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Saturday, August 11, 2012

Sarah's Olympics!

Good morning!

I can't believe it, but the 2012 London Olympics are very nearly over.  It seems like not a minute ago we were watching Queen Elizabeth parachute out of a helicopter and Mr. Bean play "Chariots of Fire."

While watching more than my fair share of coverage, I couldn't help but note that there's a group very under represented in any and all Olympic events.  We have the Olympics, where the super fit able bodied compete.  We have the Para Olympics, where the super fit not quite as able bodied compete.  But there's another section of the population that could, and probably should, get up and compete in, well, something.

Ladies and Gents:  I give you, the Sarah Olympics!

And Sarah in Lane 3 has just drowned
in the first 50 meters.
The Sarah Olympics are for the not at all fit.  These are contests where people like me rise up from their couches and their bags of Frito's and compete in athletic events for which they have no training or measurable ability.  I got the idea last when while watching swimming with my friend, Marie, and her husband, Dave.    It was one of those backstroke races and you know how they have to enter the water by sort of diving backwards underwater? Well, Dave and I both agreed that if real people were in the Olympics, at least one of those swimmers would start the race but never surface, having inhaled a noseful of pool water.

Thus an idea was born, an idea that developed then with the help of Hubby, who suggested that events for the former couch huggers be assigned according to a draw from a hat. 

Yeah, she's crying.  BUT
she managed to do 90%
of her routine perfectly.
Picture Gymnastics.  I mean, we couch sitters are pretty rough on these tiny, starved, mutant teens who can do flips and vaults, and fly from bars and seem to have no human sense of pain.  Yet have one of them fall off the balance beam while doing some sort of triple somersault flip spread eagle move and we all yell at our TV, "You are terrible!"

Until, in the Sarah Olympics, one of us draws balance beam from a hat...and the gold medal winner will be the one who is able to make it from one end of the beam to the other without falling.  Granted, we wouldn't look at miserable as the Russian Gymnasts who sobbed their way through these games.  But then, in the Sarah Olympics, we're getting people off their couches...not out of gyms where they've trained for 80% of their lives for this one huge moment.

Anything involving the word "bars" would be right out for me.  The last time I had to hold my body weight up or pull it up on a bar, was the President's Physical fitness test in high school.  They had me stand on a chair, and get my head and shoulders above a high bar.  The idea was for me to hold myself in that position, once they removed the chair.

They couldn't get the stop watch started fast enough.  I believe I clocked a 2 second hold.  I wasn't the worst in my class...there was one girl who fell to the floor before they turned on the stop watch.

Now I'm not suggesting we put in the games that everyone plays.  In the Sarah Olympics there would be no Table Tennis, Badminton, Basketball, Soccer, or Tennis.  Basically, if I've played it and managed to be on a winning team at any point, it's not an Olympic sport.  Granted, the athletes in those events have taken backyard fun to a whole new level, but still, if a couch sitter CAN do it, then it shouldn't be an Olympic event.

She finished ahead of 7 other runners.
Distance running has always been a fascination of mine.  True, it's dull as toast to watch on television, but I'm in awe of anyone who can run more than nine feet.  One of the most enduring Olympic images in my brain is from the 1984 Los Angeles games when Swiss marathon runner Gabriela Andersen-Schiess staggered into the arena.  It was clear there was something very, very, very wrong with her.  Severe heat stroke had pretty much paralyzed half her body but she waved away medical personnel and finished with a time that would, in the first five Olympics, won her a gold medal. 
This year's gold medalist made it
500 yards before collapsing.  It's a
Sarah Olympics record!

In the Sarah Olympics, the marathon would look a little more like the "Bring out Your Dead" scene in Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail.  Someone with a cart just follows the runners around, picking up the ones who have fallen.  Gold medal goes to the person who completes the most in the 26.2 mile race.

Bronze medal.
Another event that fascinates me is diving.  I got pulled into diving big time.  I love the water, and I don't mind heights so much.  But put the two together, and then make people twist and turn and swing around in the air before hitting the water, and I'm hooked.  Of course, the Sarah Olympics would look a bit less like the current Olympics, and a bit more like a Mr. Bean sketch from years ago.
Gold medal.
Silver medal

I love the idea of track and field events in the Sarah Olympics.  The Shot Put competition would be measured in inches...and I have a feeling the bronze medalist wouldn't have to do much more than actually pick up that big honking ball.

(Check this video!)
Hurdles.  Yeah, I did a hurdles unit in gym class in college.  I liked the hurdles.  See, what I did was made sure I had the hurdles on the very end.  Then I'd run up to the hurdle, and run around it. In the Sarah Olympics, the hurdles competition would just be a mess.  The track would look like Christmas Day in a house where everyone got Tinker Toys.  High jump, long jump, triple jump.  All measured in inches, not feet or meters. Weight lifting?  Sure...I could probably lift that bar thing that holds the weights.  In the Sarah Olympics that might be enough for a bronze. So as you're enjoying the final moments of the Olympics, and if you check out the Para Olympics, which are coming up in the next couple weeks, think about this.  How would YOU do, if you competed in the Sarah Olympics?
A final video for your amusement!

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