Today was orientation day for incoming first year students at the University of Ottawa. As a professor in Health Sciences, I was encouraged to participate –along with a handful of other professors– in a “student olympics” competition between the incoming frosh from our faculty, Health Sciences (HSS), and those of the Human Kinetics (HK) faculty. For those not in the know, Human Kinetics is essentially physical education, so it’s populated by very fit, body conscious individuals.
Well, we professors arrived first. Slowly, a enormous team of glistening young HK students arrived, each with muscles atop muscles… and I’m talking about the women here! Even before their competition had arrived, they were into their warm-ups. Then, thank Zod, our team arrived, a few score of young HSS students… each about a third the size of the HK kids.
It’s tough being an aging man. See, when we men look in the mirror, we unerringly see 25 year old muscular perfection, even if we’re 41 and pot-bellied. We have a rough time of it when the truth of our past-the-prime existence is rudely shoved in our faces. And so it was for this aging 41 year old, who has often prided himself on his fitness and healthfulness. Ultimate frisbee, soccer, relay races –whatever the event, the HK kids kicked our silly butts. And I sit here now, at home, a couple of hours later, icing my lower back and eyeing the Ibuprofen on the shelf with something resembling sexual passion.
What was really humbling was watching the skill and grace of all the young people on the field, even our moderately less-than-HK-perfection HSS students. Glistening muscles, clear skin, unending energy, limitless power and tireless abundance of motivation are truly the hallmarks of the young. I had to keep reminding myself that these were people in their early 20s and late teens. In fact, some of them were as young as 17!
Getting old sucks.
But my true lasting observation was this. All the kids, each and every one of them, was a champion soccer player. Ten years ago, it would have been impossible to pluck 60 17-20 year olds from a Canadian university and expect them to have any skills at all in the game. But with the advent of soccer momhood, the game of the masses has found traction in the Canadian suburb. So these days they all arrive with mad deking abilities and headbutts worthy of a Welsh brawler. In three generations, typical teenagers will arrive in universities with expert mhuay thai or mixed martial arts skills, possibly ‘roided out to the gills.
In Other (But Sort of Related) News….
The Other Ray sends us this discussion of a high-meat diet that seems to work for one dude. Now, I’m into month #3 of my pesco-vegetarian existence. I have minimal meat cravings. But I have to admit, I’m having a hard time maintaining my protein intake. My body fat percentage has gone up and my muscle mass has definitely declined. I have noticeably less power and endurance, which was evident on today’s sports field. I can’t increase my soy intake without risking an estrogenic effect. Therefore, I’m considering admitting bird flesh into my diet. I’ll keep y’all updated.
‘Cause I feel like a little objectification today, I give you Chickipedia.
D-Mack sends us this top 8 most annoying blog commentator types. I would add as my #1, The Insecure Intellectual-Wannabe, who tries to impress us all with his big words and confrontatoinal style, but only manages to reveal his shallow understanding of all things.
Lastly today, EK Hornbeck sends us this shocking article by actor Jon Voight, which reveals some pretty amazing reactive right wing viewpoints. I think we all understand now why his daughter, Angelina Jolie, won’t speak to him. I have four comments about this article:
- Isn’t it interesting that the American right wing is quick to dismiss the political opinions of Hollywood types as pampered and uninformed… until they happen to be conveniently right wing opinions?
- It’s pretty obvious that very few people in America, or at least in media, know what the word “socialism” really means.
- There are many valid reasons for criticizing the platform of Barack Obama. Guilt by association with the likes of Reverend Wright (whom I happen to think is a fine fellow) and faulty information about Iran’s atomic program (gleaned, no doubt, from Faux News) are not among them.
- Isn’t it interesting that in a 624 word article, Voight manages to mention God three times?