Random Thoughts from a Restless Mind

Dr. Darrell White's Personal Blog

Cape Cod

Sunday Musings 7/10/11: Summer Reading and Sir Roger Bannister

Sunday musings…

1) Google +. Facebook for big kids.

2) “Fortune knocks but once, but misfortune has more patience.” This one bears some contemplation.

3) Ninja mosquito. The monsoon season has just ended in Cleveland and we are now in the swamp season. Mosquitos the size of small hummingbirds now patrol the skies, as agile as any earthbound ninja. They apparently have quite a sense of humor, too. One bit me in the arse last night.

I’m pretty sure that’s the same one buzzing around laughing every time I scratch.

4) Roger Bannister. It’s the 40th anniversary year of Sir Roger’s epic athletic achievement, the breaking of the 4 minute mile barrier. His immediate reaction was to feel “as a flashbulb just after the flash; consumed and without further purpose.” Few know that he retired from competition 6 months after his historical run.

Fewer, still, know that Bannister was knighted not for his mile, nor even for his extraordinary career as a neurologist and teacher, but for his efforts in the 60’s and 70’s creating fitness programs for the everyday Brit. Indeed, he has often opined that the foibles and personal failures of famous professional athletes are among the greatest dangers to the fitness of the masses, discouraging the fans and presenting yet another speed bump in their path. Sir Roger became less and less a fan of professional sports as the business and the money became more and more the topic of sports conversation, elbowing aside the talk of athletic exploit, cold cash giving the cold shoulder to talk of training, of playing.

There’s a lesson here for us, I think, courtesy of Sir Roger Bannister, as our “Crossfit as Sport” takes off like the proverbial rocket. Crossfit the “Fitness program” is still primary. Ask Coach. I hear he’s spending way more of his personal time on fitness and health issues, stuff like drown-proofing babies, and not as much as you’d think on The Games and Crossfit competitions. Don’t get me wrong, I know he gets a charge out of the epic achievements of our top competitors, but I think he’s much more of the mind of Sir Roger when it comes to the nitty gritty of Crossfit (note: this is just my opinion; I’ve not discussed this with Coach).

If we all, each one of us, Crossfit HQ or John Q. Crossfit, takes just a moment to remember what Crossfit is for the masses, what it is for the vast majority of us who will never compete anywhere at all, we stand a much better chance of our future Crossfit “Roger” being more Sir Roger Bannister and less W. Roger Clemmens.

5) Summer reading. It’s also that time of year when every publication, blog, and foophy radio show comes out with a summer reading list. You know the kind, the ones with new books not to be missed, classics to catch up on, reads to expand your mind. All of it. I peruse them each year as we prepare for out annual sojourn to Cape Cod looking for the mind-numb for the drive, the hidden spot to escape whatever the “problem with Darrell” is this year.

Funny, but every list I’ve looked at this year just bores me to tears.

I don’t think my tastes have changed all that much, nor have I become any less inclined to branch out and test drive something new and different. Nope, I just think the stuff out there right now is just under- cooked pabulum put out to fill the dead air of summer. Kindle, Nook, Sony, iPad, or old-fashioned paper n’ ink, it’s all pretty much rubbish.

So what’ll I do? What will I pick up to fill the hours that otherwise gape before me like so many metaphysical (not to mention metaphorical) canyons? You know what? I think I’ll just read the last “Harry Potter”. Ya. That’s what I’ll do.

That’ll show ’em.

I’ll see you next week…

Posted by bingo at July 10, 2011 8:11 AM


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