Dr Tommy Boone Has Been Pulling His Own Weight For Some Time Now | Nutrition Fit

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When Tommy Boone was eight years old his dad installed a pull-up bar in the doorway of the bedroom he shared with his brother. For a full year afterwards, Mr. Boone encouraged his sons to develop the ability to do more and more pull-ups. “But after the first year,” Tommy said, “pull-ups became a regular habit for both of us. Every time we walked into the bedroom, and every time we walked out, we did a couple of pull-ups, and to this day I’m still relatively strong for my age.”

Pull-ups Translate Into Gymnastics and Long Term Fitness

The pull-up habit that Mr. Boone instilled into his sons helped the boys develop more and more upper body strength, and related sporting interests as they grew into adulthood. “In my case,” Tommy said, “the pull-up bar translated into an interest in gymnastics, which in turn led me to Northwestern Louisiana State University where I competed as a gymnast for four years while majoring in Physical Education.” To be even more accurate, Tommy Boone was an All American Gymnast in 1966, and the pull-up bar his dad installed when he was eight served as a guiding light.

Dad Was An Attorney, But…

Occupationally speaking, Boone’s father was an attorney as well as a State Senator who worked with legendary populist icon Huey (the Kingfish) Long who cast a lengthy shadow in Louisiana politics. “My dad always wanted me to go to law school and follow in his footsteps, so he was a little disappointed when I first announced my intention to study Physical Education and to coach,” Boone said.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “my dad was always keenly aware of, and sensitive to the importance of physical strength and health, and the doorway pull-up bar is a great indicator of that recognition. In any case, after a couple of years into my studies at Northwestern, Dad pulled me aside one day and confessed that he’d reconsidered, and thought I may be onto something interesting after all.”

From an Undergrad to a Ph.D.

As it turned out, Mr. Boone’s speculative insight turned out to be prophetic as fitness developed into a full-fledged industry in the seventies and eighties. Tommy followed his own teaching and coaching dreams, by finishing up his Masters at Northwestern, and promptly took a teaching and coaching position at Northeast Louisiana State University, in Monroe, LA, in 1968, then, acquired a teaching position at the University of Florida in 1969. He stayed for two years, but despite being encouraged to hang on to the job, Boone transferred to Florida State University to pursue a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology.

Leapfrogging Into the Future

Leapfrogging into the future, Dr. Tommy Boone has covered lots of ground since those Florida days. Currently, he Chairs the Department of Exercise Physiology at The St. Scholastica College in Duluth, MN where he has been since 1993-94. He has also been published so many times (articles, books, web sites, blogs, etc.) that he could single handedly prevent an entire Department from perishing if he really wanted to.

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists

He’s also the co-founder and the first President of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (the ASEP) an international group of over 500 Exercise Physiologists who are dedicated to rescuing related research from the ivory tower, and translating it into hands-on practicality in order to be implemented by real people, in real families, who reside on real streets in real neighborhoods around the real world.

Boone Warns Against the Dangers of Groupthink…

In an insightful essay entitled Too Much Groupthink Leads to Conformity and Failure, Boone chronicled eight deadly sins of groupthink including mindguarding, stereotyping, self-censorship, rationalization, direct pressure, the illusion of unanimity, the illusion of morality, and the illusion of invulnerability; all of which work against the odds of finding real solutions to real problems (i.e., childhood obesity) in today’s world. Groupthink can be a major obstacle to creative problem solving when hierarchies, budgets, and individuals who are all being paid to think conventionally, come together and actively avoid getting to far out of their own respective comfort zones.

Comfort Zones Need Not Apply

In Boone’s own words, “The ASEP is not an organization for researchers who want to stay in their own comfort zone. Exercise Physiology in our eyes, is all about improving quality of life for people around the world. If we fail to accomplish that, we’re missing our target.” So hands on practicality is a quality that’s woven deep into the bones of Dr. Tommy Boone, and odds are all that was given a major league jump start back when his dad installed a simple doorway pull-up bar, and encouraged his sons to learn the hands on lessons of value created by regular work over a period of time.

Practical Advice for Today’s Parents

Speaking of bringing the research down to street level, we decided to ask Dr. Tommy Boone what kind of advice he could offer 21st century parents who are wrestling with the issues such as childhood obesity and fitness in the face of TV, video games, computers, cars taking them everywhere, and Physical Education curriculum being cut faster than you can say No Child Left Behind? He offered the following advice.

“The most important thing parents can ever do for kids is to model the things that you want them to do. Actions always speak louder than words,” Boone said. “If you want your kids to eat right, show them how by eating right yourself. If you want them to be physically active then you’d better be ready to walk the walk…literally. If you want them to avoid tobacco, alcohol and drugs, then set the right example yourself. If you say one thing and do another, you’ll lose all your credibility. And when parents lack credibility, we all lose. It’s about that simple,” he added.

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Source by Rick Osbourne