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Who Dares Wins’ DS Says Racism Almost Stopped Him Joining SAS

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Melvyn Downes has been pushing and testing recruits alike on Channel Fours SAS: Who Dares Wins for several weeks. The show’s newest director’s staff (DS) joined the series after a glamorous 24 year military career, half of which was spent in the SAS, and his experience as a mixed race man in the British military has already brought a new dimension to the series the longstanding series.

During the first episode of the show’s sixth series, in one of the quieter moments on SAS: WDW, Downes said, “For a long time I didn’t think people like me who were black could join the SAS. When I was growing up, I was not accepted. By joining the army, I became tougher, more resilient and I made sure that I treat everyone as I expect. “

It was an insightful and emotional moment and now, in an exclusive interview with Men’s Health UK, Downes explained why he didn’t believe a black man could join the SAS and how his skin color made him tougher and more resilient.

He explains that an experience of everyday racism early in his military career nearly ruined his ambitions, despite having wanted to be in the military for as long as he can remember.

“A man [I knew] went to the SAS selection and failed, “says Downes. “I remember telling him, right, I’m going to do this, and he said, ‘No, you can’t because you’re black, you have to sit in bars in Belfast doing undercover work’ and because I am did it i don’t know about it i thought okay i can’t do it.

“It wasn’t until a few years later that we actually had an officer who had been with the SAS for two years and he came back, saw the potential in me and said, ‘Why don’t you try?’ I told him the story and he laughed. He said, of course I can’t sit in a Belfast bar, not back then, but there are a lot of things to do and there are a lot of countries we go to, so that’s it. When he told me that all systems were working, I decided on the SAS. “

Downes explains that the man he spoke to, the man who told him he would be of no use to the SAS, was not acting out of malice. “I think he most likely believed that,” he says. Nonetheless, it is not an exaggeration to say that conversation could have changed his path in life, and this was not the first time that race and racism had influenced him.

Growing up on parish lot in Stoke in the 1970s, Downes says, you could count the number of non-white faces on one hand. That was Britain in the 1970s, explicit racism wasn’t hard to find, and we were only a few years away from Enoch Powell’s “Rivers of Blood” speech.

Downes points out that a lot of the people he grew up with were great, and although he now lives in Dubai, he’s proud of the Midlands accent he still speaks with and happy that he’s still in his City is rooted. But it’s fair to say he and his family didn’t have an easy time of it in the 1970s.

“Most people liked you and they treated you with respect and got along, but there were a few, a minority, and they just thought you were completely different and they didn’t like that and you were a target for them”, says Downes. “The amount of physical and verbal abuse we got as very young children was terrible, and I think that’s why I’ve always blocked it and my brother is the same. But that made me who I am today because it made me more resilient and tougher.

“I found out what I went through in my early childhood and got my way,” he says. “When I used to be bullied and stuff and I thought, no, I’ll defeat these tyrants, I get the positive out of the negative, you know?”

Given that Downes was treated as an outsider by some in his hometown, it’s not difficult to see why he was drawn to the fraternity ethos advocated by the military.

“When I went into the military, I found it really inclusive,” says Downes. “It was just a gang of brothers so I’ve gotten used to it and the military keeps that ethos.

“I know people have suffered in the military, maybe from racial issues. I know it happens – it happens in all walks of life – but I can honestly say that during my time in the military I did not have any apparent racism. It was the complete opposite. I found that the military took care of me.

“When I went home on vacation, especially in the 70s, I was often verbally abused, racist and so on. Whenever I was out in town, let’s say with other soldiers in the garrison area, sometimes people didn’t like soldiers in the area. We called them “Squaddie Bashers”, people who deliberately wanted to fight with the soldiers. So when I was with a bunch of my comrades they always started with the black guy there, so they started on me. The comrades who were white would stand up for me. I find that in the military, it’s a really integrative band of brothers. “

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Now he’s a DS on the show, Downes says he wants to inspire people of all skin colors and beliefs to pursue their goals and use any kind of disadvantage or blockage as motivation and fuel.

“I want to represent people who come from deprived social housing of the working class,” says Downes. “If only I can tell you that you can pursue your goals, try and fail rather than fail, and don’t let your background or difficulties put you off. When something uses the negative as positive and says: “No, you will become a cook, you will become a lawyer, you can do whatever you want”. It doesn’t matter how high this mountain is, you can climb it, just keep climbing. “

Downes is living proof that no matter what glass ceiling people put over you, it is possible to achieve something.

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Daniel Davies works for Men’s Health UK and has been reporting for various publications on sports science, fitness and culture for the past five years.

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Men’s Health

U.S. men playing catch-up as Olympic gymnastics trials begin | Sports

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Sam Mikulak is open about the challenges he faced during a break from competition from February 2020 through earlier this month at the US Gymnastics Championships.

He is like many who have to catch up with the world powers in men’s gymnastics at a time when the US is catching up in the Olympics on Thursday at the Dome at America’s Center.

Injuries, mental health problems, and other problems were stumbling blocks. Now, one month before the start of the Games in Tokyo, it is time to leave the field of Olympic candidates behind.

Mikulak, who is trying to field his third Olympic team, believes he has overcome his emotional troubles. The next challenge is to shake off the rust that gave him an unusual third place in the US championships.

“I realized that mental health was something I had to address fairly early (in the pandemic) because I felt the emotions a lot more when the games were postponed and we couldn’t train,” Mikulak said. “I felt hectic not only physically, but also emotionally, and this hectic rush never ended.”

Mikulak experienced what he called “a good level of depression” while trying to be perfect in everyday life, just as he strives for gymnastics. He has come to terms with his problems and feels that he is in better hands.

His experience was personal but reflected what was happening in gymnastics on a national level. Mikulak is 28 years old and older than all of his competitors, many of whom are college-aged and left without apprenticeships for months as other countries moved forward.

The US is considered to be rather disadvantaged due to the layoffs.

“It hurt a lot, I’m not going to lie,” said Brett McClure, the US men’s high performance director. “We had a lot of people training in universities and they shut down completely. Consistency in training was a big problem. With a view to China, Russia, Japan, everyone immediately gushed and was able to continue training. We could not.”

The past six months have been better, but there is a lot of catching up to do and potential obstacles to overcome.

Shane Wiskus is struggling with his own mental and physical problems after falling three times from the horizontal bar in his penultimate event at the championship. He finished second at the time and dropped to ninth place, but is considered a challenger for an Olympic place.

“I have a lot of support from what happened and I work with sports psychologists to process it, work it through and get over it as soon as possible,” he said during a meeting with the media. “My main focus is to keep going. So if we could avoid questions about this routine, I’d really appreciate it. “

Wiskus also struggled with a wrist injury sustained at the NCAA championships that required an injection of cortisone. He took almost two months off pommel horse training last year because of a similar injury to his other wrist.

Yul Moldauer is another top contender after finishing second behind Brody Malone, who won two NCAA championships earlier this month. He will be a favorite this weekend. However, Moldovans struggled with back cramps at the last event.

“I looked at the videos and you can tell that something is just copying,” he said. “But my back feels great. I went home and went to my therapist. … It’s something I haven’t told a lot of people about because something can happen every day. It gives me a lot more confidence to go to any other meeting when something happens. “

The US has not won a team medal since its bronze medal in 2008. The last gold medal came in 1984. In 2016, the medals went to Japan, Russia and China pandemic hit.

Mikulak is the only individual on the exams who was on the team in 2016. He has endured the rigors of the gymnastic lifestyle longer than most in their career and remains one of the best in the country after overcoming his pandemic problems.

“It was a tough, dark time to get there and the quarantine was the only time in my life that I could actually go through this process,” he said.

The US will have a four-man team and a single player for the Olympics. The best all-rounder in the tests goes automatically, as does the runner-up, provided he is among the top three in three events. The remaining places will be filled by the selection committee.

The women have four gymnasts and two individual players on the team. The two first-placed winners in the all-around competition form the team together with two selected by the selection committee. Jade Carey has already been nominated for one of the individual positions and the committee will select the other.

© 2021 STLtoday.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Copyright 2021 Tribune Content Agency.

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Men’s Health

Everything You Need To Know About Raw Functional Training

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Joseph Sakoda – also known as Da Rulk – is committed to helping real superheroes such as first responders and military personnel do their best in critical jobs. He also helps the fictional ones in the form of none other than Chris Hemsworth, who swears by Da Rulk’s functional movements to maintain mobility even when massaged.

“My father was a police officer, so there is a special place in my heart for me to train them,” he says. Rulk explains that first responder training is about adapting functional training to their job, but that “adaptability” makes functional training perfect for just about everyone, whether rescuers or not.

“This same adaptability can be applied to someone who is just starting out, who has never exercised before,” he says. “Or someone who used to be an ex-athlete and now has injuries and now we have to adapt accordingly. Adaptability is very, very important. “

With a background in kinesiology and biomechanics, the start trainer is the founder of the Bodyweight Movement curriculum Raw Functional Training (RFT®): a revolutionary movement approach that aims to improve mobility, increase functional strength and ensure that all body systems function on highest efficiency.

Here he breaks down exactly what it is.

What is Raw Functional Training?

Rulk: Raw Functional Training (RFT®). It’s a curriculum I designed that uses body weight movements to improve mobility and increase functional strength.

What does it contain?

It uses sequences of body movements to improve core stability, joint mobility, and overall functional strength and conditioning. It’s perfect for all fitness levels and ages as it uses your own body weight to simulate common body movements with maximum efficiency. You will often find people crawling raw functional training on all fours, like bears or babies. Because crawling is a basic movement pattern. Babies crawl to get strong enough to straighten, straighten to stand, get up to walk.

What are the other benefits?

The benefits of RFT® are endless. It significantly improves movement patterns, coordination, mobility, agility and balance. It increases muscle strength, especially in core, aerobic and cardio capacity, prevents injuries and helps to keep the joints active and flexible. Mental strength is also a great benefit of raw functional training.

Chris Hemsworth and Da Rulk.

How effective is it?

It gives you a better understanding of your body and its capabilities. You will become more attuned and more responsive to your emotions while building muscle strength and moving your body more efficiently.

Who did you train

Rulk: In the United States, I work with many first responders, elite military, fire, law enforcement, and marine safety agencies, Olympic gold medalists, MMA fighters, professional athletes, and many Hollywood stars, including Australian Chris Hemsworth.

My passion, however, is with first responders and elite military and firefighters. Although they are very fit, it is often difficult for them to perform at their best during critical operations. They are often exhausted from failing to perform the skills they have been taught. Raw functional training is a great asset to her as it builds on her sensory processing. How they process new information in different environments is critical to their job. Through the techniques I have taught, their bodies are adapted to move in different patterns. They begin to adapt to situations they are not used to, which is vital to their job. When you get into an unfamiliar situation, it is important that you know how to control your adrenal system so that it works at a higher level.

Raw functional training: sample training

1. Modified side gorillas x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

2. Modified hostages x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

3. Forward and backward crawl x 40 seconds

Rest 20 seconds

x 3 rounds

x 3 repetitions per round

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Four tips for men’s health

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Men, it is time to lead by example. Caring for your family begins with caring for yourself.

Primary care:

It is important for YOU to take your time and take care of yourself. Ignoring and suffering from symptoms will affect your work, home, and social life. Visiting your GP and planning your annual adult wellness visit will keep your health on track. During your wellness visit, your provider will:

  • Check your overall physical, social, and emotional health
  • Make sure you are up to date on vaccines
  • Measure blood pressure
  • Raise any concerns you have with your health
  • Implementation of routine screenings

Find a provider for your family or your location near you.

Preventive examinations:

Delaying checkups can have serious effects on your health and your daily life. Screenings are incredibly important in the early detection and treatment of a disease. Skipping your screening can have an immediate impact on your family and friends if the condition goes unnoticed. The sooner it is identified and treated, the better the results will be.

Make sure you are up to date on these important routine screenings:

  • Colonoscopy from 45
  • Prostate screening from 50
  • Diabetes screening

Schedule your checkups or find a location near you.

Urology: Urology deals with the male reproductive organs. Urologists treat conditions such as low testosterone, enlarged prostate, bladder problems, and prostate cancer. Although there isn’t an exact age by which men can start noticing signs of problems around the age of 50, most symptoms will be noticed for the first time. Talk to your MercyOne provider to learn more or to find a urologist near you.

Behavioral and Mental Health:

Almost 1 in 10 men have depression or anxiety. It can be difficult to tell whether these symptoms are circumstance related and getting better over time, or whether they are clinically significant. Often times, people try to change their personal life before seeking treatment. However, a significant mental health problem affects the brain, which can lead to poor concentration, lack of energy, difficulty making decisions and problem solving, and impaired mood, enjoyment and anxiety.

If it’s not an emergency, speak to your GP about treatment. Just as your doctor can prescribe medication for high blood pressure, so can your doctor prescribe medication for your mental health. Most antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed by general practitioners, and if they think a specialist would benefit you, they will refer you accordingly.

Sometimes mental health problems can make things seem hopeless, leading to severe symptoms such as panic attacks and thoughts of suicide. Suicides are more common in men than women, especially those aged 65 and over. Suicide is the ninth leading cause of death in Iowa. Maintaining your mental health is about keeping your brain working the best it can so you can be there for your friends and family.

Find a behavioral medicine expert near you.

If you or someone you know is contemplating suicide, here are some confidential 24/7 hotlines:

(in Spanish – 1-888-628-9454)

Let’s build an unbeatable nursing circle.

  • More than 20,000 providers and supporters
  • The best rated specialty services in the region
  • More locations and more personal support

Find your doctor

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