I'm sitting on my couch right now, high as a kite on prescription pain pills. See, in an effort to finally break free from my track record of absolutely dismal climbing, I've gone to great lengths to shed some additional weight for the 2013 season, medically.
I know that polished stainless steel is a hot item these days, but in this case, it was just dead weight
Anyway, on account of my recent surgery, over the past 24 hours (during which I've done little more than hold down my couch and lazily occupy the space inside my long underpants) I've had lots of time to sit and reflect (and play Pokemon). Obviously, as I stare longingly at my currently off-limits bicycles, a recurring theme running through my drug addled brain has been sports. Mainly whether or not the athletic pursuit can possibly be worth all of this. The running tally for this year's out of pocket medical bills hovers around $4000, I haven't been able to lay on my right side in 7 months, and I'm sort of in constant fear that I'll re-break something one too many times...
Then I think to myself "of course it is."
Athletics are the best. Athletics are hard work, dedication, humility, commitment, teamwork... Sure, they can also be pain, expense, disappointment, and defeat, but even all of the negative aspects combined can't outweigh the good they can add to life.
And then there's the beauty of athletics. A brutal, filthy, solo finish at Roubaix, or the flawless, surgical precision of a team pursuit. A high jump that appears simply effortless, or eight muscle bound beasts storming through 100m, displaying the fine art of maximum effort. Any time a body, in all of its complexity, performs exactly as intended, and well beyond what the average body is capable of, it's beautiful. I can get teary eyed just remembering or imagining physical acts of athletes, behind which lay unseen countless hours of practice and training, and the (seemingly unfair) gift of a healthy and ideal set of muscles, tendons, and bones.
I've been stuck on this video all week. It really stuck a chord with me, perfectly representing what I mean when I talk about athletic beauty. If I did my blog stuff correctly, you should be able to watch it here, and I'd really recommend doing full screen and HD