One big capital campaign.

But, continuously going “back to the well” would be like going to the dentist for me (no offense, Dr. Fust). Perhaps with practice, I’d be better.


For purposes of this space, here is the one and only thing I would do immediately if I, indeed, were athletic director at the University of Louisville, a school that has been a mainstay of the usually-dormant summer sports news cycle.

I would learn to be happy again.

It’s been a tough go for Athletic Director Tom Jurich. But, hey, who doesn’t hit turmoil at their job every once in awhile.

I don’t know what goes on privately there, but publicly, Jurich has come out smelling like a rose far more often in his 20 years at the helm of Cardinal athletics than not.

But then, last month happened.

That’s when WAVE-TV Sports Director Kent Taylor had a one-on-one interview with Jurich in which the A.D. talked about how the last couple of years – between the basketball program’s escort scandal, the UofL Foundation scandal and much more – has been tumultuous.

Jurich was asked if he was happy right now.

“I’m getting there. I’m getting there. It’s been a long couple of years.”

There’s no doubt that things haven’t been all rainbows and lollipops over there. However, life doesn’t seem all that bad at UofL.

It’s not like someone slammed all the way down on the brake pedal and impeded the progress Jurich has made.

Having a national championship banner coming down on your watch is no picnic, and that banner is coming down unless UofL wins what many are calling a “long shot” appeal to the NCAA.

Let’s not be phony, that one will leave a mark.

But, there’s far more in the good column than the bad for Jurich.

The latest evidence are the cranes currently affixed around Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium. Another expansion for a place that is seemingly always being expanded.

That’s something for which to be happy. That’s something for which to be proud.

College World Series appearances, a Heisman Trophy winner, more fancy athletic facilities and the most profitable college basketball program in the country, right?

I understand always wanting to be better. That’s the kind of drive that made him the respectable, if not legendary, athletic director that he is today.

But, if I were A.D., I would find time every now and again to appreciate what is already there.

You could almost literally trip and fall anywhere on the UofL campus and land on something for which Jurich is responsible, at least in part.

To most fans, Jurich has been given carte blanche to do with the athletic department as he pleases, without as much as a sign-off sheet from the school’s former president on much of the matters at hand.

And that carte blanche equalled Cardinal skyscrapers and success.

However, I’m going to guess where some of his unhappiness lies.

It seems, perhaps, some checks and balances have been put back in place between the athletic department and the university as a whole.

At least, that’s the vibe many got with the introduction of interim president Dr. Greg Postel, who has taken over the mess created, in part, by the school’s former president James Ramsey.

That vibe strengthened among many in the area when Postel apparently decided to spearhead an effort to pay higher rent to the Yum Center for being it’s main tenant.

Why? Well, it seemed that the university got a “sweetheart deal” the first time around that made it tough for the arena to pay off the arena’s $690 million loan.

And that’s not UofL’s fault that it signed that deal. We know that.

That initial deal – a deal put together by Ramsey, Jurich and others – was deemed by one current university trustee as a “bad deal, and we’re paying for that now,” according to a July 20 story from The Courier-Journal.

But, the new lease amendment, led by Postel, was to make sure the Yum! Center could stay afloat financially.

Ensuing reports came out that Postel kept Jurich in the dark about the lease renegotiations. WAVE-TV reported a “source also said the new deal represents a shift in power from the athletics department to the president’s office.”

Although Postel denied that claim, my guess is that’s one reason Jurich happiness at the University of Louisville isn’t at peak levels.

Postel has become a watchdog for the school. And we saw what happened when the school was without one. Not all of it was pretty.

And even if there is a “shift of power” going on at UofL, Jurich has landed on his feet.

Sure, a piece of neatly-knitted cloth may have to come down from the ceiling of a building where basketball is played. But look what’s left? Unwavering support of tens of thousands of Cards fans all over the Commonwealth and surrounding areas.

And, I mean this in the least aggressive manner possible, how many athletic directors around the country would survive the turmoil that, while not directly your doing, happened while on your watch?

Not many, if any at all.

That’s because of the behemoth Jurich is responsible for shepherding.

And I would wager a healthy amount that Jurich will continue to nourish his behemoth – even if he has a watchdog now.

I would be happy with my creation if I were the UofL A.D.

But, alas, it’s back to my recliner for more football.

Where’s my beer?

Want to find Zach on Twitter? Just follow @BigEZ. 


Stop Sitting on the Sideline

acr90762040082432888058-copyForget your goals for a moment: Getting physically fit can be fun.

Last month, I reported that I’m now facing a little hiccup in my quest to compete in a bodybuilding contest because of what’s informally called “mommy thumb” but is technically known as De Quervain Syndrome.

My left hand has lost strength and mobility, and I’m experiencing some serious issues with wrist pain because of holding my now rather large 19-month-old daughter and have for the past year. Add making a living spent mostly typing on a computer, iPad or my phone, and I’ve got an issue that needs dealing with now.

After my third trip to Kleinert Kutz Hand Care Center, I was given a brace that immobilizes my thumb to wear around the clock except when showering. That has put my bodybuilding quest on hiatus for a few more weeks, but I’m grateful. It could be so much worse.

In the meantime, my coach, Ryan Schrink of Schrink Personal Training, continues to provide motivation and encouragement, as do many friends (and even complete strangers on occasion), and I’m now focused on eating right, upping my cardio and increasing physical activity with my family.

As an older mom (I’m 42) of a toddler, it’s important to me that Olive sees fitness as fun. That’s why I signed her up for a six-week session of soccer at Mockingbird Valley in Louisville. One day a week, my little one dons her indoor soccer shoes and shin guards and spends 45 minutes running around the field.

At least that’s what she’s supposed to be doing.

Some sessions are better than others, and she’ll use her feet to propel the ball instead of hugging it to her chest. Depending on her mood (again, she’s not quite 2), some of those moments are spent pressing her face against the glass in tears as she searches for her parents in the stands or on her back in a full-on toddler tantrum.

After posting photos of Olive “playing” soccer on Facebook, a well-meaning friend implored me not to force my daughter into organized sports at such an early age. While I had to swallow back my initial knee-jerk reaction – can’t we all stop judging each other for a moment? – the rational me stopped to explain.

One, there is nothing organized about a toddler-filled session of any sport. The point, at least for me, is to impart physical fitness as a fun way to socialize and learn (eventually) to follow the rules.

Two, despite my best efforts, my tot already knows how to swipe and scroll on a smart phone. I’m hopeful participation in athletics – should she choose that when the time comes for her to make choices for herself – will teach her to look up and outward instead of down and at a phone, like so many of us do now.

Three, I want my child to understand the importance of hard work, failure and commitment. These lessons will bode well in many future aspects of life.

Lastly, when she looks at me, I pray my daughter will understand my quest to get physically fit is the only thing I can do to ensure I’m alive and well for as long as possible. Nothing is promised. There are no guarantees. But, I’m going to do everything I can to wake up prepared to enjoy and appreciate each day for Olive and myself.

Sure beats sitting on the sideline.


A Little Man’s Take On A Big Sports World | The Business of Rebuilding

Jim Biery


As the Purdue Boilermakers begin their 2017 football season Sept. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, they will be led out on the field by first-year head coach Jeff Brohm.

Coach Brohm has led teams into battle before, most recently at Western Kentucky University where he led the Hilltoppers to consecutive Conference USA championships in 2015 and 2016.

The big difference this year is that he will have a pretty large task ahead of him: trying to rebuild a program that has seen little success in recent years and, more importantly, has lost a large part of the fan base mainly because they haven’t posted a winning record since 2011.

When it comes to rebuilding a program, it helps to understand exactly what steps need to be taken and what direction you must lead not only the players on the team but the fan base as a whole. I sat down with Brohm to ask him exactly what the business of rebuilding entails.

Brohm played under Howard Schnellenberger at the University of Louisville from 1989 to 1993 and credits his former coach as being the master of rebuilding programs. Schnellenberger turned the University of Miami into a national championship winner and football powerhouse. He is perhaps best known in these parts for stating the Cardinals were “on a collision course with the national championship. The only variable is time.” This seemed laughable at the time.

The key to the start of a rebuilding process is to get people interested and motivated while giving them a product on the field that is entertaining to watch. Another aspect is to create a brand for the program and also market it in the right way. “As far as getting the team to buy into the right philosophy, you need to get them to believe they are better than what they think they are,” said Brohm. “Create a sense of confidence and swagger as they take the field against any given opponent. The players need to know you are a genuine person and you’re in it for the right reasons, and if you surround yourself with the right people, anything can be achieved.”

For the fans, he said, you have to provide an exciting style of football that they want to come and watch, and know that the team is going to play to the very end with confidence, to see a team that plays hard and lays it all on the line.

Over the past three years, the Boilermakers have averaged 35,731 in attendance and have compiled an overall record of 8-26. This is the lowest three-year average since 1950-1952. That’s pretty dismal considering the seating capacity at Ross-Ade Stadium is 57,236. During this span, teams like Nebraska, Ohio State, and Notre Dame have had more fans in the stands for the game than the Boilermaker.

As far as the boosters of the program are concerned, Brohm said being open and honest with them and having an open-door policy is critical. Letting them know you are listening to them and willing to address any questions they may have is vital to building their support. “If you can get them to buy into what we’re trying to do and show the effort on the field, it helps to get them to trust in your beliefs for the team,” he said.


Photo of the author with Purdue football head coach Jeff Brohm.

When it comes to putting fans back in the seats, you have to play an exciting schedule with teams outside the Big Ten that people want to see, Brohm said. You need to show the fans that you are competing at a high level, and if you can’t win all the games, the fans need to see the effort. Eventually, you win a few games that you’re not “supposed” to and get better every year, which should bring more people to the games.

When asked what a successful first year would look like, Brohm said he wants a team that is competitive and fights to the very end. This competitiveness should be evident to the average fan. They should be able to walk away from the game and say, “These guys play hard and they competed.” Of course, trying to win six games and go to a bowl is the logical first step.

With such an impressive start to his head coaching career Brohm had several opportunities to choose from when it came to taking the next step. So, why Purdue? “The school has a great tradition, is part of a great conference, and people are hungry for success,” he said.

Is Purdue football on a collision course like Schnellenberger believed UofL was? Who knows. But I’ll tell you this, given Brohm’s track record so far in coaching, not to mention his legendary mentor, I can’t wait for the journey to begin. Boiler Up!