I just came across a New York photo series of Olympians along with their stats and measurements. I must say this was very surprising, because it turns out they are not superhuman but just ordinary athletes. I found it interesting to compare myself to these guys, so here’s me:

Jacob, inline hockey center forward, clubbeller, and cyclist.

  • Age 32
  • Height: 6’2″
  • Weight: 175 lbs
  • Resting Heart Rate: 45 beats per minute
  • Biceps: 13″
  • Thighs: 22″
  • Waist: 33″
  • Body Fat: 8%
  • 400m run: 62 seconds
  • Standing Military Press: 140 lbs

I think that is not too bad. What sets these guys apart is of course that they have trained very hard for one particular specialization for which they are probably also genetically advantaged. Other than that they are not from another planet and they can share the ballpark with what is possible for any human. They are just athletes.

We like to talk about net worth and how having money makes life easier. We talk about how we budget our money and what we can do with it. We talk about our cars and what kind of gas mileage they get. We talk about our homes and what we have done to redecorate them and make them more suitable to our lifestyle.

Yet rarely does anyone talk about what kind of “mileage” they get with their body or how big their “gas tank” or “engine” is. Why not? The body is after all where we live and it is something we can not replace with a better model.

When I got out of grad school, I was a lanky and scrawny guy with a resting heart rate of almost 70 and I was barely able to do a few pull ups and run a few slow miles without discomfort. It took me two years to get myself out of that lame state and start hammering out numbers that were competitive (see tomorrow’s post). Anyone can do this, so why not do it? There are plenty of excuses, but there is no beating the ease of movement, strength, coordination, and attractiveness of an athletic body. It is absolutely worth the effort.

Best of all, it costs very little except effort. It is one of the few things that can not be bought with money. Yes, I know the detractors that say that the reason that celebrities have celebrity bodies is that they can afford expensive personal trainers, etc. Bah! I have not paid for a personal trainer (I can’t afford it 😛 ). All my workouts are either done in the living room, the back yard, or on the road (the hockey is just execution) and according to DW I am bigger than many of those Hollywood celebrities. All that is required is blood and guts (and a little sweat equity).

Originally posted 2008-08-21 07:33:43.