My Track Coach's Guide to a Healthy Long Life

As many of you know, my longtime Rye High School Track Coach and mentor, Mr. Jim Yedowitz, passed away at the beginning of 2019. Since starting my running career in 7th grade in 1998, his voice has been in my head — cheering me on and coaching me. After 21 years of his words in my head, I can safely say — I anticipate it will be there for life.

My dear friend flew up to New York for the memorial services; and she had saved this photocopied handout our coach shared with us in the late 1990’s. I’ve transcribed it below.

I’m sharing this with you today as a tribute and reminder — that the basis of wellness is always the same — and my track coach was truly a man of wisdom. Thank you for reading and sharing. I hope this serves you! Love, Michelle

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After years of extensive research, observation, and personal experience, the following suggestions are offered as keys to wellbeing. They are listed in no particular order but each one plays a role in your health.

  • Eat well

  • Take vitamin/mineral supplements

  • Don’t smoke

  • Do something athletic (physical) everyday … but enjoy it

  • Spend time in fresh air and sunshine each day

  • Sleep with a window open every night

  • Work to achieve something (short term and long term)

  • Respect yourself (includes your body)

  • Do something you really enjoy each day

  • Take care of yourself when you are well (not only when sick)

  • Be truthful

  • Associate with positive people

  • Appreciate things in life that are beautiful

  • Find your level of sleep need

  • Take time to relax each day

  • Believe in God and put your trust in Him

  • Let others help you when you need help

  • Develop and enjoy a sense of humor

  • Deal with problems (don’t avoid them)

  • Try to let your body deal with and relive pain (don’t always medicate)

  • Change what you can. Accept what you can’t

  • Allow yourself to love and to be loved

  • Look at yourself honestly in the eyes each day

— Jim Yedowitz (“Mr. Yed”)

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Mr. Yed and I — at a banquet honoring his coaching career in 2010.

Mr. Yed and I — at a banquet honoring his coaching career in 2010.