Dear Dr. Wallace:

Please settle this family friendly disagreement. I am a cross-country runner while my older brother wrestles. He is in the 12th grade and I’m in the tenth.

Wrestlers wrestle an opponent for six short minutes with two long time outs after two minutes of combat. Cross-country runners run as fast as they can for 2 1/2 miles across fields, up and down hills and around golf courses. It takes the average runner about 15 minutes to run the race. We run through rain, sleet, snow, heat, fog and any other type of weather you can think of and we don’t have any “time out” during the competition.

With this information on high school wrestling and cross-country running, which sport do you consider to be more strenuous? We have a dinner bet on your reply!

— Runner, Erie, Pa.

Dear Runner: Luckily for you, you came to the right guy for an answer that will please you. As a high school student, I myself was a cross-country runner and my brother was a wrestler at Emerson High School in Gary, Indiana. We’ve had this same debate many times within our family. I’m still convinced that cross-country running is more strenuous and he is convinced it’s wrestling.

I’ve consulted a study by cardiologists who’ve rated all sports on the degree of strenuous exertion. The sports measured included football, ice hockey, wrestling, lacrosse, basketball, field hockey, soccer, volleyball, cross-country running, skiing, and track and field.

The results? The two most strenuous sports were tied for first — cross-country running and wrestling. But since you asked me what I thought was more strenuous, I must say cross-country by a very slim margin. Remember me when you’re enjoying your free dinner!

Dear Dr. Wallace: I am well aware that cocaine is an addictive, self-destructive drug, but I’m not positive what the destruction is besides death due to an overdose or driving an automobile while high. What other harms does cocaine cause to the mind and body? I’m dating a guy who takes cocaine, but he’s not addicted. He can control how often he uses the drug.

— Curious, via email

Dear Curious: Cocaine and crack cocaine have been linked with paranoia and other symptoms such as insomnia, depression, seizures, heart attacks, strokes, loss of appetite, birth defects, lung infections, loss of sense of smell and skin problems. People who use cocaine for the first few times feel like they are in control. It’s like steering the ship Titanic across the North Atlantic iceberg fields on a winter night on autopilot. It’s just a matter of time, and disaster is certain.

Dear Dr. Wallace: I can understand why some people do not enjoy going to class reunions because they weren’t popular when in school and they feel they wouldn’t be popular at a reunion.

— Anonymous,

Tampa, Fl.

Dear Anonymous: I’m glad that you enjoy attending your class reunions, but I thought the main purpose was to meet and greet old classmates in a symbiotic way, and discuss experiences and events at the school during your era. Consider giving my thoughts a try at your next reunion. Staying positive and a touch more humble could yield you some quite interesting and perhaps even bonding conversations at your next event — with people you would have never expected to relate to!

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