Monday, August 17, 2009

The Aptly Named Bolt

Over the course of my undistinguished athletic career, I have played organized baseball, soccer, football, basketball, tennis and even volleyball. In each I achieved a reasonable level of competence if never excelling in any of them.

For the most part, I never really dreamed of greater things. I never wished that I was taller or stronger. I would have liked to have been better at hitting baseball or shooting a basketball but for the most part I was happy being good enough just to get some playing time.

Except for one thing. I always wished that I was fast. I would have loved streaking down the sideline, increasing the gap between me and everyone else. I wanted to stretch singles into doubles and fly diagonally across the field to lay out the kick returner just before he reached the end-zone.

I can visualize myself hauling-ass across a ball field…a totally graceful, economy of motion, locked-in-the-groove picture of speed. I don’t know what “fast twitch muscle fibers” are but I've heard of them and I imagine that my legs are full of them…twitching like crackling electricity, potential energy just boiling to go kinetic!

I wish I had speed.

Usain Bolt has speed. I first heard of him last summer during the Olympics and yesterday he broke the world record in the 100 meters at the World Championships in Berlin.

Check out this video and watch him…speed as pure joy. And dig the Italian commentary too!

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