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Curiosities of the Athletic Worl ...

Posted Jun 13 2009 12:00am
Curiosities of the Athletic World and a Few From the Not-so Athletic

Chicago Sam responded to my blogger tag game of coming up with six weird things about yourself. I'm glad he responded; he focused on the weird aspect that he has been a runner for years, yet he is a smoker. He wants desperately to become a non-smoker and I wish him all the luck in the world in wrestling the nicotine beast. I slayed my nicotine dragon almost 12 years ago. It still heralds as one of my greatest accomplishments. But the smoker/runner/exerciser has always held fascination for me. For me, the two things were mutually exclusive. One could not exist alongside the other. When I was a smoker, I could barely recite nursery rhymes without gasping for breathe. The notion of heading out the door to run after snuffing out a cigarette would have been an impossible feat. I think every runner knows one of these smoker runners. My brother-in-law works with a very fast female marathoner that lights up after running a 3.5 hour marathon. "But how in the heck....?" It defies logic. I think this group of people would make an excellent sample a medical research study. I guess it's just another example of the human bodies ability to adapt to any and all stresses placed upon it. But I think, "Well imagine what these people would be capable of if they kicked the habit?" I bet that 3.5 hour smoking marathoner would suddenly find herself in the elite running circles. Smoking can only dull your potential. Best of luck Sam!

The other group of athletic curiosities that furl my eyebrows in disbelief are the runners that can really put the liquor away and then go running the next day. I can have maybe two glasses of red wine the night before a long run without it affecting my run. If I go beyond this, I'm asking for instant dehydration, slowness, and a headache to beat all. I'm not disparaging running drinkers or smokers--if anything I'm envious in their ability to imbibe yet keep up with the running life. But...it doesn't work well with the balanced life. I've got to keep the plates both spinning and balanced for things to work with me. Smoking would surely take hold of me, so I will never take the first puff, or else the dragon lady smoker would re-emerge. I have to watch my drinking too and not go beyond what I know to my limits--lest I start in engaging in public displays of behavior that would have Mr. Sensationally delivering divorce papers.

Another curiosity are the runners that stay injury free no matter what. I don't feel I'm particularly injury prone, but I have my weak spots--have already inflamed both I-T bands to all hell. I feel little tight twinges on occasion that serve as little voices to let me know my I-T bands are just a couple over-tight bands of beef jerky. I have to stretch them compulsively and regularly to keep them happy. Also, I have to keep up the sadistic series of squats, lunges, and other non-sense to keep everything strong enough to bear the load of the over-tight beef jerky bands. But I know some runners who battle practically nothing. Debi comes to mind. And Mike K. They have been very very fortunate in regard to keeping the injuries at bay. I look at them and again marvel....wow!

Now this next set of relative non-athlete really makes me mad. I consider myself a very fit and toned athlete, but darn it....l work like heck for it! I was just barred from participating in a weight loss challenge at work, because I'm one of the despicable skinny people! Of course, I don't need to lose any weight, but I felt they were putting me in this category of women that are just naturally skinny. Heck no! I'm thin because I run like a maniac! My body is the result of much training, work, and careful eating. The people I'm really mystified by are the ones that don't exercise all that much...and they still have great legs or a body that appears as though they spend the whole day in the gym. These are the despicable ones! I've seen the workouts of some of these celebrities...they maintain these gorgeous bodies on just 10 minutes of strength training three times a week! Are they lying? They've got to be lying or just genetically inclined to great legs. Hmmm...I guess it all goes back to a very wide genetic diversity. I suppose it's what makes people so interesting--that we are all so different.
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