Recreational therapy for veterans and military active duty

The Bond Between Mind and Body

Mental Health Monday: The Bond Between Mind and Body The mind is an extremely powerful organ in the human body. It is the center of the all around things that makes us a human being.… More

Upcoming Events Wounded Warrior Tennis Program| Mar-Jun 2019

Mark your calendar for these great upcoming fundraiser and other wounded warrior program events. 🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸🔸 PGA HOPE is the flagship military program of PGA REACH, the charitable foundation of the PGA of America. PGA HOPE… More

Wellness Wednesday: Tips and Plans On How To Stay Healthy

Wellness Wednesday:   Do you find yourself struggling to find convenient ways to maintain better health? The daily challenges of family, kids, meal preparation, commitments, careers, and others can definitely take a toll. There are… More

Wednesday Wellness: Salt Caves


How To Set Goals For You in 2019!

man with fireworks
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January 2019 Happy New Year and Setting Goals

Well, it is that time of year again when you hear all about new year’s resolutions and setting goals. You might hear things like “I am going to lose weight, I am going to exercise more, I’m going to eat better, I’m going to clean out the house,” and on and on. Did you know that most people stop or give up on their new year’s resolution probably by the third week of January. This is what I notice at the gyms I frequent, as the first two weeks are extremely busy, then it goes back to normal and you don’t see those new faces anymore. These people most likely became frustrated they may not have seen results yet, so they felt discouraged and gave up.
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I’ve done some reading on this subject and found some interesting information. Here are a few stats about what folks are wanting for the new year of 2019. Stats for New Years Resolutions:
You may want to consider setting realistic goals for yourself; not only can you set goals at the beginning of the year, but you can create goals on a weekly or monthly basis too. The idea is to set realistic, achievable goals. This way, you are setting yourself up for success at anything you set out to do! Here is an interesting article about current new ideas on how to approach setting new achievable goals for success!   Men’s Health article
You might also be asking, so what would be considered success or I do not know what goals to set for myself? Success and goals can mean different things to different people. One example of success to one person might be how proud they are of their children or another example might how talented one is at playing a musical instrument.
It is the same for goals. An example goal for me is to hike several different outdoor trails to high mountains or peaks. One of my goals for 2019 is to attempt hiking Half Dome in Yosemite National Park. I do not know how yet I will do this, but you better believe I am setting out to conquer this world-renowned hike.
I found another interesting article in; as the articles mentions ideas of  how to be happier, (perhaps on the goal list) for example it mentions: Don’t let the day end feeling angry. Read more about his here:
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In summary, it is not necessary to place this kind of pressure on yourself, you can achieve success in anything you set out to do; just remember small achievable goals, write things down, and even the simplest thing such as waking up early can be considered a success and make a positive impact on your life more than you might think! Happy New Year!
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Wounded Warrior Tennis Program Strengthens Strategic Partnership with ThanksUSA!

For over six years the San Diego District Tennis Association has partnered with the non-profit organization ThanksUSA to raise funds for its “Tennis Thanks The Troops” program which has resulted in over $30,000 in educational scholarships being awarded to military family members in San Diego.

That program got a boost recently when Geoff Griffin, Tennis Director at the Balboa Tennis Club, turned the club’s annual Thanksgiving round robin shootout into a fundraiser for ThanksUSA and collected another $1000 for their scholarship fund.
But the relationship with ThanksUSA also extends to the District’s Wounded Warrior Tennis Program, as the two groups partnered to submit a grant request to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support the 8th Annual National Wounded Warrior Tennis Camp to be held in San Diego in May 2019. 
After a five month review process involving hundreds of grant requests from across the country, the VA awarded $16,000 to the Wounded Warrior Tennis Program to support the camp.  This was a highly competitive grant, and our partnering with ThanksUSA was key to our collective success, as they also received funding for a veterans tennis program they run in the Washington DC area that is modeled after our program in San Diego.
Our Wounded Warrior Tennis Program relies on having strong relationships with numerous organizational and individual partners, and our ties to ThanksUSA is one of our most important.  We are grateful for their support, and our Wounded Warrior Tennis Program co-founders, Steve Kappes and Geoff Griffin, are proud to be among their National Ambassadors.  Learn more about ThanksUSA at

Wellness Wednesday: Managing The Silly Season!

I recently attended a yoga class and retained a few excellent ideas on how to manage wellness, stress levels, and overall health and attitude during the holidays. The holiday season is one I sometimes call the Silly Season, as the stress of this time of year can take quite a toll on you and your health.
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I have compiled a few topics and situations that you might encounter or experience during this time of year and discuss each on how you can manage through them and be successful!
  1. Learn to say no.  If you have children and care for loved ones at home and were asked to participate in a program or event. Don’t be afraid to say no, and not feel guilty. “You” take priority and so does your well-being.
  2. Take a time out. If you have family and friends visiting for the holidays, you can discretely go into another room, close the door, and do deep breathing. You can also straight standing stance, and very slowly lift your arms in front of you and all the way up above your head, then bring them slowly down. Then repeat.  Breathe.

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  3. Keep your focus on the fun, not the food! Create decorations together, trim the tree, sing carols, and talk about the memories of past holidays and laugh!
  4. Modify your eating times to match a little more with the relatives (if they came from different time zones). You might need to have a healthy fruit snack or nuts to help your blood sugar stay level until mealtime.
  5. Try your best, to stick with your daily routine.
  6. Be flexible as well.
  7. Don’t have expectations. Keep an open mind, and sort of roll with the punches and stay positive.
There are many other things you can do to help you successfully make it through the holiday season, and remain happy and healthy! Here are a few great resources to read for more information about maintaining wellness during the holidays.

Tech Tuesday: How Tech Helps Vets

Tech Tuesday 
Technology continues to grow and unbelievable advances have been made within the defense sector. From reality goggles to drones overhead, the military is finding new and remarkable ways to stay ahead of defending our nation.  Here is an interesting read about technology and the military.
Wounded military veterans are in store for new and incredible advances in health technology. I came across this article about a bright young veteran who has a quest to study medicine and has goals to help his fellow wounded veterans. Some of the topics he has brought to light include the inflammatory components of an injury, and changes in the effects of tissue damage over time.

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This inspiring young veteran is also involved in a gene therapy investigation involving neuromas, which is a common complication in amputees caused by thickening of the nerve tissue in the severed limbs. Read more about this incredible veteran who wants to help improve the quality of life for amputees. Click Here:
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Another advance in technology and the military is the development of MyVA resource and site. This allows veterans to be more engaged and in tune with their own health information, schedule appointments and reminders, and communication with their health professionals at the VA. Read more on this here:

Holiday Blues?

Mental Health Monday:
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Are you someone who is affected by the change of seasons? Well, you are not alone. Several people experience a change in their mood and attitude especially during the Fall and Winter seasons.  Whether it is the cooler temperatures, feeling less energy, or having problems sleeping, the change of seasons definitely can impact someone’s outlook and well being.

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Did you know there is such a thing as SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder); there are several various causes as well. These might include, for example, your circadian-biological rhythm with the reduced amount of sunlight during particular seasons. The change of seasons can also impact the body’s melatonin levels that affect sleeping patterns. SAD can also affect changes in weight. There is interesting information on this condition on about it. Here is the complete article here:
Risk Factors:
There are a few risk factors as well that can contribute to SAD. These might include the following:
*Being Female
*Living further from the equator
*Family history of depression or bipolar disorder
If you are someone who suffers from SAD or experiences similar symptoms, there are ways to ease the effects of this disorder.
Here is a list of things you can do today to help you combat these symptoms.
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*Lifestyle changes that can improve symptoms and lift your mood.
*You might try going outside more often, and taking deep breathes of fresh air
*Getting plenty of sunlight
*Exercising, do more activity
*Avoiding drugs and alcohol,
*Getting plenty of sleep
*Practicing relaxation exercises

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Tennis Clinics Helping Improve Vets Lives

The Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego program continues to thrive week after week. The program has been producing results as we are seeing continued improvements in several veterans who attend week after week.

The veterans are learning new skills and techniques at the same time being physically active and exercising. Witnessing these positive changes in the warriors can one of the most rewarding experiences.  Take glance at the veterans who attend the weekly Tuesday clinics at the Balboa Tennis Club in San Diego and their activity on the courts!

Tuesday, October 2018.

Volunteer Pro Instructors



Tuesday Clinics also offer a complimentary lunch to the veterans participating in the clinics.

Lunch with the Warriors

Wellness Wednesday: Healthy Living

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This past weekend I was returning home from my workout at the gym and drove past a car wash gas station business. I couldn’t help but notice the line of cars waiting to enter the car wash area, and how extremely busy this place was on a late Sunday afternoon. I was astounded by how many people were making this effort to take such good care of and the cleanliness of their vehicles.

Now I thought to myself, what if people take that concept of effort and time and put it into taking care of our own health and bodies. Obviously, these people took time out of their Sunday afternoon to drive to that car wash, then they paid money, and they did the work of drying and vacuuming the vehicle. We change the oil on our cars quite regularly and replace it with good quality oil.

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This is what we all can do with our own health as well. We can all put quality nutrients into our bodies, stay active, and/or spend that little extra money on a gym membership, just those people do for that car wash.

We know why it is important to use quality essentials for the maintenance of our vehicles; of course, to keep it running and continue with good maintenance. This is the same for our bodies and good health habits.

Eat Healthy:
Here are a few great quality nutrients for the body:

  1. Leafy Greens
  2. Vegetables / Fruits
  3. Healthy Grains: i.e. Quinoa, Amaranth, Oats
  4. Proteins: Fish, Eggs, Poultry

Here are a few examples of nutrients that may cause problems and you may wish to limit them:

  1. Baked goods- Cakes, cupcakes, cookies
  2. Process goods- donuts, zingers, cinnamon rolls
  3. Sweet cereal
  4. Pastas and breads

Stay Active:
Exercise is so critical and can help prevent many diseases as well as help maintain a healthy weight.   Routine exercise can help make you feel better overall. You might consider doing a form of exercise for 30-60 minutes about 5 times a week.

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There are a few other things that are very important to remember such as don’t smoke, and limit alcohol intake.

Here are a few interesting websites I thought had easy to read and helpful information about how living healthy can be achieved!

Wounded Warrior Tennis San Diego

Trip Summary On USTA Outreach

Recent update on the WWTP Program:
Co-Founder, Steve Kappes, recently returned from a trip to the US Open as he serves on the USTA Adaptive Tennis Commitee.  The following is a recap and overview about how the USTA is expanding their reach into the military community by holding weekly veterans clinics, similar to what Wounded Warriors Tennis Program in San Diego does.
Steve Kappes trip summary:
I just returned from New York City where I attended the USTA Semi-Annual Meeting and Conference.  I serve on the national Adaptive Tennis Committee throughout the year, and much of my time in NY was spent working with my committee members to advance tennis programming that improves the lives of people of all ages in all disability groups across the country (Autism, Down syndrome, Special Olympics, and many other cognitive/developmental/physical impairments, etc).
Of course, I’m always networking with the hundreds of other national volunteers and USTA staff members to promote military outreach and tennis programs for disabled service members and veterans, and it’s paying off.  In addition to increasing awareness of what we are doing in San Diego and making contacts for future funding and support, I was happy to learn that the USTA’s weekly veterans tennis clinics at the National Campus in Orlando are going strong (similar to our weekly program but without lunches), and the USTA staff held their 7th Military Appreciation Day at the US Open on Monday.  NBC Nightly News ran a segment on Monday that combines footage from the USTA’s veterans program in Orlando with footage from the veterans clinic the USTA ran at the US Open.  If we had we sent a few of our veterans to the US Open, they would have been included in the events of the day:
Here’s the link to the NBC segment —  you have to scroll down to Full Broadcasts, select “Nightly News Full Broadcast September 3rd” on the right, then advance the video to the 18:15 mark:
Here’s a related video the USTA produced:
Here’s a link to an article that describes other things that were planned for and happened that day:
And here are other military appreciation photos from throughout the day:
I had to be in a morning meeting in Manhattan when the all veterans’ on-court activity was going on, but I did get to the US Open later in the day, and I met all the Warriors including (surprise!) a few I knew from our own San Diego Annual Camp.
While I was there, I also met Bill Hannigan, who is the #2 guy for Adaptive Programs at the Wounded Warrior Project HQ in Florida.  The USTA national staff is establishing a partnership with WWP at the national level to grow more tennis programs for WWP-affiliated veterans (called “alumni”) across the country.  Bill and his boss will be in San Diego for the VA’s Summer Sports Clinic in a few weeks, and I invited them to visit our Warrior clinic on Tues Sep 18th to meet us and check it out if their schedule permits.

Keeping Your Mind Healthy

Mental Health Monday:

As we people grow older, they may find themselves feeling a lack of mental sharpness, slower responses, and not as quick on their feet as they were in the past. Just like our bodies, the brain needs to get exercise too. As we age, so does the brain and the changes in mental functions can accompany. There are many things you can do to help keep the brain active and improve cognitive functions etc. Here are a few:

  1. Mental stimulation. This can include activity such as doing puzzles, math problems, drawing, painting and crafts.
  2. Physical exercise
  3. Healthier diet intake.
  4. Keep you blood pressure under control.

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Read complete article here:

Another thing you can do is indulging yourself in silence and calm.

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With the tremendous evolutions in our surroundings and environment, we need to have time to process it, and so that you can benefit and gain more benefits from the experiences. Practicing yoga and meditation can have a huge impact on your mental health in a positive way.

As you continue on this quest of keeping your mind healthy, another thing to do is to maintain strong social connections. Spend quality time with friends and family, and join in on social activities. According to, here are 10 ideas on how to keep your brain sharp: