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MARCH 2019

MAGAZINE

MIDDLETOWN AUTHOR DETAILS HOW WHISKEY LAW SHAPED AMERICA IN NEW BOOK

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BOURBON JUSTICE: LOCAL AUTHOR DETAILS HOW WHISKEY LAW SHAPED AMERICA IN NEW BOOK

When Brian Haara, longtime Middletowner, decided to publish a book on bourbon history he didn’t want to release another run-of-the-mill account in a market long over-saturated with them. Instead of a generalized retelling, as so many of these types of books are, Haara wanted to cut straight to the factual nitty-gritty — to lay the down law, as it were, on the truth behind bourbon and its single-handed effect on American law. The engaging result was “Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America.”

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Josh Brown

Josh@TownePost.com

MARCH WRITERS

Carrie Petty / Curtis Carman Julie Engelhardt / Lisette Vimont Shannon Siders / Tyrel Kessinger

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6  Step Off the Scale for Wellness 10 Sounding Off: The Louisville

Leopard Percussionists Students, Instructors & Alum Talk About LifeLong Impact of the Program

16 Bourbon Justice: Local Author

Details How Whiskey Law Shaped America In New Book

22 V .O.W. to Succeed: 3 Hallmarks of a High Performance Mindset

28 Water With Blessing: Middletown Organization Provides Safe Drinking Water In Developing Countries

32 Spring Gardening In March Madness

33 Remembering Molly: Molly

Johnson Foundation Provides Relief for Families with Special Needs Children

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STEP OFF THE SCALE FOR WELLNESS When healthy, our bodies’ physiological processes work as they should, enabling us The first few months of a new year is to function efficiently. Our bodies should refreshing and exciting as many of us resolve provide us with enough mental and physical to improve the quality of our lives with energy to not only survive but enjoy each new year’s resolutions. Often, wellness and day. Did you know that the food and weight goals are at the top of the list. After beverages we consume directly affect our all, nothing else much matters if we aren’t mood, energy and health, giving each of well enough to truly enjoy it. Many people us control in how we feel daily? It’s true! resolve to diet to lose the extra pounds gained throughout the holiday season or A diet rich in whole foods including perhaps pounds that have stealthily crept up vegetables, fruit, lean protein, beans, over the years. nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains is abundant in vitamins, minerals, fiber and Although it is true that in some cases phytonutrients, which boost metabolism, weight loss can improve quality and length speed fat burning, reduce inflammation, of life, the number on the scale does not stabilize energy, elevate mood and decrease necessarily equate to health and wellness if risk of diseases like obesity, diabetes, kidney we aren’t eating balanced meals with foods disease, heart disease, metabolic disease, rich in nutritional value. While popular, fad digestive disorders, Alzheimer’s and cancer. diets often result in quick weight loss and then quick weight regain with little focus Would you like a carrot? on long-term nutritional health. For many people, focusing on the scale rather than On the contrary, a diet rich in convenience the plate will derail health goals time and and processed foods including refined time again. grains like white flour, white bread, white Writer / Kate Boston

rice, cookies, candies, cakes, chips, fried food, bacon, sausage, soda and fast food is abundant in salt, sugar and saturated fat which slow metabolism, reduce fat burning rate, clog blood vessels, fuel inflammation, decrease energy and may cause depression. As a result, processed foods greatly increase risk of obesity, diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, metabolic disease, digestive disorders, Alzheimer’s and cancer. One doesn’t need to completely avoid processed foods to be healthy, but they should be limited and only consumed in moderation. In many cases, processed foods lack natural nutrients, phytochemicals, fiber and often don’t leave us feeling satisfied for very long. Because of this, we tend to eat larger portions of these foods more frequently, which intensifies the negative effect they have on our health. Think back - when was the last time you overindulged in cookies and candy? The resulting blood sugar swings and sugar cravings probably had you going back for seconds and maybe thirds without you even realizing it. Now,

6 / MIDDLETOWN MAGAZINE / MARCH 2019 / atMiddletown.com


think back to when was the last time you overindulged in apples and broccoli? Likely never. It’s very difficult to overeat natural food because it is packed with vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber which trigger our bellies and brains to sense satiety, slow digestion and turn off hunger cues, as real food should. As a passionate dietitian, I wish nutritional health and wellness upon everyone. With more than a decade of experience in the field, I have found that slow and steady weekly changes, with a focus on good nutrition rather than goal weight, prove to be the most successful and sustainable approach to lasting weight loss and wellness. Being thin isn’t healthy if we’re consuming adequate calories but inadequate nutrition. A well-balanced plate is ½ fruit and nonstarchy vegetables, ¼ lean protein and ¼ whole grains or starchy vegetables. Select foods from every food group and produce of every color to incorporate throughout each day, as all foods offer different vitamins and minerals in varying amounts. Nourish up from the inside out. Rather than allowing the number on the scale to proclaim your health, focus on cultivating your plate, one meal at a time, with natural food. I bet you will be pleasantly surprised with how small plate changes over time result in long-lasting wellness and weight control. Eat to live the life you crave.

Below is a list of small changes you can implement to improve your wellness and support weight control. As we wrap up the first quarter of 2019, revisit your New Year’s resolutions. Have you achieved your goals? If not, what is stopping you?

THE CHANGE

HOW TO IMPLEMENT THE CHANGE

Eat for health rather than a goal weight.

Eat natural, minimally processed food as often as possible. Research recipes for great new tastes.

Stay hydrated so as not to confuse thirst with hunger.

Aim to drink 8 cups (64 oz) of water or natural, unsweetened beverages daily. You may need more depending on body size and exercise habits.

Eat 3 or more servings of vegetables daily.

Enjoy sliced veggies with your favorite dip, eat salad, add vegetables to your eggs, pizza, pasta, sandwich, soup and smoothies.

Eat 3 servings of fruit daily.

Replace refined grains with whole grains.

Replace white rice, bread and pasta with quinoa, brown/black rice, oats, whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, farrow, sorghum, buckwheat, millet.

Keep vibrant fruit and vegetables visible.

Stock your counter with fresh produce and shift your fridge contents so colorful produce is at eye-level. (If out of sight, it will be out of mind.)

Move daily to boost energy, health and mood.

Article and recipe courtesy of Kate Boston, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with Cultivate Your Plate. For more information on her Nutrition Coaching and Education Services, visit cultivateyourplate.com.

Enjoy fresh fruit, fruit salad or add fruit to whole grain pancakes, oatmeal, cereal, Greek yogurt, toast with nut/ seed butter, salads and smoothies.

Walk, bike, run, yoga, housework, strength train, park further from the store and take the stairs. Movement improves strength and endurance.

Allow yourself to truly enjoy your favorite foods on occasion – guilt free.

Rather than scarfing down your treat and feeling guilty for indulging, eat it slowly, taste it, savor it and truly enjoy it – you will likely find that a small portion is quite satisfying when you don’t feel so ‘bad’ for eating it.

Cultivate your plate one meal at a time.

Fast to fix is often fast to fail. Wellness is about progress, not perfection. Celebrate your small, steady achievements – they will add up in time!


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THE EXTINCT BISON OF FLOYDS FORK Writer / Curtis Carman

The Parklands landscape is rich with plants and animals—more than 700 species have been identified. The diversity of life around Floyds Fork has taken millions of years to come about. Oceans have come and gone, mountains were built up and torn down and organisms evolved and went extinct. Over the most recent millennia, changes have occurred much more quickly than would have otherwise, as humans came to dominate the world. In eastern North America, Kentucky and The Parklands, there are a few missing pieces worth mentioning to better understand the unseen picture of the landscape. Some of these pieces have been gone for thousands of years, while others are on the brink today. During earth’s last glacial period, the Pleistocene, megafauna such as mammoths roamed The Parklands and the Bluegrass Region. In fact, bones and skeletons of many species, including mammoths, mastodons, ground sloths and bison that once roamed through the mineral springs and swamps have been found at Big Bone Lick State Park in northern Kentucky. Today, we can still find clues on the landscape of their presence like Osage Orange and Honey Locust trees. The sharp thorns on these trees are adaptations to ward off hungry mammoths who liked to eat the Osage Oranges and Honey Locust seedpods. More than 20,000 years have now passed since their extinction and the landscape is distinctly different supporting other types of wildlife.  Like the extinct megafauna, the American bison migrated from one mineral spring to another. The many “licks” in Kentucky, from Big Bone Lick, to Bullitt’s Lick south of Louisville and Pope Lick along Floyds Fork, served as sources of essential minerals for the animals. As the largest animal in the east (once the megafauna went extinct),

the bison roamed in herds of thousands of animals. Because the animals migrated intentionally to specific destinations (the licks), they wore huge paths through the forested and open country of the Ohio Valley. These traces, hammered by the hoofs of countless animals, later became the travel routes for early American explorers and settlers. Many of our modern highways follow the animals’ paths. Today, the bison is functionally extinct in the east. However, small fenced populations live at Big Bone Lick State Park and elsewhere. The next time you roam The Parklands, stop to take in the rich history of the land among you. You might even spot some traces left behind from past species.

We appreciate your love of The Parklands and the role you play in the success of this donor-supported public park. A gift to The Parklands not only helps to maintain our parks today, but your continued support will positively shape the future of Louisville and truly benefit current and future generations through access to world-class parks. To donate, please visit theparklands.org/Member. 21st Century Parks is a 501c3 organization, and all gifts are tax-deductible.

MARCH 2019


THE LOUISVILLE LEOPARD PERCUSSIONISTS STUDENTS, INSTRUCTORS & ALUM TALK ABOUT LIFE-LONG IMPACT OF THE PROGRAM Writer / Shannon Siders

Musicians from Louisville have shot to the national spotlight before, but the latest group to experience viral success and the attention of iconic rockers Ozzy Osbourne and Jimmy Page are a percussion performing ensemble comprised of students in second through ninth grade. The Louisville Leopard Percussionists had an exciting 2018 that included playing the local stage at Forecastle and performing their cover of “Crazy Train” live for Osbourne, a performance that was later included in an episode of his A&E show “Ozzy & Jack’s World Detour.”

“It snowballed,” Downs says. “I never had the idea that I was going to start a children’s percussion ensemble, it just fell right in my lap.” Downs directed the Fabulous Leopard Percussionists for 10 years before officially creating The Louisville Leopard Percussionists, a non-profit, communitybased group. In November 2017, the group moved into a new rehearsal space just south of downtown that they rent from Spalding University.

was not if she wanted to join but what instrument she wanted to play. From that point forward, Downs was a staple in school band, learning to play just about every instrument. She didn’t read music well, so she would listen to the person next to her play a piece, then repeat it back to them. “That’s why we teach the Leopards like we do,” Downs says. “We don’t rely on hearing music, we rely on feeling.”

Many of The Leopards join their respective school’s bands and have successfully picked The building buzzed with excitement during up new instruments. rehearsal one night last August. The young musicians were wrapping up one of their “Once the children get to band in middle first practices of the school year, and by the school, they don’t struggle with reading Diane Downs was a teacher at King looks and sounds of things, having a lot of music because they know how to feel it,” Elementary when she launched the fun. Laughter and chatter filled the space Downs says. “They can tell if they’re hearing Leopards in 1993. Downs had a background between pieces, but it was obvious these the wrong note, because they’re used to in music, but the Leopards came about kids were here to work. using their ears.” largely by accident. “You don’t want to yell at them and beat all There are three levels within The Leopards: “I was looking for bulletin board paper in a the fun out of it,” Downs says. “Once the a beginners group and an advanced group closet, and saw a stack of instruments,” she kids have had their first gig they understand of second through sixth graders, and The says. “I looked at them for a minute, and why we work so hard. When good things Steel Leopards, seventh through ninth said, ‘I can do something with this.’” happen to them because they work hard, graders who graduated from the main that motivates them to work even harder.” program. Each group puts in at least a few Downs and her students moved the hours of rehearsal time every week during instruments into their classroom As an instructor, Downs draws from her the school year. and formed the Fabulous Leopard own experience. Her mom was a bluegrass Percussionists. The group played their musician, and when Downs brought home a Considering the time commitment and first gig at a PTA meeting, then went on to registration sheet for the school band when prestige of the program, it would make perform at a nursing home and the mall. she was in fourth grade, her mom’s question sense for The Leopards to search for the MARCH 2019


best and brightest musical talent in the city. Downs and her team take a different approach. “We’re not necessarily looking for the most talented kids we can find, we’re looking for the kids who are interested and have a certain level of maturity,” Downs says. “I’d rather have a bunch of good group members than stars.” Members of the performance groups are chosen from The Leopards’ summer camp by students who are graduating from the program. Kids get in for different reasons, often not tied to their musical ability. “We can teach them how to play,” Downs says. “They have to start somewhere.” Students are typically accepted into The Leopards when they’re in second grade, and there is a cap of 10 students per grade. The 2018-2019 group features 20 beginners, 28 advanced and 19 Steel Leopards to round out the 67-member performance ensemble. The Leopards come from 49 different schools and 33 zip codes in the Louisville area, culturing an environment of diversity and acceptance.

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“We teach them to be good to each other and be kind,” Downs says. “We want to teach them the beauty of everybody. It’s a comfortable place for these kids to be as weird as they want, and it’s okay. Nobody is going to judge them.”

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Fifth-grader Asa Spears, a purple-haired percussionist with a shy smile, admits he was anxious at the thought of joining The Leopards four years ago. That anxiety quickly gave way to excitement. “If I have a rough day at school, coming here is a lot of fun,” he says, flashing a thumbs up. “Playing music makes me happy.” Sixth-grader Sami Fouts joined The Leopards after one of her friends told

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her about it. Her mom is a big Ozzy fan, which made the “Crazy Train” performance even more memorable. “I was excited, not scared,” Fouts says. “But it was my first time performing in front of someone who made the song.” Spears and Fouts both say being in The Leopards has taught them a lot about responsibility and being accountable. “The Leopards helps you be more responsible because you have to work with so many people,” Fouts says. “You have to get over it if you don’t like somebody because you have to work right next to them.”

teachers, it might be boring.”

school, as an ensemble director.

The legacy of The Leopards is strong, and many alumni have returned to help the program as instructors and volunteers.

“Being born into this positive family environment means so much to me,” Rodman says. “It has definitely molded who I am today.”

Carly Rodman was practically born into The Leopards. Her brother Andy was in the program when she was a baby, and their mom would pack the family minivan full of gear to haul to shows. Rodman, now 21 years old, joined The Leopards when she was in second grade. She loved the experience so much that she and her fellow Leopards fueled an expansion of the program in 2009. “My graduating class didn’t want to leave, so we convinced Diane to get a grant to buy steel drums so we could stay,” Rodman says.

The Leopards overwhelmingly seem to agree the instructors are one of their favorite After graduating from the Steel Leopards, parts of the program. Rodman began to volunteer at summer camp and rehearsals. She became an official “They’re really funny,” says sixth-grader staff member after graduating from high Annika Gordon. “If we had different

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Although she has other interests, and is studying political science and anthropology at the University of Louisville, Rodman says music is her, “number one most beloved thing.” Aside from being a creative outlet, The Leopards helped her gain courage and confidence and has allowed her to make a difference in the lives of other young, budding musicians. “I think the biggest thing is the opportunity The Leopards brings to travel, to play with amazing musicians and to have that experience as a young kid,” Rodman says, who opened for My Morning Jacket at Waterfront Park when she was a Leopard. “Arts programs in school aren’t as good as they used to be, so giving them an artistic

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experience means everything.” Percussionist Dani Markham, who was a touring member for Grammy-winner Childish Gambino and has played all around the world, got her start with The Leopards when she was eight years old. “Dani had that drive, she had something in her that I knew she was going to make it,” Downs says. “She did it all right. She’s educated, and she’s playing music as her job.” Markham returns to help with camp and rehearsals as her schedule allows. Professional musician Mark Charles Heidinger of Vandaveer, whose eight-yearold son Nika is in his second year with The Leopards, also gives his stamp of approval for the program. “This has become central to Nika’s budding identity. “He wants to be a musician when he grows up, despite all my warnings,” he

says laughing. The Leopards has quickly blossomed into Nika’s favorite activity, and Heidinger said Nika is eager to practice without being asked. He appreciates the approach Downs and her team takes in teaching music to The Leopards and educating them on music history and transformational artists. “It’s not stuffy,” Heidinger says. “It doesn’t feel like work, like a typical music lesson might feel to an eight-year-old.” Heidinger says he and his wife get just as

excited for the performances as Nika does and have enjoyed seeing the continuing legacy of the program. “When our program is validated by real musicians, it really does mean something to me,” Downs says. “It’s an honor that someone the caliber of Mark Charles Heidinger is going to drop his kid off with us.” You can catch The Louisville Leopard Percussionists live at their annual BiG GiG on Sunday, March 24, at the Brown Theater. For more information, visit louisvilleleopardpercussionists.com.

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MARCH CROSSWORD PUZZLE ACROSS 1. “Space Oddity” major 4. Radiate 8. Bank offering 12. “___ momento!” 13. Double agent 14. Disco do 15. Dog holder? 16. Kid’s transport 17. Burgoo, e.g. 18. Covert comments 20. Babysitter’s charge 22. Causing a pucker 23. Latched, in a way 27. Rob Roy, et al. 29. Whistle-blower 30. Ecol. watchdog 31. Anecdotal history 32. Assist the waiter 33. All hands on deck? 34. Fossey subject 35. Fee follower 36. Queens, for example 37. Retired, with “down” 39. For Pete’s ___! 40. Cookbook direction 41. Rich, as foods 44. Naval base? 47. Panache 49. Mad Hatter’s drink 50. Colorful mineral 51. Cheese off 52. Be fallible 53. Glimpse from afar 54. Broke a limit 55. Hibernation spot

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Author Brian Haara

LOCAL AUTHOR DETAILS HOW WHISKEY LAW SHAPED AMERICA IN NEW BOOK Writer / Tyrel Kessinger

hen Brian Haara, longtime Middletowner, decided to publish a book on bourbon history he didn’t want to release another run-of-the-mill account in a market long over-saturated with them. Instead of a generalized retelling, as so many of these types of books are, Haara wanted to cut straight to the factual nitty-gritty — to lay the down law, as it were, on the truth behind bourbon and its single-handed effect on American law. The engaging result was “Bourbon Justice: How Whiskey Law Shaped America.” “What I try to do in Bourbon Justice is explain how different types of law from bourbon cases in the past helped build

the law in that area,” Haara says. “One in particular, for example, is trademark law. Trademark law is pretty well established today, but in the 1800s it wasn’t. It was really built through bourbon cases, people fighting each other over logos or brand names other distilleries would try and copy. Contracts is another one.” What gives Haara his unique insight into this method of storytelling is two-fold. He’s a long time bourbon admirer and, more importantly, a lawyer who specializes in business litigation. He began practicing law in Louisville in 1996 after graduating from the University of Kentucky, but it wasn’t until nearly five years ago that he acquired his first client involved in the bourbon industry. This MARCH 2019

client, a Millville, Kentucky-based distillery called Castle & Key, was being sued by the much larger Sazerac Company (proprietors of the Buffalo Trace brand) over possible trademark infringement. “Two entrepreneurs who the bought the distillery property, which had essentially abandoned since the 70s but built in 1887,” he says. “The guy who built it was Colonel E. H. Taylor and the name of his distillery was Old Taylor Distillery, and the signs on the property still say Old Taylor carved into the limestone side of the castle [in which the still resided]. Old Taylor, of course, is a brand that still exists but it’s made by Sazerac at the Buffalo Trace distillery and they have a trademark on the Taylor brand.


So, they sued Castle & Key because they wanted them to take down the signs that talked about the Old Taylor Brand. They thought it would create confusion.” The end result was a win for Haara and Castle & Key who were able to maintain their rights to display the old signage. Prepping for the case served as Haara’s proverbial lightbulb into how to compose his specific brand of whiskey history. Through further examination of the legal history of bourbon, through the use of court documents and cases, a much larger and more important story of bourbon became apparent, one relying on lawfully established facts and less on oral accounts of the past, which, Haara admits, are inherently problematic. More than simply a rundown of bourbon’s long, and often harried, past, Haara’s research revealed how the industry has directly helped shaped and create legal precedents and laws of the American justice system that have major reverberations and

MARCH 2019


repercussions today and into the future. “The marketers have made their own stories today, but I was able to find facts from these cases that tell the true story,” Haara says. “My theory is lawsuits are the best place to find out. Anything that made it into the case was something that passed the strict evidentiary process and found by a judge to be reliable.” One problem, Haara says, is the gaps in recorded history, even from the bourbon companies themselves. “A lot of these distilleries during Prohibition destroyed all their records,” he says. “With the movement at the time, having a distillery in your family lineage was embarrassing to folks. So even the families big into distilleries before Prohibition don’t have a lot of documents to memorialize what had happened before Prohibition.” Another area of the law the bourbon

industry helped mold, Haara says, is one that still has enormous ramifications for these modern times — consumer protection. “Bourbon was responsible for the first law that would protect consumers from being

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advertising. As one might assume, this resulted in many upset customers. “Before protection of medicine, before food safeguards, before any of those things, the first consumer protection law was against fake bourbon,” Haara says. “Americans, if nothing else, certainly understand what’s important in life.”

by federal law to mark their barrelheads with a bunch of information. So they branded it on — it was more efficient for them to just use a branding iron — the barrel, and the customers at the saloons and bars would start asking for bourbon by the ‘brand name.’” More than an outlet for research, Haara’s Sipp’n Corn blog is also widely lauded for its bourbon reviews. Haara estimates he’s done 90 or so such reviews, with makers from all over sending him samples to critique. When asked what his favorite is, if he had to pick, Haara is reticent to say. For one, it depends on the season and location, he says, all important variables. But he does offer a bit useful information regarding bourbon selection to those of us a bit more ignorant to the finer points of bourbon drinking.

In addition to Bourbon Justice, Haara also runs a successful blog called Sipp’n Corn (sippncorn.blogspot.com). While he was compiling research, Haara would often run across interesting cases or facts that he knew would make it into his book but that he couldn’t wait to let the rest of the world know about. For example, Haara recalls an interesting story behind the omnipresent phrase “brand name,” which is an icebreaker tidbit for your next dinner party if ever there “People who want to try something new, was one. they’ll try a $60 bottle of bourbon because they think it will be better than the things “That came out of bourbon,” he says. “Because bourbon producers were required on the lower shelf,” he says. “But what has

really struck me is that there are a handful of $30 bourbons that I think are just fantastic.” Haara’s offerings? “I’ve found you can’t go wrong with Elijah Craig or Four Roses small batch or single barrel,” he says. “Bourbon Justice” released in November 2018, and, so far, early reviews have been positive. It seems to be leaving an already indelible mark within the field. In one analysis, written by none other than local and infamous bourbon historian & connoisseur Michael Veach of the Filson Historical Society, he highlights Haara’s patented approach to bourbon research and its place in the canon of historical knowledge as it pertains to the industry. But perhaps Bernie Lubbers, whiskey historian and ambassador for Heaven Hill Distillery, puts it best: “Haara brings to life the laws that make America whiskey so spectacular. I can’t get enough!”

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3 HALLMARKS OF A HIGH PERFORMANCE MINDSET Writer / Dr. Dave Schroerlucke

We’ve all heard the adage “talent is not enough.” But let’s face it, talent certainly helps - a lot. Even the best mental preparation will rarely overcome glaring discrepancies in ability. Competing at the highest level in any performance domain requires, first and foremost, an adequate level of expertise. But expertise itself is no accident. The idea of natural or “god-given” talent is a myth, albeit a prevalent one. Sure, many performance activities have physical requirements that are indeed heritable traits. It would be exceedingly difficult, for example, to be an NBA player if you were below six feet tall. Likewise, it would be difficult to realize your dream of being a horseracing jockey if you were above 6 feet tall. Height is “natural.” Talent, on the other hand, is not natural. Talent is always the result of persistent, disciplined effort.

Many people associate mental training for sport and performance primarily with learning how to stay calm and focused under the pressure of high-stakes competition. However, mental skills are just as important, perhaps even more so, during the skillacquisition phase of training. In my mental coaching practice, I draw a distinction between “Preparation Mindset” and “Performance Mindset.” The Preparation Mindset comprises the mental qualities and processes that are necessary for the development of a high level of expertise. The Performance Mindset involves the mental qualities and processes that promote reliable demonstration of already-established expertise when it matters most. In this article, I highlight the essential mental qualities associated with the Preparation Mindset. These qualities are vision, optimism and will, which together create the easy-to-remember acronym V.O.W. – as in “V.O.W. to succeed.” MARCH 2019

VISION The first mental prerequisite for developing expertise is vision. Before anything extraordinary can be achieved, it must first be envisioned in the mind. Visions are specific and detailed. “I hope to be a great violinist someday” is a vague aspiration. “I will play first chair in a major orchestra within five years” is a clear vision. How is a vision different from a dream, purpose, goal or intention? While these words are often used interchangeably, dream is a bit too hallucinatory, purpose a bit too supernatural, while goal and intention are not lofty enough to generate the necessary inspiration. Remember that your vision will ultimately serve as the driving force behind your ongoing motivation and commitment. In imagining your long-term vision for yourself, it is important not to set your sights too low. While there are some real limitations in


life (which are generally unwise to ignore), most limitations turn out to be unnecessarily self-imposed or, worse yet, accepted merely based upon the limiting beliefs of naysayers. Never accept the limitations of others’ beliefs about what is and is not possible.

OPTIMISM The second mental prerequisite for developing expertise is optimism. I am not talking about having a bubbly, positive disposition or a generic tendency to see glasses as half-full. Optimism is about having an unshakeable belief that realizing your vision is not only a possibility, but is actually inevitable if you remain committed to your chosen path. Because this commitment requires a willingness to fully invest yourself when the outcome is uncertain, optimism can also be considered a form of courage. My earliest pool mentor loved to say that there are “wanna-bes” and “gonna-bes” in life. Those with the quality of optimism are the gonna-bes of the world. They have a sense of self-assurance that they will ultimately accomplish whatever they set out to accomplish. Although they may experience selfdoubt, they are not hindered by it. Optimism is a close cousin to the more popular terms self-belief, selfconfidence and self-efficacy. However, optimism is preferred here because it also conveys the energy and enthusiasm that frequently accompany this sort of robust self-belief. The enthusiasm of those who know where they are going and believe in what they are pursuing is unmistakable, contagious and inspiring.

WILL The final ingredient in the recipe for expertise is will. With apologies to the many believers in the pseudoscientific “law of attraction,” visions of performance excellence do not magically manifest themselves simply

Dr. Dave Schroerlucke

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because you “put them out into the universe.” Manifesting a vision requires the deliberate execution of one’s will through persistent goal-directed activity. Will involves a dedicated commitment that is undergirded by the vision and optimism discussed above. Frequently used synonyms for what I am calling will are drive, persistence, resilience, and tenacity. Any of these words would suffice, but they do not lend themselves to the acronym that I wanted to use. The bottom line is that the pursuit of excellence is not for the weak-minded or faint-of-heart. There will inevitably be obstacles to overcome, setbacks to endure and disappointments to suffer. The road to excellence is littered on all sides with those who have relinquished their vision due to some difficulty or other. Very often the difficulty simply amounts to impatience. When the world’s foremost experts in various performance domains are asked to identify the most important mental

factor that contributed to their success, their responses almost always involve an unwavering commitment to achieving their vision at all costs. That’s what I mean by will. To realize your highest vision for yourself, you must want it more than anything else in life. You must adopt a do-whatever-it-takes mentality and be willing to make the sorts of sacrifices that others are unwilling to make. Let’s review. The necessary mental qualities for developing world-class expertise are vision (know exactly where you are going and why), optimism (believe that you will get there and commit fully) and will (want it more than anything and don’t give up when the going gets tough). Please note that I have identified these qualities as being necessary (but not sufficient) conditions for achieving performance excellence. Even with all three of these qualities present, realizing a lofty performance vision will also require top-level coaching, intelligently designed

MARCH 2019

training, adequate environmental supports, access to challenging competition and the mental skills to reliably deliver your optimal performance under stressful circumstances. The qualities I have identified here provide the mental foundation for performance excellence, not the entire structure. So there you have it. If you want to be great, you have to VOW to be great. Begin by clarifying your vision and cultivate an unshakeable belief that, with persistent goaldirected effort, your vision will eventually become a reality. Now let’s get our minds ripe!

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WATER WITH BLESSINGS Middletown Organization Provides Safe Drinking Water In Developing Countries Writer / Julie Engelhardt Photographers / Mary Meyers and Bobby Ellis

Middletown is home to an organization that’s creating a big splash worldwide, and they’re doing this by saving lives. Tucked in two office suites behind Middletown Copies and Printing on Old Shelbyville Road, the organization is Water WITH Blessings — a non-profit that makes it possible for thousands of people to have clean, safe drinking water in developing countries. Finding a way to provide fresh drinking water for residents in these countries began 12 years ago. Three friends, Sister Larraine Lauter OSU (Executive Director at WWB,) Jim Burris and Arnie LeMay were working together as support staff on a medical mission team, headed by Burris, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. They were treating patients with stomach parasites and other illnesses. During one of their missions LeMay, who’s an engineer by trade, observed if they were able to clean the drinking water, then half of the patient load wouldn’t even exist. The three friends began learning more about the negative impact of dirty water on communities such as Tegucigalpa.

“Every drop of water you get, unless you collect rainwater, you pay for no matter how dirty it is,” she says. “You’re paying a guy in a truck or paying for piped water and even that water isn’t drinkable. I’ve seen it come out chunky.” “We first responded to the need by installing a large shared (filtration) system in a local church,” Lauter says. “We found that was a mistake and a very expensive mistake at that.” This first trial cost them approximately $2,500. When they installed the system in a neighborhood of thousands of people, they were dealing with issues such as gang violence and a lot of fear among people. They encountered Issues such as who gets access to the water and who doesn’t. Plus, almost immediately, pieces were being ‘liberated’ from the system. “It just wasn’t successful,” she says. “It was an epic fail.” The group returned to the United States and began to brainstorm ideas. They were MARCH 2019

determined to find a way to help this community in Honduras, as well as others, that need a solution to clean their drinking water. They were beginning to understand that not only does dirty water cause parasites, but it was causing deaths among children under the age of five. The three wanted to work with people who had an invested interest in their children’s health. Which segment of the population would be suitable for the task? Their answer: Mothers. “We felt that mothers would be the most likely to succeed in what we wanted to do, and that was to get clean water to children,” Lauter says. They began researching different technologies and solutions available, from sand filters to various kinds of ceramic filters. They just had to put something into the hands of these women. The solution presented itself in 2007 at the Southeast Christian Church Global Missions Health Conference. The three came upon Sawyer Products and their Sawyer PointOne Water Filtration System, which has a lifetime


guaranteed. These devices, just about the size of an empty toilet paper roll, are EPA approved and produce a higher filtration standard than the bottled water you buy at the store. Once purchased, they returned to Honduras with the filters to work with the local faith leaders at a small Catholic church called El Templo Divina Misericordia (Temple of Divine Mercy.) The church leaders agreed that mothers would be the best ones to use the filters. The church also determined how says. “Everyone sees that and everyone to choose the recipients. accepts that this is fair and just.” “So, we have thousands of households here She explains that everyone may not be and 10 filters,” Lauter says. “How are we going to do this in a way that doesn’t create happy, but they all saw their name go anger and division in the community? How into the bucket and they’re able to be philosophical about. She says this method are we going to pick these people?” has worked all over the world with their The church leaders explained to Lauter that program. blessings are for sharing, so whoever gets a filter will agree to share with other families. Ten women were chosen that first night. After their names were drawn, they They will filter the water for others. immediately began a four-hour training course. One of the first women chosen was “But, how are we going to choose these Lillian Santos. people?” Lauter questioned. The leaders told her they would use what’s called the innocent hand, or ‘La Mano Inocente.’ The ‘innocent hand’ refers to a child who cannot read, and that child will draw the names of the people who will receive the filters. The names of the people in the community were put on paper then placed in a bucket. A prayer was said and then the child began drawing names.

“We trained her to be a water teacher as well,” Lauter says. “She’s brilliant. She doesn’t have more than a sixth-grade education but that doesn’t matter. God has put smart women everywhere.”

“You put this in God’s hands, really,” Lauter

The group continued their work for a

Lauter adds that mother culture is the same all over the world. These women will do what they can to provide for their children.

few more years, eventually reaching out to other organizations, including water organizations, to see if they’d be interested in taking over. “We’d tell them it’s a great solution and it’s going really well, and we’d be happy to share the program with you,” Lauter says. “Finally, one organization said to me, ‘you really need to start this. It’s obvious you’re doing this well and you know how to do this. You need to incorporate.’” Water WITH Blessings became incorporated as an ecumenical non-profit 501 C3 organization in 2011. One of their first orders of business was to decide whether they should contain the program to Honduras or if it could be expanded to other countries. “Our approach is to partner with churches and organizations in the United States to spread the word and our work,” Lauter says. “If you have a sister church or mission site you go once a year, we’ll teach you how to

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is applying a very intensive program in Haiti in their Village By Village outreach to eradicate cholera. According to Lauter, there is GIS Mapping (Graphic Information System) to back up their data and show what areas are successfully combating this disease by having access to clean drinking water.

do this program.”

Water WITH Blessings celebrated its 10year anniversary in 2018. After starting The members of the church sign a covenant with an idea and a small team of 10 that they will do the program as taught women, the program has grown to 47 and with the materials provided by Water countries, spreading to areas in Latin WITH Blessings. America, Africa and Southeast Asian. More than 85,000 women have made the “We want people in other countries to have commitment to carry on the organization’s the knowledge of how to do the program, quest to provide clean drinking water. get local women to be the teachers, but They are also growing the Water Woman we’re going to step back and you’re going ministry in India, Nepal, Bolivia, Liberia, to it,” she says. “It’s an approach that says Kenya, Nicaragua and El Salvador. people have dignity and are smart. Poverty doesn’t make people stupid.” Their latest and biggest campaign currently

MARCH 2019

The requests for filtration devices come in daily from areas such as Honduras and Haiti. The word has spread, says Lauter. “We are working on setting up a country team for northern Uganda where there’s a huge population of refugees from Southern Sudan that have settled there,” she says. “One of our volunteers goes there for several months at a time to Uganda and helps to train water women.” Water WITH Blessings continues to grow with the help of volunteers and donors. If you would like more information about the organization, visit waterwithblessings.org.


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SPRING GARDENING IN MARCH MADNESS Writer / Carrie Petty

doing. If you want to cover them with a little newspaper or a sheet, because a blanket of ice is coming, do it! Especially cover if the flower buds are well emerged.

March madness is the appropriate term this month for any gardener in Kentucky! My husband always reminds me it usually snows during bracket season. Don’t you just love The Spring Equinox of 2019 in the Northern the Final Four? Hemisphere will begin at 5:58 a.m., on Monday, March 20. Now, can I tell you how Our family does the whole bracket excited this makes me? How utterly curious I celebration. This is a long cherished Petty think it is that a season begins within an exact tradition full of healthy competition among set of minutes. God ‘created’ Mother Nature, neighbors and coworkers. Between March whom I dig and appreciate fully, to be the 19 and April 8, the NCAA gets into high ‘hippest chick’ in the bunch! gear. A Reader’s Digest article noted that, “this year, American companies would lose I adore the perfect timing of it all. $1.9 billion in wages paid to unproductive workers spending company time on betting The English gardeners have long believed pool priorities.“ in timing when it comes to the moon’s incredible power, particularly the Gardeners also gamble on the chance of gravitational pull. The Farmer’s Almanac snow and spring frost. reads, “Folklore is rich among farmers, given their close ties to Earth and her Spring snow in the garden often causes some natural rhythms. The moon’s new and panic. Many worry that daffodils will start first-quarter phases, known as the Light to sprout too early. “Will they be ok?” Folks of the Moon, are considered good for often ask me. The answer is usually, “Yes!” planting above-ground crops, putting down sod, grafting trees and transplanting Here’s the deal, Mother Nature has the whole in the late spring.” timing thing down. She is all about timing. So when you see those little crocus sprouts, or And, you have to love this tip, “Dig your the tips of your tulips begin to emerge, don’t horseradish in the full moon for the best worry too much. They know what they are flavor.”

This is good to know for that savory Bloody Mary on Sunday NCAA game days! While I love the perfect timing of it all, it is ok to ‘force’ a few things along the way, too. Now is a great time to plant small vessels with Wheat Grass seed to use indoors for your Easter table centerpieces. Wheat Grass is like regular grass seed but the blade is thicker for a more pronounced tuft of green! Also, get out and clip a few branches off your blooming trees and place them in a vase of clean, warm water. In about two weeks, their buds will break and begin to swell and soon you will have fresh crabapple, cherry, dogwood, redbud blooms indoors. This is a great task for children to do and will inspire their curiosity in the garden. Let the Madness Begin!

MARCH GARDEN CHORES:

Keep feeding those birds.

(While it is too early to plant, there is much to do!)

Improve soil by adding organic mushroom compost.

Continue to sow seeds indoors.

Finalize new garden designs and additions to your flowerbeds.

Clean and disinfect garden pots prior to planting.

Double-dig any new garden beds now.

Pick up some Pansies at the garden center.

Pot-up left over bulbs stored in garages for Easter bloom.

Clean up winter debris.

Fertilize Rhododendrons and Azaleas.

Position birdhouses in high, safe locations.

Fertilize all flower gardens with 10-10-10.

MARCH 2019


REMEMBERING MOLLY MOLLY JOHNSON FOUNDATION PROVIDES RELIEF FOR FAMILIES WITH SPECIAL NEEDS CHILDREN Writer / Shannon Siders

from those organizations. We wanted to reach out to people who were struggling with smaller stuff.”

Robin and JoJo Johnson turned the unimaginable heartache of losing a child into a charitable effort that has helped dozens of families in the Jeffersontown area and beyond. Founded in 2012, the Molly Johnson Foundation was created to make a difference in the lives of special needs children and their families. Robin and JoJo, who live in Fisherville but attend St. Michael Catholic Church in Jeffersontown, wanted to find a way to connect with special needs children while also carrying on the legacy of their daughter. “We started the foundation because we realized there was a need for families with special needs kids to have avenues to go to for help,” JoJo says. “There were large organizations, but sometimes you have to jump through a lot of hoops to get help

Molly was diagnosed with WiedemannRautenstrauch Syndrome at birth in 1996. The rare genetic disorder is a neurological condition found in less than 100 children worldwide. The Johnsons also had a son, Elliott, born with the same condition in 1993, who passed away at just nine months of age. Children with the condition are affected by many different characteristics, including small stature, poor growth and development and a depressed respiratory system. Molly was never able to walk, talk or do many of the normal things children do, but she lived a full and happy life before she passed away in her sleep on November 2, 2007.

Throughout Molly’s life, the family was turned down several times by insurance for medical equipment requests. The needs were not always expensive, but the extra cost put a burden on the family. “We thought people could come to us, we could assign a board member to them, meet with them, look at their background, what their difficulties are” says JoJo on what inspired the start of the foundation. “We can grant that need to make their life a little better.” The Molly Johnson Foundation has provided support for nearly 30 families, totaling more than $250,000, and they have not had to turn down any families locally. In fact, the foundation is often in search of more families to help and turns to therapists, teachers and doctors who can help connect them to families in need.

atMiddletown.com / MARCH 2019 / MIDDLETOWN MAGAZINE / 33


Many of their projects surround making homes more accessible for families with special needs children. Insurance may pay for a wheelchair for a child, but the family is left on their own to build a wheelchair ramp. JoJo has provided professional services through his company Don Johnson Contracting to help families renovate their bathrooms and homes to make them more wheelchair friendly. “I think we’re at an advantage because being a contractor and the parents of two handicapped children, we know what works in a home, and we can make suggestions,” Robin says. “The child is only going to grow and become bigger, and you have to think about that.”

One of the foundation’s largest projects was a complete home makeover for a Jeffersontown family that was ready just in time for Christmas a couple years ago. Many of the services and new furniture were donated for the house, and the foundation helped cover the rest. In addition to home renovations, the foundation has also helped three families get a service dog that can detect seizures, provided a portable feeding pump for an eight-year-old boy and helped with travel costs for families to deal with medical issues out of town. “Sometimes we pay for airfare or lodging when families need to go out of state to see a specialist,” JoJo says. “Their insurance

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WE WANT TO GIVE AWAY WHATEVER WE RAISE BECAUSE IT’S ALL 100 PERCENT TO THE KIDS.

might cover the medical treatment and hospital stay, but we’ve helped with other costs while they’re out of town, scared to death because of their child. We can help alleviate some of that worry.” The foundation has been an “all hands on deck” effort for the Johnsons, and their daughter Ellie joined the board of directors following her graduation from the University of Kentucky last year. Ellie was just two years older than Molly, and the only life she knew was with her sister.

Molly went to school for six years.

Following Molly’s death, the Johnsons knew they wanted to fill the hole in their family and adopted a daughter, Olivia, who was born nine months to the day after Molly died. The now 9-year-old Olivia also helps participate in events for the foundation, carrying on the legacy of her sister she never got to meet. Ellie is now the special education teacher at Tully Elementary, in the classroom where

“She’s walking in the clouds,” says JoJo, who recalled a conversation with Ellie while she was still in school saying she’d be excited to end up at Tully someday. “She’s so energetic, and she’s on the new and cutting edges. She’s so into learning about every one of those kids’ conditions. We’re really proud of her.” The passion Robin and JoJo have for helping special needs children and their families is palpable and provides a great source of comfort for the families they help through the foundation.

“Just to meet other families, share stories and know there’s other people out there — that alone helps a lot and is invaluable to us,” Robin says. “We didn’t have any foresight as to how this would play out but it was a great thing. Hopefully we’ll help double the families next year.” The foundation relies on several signature fundraising events each year, including the Black & Yellow Ball. The seventh annual event took place in January at the Marriott East. The event raised over $230,000 and was attended by over 500 people.

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In addition to the ball, runners have represented the Molly Johnson Foundation at marathons in 14 states, including the Kentucky Derby Festival Marathon and Mini Marathon. The foundation also hosts a 5k, golf scramble and other smaller events throughout the year. “We want to give away whatever we raise because it’s all 100 percent to the kids,” Robin says. “We raise it, it all goes to the kids. We’d rather have nothing in the account because we’ve given it all away and go out and raise more money.” More information about the Molly Johnson Foundation, including how to participate in other upcoming events held in 2019, can be found at themollyjohnsonfoundation.org

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Middletown Magazine March 2019  

When Brian Haara, longtime Middletowner, decided to publish a book on bourbon history he didn’t want to release another run-of-the-mill acco...

Middletown Magazine March 2019  

When Brian Haara, longtime Middletowner, decided to publish a book on bourbon history he didn’t want to release another run-of-the-mill acco...

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