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GREG BIFFLE  (image courtesy

(image courtesy

In sports you look for high level performers.

Another name for them is winners.

Winners come in two varieties, the lucky and the good.

The lucky ones win with extraordinary genetics, or being at the right place at the right time.

The good ones grind it out moment to moment.

They work, then work some more. They’re in the same place all the time because they know it’s the right place.

That’s what grinders do.

If you’re good you win now and then and place high most of the time. You enjoy the grind and the grind lifestyle.

If you’re lucky you win big once or twice and before moving on to greener pastures. You think you’re good enough, but you were just lucky and don’t know it.

Most of you are grinders. You’ve had a few lucky breaks, but you stick to the grind.

Most of the people you know are grinders, too. The smart ones who got lucky but still live by grinder rules also qualify.

They see the big picture, the one beyond the hype and flash of ‘get yours now.’

Athletes and active people like Portland baby boomers maintain the grinder lifestyle by finding the right fuel.

Is high performance food for humans the same as high performance gasoline fueling automobiles?

You can bet Jimmy Johnson’s Lowe’s Chevy didn’t cross the finish line first in today’s Daytona 500 filled up on discount gas.

High performance NASCAR racers all use a 98 octane Sunoco blend called Green E15.

Local legend Greg Biffle finished sixth. He had the right fuel in his car even if he loaded up on southern cooking before the race.

He’s making Oregon and Washington NASCAR proud.

Athletes and active people need high octane food. If you want a top ten finish every day you need the right fuel.

A recent facebook post by Dr. Elaine Gillaspie pointed to the Environmental Working Group’s food listing, The Dirty Dozen and the Clean Fifteen. The winners were fruits and vegetables will low or no pesticides. The Dirty Dozen came with a recommendation to buy organic.

Putting pesticide free fuel in your body enhances performance. In competition and everyday life you’ve trained to excel. Exercise and diet makes a difference, a physical and mental advantage where every little thing is an edge you want. Additional pesticides in food aren’t the additives you need to stay healthy and strong.


“In a 2011 University of California, Berkeley, study published in Environmental Health Perspectives, pregnant women who had high levels of organophosphate pesticides had children who scored lower on IQ tests years later. (Organophosphates are synthetic pesticides linked with neurological problems, among other health conditions.)”

Where can you find the equivalent of Sunoco Green E15 for your race car body? Where is The Clean Fifteen?

Places to shop around Portland Oregon include New Seasons Markets, Food Front, and The Peoples’ Co-op.

Take it another step and hit the famers’ markets.

If a clean diet gives you and your family more energy, test the results with difficult competitions for your kids. Find a way to go Beyond The Ball.

This is no knock on any sports, but take a good look at baseball and baseball players. They are not the best conditioned athletes for a reason. Too much standing around and waiting for something to happen, then things happen at one hundred miles an hour. The baseball skill set is based on hand-eye coordination, not endurance or speed. If you weigh two-eighty but can hit the long ball, you’re a player.

Football is better because the players need conditioning and strength to deal with the punishment the game deals out. New fast pace no-huddle offense changes the game and the players. They create more coverage responsibilities on defense when receivers run to open space. The days of the big slow guys plugging the middle of the field changes to fleet footed players running sideline to sideline all day long.

Basketball needs players who burn up and down the court non-stop, but it’s still not the right sport to challenge athletes interested in seeking their highest level of fitness, strength, and intelligence.

That honor belongs to wrestling, the ultimate ‘grinder’ sport, and here’s why:

If a wrestler loses to a stronger opponent, they either get strong fast or find another way to win. Since getting strong fast never works, they have to be smart enough to find another way.

If they lose to an opponent with greater technical skills, they need to figure it out fast. They know they can’t make mistakes or take chances.

A wrestling match, any wrestling match, takes a lifetime of experience and distills it into a few minutes. Young guys with little experience learn the lessons of sports and improve. Older guys with more experience live for the matches against superior talent. A win, even a close match, proves they’ve got what they feel they’ve had all along, the heart of a champion.

Facing a great wrestler takes everything you can bring to the match. A good diet is essential when you reach far into your energy reserves to win. Come out empty handed in the third round and you forfeit your trip to the podium. Talk to any athlete about late game strategy and they mention exhaustion and mental fatigue. They train to overcome those things.

Wrestlers know from the beginning that they’ll stress themselves to the breaking point. When they don’t break, they start looking for the next challenge.

This is a sport that asks for everything, gives everything, but gets little in return. The athletes embrace the bargain, but the message gets lost in some high schools, colleges, and now even the Olympic Games wrestling. Changing a sport is one thing, throwing it on the trash heap of sports history is quite another.

Go back to the 2013 Daytona 500 and Ray Lewis as the starter with the green flag. Before the NFL, before college, Ray was a high school wrestler in Florida. He was a state champion. It’s a foundation block every athlete can build on.

If a school or college near you drops sports, talk about it. If you find good people working to change attitudes, talk to them. Restore College Wrestling in Oregon is listening.

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About David Gillaspie
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