Posts Tagged Billie Jean King

Wall Street Journal Is My New Sports Hero By Billie Jean King

Just bumped into this story encouraging regular exercise by Billie Jean King, Founder, Women’s Sports Foundation. Posted: January 7, 2010 on the Huffington Post

I’m not big on hero worship, but I may have to re-think my position.

“The Hidden Benefits of Exercise,”the cover story in the “Personal Journal” section of the Wall Street Journal (January 5, 2010), almost made me swoon (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB40001424052748704350304574638331243027174.html).

There it was — everything our Women’s Sports Foundation has been saying for decades: “Even moderate physical activity can boost the immune system and protect against chronic disease.” Yes!

Other studies show that exercise

— lowers the risk of stroke by 27%,

— reduces the incidence of diabetes by approximately 50%,

— reduces the incidence of high-blood pressure by approximately 40%,

— can reduce mortality and the risk of recurrent breast cancer by approximately 50%,

— can lower the risk of colon cancer by over 60%, and

— can reduce the risk of developing the risk of developing the Alzheimer’s disease by approximately 40%.

Game, set and match. Less colds and flu, too. How can you beat those odds?

I urge you to share your healthy living story with me, because it is important to me to know what you are doing to improve your life. You can write to me at BJKBlog@womenssportsfoundation.org and I will send you a link to the Women’s Sports Foundation’s new study on health called Her Life Depends on It.

Go for it and happy new year of exercise and health to everyone.

You can read more words of wisdom by Billie Jean on this site: Competition and Its Importance In Your Life(http://www.irasabs.com/?p=971 and Tennis And Life (http://www.irasabs.com/?p=952).

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Billie Jean King Talks About Competition and Its Importance In Your Life

I talk to both boys and girls about being professional athletes…It’s a very high-risk endeavor. It’s easier to be a lawyer or a doctor. The percentage of people making it in professional sports is minute. For instance in women’s tennis or men’s tennis, about 150 out of the whole world in tennis can make a living, actually make a profit. Because it costs $100,000 just to break even. It costs a lot. I give them facts about realities, but never discourage them. I always say, “If you want to go for it, you go for it,” because over time competition takes care of itself. It just does.

And competition is important for young people. We’ve gotten in the mood that everybody deserves a trophy. No, children need to understand competition eventually. Not in the beginning, when they’re very young, but by the time they get to nine, ten, eleven they need to understand we’re going to have to compete, not only in the United States, we’ve got the whole world to compete with now, and sports is a microcosm of society. We used to have a lot of people in the top hundred from the United States. Got very few now. Why? The rest of the world caught up. The same in technology, they’ve gone ahead of us. It’s the way it is, kids. So, American kids: “Wake up, smell the coffee. You’ve got to compete. That’s life.”

(These are excerpts from the book Wisdom, created by Andrew Zuckerman. Billie Jean was the only sports talent of the 50 elderly celebrities mostly from the arts, political activism and government who were interviewed for this book, which was published by PQ Blackwell in association with Abrams, New York.)

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Words of Wisdom About Tennis and Life by Billie Jean King

Tennis taught me so many lessons in life. One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision. I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball. It also taught me about delayed gratification. No matter how you look or how much money you have, you still have to learn your craft, you have to hit a lot of balls, you have to train. There’s disciplines of life that you learn from tennis or other sports.

Another thing is that you learn to adapt. I have these two sayings, Champions adjust,” and “Pressure is a privilege.” Tennis teaches you about those things. When you’re playing a tennis match, you can’t say, “Stop, I want to do another take,” or “Can I play that over?” That’s the way sports are. They’re very real that way. So they teach you lessons in life, but the most important one is accepting responsibility. You have to make a decision, live with the consequences. That’s what tennis does with every ball that comes to me, and I just use my experience in tennis in everyday life now and it’s fabulous. It’s been a great journey to learn those lessons.

(These are excerpts from the book Wisdom, created by Andrew Zuckerman. Billie Jean was the only sports talent of the 50 elderly celebrities mostly from the arts, political activism and government who were interviewed for this book, which was published by PQ Blackwell in association with Abrams, New York.)

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