The facts surrounding the dropping of Nick Symmonds from Team USA before the start of the IAAF World Championships in Beijing continue to be discussed in sporting news. The question we have to ask ourselves is whether sponsors are given too much leeway when it comes to the stipulations for competing on the national team that have little to do with their athletic ability.
At what point is this considered overreaching, especially when the sponsor goes as far as to require athletes to only wear their brand, including underwear, but still allows them to wear other branded footwear and sunglasses.
I’ve got a pet peeve when it comes to workouts (actually, I’ve probably got a lot, but we’re only going to talk about one today). My big complaint about a lot of workouts is that it seems like people don’t put any thought into what they’re trying to accomplish.
Partly I think the rise of exercise physiology is to blame. Don’t get me wrong, huge advances have come from the scientific study of running. But I think the focus on measurable physiological factors has misled us.
Life these days features near constant change. Family members move across the country from each other, technologies become obsolete months after they are introduced, and mid-life career changes are now the norm.
In the midst of all this upheaval, it is easy to lose a vital piece of our social lives: tradition. Tradition provides an important connection to our past, but it also provides something more.
Social theorist Anthony Giddens argues that tradition provides a framework for action that doesn’t require us to question alternative options. Tradition can therefore provide us with needed comfort and security in a world of confusing possibilities.
In the modern world, however, we are quickly losing that sense of tradition. As we move around the country, switch jobs, and change social circles, we are confronted with nearly complete autonomy and an endless array of possible actions. Without tradition to help guide our choices, we can become virtually paralyzed with options...
Last year, my dad died of pancreatic cancer. Today, March 30, would have been his 55th birthday. My thoughts drift away in memory. The reason I even decided to start running track was because my dad always spoke so fondly of his high school hurdling days. I was 6-years-old then and just wanted to do everything my dad did...you remember those days.
I remember all those sunny Saturdays at the track while other kids were doing little league. Between events, I used to sit in my dad's lap in the stands. He would ask me if my muscles were sore. They never were, but I always said yes because then I got a little massage.
While my mom was screaming her lungs out on the sideline for me, my dad sat back calmly and quietly. Of course, I didn't realize until a few years ago that he was probably more nervous than I was. Another thing I didn't realize until later was that my dad bragged about my track success to anybody and everybody—just out of my earshot.
Oh, come on...you know what I'm talking about. Long-distance running has a way of cleaning out the pipes—even if they were already clean. If you have other friends who run or are connected in any way to a running community, no doubt this topic of conversation has come up at least once. Some refer to this phenomena as “runner's trots.”
Very clever. Bravo.
Dr. Edward R. Laskowski of the Mayo Clinic defines runner's diarrhea as frequent loose stools during (these are fun) or after long runs. The trots are most commonly experienced by, of course, marathoners and other longer-distance runners. Dr. Laskowski says, “The cause of runner's diarrhea isn't clear. One theory is that extreme exercise directs blood flow away from the intestines — contributing to diarrhea......”
Winter is supposed to be cold and snowy, right? So why did the winter of 2009-2010 seem so awful? If you live in parts of the South and Mid-Atlantic and feel like you were complaining about winter weather even more this year, don’t worry. When you look at some of the facts, I think you’ll feel you’ve earned the right to complain. I know I do.
It’s hard to imagine that just a year ago, states from Texas to Alabama to North Carolina were as dry as a bone. The Southern United States was in a drought. As a runner living in a drought-affected area, I never thought about needing a rain shell. The trails I ran in North Georgia were so dry, any light wind kicked up a mini dust storm.
“You’re like the Pied Piper of Waterville, Ohio,” my boyfriend said.
Not that I want to be compared to a character who apparently led rats and kids to their deaths (thanks for the refresher course Wikipedia), but I could see where he was going with it...