Dr. Tommy Boone has been pulling his own weight for some time

When Tommy Boone was eight years old, his father installed a pull-up bar at the entrance to the bedroom he shared with his brother. For a full year afterward, 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 went to the bedroom and every time we went out, we did a couple of push-ups and to this day I’m still relatively strong at my age “.

Pull-ups translate into gymnastics and long-term fitness

The chin-up habit that Mr. Boone instilled in his sons helped the boys develop more and more upper body strength and related sports interests as they grew into adulthood. “In my case,” said Tommy, “the chin-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 Education. Physical”. To be even more precise, Tommy Boone was an American gymnast in 1966, and the chin-up bar his father installed when he was eight served as a guiding light.

Dad was a lawyer, but …

Occupationally speaking, Boone’s father was a lawyer and state senator who worked with the legendary populist icon Huey (the kingfish) Long, who cast a long shadow on 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 be a coach,” said Boone.

“On the other hand,” he continued, “my dad was always very aware and sensitive to the importance of physical strength and health, and the chin-up bar at the entrance is a great indicator of that recognition. My studies at Northwestern, Dad He took me aside one day and confessed that he had reconsidered and thought that he might have found something interesting after all. “

From a bachelor’s to a doctorate.

As it turned out, Boone’s speculative vision turned out to be prescient as fitness became a full-blown industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Tommy followed his own dreams of teaching and training, completing his master’s degree at Northwestern, and quickly took a teaching and coach 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 keep the job, Boone transferred to Florida State University to obtain a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology.

Leaping into the future

Jumping into the future, Dr. Tommy Boone has covered a lot of ground since those Florida days. He currently chairs the Department of Exercise Physiology at The St. Scholastica College in Duluth, MN, where he has been from 1993-94. It has also been published so many times (articles, books, websites, blogs, etc.) that, on its own, it could prevent an entire Department from perishing if it really wanted to.

The American Society of Exercise Physiologists

He is also the co-founder and first president of the American Society of Exercise Physiologists (ASEP), an international group of more than 500 exercise physiologists who are dedicated to rescuing related research from the Ivory Tower and translating it into practical practice to be implemented by real people, in real families, who reside on real streets in real neighborhoods around the real world.

Boone cautions against the dangers of groupthink …

In an insightful essay titled Too Much Groupthink Leads to Conformity and Failure, Boone recounted eight deadly sins of groupthink, including mental protection, stereotypes, self-censorship, rationalization, direct pressure, the illusion of unanimity, the illusion of morality and the illusion of invulnerability. ; All of which works against the odds of finding real solutions to real problems (ie childhood obesity) in today’s world. Groupthink can be a major obstacle to creative problem solving when hierarchies, budgets, and people who are paid to think outside of the box, band together and actively avoid stepping out of their respective comfort zones.

No need to apply comfort zones

In Boone’s own words, “ASEP is not an organization for researchers who want to stay in their own comfort zone. Exercise physiology, in our eyes, is about improving the quality of life for people around the world. If we don’t achieve that, we are losing our goal. ” So hands-on practicality is a quality that’s deeply ingrained in Dr. Tommy Boone’s bones, and most likely he was given a leap into the major leagues when his father installed a simple chin-up bar at the entrance and encouraged your children to learn. the practical lessons of value created by regular work over a period of time.

Practical advice for today’s parents

Speaking of taking the research to the street level, we decided to ask Dr. Tommy Boone what kind of advice he could offer to 21st century parents struggling with issues like childhood obesity and fitness in front of television, video games, and the computers. , cars take them everywhere, and the PE curriculum shrinks faster than you can say. No Child Left Behind? He offered the following advice.

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

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