Saturday, December 20, 2008

Short Track Speed Skating Nationals in STL

These images are from the men's 500 m B and A finals today at the Short Track Speed Skating Nats. We paid a whopping $5 to see the best men and women short track speedskaters in the country race. It was fun to walk right in and see a final featuring Apolo Anton Ohno. He ended up 3rd, after crashing out not once, but twice. They restarted the race after AO took out two other guys on the third lap of the first race. After much deliberation, the officials did not disqualify him and allowed him to start again. AAO led after the second lap and then fell again about 20 m from the finish on the straight away, taking out another dude with him. Not a good day for AAO. The AD and I both think he should have been DQ'd after the first crash. Someone in the lobby of the rink was showing a nice high definition replay of the first crash and you could clearly see AAO grab the arm of the guy next to him and take him down.

Of course, there is very little local media coverage of this national championship event. Reminds me of a weightlifting nationals, only there are a few more people in the stands and it isn't being held in some dank hotel ballroom. Same volunteer officials with their blue blazers on doing all the work. Very talented athletes toiling in anonymity, with some serious glutes and quads packed in their high-tech uniforms. Mostly families and friends cheering them on.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Words of Wisdom

To all my young Padawans (especially the ladies), who are about to embark on another New Year's fitness resolution:
"Tone not. Train or train not. There is no tone."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

I Don't Get It

Back in the day, it was a big deal to get your varsity warm ups--that included pants. We could actually fit pants over our shorts. Now, they just wear long sleeve shooting shirts and these things that are supposed to be shorts. How do you move in this stuff?

Monday, December 08, 2008

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Erin, not your average 6th grade teacher, is flexible, strong and fast. Oh yeah, she was a member of the 2005 World Championship team.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Girl

Sidewinder. Schlinkhaus. Jingles. Lady. Boney Cat. Skinny McMinny. Girl. We called her everything but Millie. She was sassy and surly; she was Miss Independent. She was my companion for 18 of her 20 or so years on this earth; for all of my adult life. The last few years, she couldn't hear a damn thing, but she made sure we heard her. She left us on Friday, November 28.

She was the alpha cat and knew it. When she rounded the corner downstairs to join the rest of us to watch a movie, we would hum Darth Vader's Imperial March. Murphy Fober knew he had better make room for his superior. Her hisses at him were legendary. And most of our human friends approached her with respect. She wasn't exactly Ms. Congeniality (and neither am I), but she did mellow a bit after losing her hearing. My mother and sister were often told to talk to the paw. But she loved the Athletic Director; and she knew who the real alpha cat was. I could get that cat to do anything and I could carry her around however I liked.

I found her in November of 1990 at the downtown Chicago ASPCA. She was so beautiful and athletic--a great pingpong ball player and leaper. Her little white paws and belly were lovely. She loved to sit on my lap or next to the laptop and observe. She would follow the cursor arrow and paw at it. And then she would sneeze all over the screen. I will miss my girl.