I enjoy watching the Olympics for many different reasons — the human interest stories, the faces on the Olympians as their national anthems are played, the attractive male athletes (did I say that out loud?!?)… And, I’ve been thinking about how much I enjoy seeing human feats of what would be impossible for most of us mere mortals who are in bed after most athlete have been up for hours, drinking their green sludge and running or swimming more miles and laps in one morning than I will most likely run or swim as an accumulated total for life. Divers hit the water at 35 miles an hour. The sprinters are running so hard that I’m shocked their teeth don’t break from the impact of knocking together.
If it were possible to do so without belittling the efforts of the Olympians, I think it would be interesting to compare the average human with an Olympian. For example, I could line up in the blocks next to Usain Bolt. The gun could go off and then NBC could pan the camera out to a wide angle shot to capture Bolt as he crosses the finish line while I’m still getting to my feet. Or, maybe we could see the long jump of a mere mortal giving it their best jump to put into full perspective how crazy it is for someone to jump 27 feet. In the end, I don’t think this comparison is a good idea because it would cheapen the Olympics, and also, I think some of the average people attempting these feats might risk great injury or death. In the hurdles alone, I picture much bloodshed and broken teeth.
So, I’ve settled for putting some of these Olympic statistics into the context of my life to allow myself to be amazed. For example, I just checked. I could invite a long jumper to dinner, and assuming the logistical obstacles (like the dining room wall and dog gate) were removed, the jumper could take off at the front door, fly though my dining room AND my living room and make it to fridge in the kitchen. I would go test how far I would get, but I’m afraid my neighbor would be alarmed if I went outside right now, sprinted up to the front door, and thudded onto the floor somewhere close to the bench by the front door.
I also just used the wonder of Google maps to see how far away the convenience store is. It’s 413 feet, which is 125 meters. Google tells me that I should be able to walk there in 2 minutes, which sounds about right. Usain Bolt, however, ran the 100 meter dash in 9.63 seconds. So, we’ll say the added 25 meters would take him to 12 seconds. In theory, if I were to run out of milk and the Turkey Hill could have someone waiting outside to hand over the milk, Bolt should be able to be to the store and back with the milk in less than one minute.
Hm…obviously most men don’t run as fast as Bolt, but let me think about this… If I were to marry a runner, I could say, “Hm…I could really go for some chocolate peanut butter ice cream right now.” Bam, my loving husband could jump off the couch, be to the store and back with my ice cream in less than 3 minutes. I’m going to end this post and go update my online dating profile preferences 🙂