The Advocare Challenge – Julian Massenburg

After numerous attempts to lose weight, Jaques Montgomery began to lose hope for his weight loss dreams. Countless dollars wasted for new supplements that did not produce the results he sought. With little to lose, Montgomery took one final shot with the Advocare 24 day challenge. The Advocare 24 day challenge is a new weight loss program gaining nationwide popularity. Montgomery, a junior at Warner Pacific College in Portland, is an advocate for the program. After experiencing success with the program, Montgomery recommends it to anyone attempting to lose weight.

Advocare is a nutrition, weight loss and sports performance company. The company offers a wide variety of nutritional supplements designed to enhance weight loss and increase physical performance. Advocare introduced their 24 day weight loss challenge in 2011. Since its introduction, thousands of people nationwide have participated in the challenge.

Advocare is backed and supported by countless physicians, including Dr. OZ.  The company endorses several world class athletes including Dallas Cowboys tight-end Jason Witten, and World Champion Sprinter Veronica Campbell-Brown. New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees serves as the company’s spokesperson.

The Advocare 24 day challenge consists of two phases, a cleanse phase and a max phase. The cleanse phase lasts for the first 10 days of the challenge. Users must consume  three supplements which work together to prepare your body for proper nutrient absorption. The max phase lasts from day 11 until day 24. Here, too, three supplements work synergistically to fuel your body and achieve maximum results.

The cleanse phase contains an herbal cleanse to help the body eliminate waste, an OmegaPlex supplement to maintain body functionality, and an energy drink to give users an extra boost. Dr. Daniel Lonquist of Grand Junction, Colorado believes cleansing the body is a healthy practice.

“Everyone’s exposed to a lot of toxins, additives, preservatives, and foods. As long as the cleanse you choose doesn’t force you to starve…” Lonquist said. “I think it is very good for your body to do a cleanse every once in a while.”

The max phase includes a Metabolic Nutrition System which provides energy, appetite control, and overall wellness. It also includes meal replacement shakes and additional energy drinks. Proper use of the 24 day challenge, along with adequate dieting and exercise can result in rapid weight loss.

Jaques Montgomery has experienced success as a user of the Advocare 24 day challenge. Throughout his life, ] Montgomery has had an issue with weight. In recent years, he has undergone numerous dieting routines to attain weight loss. None of the routines were effective.

Montgomery was introduced to the Advocare program by his former high school football coach Anthony Jordan. Jordan works as a promoter of the Advocare program.  For $180 Montgomery would receive six dietary supplements to consume during the 24 day challenge. Montgomery initially expressed skepticism regarding the Advocare program. As a struggling college student, $180 is a lot of money for a weight loss investment. Jordan then informed Montgomery about the product’s 100 percent money back guarantee. If Montgomery was unsatisfied with his results, he would receive a full refund at the end of the challenge. With this in mind, he decided to give the program a shot.

 

Montgomery began his first 24 day challenge this past April. The program began on the first of the month. Over the next 24 days, Montgomery had to follow a strict diet and workout routine recommended by Advocare. He cites the cleaning phase as the most difficult part of the challenge.

“Throughout the first 10 days I had to drink a very bad tasting fiber supplement,” Montgomery said. “I could only eat fruits, vegetables, and a small quantity of meat.”

During the cleansing phase, Montgomery was prohibited from eating breads, carbohydrates, and starches. His workout routine consisted of a rigorous cardiovascular exercise. He had to spend 30 minutes on the treadmill and 45 minutes on the elliptical machine. After the daily cardiovascular exercises, Montgomery then completed strength conditioning exercises to help him tone and trim his body.

Montgomery claims the second part of the 24day challenge was a lot more calming and easy to get through. The second stage of the process is designed to replenish the body and to perform additional cardiovascular exercises.

“Every day seemed to go quite smooth and fast,” Montgomery said. “The continued exercises gave me a lot more energy throughout the day.”

At this point in the challenge, Montgomery said he started seeing the results of all his hard work. In a typical Advocare 24 day challenge, individuals are encouraged to weigh in on day ten to check their progress. Montgomery decided not to take part in the weight in because he was more interested in his end results opposed to a checkpoint. After getting through the second stage Montgomery experienced mental and physical changes in his body. He looked in the mirror and saw slimmer facial features. Montgomery also experienced an overall boost in energy.

“Waking up in the morning became a lot easier to do,” Montgomery said.

Astonished by his results, Montgomery recommended the 24 day challenge to one of his close friends Antonio Hayes.

Hayes is a defensive lineman at Foothill Community College in Los Altos Hills, California. He was in search of a way to lose weight before spring training when Montgomery recommended him to the Advocare 24 day challenge.  Hayes wanted to lose the weight so that he could be more agile to impress his coaches at practice. With this being his third season on the team, he believed that showing up to training slimmer would prove his dedication to the game.

“Jaques had a lot of success with the workout and I was up for the challenge,” Hayes said. “I had to find a way to lose 10 to 15 pounds before spring practice began.”

With spring practice quickly approaching, it was time to get to work. Hayes began the Advocare 24 day challenge in early May. Throughout the month, he continued to attend team workouts while consuming the daily supplements. Like Montgomery, Hayes changed his diet to correspond with the recommendations from Advocare. Before Hayes started the diet, he weighed in at 295 pounds. On day 24 of the challenge, Hayes weighed in at 278 pounds. The coaches at Foothill Community College were impressed with Hayes’ slimmer frame.

“I had a lot more endurance on the field,” Hayes said. “I was able to get a quicker jump off the ball thanks to my weight loss.”

A local athlete has also experienced success with the program. Lane Community College track runner Jahzelle Ambus used the Advocare program to decrease her body fat index before the track season began.

“Before my workouts, I ate a lot of carbohydrates,” Ambus said. “After my workouts, I would consume Advocare protein shakes to restore my muscles.”

Her decreased body fat index tremendously contributed to Ambus’ success on the track this spring.

Advocare products may not be the cheapest dietary supplements on the market but Ambus, Hayes, and Montgomery collectively agree that the products are worth every penny.

 

 

Montgomery before and after his first 24 day challenge.

Jaques Montgomery before and after his first Advocare 24 day challenge.

Ambus stretching after a cardiovascular workout.

Jahzelle Ambus stretching after a cardiovascular workout.

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Faith On Campus: The Newman Center

Faith.

It’s a big word.

At the University of Oregon, students have faith in a lot of things. Some have faith in the football team. Some have faith in themselves and their academic abilities. Some have faith in the idea that no one should ever have class on a Friday. And others have faith in God.

At the University of Oregon, there are nearly 30 religious student organizations on campus. While the university’s webpage on diversity provides statistics on the ethnic makeup of the school, it is lacking specifics that pertain to how many students partake in faith based organizations. This might point to why some students are completely unaware of their presence on campus.

“I honestly had no idea,” senior Kristine Gerron said. “I am pretty involved on campus, but I only ever hear about the occasional religious gathering. I feel like if it matters to you, it matters a lot. If it doesn’t, you just kind of focus on other things.”

Gerron was not brought up in any particular religion, and does not feel that her college experience was lessened because of it.

“Eugene is generally so accepting of everyone. I have friends that affiliate every which way religiously, and there is never a lack of respect. We can all put religion aside and just hang out as people who get along,” she said.

This year, a poll by Gallup named Oregon the sixth least religious state in the union. These numbers are consistent with data provided by Lane County that says in Eugene, 24.5 percent of the population associates with a religions congregation, about half of the national percentage. Of those who subscribe to a certain faith, 20 percent are Catholic.

Enter the Newman Center, Eugene’s Catholic student organization. The Newman Center serves students from the University of Oregon, as well as from Lane Community College and Northwest Christian University. It is a part of the Religious Director’s Association at the University of Oregon, and provides a variety of leadership opportunities for students in Eugene.

“I’ve learned how to be a better friend, a better person and a better leader,” Aimee Fritsch, junior at the University of Oregon said about her involvement with The Newman Center. “Coming in as an exuberant freshman who wanted to do everything, I got the experience of getting to lead as a part of the Student Activities Leadership Team, and as the Spirituality Minister my sophomore year. In that role, I got more experience in organizing and putting on events, as well as working with other leaders and community members. Now, I’m in the very beginnings of my role as Peer Minister, the equivalent of a Student Director in another organization, and I can only look with hope at the growth and journey that is yet to come.”

Fritsch says that her parents went to church with her until she was 12, and she calls her religious background her choice. In coming to the University of Oregon, she has learned more about her faith in the low-key parts of life—coffee with friends and casual conversations allow her to challenge herself and see her faith in action.

“The experiences I had with church are a huge part of who I am today,” Fritsch said. “They impacted how I view the world, the friendships I have, the habits that are a part of my life, even how I respond to day to day events. All of these were shaped by my experiences with my faith.”

When Fritsch came to college she chose to continue her journey in faith. Not all students make the same choice.

“I just got so wrapped up in school and extracurriculars that my churchgoing fell by the wayside,” Sarah Russell, a junior transfer student said. “I came to this school my sophomore year from Cal Poly. My involvement at this school has been exponentially higher than when I was in California. I put all of my energy into things like classes, my jobs, my sorority, and being healthy. I still am, like, spiritual but I don’t really do activities for it. If I had time, I might, but church isn’t what faith is about for me. I think it’s cool when people have the discipline to go, though. I respect it so much.”

Russell loves the University of Oregon, and said that she really feels like she has found herself here. She did so without subscribing to a certain faith, and she does not think going to church would have changed her spirituality in any way.

Fritsch, on the other hand, finds strength in her faith on her journey to find herself.

“My faith has also been a core part of discovering who I am as an adult,” Fritsch said. “Like any college student I’ve gone through the process of discovering how I interact in groups of my peers, where I stand, and how I stand. My faith gives me security and confidence as I make that journey.”

Fritsch’s faith in college has not just been limited to the Newman Center. She currently lives in the Christus House, a Christian community house just south of the University of Oregon’s campus. While the Newman Center is a strictly Catholic organization, the Christus house hosts residents from various Christian denominations.   

“It’s a different experience from the Newman Center. It’s a house, so not only do I interact with people at our weekly Bible Study and house meeting, I’m living with them, sharing everything, everyday,” Fritsch said. “It creates a group that feels more like family than a group of friends.”

Fritsch likes that the house has students of different denominations living in it.
 
“I like the variety, and I think I’m learning a lot from others faith and traditions,” she said.

While Fritsch’s experience with the Newman Center has brought a lot to her overall college experience, she does not think that the general overall college experience is affected by the organization’s presence on campus.

“I think that they see us as the Catholics, kind of off in our own group,” she said. “I don’t think that most students outside the organization know much about it.”

Gerron is one example of Fritsch’s observations. She talks about her roommate who went to a Catholic high school, and was involved in the Newman Center for some time in her college career. Still, Gerron does not have a lot of knowledge about the organization.

“My roommate was always so excited to go to church on Wednesdays, and it made me happy to see her that way,” said Gerron. “But we just never talked about it. It’s totally a matter of time. If you have beliefs and you want to make time for them, you will.”

In her leadership role for the Newman Center next year, Fritsch hopes to not only make time for her faith, but give her time to an group she loves.

“I want a chance to give back to this organization that has given so much to me, and am thrilled that I get the chance to be a part of bringing that gift of faith that means so much to me to other students.”

 

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The entrance of the Newman Center, located at 1850 Emerald St. in Eugene.

 

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The Christus House, a residence for Christian students located at 1857 Potter St. in Eugene.

 

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“Practical Nutrition,” the Recipe Behind Oregon Athletics’ Success

Beyond the flash and bravado, from the facilities to the plethora of uniform combinations, it’s the track-style brand of play that characterizes Oregon Football. Eugene will always be branded as Tracktown USA, but the Football team has elevated that platform and embraced it as its own. But how did they get here? Is it the unique strength and conditioning program? Or is it the exceptional facilities invested by Nike founder Phil Knight? Yes, but the science goes beyond that. It is the meticulous nature of Oregon Nutrition. To the athletes and members of the coaching staff, nutrition takes just as much of an active role as academics and strength and conditioning does. Regardless of who or what instigated this identity change in Oregon Athletics is up for debate, but the result put Oregon Athletics into the spotlight.

The inception of the Sports Nutrition program at the University of Oregon started with former Football Head Coach Chip Kelly and his assistant James Harris, former Sports Dietician and Life-Skills Coach of the Football team. (James Harris Profile below). Kelly wanted a brand that emphasized his philosophy of speed-freak football. It was Harris’ task of realizing and laying the nutritional foundation. With their recent departure from Oregon Athletics, the responsibility of sports nutrition fell under former USSA and U.S. Olympic Committee Dietician Adam Korzun.

Is it fair to say that all of the recent successes of Oregon Football are the result of nutrition practices? Not necessarily. However, the way Oregon Athletics treats nutrition is certainly a significant catalyst for that success. For Korzun, it’s all about “practical nutrition.” The practical side of nutrition is based on a student-athletes ability to see nutrition as a tangible subject.

“Nutrition is a big deal here because we make it practical. It’s something the coaches can see, it’s something the players see and touch. It makes sense to them,” Korzun says. “It’s valued here for that reason because we’ve taken that approach of let’s make it real, let’s make it available, let’s not just tell you what you’ve had after a workout, let’s make sure what you eat after your workout is available to you and there is someone to provide it for you, make you the shake, or put it physically in your hands.”

Besides educating athletes about the practical side of nutrition, teaching them the visual aspect of learning is one of Korzun’s goals for athletes. For Oregon Athletics, nutrition is not an abstract or foreign concept. It’s a science that’s applied to their daily lives and they can see the results through their own athletic progress.

Before constructing meal plans, Korzun measures athletes’ Body Mass Index (BMI) as a starting point. From there he meets individually with athletes and they both collaborate a plan for a player to reach a particular target weight, size, and strength. Afterward, athletes are re-evaluated for a second test in the Bod Pod after Korzun has structured their meal plan.

“We’ve got two inside linebackers, one needs to gain weight, one needs to lose weight. Everybody has got a little different goal, we’ve got line people transitioning positions, trying to gain weight, guys trying to lose weight, guys that are trying to add muscle mass and get stronger, guys that are rehabilitating injury,” Korzun says.

Korzun continues. “We’ll go through everything and give them a rough idea of a meal plan. I’m not saying you need to eat quinoa but I’m saying ‘you need this much carbs, you need this much protein and make sure you get it. I don’t care how you get it, but get it.’  Korzon goes on to say, “Afterward they can physically see  ‘Oh, what I did worked!’ I gained seven pounds of muscle in two months. Perfect!” For the athletes, the light-bulb goes on, they are able to connect results with their nutrition plan.

According to Korzun, the framing is not, how can a particular athlete make the team better, its how they can personally get better. Then, collectively as individuals the team becomes better because they are personally better. So nutrition is just one way athletes can apply that abstract concept of ‘better.’ He later explains why meal plans are coordinated individually because everybody has different goals, everybody’s expectations for themselves are different. There is no meal plan specific for football or basketball. According to Korzun, no two athletes are going to be the same.

“Everyone’s better is different. For some that could be gaining weight or losing weight, getting faster, or having more energy,” Korzun says.

For the Oregon Football team, expectations have never been higher. The team accolades under Kelly speak for themselves. In his tenure at Oregon, the Ducks have made one BCS National Championship appearance and three straight PAC-12 championships. With the departure of Kelly to the Philadelphia Eagles, new head football coach Mark Helfrich becomes the man tasked to accomplish similar feats. Adam Korzun now heads the Sports Nutrition department after Harris left with Kelly to the NFL. The challenge becomes how can either of these guys make the program better than it already is? What changes can we expect to see from both of these guys? Helfrich says “99.2% were gonna be in lock-step.” That 0.8% difference could be Korzun’s impact on the program.

Before Harris’s departure to the NFL, Korzun was tasked to take what Harris started at the Football team and branch it out to the other sports program at the university. Now almost every athlete is monitored daily by Korzun’s staff. In addition, Korzun prepares customized smoothies for every athlete after practice that has each individual player’s name on the cup that differ in flavors based on player preferences, and diet plan. These shakes are further modified depending on the phase of training and season a particular sport is in.

“So not only does everyone have their own shake, but I actually modify them based on what season and what type of training we’re in,” Korzun says. So for instance, I’ll take the carbs and sugar way back when we go back out of spring ball and just lifting. When we go to fall ball I’m gonna change the drinks again so that everyone gets the calories that support what they are doing.”

To the outsider, Oregon Athletics is tailor-made for speed. But to the insider, speed is just a byproduct of what they do. It’s merely a result of a process. The nutrition program is something tangible for the athletes. That’s why Korzun feels the program is successful, because the athletes believe what they are fueling their bodies will help them improve significantly. It’s something manageable and something they can achieve everyday, which directly correlates to their mission statement “win the day.”

“Just like we want the best Football team, we want to be the best nutrition team in the country,” Korzun says. “We want our athletes walking out of here ready to go for the next level. Whether its transitioning to the professional level or to the rest of their career outside of college sports, we want them to be ready, educated, and sending that message (practical nutrition) out because you will be able to reach many more people that way.”

In all facets of training and preparation, including nutrition, student-athletes and members of the athletic staff are able to accomplish their goals one spoonful at a time.

 Q & A with Adam Korzun, Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Oregon

Q: What made you want to take the position as Director of Sports Nutrition at the University of Oregon? How long have you held the position?

A: I’ve been part of the University of Oregon for just about a year now, a little bit less than a year. What made me take the position here was the program is moving in a direction that was a good fit for me. We were going to be focusing a lot about practical nutrition as opposed to a nutrition program where you got people who sit around and tell people what to do or how to do it. We’re taking the approach of making it really practical, providing the right fuel instead of talking about it. It’s an opportunity to be part of the university setting. I spent seven years in the Olympic world. Coming here was a way to introduce that experience and education to a younger population who may not be as fine tuned or hasn’t gotten quite to that elite level yet. I want to bring that knowledge to them but also do that in a very practical sense so they can grasp it.

Q: How has your experience as a dietitian of the Olympic team, specifically the USSA, contributed to your job here at the University of Oregon? Do the same dietary techniques apply?

A: My time with the U.S. Olympic Committee put me in a lot of challenges of setting up food services, dining halls, menus, and how to feed athletes. Understanding what’s practical and what works. I came in as this kid wanting to give everyone the perfect quinoa and chicken breast, everything like that, but it allowed me to realize what a working athlete needs and wants and how to modify it. So I got a lot of experience how to feed athletes better through my time there.

With USSA, we have a huge physiology department there. Working in concert with that and doing a lot of testing there showed me how the fuel actually affects the athletes and how the training correlates with the demand for fuel. So what type of fuel, what certain training  loads require, and how our body processes and metabolizes energy. It really worked to be a great experience understanding how to feed, how to produce food, and why and what type of food athletes need.

Q: Why is nutrition such a vital part of Oregon athletics? Why do you guys value it more so than most other programs in the country? Why such a high emphasis?

A: Nutrition is a big deal here it’s because we make it practical. It’s something the coaches can see, it’s something the players see it, they touch it, it makes sense to them, they can do it when its practical and available, and they understand it. It’s valued here for that reason because we’ve taken that approach of let’s make it real, let’s make it available, let’s not just tell you what you’ve had after a workout, let’s make sure what you eat after your workout is available to you and there is someone to provide it for you, make you the shake, or put it physically in your hands, so you’re that much more ready to succeed.

Q: I read an article about how the Philadelphia Eagles have customized smoothies for each individual player after practice with their name on the cup, do you guys do the same thing after practice?

A: We have a shake for everyone after practice. But we go one step further. We actually balance the shakes based on the phase of training they are in too. So not only does everyone have their own shake, but I actually modify them based on what season and what type of training were in. So for instance, I’ll take the carb and sugar way back when we go back out of spring ball and just lifting. When we go to fall ball I’m gonna change the drinks again so that everyone gets the calories that support what they are doing.

Q: Who started the nutrition program at the University of Oregon? Who implemented this culture change? Was it always like this when you got here?

A: It started with James Harris for sure. Chip (Kelly) had the direction. He knew what he wanted. He knew what the players needed and he put it on James to implement a fair bit of it and James did an absolutely incredible job really laying that foundation and groundwork out so that when I came in, it was like ‘here, take what we’ve started here at Football, expand it to everybody. Make this happen for all of our athletes.’ So that’s kind of my big challenge: how do we do that and get back to the practical side of education? So the inception came from there, it didn’t come before them.

Q: How much time do you spend with Coach Radcliffe developing a specific plan for a certain student-athlete?

A: We work together on everything. We meet once a week, so the strength and conditioning staff with the athletic medicine staff and myself kind of go over, what’s the goal? What’s going on? Who’s injured? What’s new? What do we need to update? I’ll get a sense of the training plans that way. Then every term when the new plans come out we meet up again with the performance team, the athletic trainers, the coaches, the strength coaches, myself, and discuss the direction of the program that term and then follow-up as needed.

Q: Are the nutrition plans made on an individual basis, or is it by sport? Does Football have their own specific program that focuses on protein? Or Basketball has an emphasis on carbs etc.?

A: We take the nutrition planning one step further. It’s not football plan, basketball plan, volleyball plan. It’s football basketball volleyball and then each individual player has their own plan from there. No one person, no two athletes are going to be the same. No two football players are going to be the same. We’ve got two inside linebackers (ILBs), one needs to gain weight, one needs to lose weight. Everybody has got a little different goal, we’ve got line people transitioning positions, trying to gain weight, guys trying to lose weight, guys that are trying to add muscle mass and get stronger, guys that are rehabilitating injury. We want to make sure we prevent muscle loss for guys in rehab. Everybody has got a little bit of a different goal going on and we try to take that into account when creating a plan for the student-athletes.

Q: How do you educate them on how to properly recover, hydrate, and maximize workouts? Do the athletes have journals that record their calorie intake? Do you use special programs on the computer?

A: The athletes are accountable to themselves at the end of the day. They could easily lie in a journal, falsely record in a program, so putting too much stock in that is a waste of time and that’s my personal philosophy. I know a lot of people who use those tools, but the thing is they are just that, tools. So what we try to do is provide them with the education and kind of, I guess education and familiarity with what they are doing and making it work. So for instance let’s say we have a Football player that needs to transition to the O-line from the Tight-end position, they need to put on mass, weight, size, strength, etc. So we’ll change their nutrition plan based on that and give them suggestions. We’ll go through everything, give them a rough idea of a meal plan. Here’s when you eat, here’s what the meal composition should be. I’m not saying you need to eat quinoa but I’m saying ‘you need this much carb, you need this much protein and make sure you get it. I  don’t care how you get it, but get it.’ Then well actually check their body composition before we do any intervention then after, this way they can physically see ‘Oh what I did worked!’ I gained seven pounds of muscle in two months. Perfect! So now they connected what I did worked. The Lightbulb goes on and they actually see what happens.

Hydrationwise. We test a lot of pee on this team, so we are always checking hydration to see. are they hydrated or are they de-hydrated? From there we can keep a log of what happened to you during practice. How much weight did you lose during practice today? How many pounds you lost in practice correlates to how much fluid you lost and how much you need to replace. Are you fully hydrated that night? And if not, we need to get more into you, and if you do get more in, what does it take to maintain hydration for you. We have tools that allow us to check each athlete and track them so we can help keep them accountable to themselves. We test Urine Specific Gravity, we test concentration of the urine, and then we use the Bod Pod for BMI index, when we’re not doing Bod Pod, we track weekly weight. There are a couple of new tools out there that I’m looking to partner with some companies. But we’re not going to discuss that publicly yet.

Q: What changes or plans do you have to improve the state of the nutrition program for student athletes? How do you put your personal signature on it?

A: Besides from the practical and teaching part of it. One is being twofold. One is I have culinary background being a chef before , and experience with exercise physiology training, so I have experience working in labs. Having that understanding, I want to bring more of the visual learning to it whereas if someone sees a number, sees a change, they can make a bit more sense of it. So just trying to make it less about a magical product and more about what the athlete is doing.

The other side of it is, I’m not going to tell an athlete what they need to eat. It’s not my role. Rather I’m going to listen to what they like to eat, what they want to eat and help them make it better. We all know what foods are good for you, but if someone doesn’t like them, they are not going to eat them. And if I’m telling them ‘you need to have oatmeal in the morning’ and they hate oatmeal, it’s not going to help them. And there goes my credibility out the window because I’m relying on some magical food to fix it and that’s not the reality. Our body does not metabolize energy that way. At the end of the day, oats are glucose, just like Kashi cereal turns into glucose, just like donuts turns into glucose. Now their speed and absorption rate, breakdown etc. will all have a different variability, but they are all going to turn into fuel. The question is how do we balance that fuel. My big thing is individual. Everything we do is individual because everybody responds to training and diet differently.

Q: Is there a reason why you guys are the lightest Offensive Line in the PAC-12 and ninth lightest nationally with an average lineman at about 288 pounds?

A: We’re a team based on speed. We train speed, we practice speed, we work speed, and we’re fast and we recover. You tend not get speed with size. We can make anyone big no problem. The balancing act or the fine line is how do we make them big and keep them fast. So that we really try to find an ideal. I can put 30 pounds on an individual, but what 30 pounds is it going to be is the issue. What is their performance going to be? And with our athletic medicine department monitoring functional movement, keeping track of different deficits and legs in the body and how it moves, helps us even further, and making sure the weight they put on is the proper weight for their body.

Q: I realize many of these guys don’t become professional athletes. How do you encourage them to continue the habits they have learned all four years here? Hopefully it should become a lifestyle habit right?

A: They almost need a re-education when they get done as an athlete because you’re eating habits and training are completely different now. You’re not spending the energy you once did, your probably not training the same way you were. So nutrition changes. We prioritize quality nutrition, but we definitely change once they are no longer an active player.

Q: Is this a diet program exclusive to Oregon Athletics? Would you recommend this to the average person if they wanted to try it?

A: Nutrition plays a role for everybody–from the professional athlete, to the professional businessman. It changes individually and that’s what everyone needs to realize. When you see something on Dr. Oz. or any show like that, which says there is some miracle diet that’s gonna fix everything, it’s not for everybody. Every single person is different. What I question is if you’re a medical professional you should realize that there is not one diet for everybody. Everybody’s physiology is different. How is there this diet or that diet that can make you better? What is better? Define better. Everyone’s better is different. For some that could be gaining weight/losing weight, getting faster, having more energy. It’s a really broad subjective term but nutrition plays a role for everybody. We need to focus on what are your individual goals and prioritize nutrition from there.

Q: Why do you think your job important? What motivates you to come to work everyday? Why should people care about what you do for the Football program or Oregon Athletics in general?

A: The challenge to be better for Oregon. Just like we want to be the best football team, basketball team, etc. we want to be the best nutrition team in the country, we want to have the best strength and conditioning department in the country. We want people to see and look at what are they doing? Why? The reason why is because we want the best for our athletes. We want our athletes walking out of here ready to go for the next level. Whether its transitioning to the professional level or to the rest of their career outside of college sports we want them to ready, educated, sending that message out, because you will be able to reach many more people that way.

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From Ducks to Eagles, James Harris soars to success.

The phone rings as James Harris picks up the phone from one of his players’ mother. It’s a call he receives on more than one occasion. The conversation between Harris and the mother leaves both of them worried about the well-being of her son, one of his players.  What concerns them at that moment is how the boy will react toward the recent and distressing news. Destined to face the trauma in the forthcoming moments, Harris composes himself, picks up his phone, and gives his player the call.  The boy’s father passed away.

Former Associate Athletic Director James Harris, was in charge of student-athlete development at the University of Oregon. He is now coaching in the NFL as an assistant to Philadelphia head coach Chip Kelly doing similar tasks. As a life-skills coach, Harris understands that finding an intricate balance between academic and athletic success is challenging for student-athletes and emotional stresses can sometimes interfere. In February 2010, Harris took LaMichael James, Oregon football sensation, into his home after James was charged with domestic violence.

“Many of these guys are left with one or no parent at all to guide them.  I play the mentor role that many of them are lacking,” Harris said.

The Student Services and Academic Support department is not the first department that comes to mind regarding the success at Oregon, but is nonetheless vital to the success of Oregon Athletics. Just like nutrition, the psychological aspect of student-athletes is just as invaluable to them as the physical aspect.

“Everything that I do always transcends sports and academics.  I would be doing a disservice to our community if I didn’t help them the way I knew how,” Harris said.

Not only did Harris support emotionally distressed players, he monitored the diets of student-athletes at the university.  A graduate from Nebraska in nutritional science and dietetics, Harris began working with the athletic department in 2007.  The original pioneer of the nutrition program at the University of Oregon, Harris also served as an academic advisor and mentor. Harris believes nutrition is the focal point of well-being.  Nutrition is a life-skill that has been overlooked.

“In order to solve other problems you got to start with nutrition. Once nutrition is solved, other problems can be dealt with,” Harris said.

In 2009, Harris was featured in Sports Illustrated’s “I Want My Body Back” which outlines the health hazards offensive and defensive linemen in football face once their collegiate careers are over.  The article explains the body is not meant to keep that much weight and it is imperative that these overweight players change their lifestyle and eating habits. Harris chose to work at Oregon because the school is always looking forward.  It has a vision, he says. Oregon gave him the flexibility and allowed him to express the things he wanted for the program.

Katie Harbert, a former co-worker with Harris and current Coordinator of Student Athlete Development, admires Harris’ drive and motivation to achieve, and his courage to challenge the status quo.  One of these was the program “O Heroes,” a non-profit organization that uses student-athletes’ stardom to provide health, education, and service to the community.  The program was created so that student-athletes realize the value of serving the community.  Through this distinctive immersion, they are actively engaged with all aspects of their mind, body, and spirit.  Harris believes these qualities are vital to the development of the student-athlete.

He also played an integral role in the recruitment of student-athletes.  The Oregon Duck athletic program has exceptional standards. According to rivals.com, Oregon was ranked #22 in best recruiting class this past year. (This survey is based only on prior athletic accolades of prospective athletes. It does not take into account the intangible elements Harris looks for when recruiting.)

“We challenge them so they can reach their maximum potential,” Harris said. “Our job is then to make them the best they can be.”

His goal is transparent.  Helping student-athletes reach their maximum potential as individuals was his top priority. To Harris, it’s not about the athlete or the student but about the individual’s character enabling them to make an immediate impact in the lives of others beyond the college atmosphere.  From the Ducks of Oregon to the Eagles of Philadelphia, Harris hopes to have to the same successes with his induction to the NFL ranks.

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The Stress Factor

By: Cecily Fernandes

hattieJunior Hattie Chandler knows a thing or two about stress.  With a double major in Latin American studies and Spanish, a minor in Political Science, two jobs, and an injury she has a lot on her plate.  Many things like work, classes, life changes, relationship difficulties, financial problems, class, and family issues can cause an overwhelming amount of stress in the life of a college student, which can lead to negative physical and emotional responses to that stress.

“On an average day I tend to worry about things like school, money, work, planning for my future, my weight, and dealing with my injury,” Chandler said.

Chandler tore her Achilles tendon two months ago and is forced to be in a cast and on crutches, which makes her life a lot more difficult and stress inducing.  For many college students like Chandler, stress is a daily part of life that can become dangerous and harmful to his or her health.

After her surgery, Chandler got behind in a lot of her classes and is still struggling to make up for the work she missed.  She used to work out to relieve stress, but since she could no longer use that outlet; she found the amount of schoolwork overwhelming and the stress of keeping everything together too much.

She decided to take control of her life and the stress by enrolling herself in meditation classes two times a week to cope with all the pressure she was feeling.  She also used music and reading to help her wind down at the end of a long day of school and work.  Through these methods, she was able to feel better because she realized that her stress was temporary and easily manageable.

“I have learned to take things day by day and live a life of balance,” Chandler said.  “I created stress for myself by worrying about things in my life, which made me even more stressed and created a vicious cycle that I couldn’t control.”

Stress is a normal physical response to things that make you feel threatened or upset your life balance in some way.  When the stress response works properly it can help you feel alert, focused, and energetic.  When the amount of stress in your life becomes too much to handle it can cause major damage to your health, your mood, your productivity, relationships, and overall quality of life.

Chandler was able to find safe and effective outlets to deal with her stress and improved her life through meditation and music.  Some students don’t take this route but instead try to forget about their stress through destructive practices like drugs and alcohol, which can have long-lasting effects.

Jude Kehoe works at the University of Oregon health center and facilitates many stress judeprevention programs at the health center, including relax and renew, got sleep, healing touch, and meditation programs.   Kehoe believes that stress is a major problem for college students and feels the biggest issue is that students don’t know how to manage stress correctly, so they turn to damaging measures to cope.

“Partying, not getting enough sleep, finances, and not eating properly all lead to physical, emotional, and mental problems,” Kehoe said.  “Eventually, all these problems are going to lead to academic and/or work failure.”

According to Kehoe, stress can affect college students in a number of ways, many of which can lead to serious health issues.  The most severe effects of stress include headaches and migraines, a suppressed immune system, digestive problems, relationship difficulties, alcohol problems, and depression.

Freshman are some of the most susceptible to stress because of the many life changes they go through when entering college like challenging classes, living in a dorm, and adjusting to life without parents.

Kehoe suggests a variety of ways that students can safely and affectively reduce stress in their daily life; the number one way being exercise.

“It’s so important to stay moving because it increases circulation and allows you to think clearly,” Kehoe said.  “Exercising allows you to relax and not think about the problems that are causing you so much stress, even for a short period of time.”

Kehoe also stresses the importance of learning how to induce the relaxation response in the body through meditation, energy work, and breathing work.  The relaxation response is a method originated by Dr. Herbert Benson that allows the body to reach a state of deep rest and changes the emotional and physical responses to stress.  This trains your body to deal with stress more effectively instead of using the fight or flight response.

At Freedom Yoga in Eugene, Chandler is able to forget about all stresses in her life and unwind.  Sitting cross-legged with her eyes closed and her hands in the prayer position, her mind goes blank as she enters a state of intense relaxation for 60 minutes.  When she comes back to reality she is able to conquer life successfully.

College is a stressful time in a person’s life for a variety of reasons that are different for each individual.  Researchers say small amounts of stress are normal and sometimes healthy but once that stress overcomes a person’s life it is important to know some ways to deal with stress in a healthy and constructive manner.  Methods like yoga, mediation, music, and exercise all help manage stress so a person can live a life without constant worry.

Susan Badger Q&A:

Susan Badger is a marriage and family counselor in San Francisco that works with adults, couples, and adolescents in her private practice.  She holds a Masters Degree in both Interdisciplinary Studies and Marriage and Family Counseling.

Q: Do you have a lot of patients that have problems with stress?

A: College has always been more or less stressful for kids based on a number of factors:  Their parent’s expectations (i.e. ‘legacy’, their parents spending huge amounts of money they may or may not have, the culture of the school, cultural mandates – Indian and Chinese families, etc.)  There have been alarming statistics about suicide rates, especially with Indian kids who feel that they have failed their families.  It may be worse for kids who feel duty-bound to maintain their family’s reputation, or if their parents are putting all of their hopes and dreams – and money – on the kid’s education.

Q: Why do you think stress is a big problem today?

A: I think that there is a very unique problem currently that is making stress a really dangerous problem at the moment: I think that kids at every academic level are being distracted by social media and other forms of online activity.  Kids are not doing ‘their best’ because they are scanning back and forth between social media, gaming, texts, etc. while they are trying to study.  They are also prone to being worried and distracted by drama that is unfolding via social media, etc. that makes them nuts.  This makes it very difficult for students to concentrate long enough to do what they need to do when they are studying or writing a paper, etc.  Their lack of ability to concentrate forces them to stay up too late because they can’t get anything done in a timely fashion.  They use Adderall, energy drinks, caffeine, coke etc. to stay up and ‘focused’.  They then compensate for sleeplessness and anxiety by drinking and smoking pot.

Q: What are the negative effects of these practices?

A: Their health suffers and they are much less able to self-regulate and get their work done.  Anxiety and attempts to regulate anxiety become a real problem.

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The Benefits of the Martial Arts – Enterprise Story – Steven Vantulden

Vantulden, Steven

6/4/2013

J 361: Reporting 1

David Saez

Enterprise Story: The Individual and Communal Benefits of Martial Arts

          The students in the University of Oregon’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu club gather, inside of mat room number 1in the rec center, to practice what is known as ‘the gentle art’.  Each member wears their gi; a traditional Japanese uniform consisting of a white jacket, pants and a belt. Though members vary in experience and skill, they all exhibit the mindset of a true martial artist.  

            They have firsthand experience of the positive values that martial arts instill in people’s lives. Martial arts teach individuals discipline, self-confidence, humility and respect. Teachers often instill principles of non-violence and non-aggression to their students. Finally, martial arts provide tremendous physical advantages for practitioners.

            Trevor Bryant instructs the rest of the club members after a brief warm-up. At the end of the session, the students practice their skills against each other in sparring. They apply joint locks and choke holds to one another, in an attempt to create the sufficient pressure for a submission. When one student catches another in a submission hold, the other ‘taps out’ in acknowledgment of their defeat.

            Bryant has practiced Brazilian jiu-jitsu for three and a half years. As a blue belt in the art, he’s one the most experienced members in the University of Oregon’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu club. He also has experience with wrestling and Jeet Kune Do. Due to his experience, he teaches most of the time at the club.

            Bryant has a lot of knowledge about the martial arts. He talks in depth about how self-confidence relates to the martial arts, as well as how his own training has improved his confidence regarding self-defense situations.

            “I think it builds a ton of confidence as far as when I’m walking around,” Bryant says. “There’s little thought at all, if any, that if someone was to come up and try to fight me… I feel so confident that I could be able to handle that situation that it’s just not even something I register in my mind.”

            Improved self-confidence is not the only benefit to martial arts. Intensive and rigorous training routines inherently instill discipline and mental toughness. It’s certainly not easy to learn, but it’s something martial artists understand.    

            Student Haglae Kim trains at the University of Oregon’s Brazilian Jiu-jitsu club, as well as at a local gym named Northwest Martial Arts. He practices many disciplines including muay thai, Brazilian jiu-jitsu and mixed-martial-arts. Kim says he has learned the value of hard work, discipline and mental toughness through his training.

            “In my martial arts class, it’s really tough…” Kim says. “But the one thing I’ve learned from training mixed-martial-arts is I can do that if I keep trying, even though it’s really tough.”

            Martial artists gain significant strength and health advantages through their work outs. Different disciplines improve flexibility, muscle strength, muscle endurance, and cardiovascular ability. The students at the University of Oregon’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu club and Northwest Martial Arts display such benefits, not only in their physiques but also in their overall shape. 

            “I think grappling in general is a pretty solid full body workout.” Bryant says. “It works all your muscles, builds your flexibility a lot. So in terms of that physical aspect it covers pretty much everything. Even cardio to a degree if you’re rolling for like an hour.”

            Respect is a fundamental principle of all martial arts. This includes respect for one’s teacher, one’s opponent and oneself. The concept of respect is deeply integrated in the traditions of martial arts, from the bows practitioners make to the terms of endearment they call each other.

            Author John Stevens details the concept of respect as it relates to martial arts in his book titled Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido. Steven describes the traditions of respect within the Japanese martial art Aikido. He writes (1987):

Aikido practitioners implicitly trust each other and display that mutual faith by bowing all the way to the floor and, as it were, offering their necks… In Aikido, one’s partner is a ‘living shrine,’ due the same respect as a holy object. Indeed, ‘the practice of Aikido begins and ends with respect. (p. 93)

            Humility is also a concept that goes hand in hand with respect. Many martial artists strive to achieve this, but it can be a difficult lesson to learn. Kim talks about how he has developed humility, controls his ego and focuses on learning rather than winning.

            “When I started learning martial arts, I just thought, ‘Oh, the reason why the people have the match is to win.’ ” Kim says. “But by going through the process of learning with people, I have gained a lot of sense of respect. No matter how good I am, I need to respect my opponent or sparring partner”

            A martial artist values the avoidance of conflict rather than resorting to violence.  Surprisingly enough, research indicates martial artists are less likely to participate in violence and hostility compared to other athletes.

            Kevin Daniels and Everard Thornton published a study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 1992. They compared the rates of assaultive, verbal and indirect hostility between martial artists and a control group of other athletes. Daniels and Thornton (1992) discovered the martial artist scored lower in the assaultive and verbal hostility categories compared to the other athletes.

            Daniels and Thornton also found that this was true regardless for how long the martial artists had trained. This led them to the conclusion that the effect of lowered hostility, “may be peculiar to the martial arts. (p. 199)

            The benefits of martial arts are not exclusive to individuals. Entire communities can benefit the presence and effects of martial arts.

            Many martial artists are also generous with their time and volunteer to teach for free in the community. Ryan Kelly, one of the owners of Northwest Martial Arts, regularly volunteers to teach different community groups; as well as to people who can’t otherwise afford the martial arts.

            “I do all sorts of different community outreach things and community service…” Kelly said. “I also work with Looking Glass (Looking Glass Youth and Family Services) and the united way to do mentoring and skills building for youth.”

            Kelly talked about how the martial arts might help those who might need the means of martial arts. But conversely, he talked about how martial arts decreased the chance of someone resorting to violence.

“What martial arts does is empowers those who are not powerful enough and gives them the skills they need to protect themselves, but it humbles those who have too much pride and too much ego.”

Sources:

1.      Trevor Bryant, University of Oregon Jiu Jitsu Club member, trevorb@uoregon.edu.

2.      Ryan Kelly, Co-owner of Northwest Martial Arts, info@nwmaacademy.com. (541) 232-4535

3.      Haglae Kim, University of Oregon Jiu JItsu Club member and member of Northwest Martial Arts. haglae@uoregon.edu. (541) 870-7919

4.      Daniels, K. & Thorton, E. (1992). Length of training, hostility and the martial arts: a comparison with other sporting groups. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 26, 118-120. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1478950/pdf/brjsmed00023-0006.pdf

5.      Stevens, J. (1987). Abundant Peace: The Biography of Morihei Ueshiba, Founder of Aikido.

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Student Haglae Kim applies a Kimura submission hold on his opponent, during practice at the University of Oregon’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu club.

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Instructor Trevor Bryant demonstrates the Bow and Arrow choke to the rest of the class at the University of Oregon’s Brazilian jiu-jitsu club.

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SPOTTED OWLS: Whose Responsibility?

1.5 pounds.  18 inches.  That’s all it took to destroy the timber industry in the Pacific Northwest and demolish over 18,000 jobs.  An owl.  Small in size, light in weight, but with the ability to cause thousands of unemployed families and the loss of millions of dollars.  The day the spotted owl was placed on the endangered species list in 1990, a change occurred in Pacific Northwest history and the results are still being felt twenty years later in the timber industry and for private land owners.

According to the US Fish and Wildlife Services Recovery Plan, “…the spotted owl was listed in 1990 as a result of widespread loss and adverse modification of suitable habitat across the spotted owl’s entire range and the inadequacy of existing regulatory mechanisms to conserve the spotted owl.”  Spotted Owls thrive in old growth areas, which according to the government Northwest Forest Plan, a plan adopted in 1994 by the US Forest Service to restore the health of forests in the Northwest, are defined as forested areas that are “180-220 years old with a moderate-to-high canopy.”  For this reason, the timber and logging industry was restricted, requiring 30% of land to be set aside for federal protection in the Northwest Forest Plan.  Over 7 million acres were set up as protected, but by 1990, the damage on spotted owl populations had already been done.

The spotted owl is an indicator species, meaning that its health is a reflection of the ecosystem’s health.  When scientists, like OSU professor Eric Forsman, initially noticed the decline of spotted owl numbers in the 1970, the statistics also meant a decline in the health of the spotted owl habitat.

While the loss of logging areas destroyed the economy of the Pacific Northwest, the clear cutting of thousands of trees was destroying the ecosystem, according to an article in the Seattle Times.  The decline in spotted owls was just an indicator that logging was not happening at a sustainable level.   According to the EPA, clear cutting not only decreases biodiversity of wildlife, a necessity for any healthy ecosystem, but also causes excess erosion, degraded water quality whose effects can then be felt by aquatic species miles away.  If the government had not taken action in protecting forestland and restricting logging, loggers would still in the long run have lost their jobs because logging was not being done sustainably.

Today the struggle between conserving loggable land and using it for profit remains, whether it is the large private landowner or small one.  The correct answer is not black and white however.  Large private logging companies can be sued by their owners if they try to work around spotted owls there by not maximize their profits.  Small private landowners may want to log too because it is a form of savings.  According to John Bailey, a professor at OSU in the Forest Engineering, Resources, and Management Department who works with conversing Dry Forests for Spotted Owls, the issue is complicated and not clear-cut.

“The real issue is for small landowners like grandparents who have harvested for years to pay for their granddaughter to go to school at the UO and then their neighbor tells them they shouldn’t be able to harvest because they might get a spotted owl,” says Bailey.  “It becomes complicated and it’s something we have to recognize.”

Others like US Forestry Service Biologists thinks it is the duty of the private landowner to help conserve the habitat of spotted owls.

“I think as society it’s a shame that we don’t feel like we have a responsibility to maintain it [spotted owls] and just push it on to the federal,” says Reid.  “A lot of the landowners are not really engaging in active protection.  They do the minimum, but they aren’t participating like Allan is [a private land owner Reid works with].  Alan is actively participating on trying to maintain this pair r of owls on his property.”

The pull between human benefits versus animal benefit is no stranger to environmentalists, and for the spotted owl issue, it is complicated, but with understanding for both parties the two can coexist.

                                                               BARRED OWLS vs. SPOTTED OWLS

barred owls

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PROFILE ON JANICE REID

Janice Reid - US Forestry Service Biologist

Janice Reid – US Forestry Service Biologist

She doesn’t follow a trail.  Bright green ferns and large trees block her path, but she climbs over them with agility.  Her black lab is close in tow behind her.

She stops and looks up to the trees, then at her dog.

“Find a pellet,” she says to her dog.  “Find a pellet.”  Her dog sniffs the ground, walking in zigzags until suddenly his tail begins to beat back and forth frantically.  He nudges her hand.  She looks down and sure enough an owl pellet lies camouflaged on the ground.

“We are getting close now,” she says.  “They must be around here somewhere.”

Janice Reid, a wildlife biologist for the US Forestry Service, works specifically in the study and research of spotted owls.  She and her dog take on multiple Bureau of Land Management (BLM) federally protected sites and some private land to monitor the spotted owls numbers and their health.

“I started working with spotted owls in 1985,” Reid says.  “I’ve been doing this for so long, but it’s not real encouraging now.”  Reid has witnessed the decline in spotted owls since the start in 1990 when spotted owls were first put on the endangered species list.

She continues hiking following the map she holds in her head.  She reaches a large fallen tree and stops.  The private landowner accompanying her on his land silently points to a tree right above where they stand.  On a mossy branch sits a spotted owl.  It stares down at them curiously with giant chocolate brown eyes.  Silently, Reid takes out a white mouse from the plastic cage attached to her backpack.

In a rush of air and fluttering wings, the spotted owl flies to an adjacent tree to get a better view of Reid and the landowner.  With slow movements, Reid places the mouse on the fallen tree next to her, baiting the owl.

Minutes pass and the owl, just like a cat waiting to pounce, watches the scurrying movement of the mouse.

Suddenly the owl swoops down just feet away from Reid once, twice and then grabs the terrified mouse between its sharp talons.  Reid looks not to its beautiful brown eyes, but to its leg where a small pink tag is attached.

“She’s a female,” Reid says.

“Shit,” the private landowner says.

A female means she is not on her nest.  It means she has not mated and has not laid any eggs.

“The numbers of pairs are down, but even if they do pair up now, it’s too late because it’s too late in the season to start,” Reid says.  “It’s looking pretty dismal.”

Since six years ago when Reid discovered a pair of spotted owls between the border of BLM land and the private landowner’s property, the pairs have nested and reproduced twice.  This year is not very encouraging.

“It’s not just this site,” Reid says.  “Across our sites it’s pretty low reproduction.  When you are talking about barred owls and habitat loss you’ve got some pretty significant things that are affecting the population and you can’t tease out one or the other.”

Reid and the private landowner have a unique relationship.  When Reid found the spotted owls on the private land by chance, she was afraid the private landowner would react with anger.  Instead the man, who must remain unnamed to protect the safety of the spotted owls on his land from loggers, was genuinely interested in helping to protect the owls.

“I had a long standing desire to manage the land in a way that would enhance conservation efforts,” he says.

Not all private landowners are as willing to sacrifice their land to provide for a small owl.  Fortunately for the spotted owls in this region of Oregon, this owner does.

Forty minutes later however, the spotted owl continues to watch the two with no urgency to return to a nest.  The reality of the current state of spotted owl populations is apparent, and according to Reid, unless other private landowners start engaging in the protection of their land, the number will continue to drop.

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Clueless Assignment – Clifton Rose

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Tattooing

The art ranges from awe-inspiring to kitsch, masterpiece to disaster. We encounter people every day sporting tattoos and when considering a tattoo it’s best to know how the process works.

Matteo Holmes is a tattoo artist and piercer working at Eugene Tattoo & Body Piercing located in downtown Eugene. Holmes has been working his craft for over nine years. 

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Holmes at the front counter.

Before someone can get a tattoo they have to pay the artist to design and draw the image; the more elaborate the more expensive. The artist must translate the information they receive from their customer into an image that they will enjoy enough to have it permanently applied to their skin.

“Guessing my way through permanent alterations is not my style.” Holmes said.  

Some artists charge a flat rate while others will charge based on the time it takes to complete. Prices vary based on the artist, the size of the tattoo, and its complexity.

While some tattoos are done free hand, most are done with a stencil. The image about to be tattooed is printed onto a stencil which is applied directly onto the customer’s skin. For the average tattoo Holmes uses two tattoo machines, which are in essence motorized needles used to apply the tattoo.

The machine requires a component called a grip assembly, which holds the needle steady during the tattooing process. The needles themselves are one-use much like those used for medical purposes.

The tattoo machine is operated by a foot pedal attached to the machine. Power units are also used with the machine, which are devices that diminish fluctuations in the electrical charge that comes in from an outlet. These fluctuations can affect how the needle moves, which results in parts of the tattoo becoming “blown out”. This means that the mark made on the skin is slightly distorted.

A tattoo itself is made out of specialized colored dyes called pigments. The pigment is first applied to the needle of the tattoo machine. The needle is then used to pierce the skin and into the dermis, the middle layer of skin, where it leaves drops of pigment that can be seen on the skin’s surface. As skin is worn away and replenished some pigment is worn away as well; which is why tattoos gradually fade over time.

The amount of time it takes to actually apply a tattoo can vary drastically. If the tattoo is large or complex enough, it can take a whole day or more. For larger tattoos, it can take multiple sessions to actually finish it. Sessions can last a couple of hours each.

After getting a tattoo, the skin is damaged and takes time to heal. If a tattoo is improperly cared for after it has been applied, it can damage the tattoo itself. The image can sometimes blur, colors fade or the skin becomes further damaged and scarred.

Getting a tattoo isn’t the easiest process for the artist or the client. Despite this, Holmes enjoys his job and continues to work at and help manage Eugene Tattoo & Body Piercing.

 

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