The Inspirational Olympics

I’ve been breaking away from my sedentariness (Windows tells me that’s not a word, but how can such a cool word not exist?) in front of the computer in order to practice my sedentariness (too cool not to use twice) in front of the Olympics lately.  I’m even recording them on DVR.  Nothing like recording a program that runs 24 hours a day to fill a hard-drive and knock out all those shows I’ve been meaning to delete.  But I digress.

Usually after watching an hour or two of the Olympics and marveling at the athletic spectacle of human beings actually choosing to run 26 miles, or row for 2k, or swim for a lot of ‘m’s I turn off the TV, walk up the two flights of stairs to my bed and lay there panting until I catch my breath and fall asleep.  That is if I remembered to a) take my allergy medicine and b) clean out my nose so that there is actually a pathway for air when my mouth is shut.  I won’t go into b) much.  That’s another digression.  And gross.  What they call ‘TMI’ … too much information.  That’s a digression from the digression, though.

One night while I lay panting I thought about the extremes of the human condition, and how well it adapts to different types of physical exertion.  The 26 mile runners were very lean, almost skeletal, yet contained enough energy in them to run from here to my office and back.  If I had an office.  Someone, please, make me stop digressing.

Sprinters, on the other hand, are immensely muscular and their physique was built for the rapid explosion of power and speed.  Tyler and Cameron were with me watching them race and Cameron has decided he’s going to become a foot-racer.  I told him it takes a lot of training, and he volunteered to run around the house 10 times every single day.  The next day I asked him if he’d run around the house yet and he said, "Dad… I haven’t started yet."  That digression was at least in-topic.

Watching the rowing (yes, Deb, I saw the twin brothers named Tyler and Cameron the night after I read your note!) they remarked how one of the eight-man team had been a grinder (no idea what that means) for an America’s Cup entry, and how he lost 46 pounds to become an oarsman on the team he was on.  46 pounds!  I’m sure that wasn’t baby fat, either.  A term like ‘grinder’ doesn’t sound like it’s a job sitting behind a desk eating hoho’s (like mine).  Different job, different physique, 46 pounds different!

I don’t guarantee the accuracy of any of those figures since it was late and my memory she ain’t what she used to be.

Anyway, I think I’m inspired in just a little way.  I’ve been trying to do *something* physical every evening after work.  Yardwork, walk the dogs, etc., etc.  All weekend I worked in the basement changing out the lights in the school room to use the lights we had purchased for the drop ceiling.  I’m going to be working on that again very soon, and Teresa needed light in the closet.  I figured while I was playing with electricity in the closet I might as well swap out that light, too.  It took me the entire weekend to finish.  My shoulders were a bit sore from working above my head most of the time, too.

I read somewhere that they did a study with a group of people (I think it was men, but don’t remember) who did 30 minutes of activity every day, did no activity every day and did more activity every day (I want to say 2 hours?  I don’t remember where I read it and Goggle is bringing up too many hits).  There was more of a difference in health benefits between the no activity and 30 minutes of activity people than there was between the 30 minutes and ‘x’ hours of activity.  Probably because the ‘x’ hours of activity people were dying of exhaustion.

Between that and the Olympics I have been a little bit more inspired lately to get out of my chair and do something on a daily basis.  That is, until it hits the 50’s outside.  I think I got a good 3 months before I get to get lazy again.

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2 Responses to The Inspirational Olympics

  1. Dave says:

    Sprinters and marathoners are built or "evolved" completely differently. It is not possible for humans to increase the amount of slow-twitch or fast-twitch muscle fibers they have. These fibers are what determines whether or not one can push out a "rapid explosion" vs. a sustained power flow.

  2. Art says:

    Wow!  A comment… from, um (no name).  But he looks suspiciously like David.Yah, didn’t mean to imply that they were different stages of evolution.  Just develop one particular set of muscles to do a particular job, but the human body can adapt to a completely different kind of job.Take mine for instance… adapting to a job of sitting at the computer all day has lowered my center of gravity significantly.

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