When Tommy Boone was eight years old, his father installed a pull-up bar outside the bedroom door he shared with his brother. For a full year afterward, Mr. Boone encouraged his children 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 in the room and every time we left, we did a couple of pull-ups and to this day I’m still relatively strong.” For my age”.
Pull-ups translate to gymnastics and long-term fitness
The pull-up habit that Mr. Boone instilled in his children helped them develop more and more upper-body strength and related sports interests as they grew into adulthood. “For me,” said Tommy, “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 Education. Physical”. To be even more precise, Tommy Boone was an American gymnast in 1966, and the pull-up bar his father set up when he was eight served as his guide.
Dad was a lawyer, but…
Occupationally speaking, Boone’s father was a lawyer and state senator who worked with legendary populist icon Huey (the Kingfish) Long, who cast a long 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 PE and coach,” Boone said.
“On the other hand,” he continued, “my father was always very aware and sensitive to the importance of physical strength and health, and the pull-up bar at the entrance is a great indicator of that recognition. In any case, after After a couple of years of my studies at Northwestern, Dad pulled me aside one day and confessed that he had reconsidered and thought I might be onto something interesting after all.”
From a bachelor’s degree to a doctorate.
As it turned out, Mr. Boone’s speculative vision proved prescient as fitness became a full-fledged industry in the 1970s and 1980s. Tommy followed his own dreams of teaching and coaching, finishing his Masters at Northwestern, and quickly took a teaching and coaching position at Northeastern Louisiana State University, Monroe, LA, in 1968, then took a teaching position at the University of Florida. in 1969. He stayed for two years, but even though he was encouraged to keep the job, Boone transferred to Florida State University to earn a Ph.D. in Exercise Physiology.
jumping into the future
Leaping into the future, Dr. Tommy Boone has covered a lot of ground since those days in Florida. Currently, he chairs the Department of Exercise Physiology at The St. Scholastica College in Duluth, MN, where he has been from 1993-94. He has also been published so many times (articles, books, websites, blogs, etc.) that he alone could save an entire Department from perishment if he 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 bringing related research out of the ivory tower and translating it into practical practices to be implemented by real people, in real families, residing on real streets in real neighborhoods around the real world.
Boone warns 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 surveillance, stereotyping, self-censorship, rationalization, direct pressure, the illusion of unanimity, the illusion of morality and the illusion of invulnerability. ; all of which goes against the odds of finding real solutions to real problems (ie childhood obesity) in today’s world. Groupthink can be a major roadblock to creative problem solving when hierarchies, budgets, and people who are paid to think conventionally come together and actively avoid stepping out of their respective comfort zones.
It is not necessary 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. In our eyes, exercise physiology is about improving the quality of life for people around the world. If we don’t achieve that, we’re missing our target.” So hands-on practicality is a quality that is deeply ingrained in the bones of Dr. Tommy Boone, and he was only likely given a major boost in the major leagues when his father installed a simple pull-up bar in the door and encouraged her 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 research to the street level, we decided to ask Dr. Tommy Boone what kind of advice he might offer to 21st-century parents struggling with issues like childhood obesity and fitness in the face of television, video games, and the computers. , cars taking them everywhere, and the physical education curriculum is being cut faster than can be said No Child Left Behind? He offered the following advice.
“The most important thing parents can do for children is model the things they want them to do. Actions always speak louder than words,” Boone said. “If you want your kids to eat right, show them how to eat right yourself. If you want them to be physically active, then you better be ready to walk the walk…literally. If you want them to avoid tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, then set the right example for yourself. If you say one thing and do another, you lose all credibility. And when parents lack credibility, we all lose. It’s that simple,” he added.