Monday, May 25, 2015

BBQs When Your System is not Ready for Such Food

Don't eat this meal on a regular basis if you do not wish to build up arterial plaque in really bad places.
 My dad barbecued for my friends who are here, which was a kind thing for him to have done. Unfortunately, it was my first exposure to beef after my stomach ailment of a couple of weeks ago, and my gastric system was apparently not quite ready for beef. I'm suffering as though I ate at one of Bobby Flay's restaurants. I will probably live, but I'm in a bit of agony right now. The group, including the non-med-school students, is in my room studying. I run out every few minutes to hurl or have other issues. Studying must go on.

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.



  1. Cute outfit! Red meat in general is not always kind to me either. My secret as a fast runner (long ago) was to run scared.

  2. Running scared would certainly be a motivating factor.

  3. I'm very impressed with anyone who can hurdle, especially someone not tall. I'm short (I actually have an inch on you) but all my height is in my torso so I have short legs. I still remember being terrified of the little fake hurdles in gym class in 2nd grade. I'm very flexible (thanks hypermobility syndrome!) but short legs + poor proprioceptiom + zero athletic skill was a bad combination lol. I still think watching hurdles is like watching magic but I think gymnastics is about the same. My 3 yr old is starting to exhibit some signs that he may have the same connective tissue disorder as me so I'm really pushing for swimming for him which he likes anyway. He has my long torso and some really big feet so he may actually be good at it! Good luck with finals! Sounds like if your group is asking you all the questions you are probably in a pretty good position.

  4. I like the way that you said "It's fun to see their reaction to a little white girl who hurdles like she's from the west coast of Africa!" I did not understand if the picture above was you or someone wearing what you wore. If it is you, your hair is very straight especially compared to what it was.

    As far as arterial plaque buildup, it can break off from elsewhere and then travel to the heart or brain causing a heart attack or stroke, or to sound like a doctor, a myocardial infarction or cerebral vascular accident.

    Two months ago in March I went to Oxnard, CA for a convention. The temperature was in the 80s so many were on the beach. I was talking to a stranger that lived there and lived in one of the houses on the beach. So I asked about how much do they cost. She said they all cost over a million dollars.

    I read that many celebrities from Beverly Hills bought houses on the Oxnard Beach. Only 4 blocks away was the bay with many houses on the bay with big boats.

    1. My outfit was borrowed from my friend's ;itt;e sister.

      When I was hurdling and switched to the 400 meter, one of the track team athletes siad, "Now you're running like a little white girl. Shorter distance hurdles are definitely my forte. the athlete did call me over to show me off to some of her friends at the 100-meter hurdle distance. they were all somewhat dumb-founded, as in how could I possibly extend my legs so far. In actuality, my legs aren't THAT much shorter than theirs. I just have a much shorter trunk.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks. My friend's little sister has a flair for fashion. I may take her shopping with me next time i go, though I do most of my clothing shopping on line.. If I but her an outfit or two, it will be fair.

  6. Alexis, I still do not understand if the picture above is you or your friend's sister.

    1. It is I. my friend's little sister is 100% Asian.

    2. Thanks! I see how your squinting and other things can make your light blue eyes look like they are dark brown.