|Don't eat this meal on a regular basis if you do not wish to build up arterial plaque in really bad places.|
Earlier today we had a nice day at the beach. The Pacific along the California coastline is cold, but people get in and swim anyway as long as there is no undertow, which there wasn't. Our beach doesn't usually have an undertow, but once in awhile conditions favorable to it appear, and then everyone but the idiots stays out. The beach itself is lovely. We played football and volleyball more than we swam, anyway. I only play volleyball with beach balls. Even moderately weighted foam rubber balls can damage my wrists, and I cannot afford to have damaged wrists.
I'm supposed to be able to run up to a mile now, but the food sensitivity threw a real wrench into my running plans. Maybe I'll be OK tomorrow. I'm looking forward to hurdling. I haven't hurdled at school when any actual track people or coaches were present. It's fun to see their reaction to a little white girl who hurdles like she's from the west coast of Africa. At another school across the bay, they tried to recruit me last fall until they found out that I was already through undergrad studies.
The advantage gymnasts have against both dancers who become hurdlers and pure hurdlers in the 100-meter high hurdles is that we don't usually have a preferred lead leg for hurdling. In perfect conditions, this shouldn't matter. One should require 8 steps (unless one is Lolo Jones with legs that extend all the way to the Northwest Territory) to get to the first step, and 3-steps between hurdles. If conditions are somehow not perfect, however, gymnasts don't have to stutter-step (adjust the length of steps just before hurdling) to end up hurdling with the preferred leg. A potential problem here is that if you practice equally with both legs, neither leg is getting s much practice as the preferred leg of a hurdler who has a preferred leg. One can get around this as long as her bones, joints, and connective tissues are in excellent condition by practicing just a bit longer than does the average hurdler.
|Lolo Jones, with her legs roughly the length of the Nile, who needs only seven steps to reach the first hurdle|
In the 400-meter low hurdle, because you run on the curve of the track, it's best to hurdle with the left leg, which initially involves counting steps. (A longer-legged hurdler can make it to the first hurdle in 23 to 24 steps. I was not so blessed. It took me 25 to 26 steps on most days. might have been.still, if I had to hurdle with my right leg even on a curve, it was preferable to stutter-stepping in term of lost time, so it was still an advantage.
The decided disadvantage to most gymnasts as hurdlers is that we're not usually 5'8". I'm shortish (5'3") but that's big for a gymnast, and my height is in my legs, so I wasn't as disadvantaged as most former gymnasts would have been in hurdling.
The bottom line for me was that my legs were enough shorter than those of the competition that it took less time to get them started, and the race was too short often for them to make up the time. The shortness became a detriment in the full 400-meters, where the longer-legged girls had plenty of distance to make up for lost time at the beginning of the race.
|The "sexy" outfit I wore to capture the males' attention during presentations|
If you're a former gymnast who desires to hurdle, go for the 100-meter races.
My study partners are growing impatient with me. They don;t care about hurdling, or long or short legs, or the number of strides it takes to reach a hurdle. They want me to focus both on abdominal aortic aneurysms and on arterial plaque buildup, the locations it is most likely to occur, and the relative dangers of each. They're all total buzzkills, but I'll stop my dissertation on track and field and share with them what I memorized five weeks ago. I'll help them as long as my gastric system allows, anyway.