The Olympics and competition

It’s been a busy week. On top of work and training, Kalin has been getting ready for a busy weekend. Her mom is visiting, along with her grandmother, a great-aunt, aunt, and a cousin.

That’s right. It’s time to meet the family. 

Pray for me.

The drought continues. We had a nice thundershower on Tuesday, but it was just that, a shower. The brief deluge subsided by the time we got through our 4K tempo run. Oddly, the humidity rolled in after the storm. It wasn’t so bad Wednesday for our 6 hill repeats. It was sunny and hot, but not terribly muggy. 

I could still feel the hills in my legs Thursday morning when I went to Greco. I may have to re-think my schedule as the hills ratchet up.

Or

I could not be an idiot and start the circuit at something other than a leg station. It was a reverse lunge off a bosu ball with a bicep curl. Probably not a smart exercise to start off with. 

That might work.

It’s that wonderful time that only comes once every four years, the Summer Olympics. Frankly, I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the Olympics, be it the Summer or Winter. While not one for watching professional sports, I do enjoy watching amateur athletes compete. For many of them, the Olympics is the pinnacle of their sport.

Well, that’s pretty much the case for all the summer olympians except the basketball players. There’s not exactly a professional synchronized diving league. 

What I don’t like is the obscene amounts of money the IOC rakes in. Precious little goes to the athletes. I understand it’s up to the competing countries to fund their athletes, at the same time the members of the IOC live pretty high on the hog. It’s history of corruption is a matter of public record. I don’t expect athletes from rich countries, like Canada, to accept the handouts from the IOC. We have government funding. Corporations sponsor athletes. What about the poorer countries? Of the couple billion McDonald’s is shelling out to be the official food vendor of the games, how about kicking some into a grant program for athletes from developing countries. 

Or better yet, have the IOC members from those countries fly coach.

Like the rest of us.

By the way, what kind of mixed message is the Olympics sending by having McDonald’s as the official food vendor? While I’ve written somewhat favourably about MickeyD’s, or McRotten’s, healthy options before, having them as the only option at the Olympics is like having a single mother preach abstinence.

Oh, that’s Bristol Palin’s claim to fame? It’s not like Dancing with the Stars ever had actual stars. 

I love competition. Despite only be a recent convert to healthy living, in what sports I did play, I always gave it my all. This was mostly summers spent playing paintball. For some reason, paintball has yet to become an Olympic sport. There are plenty of shooting sports at the Olympic, but none where you get to shoot back. This is wrong.

I’ve missed out on my paintball the last couple of summers. Being carless in Ottawa doesn’t lend itself well to participating in a sport where the fields are out in the suburbs.

Sting. My A5 with a flatline barrel, fresh from the box. Before I added the response trigger, the double trigger, comp air kit …

Even if my gear was in Ottawa, I use a Tippmann A5 marker. It looks like a submachine gun. I may have made a few modifications to that effect. Point being, it’s not something I can take on the bus. I may be tempted to use it on some arsehole. I’d play at the Sunday walk-ons at Capital City Paintball. It would make Mondays at the office interesting. The running joke in the summer at the university where I worked was how many new bruises I had.

The great thing about walk-ons was that you would never know who would show up. Sometimes it would be a bunch of experienced players. Sometimes it would be a bunch of little kids. The little ones were the worst. They’d just hide behind a tree and spend twenty minutes trying not get shot or even take a shot. So much for Operation: Newbie Shield. 

One of my crazier moments was when the field’s manager, Bryan, and I were playing speedball on opposing teams and had separately decided to throw the other team for a loop by charging the centre. Back then, we were both big and slow. I’m happy to report that is no longer true for either of us. Back then, we relied on the range of our markers and the speed of our trigger fingers to pick players off the break and suppress the advance of the opposing team. No one would have expected either of us to charge the middle. I remember saying to my team, “I bet they’re so stunned they don’t even shoot.”

I guess Bryan had the same idea. As I charged forward, so did he. Spheres of paint zinged passed us. As we slid into opposite sides of the centre bunker, we raised our markers and fired upon each other … point blank.

Both our shots connected and broke. Bryan landed in a better position and had the drop on me. I, on the other hand, had somehow managed to grab the flag. Actually, we probably knocked it out of its hole and it happened to land on my side. The point is, it was on my side. Bryan would have to leave cover to come across to get it. So when Bryan said I got shot first and was therefore out, I replied, “Okay, see you in the deadbox.”

I ball hit the hopper of his marker before I finished the sentence.

In many sports, sometimes you sacrifice your individual position to give your team the advantage.

You can guess what I can think of the news of teams throwing matches outright so they can get an easier ride in their tournaments or avoid a trip to Scotland. This is the height of your career. You only have this chance once every four years. Bring your all or move aside for someone who will. If formerly fat me can charge through field of paint zipping past me at 300 fps, you can swing a raquet at a plastic shuttle.

In running, I only have one competitor. It’s my last finish. When I’m in queue to start with 7,000+ people, I know I’m not crossing that line first. Unless it’s a really small race, I’m probably not winning in my age category either. My only competition is myself.

He’s a bit of dick, too.

Allons-y!

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2 responses

  1. Hey there – don’t get me started on junk/fast food marketing and sport much less Mcdonald’s and Coke’s claims they don’t market to kids yet are sponsoring the Olympics.

    As for your strength training – rear elevated lunge (bulgarian split squat) is all about the glutes and stabilisers . I would actually not do any leg work less than 24 hours after hills which are training the same muscles. Easy cross training after a hill workout (yoga, swimming, steady state spinning).

    1. Yeah, I was thinking I should hold off until lunchtime or even after work before doing a full workout on Thursday.

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