Saturday, February 20, 2010

Project Freak...???

If you know me, in real life, you'd know that I have been strangely obsessed with Olympic Snowboarder, Shaun White. I'm talking relentless google-searching, changing my iPhone background, Tivoing all of his interviews, obsessed. So, what's the deal? The guy isn't THAT hot...

Yes, but he is THAT good. Today, I figured out that the thing that is so enchanting about Shaun White is that, literally, no one can do what he can do. He is the absolute best at what he does. Yes- there are people that are CLOSE to him in terms of skill level but, as his final Olympic snowboarding run proved, he is just the best of the best. That's kind of crazy to think about...

I was running with my group of trainees in the SF Marathon program today, and one of the remarked how much his fitness level had improved in just four short weeks since the beginning of the program. I told him that, yes, the time when a person first gets off of the couch to when they become an intermediate athlete is the time when they see the largest, and fastest, gains in fitness. I then, stupidly, said, "It's the shift from intermediate to advanced and elite that separates the humans from the freaks..." My trainee chuckled and I confirmed that he had made great gains and should be very proud of himself.

So- what's the deal...why is it so hard to go from good to great? Is it because most of us have full-time jobs, family responsibilities, school...?? According to my hubby, it's because we spend too much time on the internet. While watching the Olympics Opening Ceremonies, I told hubby that I was so amazed by the athletic ability of the Chinese. China always bodes well in the summer and the winter games. Hubby says, "They're so good because they don't have Google or YouTube..." So, I guess (human)- (YouTube)= Gold Medal???

Anyway, I've determined that there's got to be something else that boosts athletes to the next level. I'm pretty sure it's something like an "x factor"- or, better yet, a "freak factor". I mean, really, Michael Phelps, Apollo Ono, Meb Keflezighi, Lindsey Vohn, etc. all work VERY hard- and yet, there are athletes that work just as hard, and just can't catch them. So- there has to be something else at play here. What is it???

Since I'm pretty certain that I DON'T have the freak factor, at least not when it comes to running, I've decided that the only way I'm going to get better is to just bust my tail. Therefore, I'm launching a new project. My friend, D, has asked me to help her work out- so, that's going to be my excuse for getting back into the gym. Once I get there though, I'm planning to just go nuts- push myself like I've never pushed myself before. It begins tomorrow....because, really, just because I don't have the freak factor, doesn't mean that I can't just be a freak.

Apollo Ono- He's A Freak Too...

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