Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Channel surfing the other night and I came across the Crossfit Games on ESPN. Never heard of these before, so I opened the channel.

Happened that it was the women's finals–men were on a different night–so my wife and I watched a few minutes.

It was not the thing to watch if you think you are in shape, because pretty quickly, you realize you aren't.

Most of the women were fairly-strapping farm girls, but some of them were shrimpy. One of the leaders was like five-three and a hundred and nineteen pounds. None of them had that James Earl Jones voice that indicates heavy steroid use, they looked healthy. They seemed to be having so much fun. They were cute. 

We watched some of the events, which are designed to show both strength and endurance. They traversed a set of monkey bars, hand-over-hand. Did squats holding a 95-pound barbell locked in an overhead press. Did handstand pushups against a wall. Skipped rope, double-swing, single-hop. Pushed a three-hundred-and-something pound sled, all done against the clock–and repeated three times ...

Man, were these women fit. Sub one-twenty pounds doing squats with most of her body weight in a locked-arm overhead press? Pushing a sled that is almost three times her bodyweight?

Impressed the hell out of me.

Now, contrast that with the Oregon State Police, who are looking for a few good troopers. To pre-qualify, you have to pass the physical, and that adjusted for age. This requires, for a 25-year-old man, the ability to do, in a two-minute timed test, forty pushups. Then two minutes to do fifty sit ups. And to run two miles in 16:36.

Hell, even I can do that. 

(They don't have a category for a man my age, the oldest is 62–sixteen pushups; 26-sit ups; twenty minutes for the two miles.)

Last batch who tried out for the OSP? Seventeen of thirty-eight made the PT cut. 

Welcome to Wall-e, America. Well, almost ...


Anonymous said...

sadly, the police are probably lucky they can find that many people with that level of fitness. NPR had a radio show on obesity and they interviewed a chair salesman. His latest model, a bariactric chair is designed to hold up to 650lbs. an unnamed Govt agency bought a whole bunch at about $1300.00 a peice. I used to think alot of the reporting on fitness and obesity was overblown, but increasingly, im seeing that its not so. ive lost count of how many times ive seen scooter after scooter straining thru walmart with people literally dripping out the seat. :(


Steve Perry said...

I heard that piece on NPR, tied to one that indicated obesity might have a hormonal component -- that crash dieting can screw that up and that your intake regulators go wonky. Of course, they point out, there are those people who go on diets, lose the weight, and keep it off, and they aren't sure why.

I think it's like any other addiction -- difficult to overcome, but not impossible.

I heard a report recently said there were more obese people in the world than those who were starving. Certainly that's true in the US. Look around.