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Meet a real no-twitcher

I ventured downtown a couple of Saturdays ago just as the Depot Dash was ending.

It reminded me of how long it has been, since high school, that I have done any serious running.

When I played football in high school, our coach made it voluntarily mandatory that we participate with the track team. Never mind that I was as slow as cream rising on buttermilk. To me it was an unnecessary diversion from my part-time job, which equaled less gas in my car.

My feelings would always get hurt when the coach would never enter me in a real track meet. He excluded me in spite of insisting that one day I could be a good miler or two-miler. Phony encouragement was his fortÈ.

He eventually explained to me that I couldn't run in a meet because the only device appropriate for timing me, a sundial, was too cumbersome to bring along. The battery would go dead on a stopwatch before I finished a race.

In college I enrolled in one of UGA's now famous coaching classes, Techniques of Coaching Track and Field. The teacher made us assist with UGA track meets and I lit up like a roman candle one day when he told me I would make a good weight coach. Since I was assisting with the shot put and discus events I assumed he meant these should be my specialties. When he later elaborated on my weight, I got the jist of his sarcasm.

In a graduate kinesiology class at Georgia Southern, we studied the theory of fast-twitch versus slow-twitch muscle fibers. Some researchers contended that over time sprinters developed fast-twitch muscle fibers and marathoners would develop slow-twitch fibers.

After a long discussion speculating about middle-distance runners, or those that did not run at all, I wasn't surprised at the professor's conclusion.

I was obviously a "no-twitch" specimen.

Running is not a spectator sport. I excel in watching team sports and second guessing coaches. This allows me to use the fibers in my brain rather than those in my legs.

The trouble is those fibers seem to be a match.

Web posted on Wednesday, December 17, 2003

Temperature:53° F
Wind:from the W at 5 MPH
Visibility:10 miles
Dew Point:53° F
Updated: 04-Nov-2010 10:01

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