Nearly all the posts are bilingual.
Presque tous les articles sont bilingues.

English spoken. On parle français. (وكمان منفهم عربي، حبيبي)

Most of this blog's contents is subject to copyright. For instance, many of the latest illustrations I've made myself. I'm the cooperative type. If you intend to borrow some material, please contact me by leaving a comment. :-)
La plupart du contenu de ce blog est soumis aux droits d'auteurs. Par exemple, nombre des illustrations les plus récentes sont faites par moi. Je suis du genre coulant. Si vous comptez emprunter du contenu, SVP contactez-moi en laissant un commentaire. :-)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Dangers of extreme sports.

I've just heard that Ronaldo, whose nice smile I like a lot, may have reached the end of his champion football player career. He's just suffered a complete rupture of the patellar tendon, which for the lay man is located at the front of the knee. A ligament or tendon rupture is something horribly painful, more than a bone fracture. Ouch. I hope he recovers. Oh, I'm sure he'll walk again, and will probably run like you and me (at least like me, I can't know about you). But shooting penalties with the power of a cannon? That may very well be over for him.
Pro sport today is terribly dangerous to the body. Our organism has abilities of resilience and adaptation that we seldom imagine. Our mind too. High-level sportive training drafts those abilities, reveals them, and allows to beat records of speed, strength, endurance, to push back our limits towards the extreme... But everything comes at a price.
Our body's biological potential is akin to a savings account. It's meant to serve in case of tough luck: wound, illness... It's there to allow us to survive unexpected problems, far beyond the ordinary conditions of our daily life. By exploiting it to the max, modern pro sport spends it all. The cartilage of our joints, sollicited as much as possible, wears faster than it regenerates, and ends up in arthrosis at an incredibly young age. The development of muscles, plus the intensive training, don't allow the tendons to repair the micro-lesions accumulated by all that strain, and often it snaps. Weight-lifters are often stocky, because their skeleton compacts from the regular and repeated intense compression forces, especially if the growth spurt isn't completed. The "heads" in soccer imply small but here again repeated lesions to the brain, sometimes not without consequence. I mean, come on, that ball carries all the energy of a powerful kick from another professional player! Even more so in boxers: Muhammad Ali's Parkinson disease did not come from his genes, but from his job, all those terrible blows to the head like one usually undergoes only in a car accident or grave fall, therefore rarely. Normally, a KO following a blow means 24 hours in hospital for neurological observation, because KO = brain concussion = deadly danger in case of complications. (Remember that bit where they always check the eyes with a flashlight, looking for the first warning sign of pupil abnormality. A boxer's fists are a lethal weapon, for real.) Runners in the middle of a long distance or cycling race, football players in the middle of a game, have died suddenly from a heart arrest because it had a usually benign problem, or like Cameroon player Marc-Vivien Foé because a stupid dysentery had left then dehydrated and fragilised.
Exercising, moving around, making efforts within reasonable limits, is EXCELLENT for health. But pro sports are too much. Glory has a price. A very expensive price.
I'd rather become a professional in humour.

Ronaldo the icon
Je viens d'apprendre que Ronaldo, dont j'aime beaucoup le sourire gentil, est peut-être arrivé au terme de sa carrière de champion de football. Il vient d'être atteint d'une rupture complète du tendon rotulien, qui pour les profanes est situé à l'avant du genou. Une rupture de ligament ou de tendon, ça fait horriblement mal, plus qu'une fracture. Ouille. J'espère qu'il s'en remettra. Oh, il remarchera sûrement, et pourra probablement courir comme vous et moi (comme moi, en tout cas, vous je ne peux pas savoir). Mais tirer des penalties avec la puissance d'un canon? C'est peut-être bel et bien terminé pour lui.
Le sport professionnel d'aujourd'hui est terriblement dangereux pour le corps. Notre organisme a des capacités de résilience et d'adaptation qu'on n'imagine pas. Notre esprit aussi. L'entraînement sportif de haut niveau mobilise ces capacités, les révèle, et permet de battre des records de vitesse, de force, d'endurance, de repousser nos limites vers l'extrême... Mais tout a un prix.
Le potentiel biologique de notre corps, c'est un peu comme un compte-épargne. Il est destiné à servir en cas de coup dur: blessure, maladie... Il est fait pour nous permettre de survivre aux incidents imprévus, bien au-delà des conditions ordinaires de notre vie quotidienne. En l'exploitant au maximum, le sport professionnel moderne le dépense entièrement. Le cartilage des articulations, sollicité au maximum, s'use plus vite qu'il ne se renouvelle, et entraîne de l'arthrose à un âge incroyablement jeune. Le développement des muscles, et l'entraînement intensif, ne laissent pas les tendons réparer les micro-dégâts accumulés par toutes ces sollicitations, et fréquemment, ça casse. Les althérophiles sont souvent trapus, parce que leur squelette se tasse à force de subir des forces de compression très intenses en permanence, surtout si la poussée de croissance n'est pas terminée. Les "têtes" au football impliquent des lésions petites mais là aussi répétées au cerveau, parfois avec des conséquences. Enfin, quoi, ce ballon transporte toute l'énergie d'un puissant coup de pied d'un autre joueur professionnel! Encore plus pour les boxeurs: la maladie de Parkinson de Muhammad Ali n'était pas due à ses gènes mais à son métier, à tous ces coups terribles à la tête comme on n'en subit généralement que dans un accident de voiture ou une chute grave, donc rarement. En principe, un KO à la suite d'un coup, c'est 24 heures d'hospitalisation pour observation neurologique, car KO = commotion cérébrale = danger de mort en cas de complications. (Souvenez-vous, quand ils vérifient toujours les yeux avec une lampe, à la recherche du premier signe avant-coureur d'anomalie de la pupille. Les poings d'un boxeur sont une arme mortelle, au sens propre.) Des coureurs en pleine course de fond ou cycliste, des footballeurs en plein match, sont morts subitement d'un arrêt du cœur parce que celui-ci avait un problème habituellement bénin, ou comme le Camerounais Marc-Vivien Foé parce qu'une bête dysenterie les avait déshydratés et fragilisés.
Faire de l'exercice, bouger, effectuer des efforts dans une limite raisonnable, c'est EXCELLENT pour la santé. Mais le sport professionnel, c'est trop. La gloire se paie. Très cher.
Je préfèrerais devenir un professionnel de l'humour.

11 comments:

Joe Dick said...

Muhammad Ali's Parkinson disease did not come from his genes, but from his job, all those terrible blows to the head like one usually undergoes only in a car accident or grave fall, therefore rarely.

If it worked like that, wouldn’t more boxers have suffered problems like that? The most likely result of so much cranial trauma is George Foreman-esque Forrest Gump Syndrome. (Foreman did name every one of his kids George, after all.) He may not have been all that bright to begin with if he went into boxing, though. (To be fair, there’s a reason most boxers are poor.)

Our body's biological potential is akin to a savings account. It's meant to serve in case of tough luck: wound, illness... It's there to allow us to survive unexpected problems, far beyond the ordinary conditions of our daily life.

I saw a show on I think Discovery where they talked about people who, in extreme circumstances, were able to generate great strength or speed to get out of danger. (It was an all right show despite being on Discovery. It had the usual over-reliance on visual aids and repeats of the same information that all Discovery programs have. It was an hour long with about 20 minutes of information.) The ability to accelerate like an Olympic sprinter or to generate the explosive power of an Olympic weightlifter is in all of us but only comes out in moments of extreme need – for the reasons you’ve mentioned.

Exercising, moving around, making efforts within reasonable limits, is EXCELLENT for health. But pro sports are too much. Glory has a price. A very expensive price.
I'd rather become a professional in humour.


Sports in adulthood don’t make much sense anyway, considering that historically the point of them was that they were a relatively safe way to train the young for war. Once adulthood was reached it was pointless to continue. Blame the Victorians and their weird ideas for modern day professional sports.

A professional funnyman is a much better idea. Look at how much money Seinfeld has made. (He is a sports guy too, though, and probably would have gone that route if he'd had the ability.)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Like with all "risk behaviors", it's an increased probability, not a sure thing. Boxing remains immensely milder than making war in the ranks of the Spartan Army!
As for "more boxers", this knowledge regarding Parkinson's is recent. It had never been studied before. But these days, old age degenerative diseases are the latest scream. ("Scream if you remember what I did to you last Friday the 13th, old man.")
George Foreman's case can be considered like just more of the same entity, only more severe.

"To be fair, there’s a reason most boxers are poor."
I filled an unforgivable gap in my culture by watching Rocky (the original and best) a few days ago...

"It was an all right show despite being on Discovery."
You're being harsh on Discovery, man!
I'm not saying you're being incorrect. ;-)

"The ability to accelerate like an Olympic sprinter or to generate the explosive power of an Olympic weightlifter is in all of us but only comes out in moments of extreme need – for the reasons you’ve mentioned."
That principle is mentioned in the Naruto anime, about the "tai-jutsu forbidden Lotus technique". Why would a technique be forbidden, in a world where horrible and deadly techs are commonplace? Because the Lotus consists of liberating the hidden energy of the body to become invincible: it lasts for a limited time, and it's potentially fatal to its user from extreme bodily strain.
The first degree, or "gate", of Lotus can already be fatal. The maximum intensity, 8th degree is a guaranteed kamikaze move, and only used in desperate situations of sacrifice, like say protecting a nursery from a pack of T-rexes.

"Sports in adulthood don’t make much sense anyway"
Well, a sedentary "modern" lifestyle doesn't either. People leading an ordinary life used to move around a lot more until 100 years ago. I essentially view sports as a means to keep healthy in today's world. The rest... is dispensable.
Can be fun though.
I just read an article about how the endorphin secretion of sports can be a bona fide addiction in some people. Especially joggers and body-builders.

"A professional funnyman is a much better idea."
My fave sport is doing diaphs (short for "diaphragms). In everyday talk, it's called "laughing". :-)

Joe Dick said...

I just read an article about how the endorphin secretion of sports can be a bona fide addiction in some people. Especially joggers and body-builders.

I kind of socially acceptable drug addiction. But wouldn't you need greater and greater hits, or would it work like that?

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Not necessarily. If you simply keep pushing your limits, apparently that cuts it. Seems to maintain a maximum effect.
And it has the advantage to make OD impossible. Because unlike artificial substance intake, it doesen't steam-roller over the biological mechanisms. You can only ever die from exhaustion. :-P
It is notorious knowledge that several pro athletes sank into chemical drug abuse after they retired. Retiring was an equivalent of sudden withdrawal, and they couldn't cope...

"Everything in moderation."

(Everything that you feel inclined for, that is. You don't HAVE to try everything either. Especialy brocoli, eyuck!)

Johnnie Walker said...

Are weightlifters stocky because they lift weights, or are they weightlifters because they are stocky?

Hossein Rezazadeh is 6'1" but looks short, squat, and fat in a picture if there's nothing else in it for scale. I'd say it's because lifters in that highest weight class are so fat. (They might be able to lift a lot of weight but I doubt they could run around the block.)

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

I doubt it too. Purely anaerobic discipline, develops zero endurance, all instant effort.

Of course we both know I didn't mean weightlifters in the category of Rezazadeh. I've encountered several young men who entered that discipline during their teen years, and all of them were oddly short and stocky. Clear pattern there.
But your relevant example raises another question: are weightlifters in the category of Rezazadeh fat because of what they do? I mean, it's no secret that many of them use, um, "chemical enhancing aids".
And they do, in spite of one very well known fact, that those anabolic steroids typically stump the natural ones of the body, causing, um, "manhood problems".
You know, just like in that joke:

A babe brings home a very well-shaped man, who turns out to be a bodybuilder. He takes off his shirt, and shows off: "See these pecs, babe? All dynamite. These arms? Dynamite. These deltoids, these abs (he flexes them)? Dynamite too." He removes his pants, and goes on: "See these thighs, honey? Dynamite, and all for you. These calves? All of it, dynamite, and waiting to explode, ha-ha."
Then he takes off his undies, the girl yelps, and runs away in the street. He hastily puts bak his pants on and catches up with her: "Yo, why the scare, sugar?
- Well, with all that dynamite around, I panicked when I saw how short the fuse was!"

Joe Dick said...

I'm not an expert on Olympic weightlifting but I think ol' Hossein started at age 15. Maybe you're talking about guys who started earlier.

That's a good joke. I think that bodybuilding competitions should be nude, then they might scale back the grotesque size of the muscles and do it all natural.

If you look at pictures of bodybuilders from the 1940s they had athletic and muscular bodies but were not musclebound. It was still a weird "sport" but at least it had not gone as far into freakshow territory as today.

Your joke reminds of a line from the TV movie 61 (about when Roger Maris broke Babe Ruth's single-season homerun record). Mickey Mantle says "I like women with small hands. They make my dick look bigger."

Pascal [P-04referent] said...

Hmm... Perhaps the people I've met were simply overdoing it beyond what's reasonable at their age.

Joe Dick said...

Well in fairness not every one, no matter how hard they tried, could lift like Hossein. Someone like that seems genetically bred to lift weights and nothing else. Probably 99% of wannabe Olympic contenders in weightlifting end up wrecking themselves trying to be like him (or other, past champions).

eolake said...

Rocky II etc had the same relationship to Rocky as Rambo had to First Blood: nearly nothing, they just took a decent movie and made a stupid action empire out of it.

eolake said...

What is that word Hollywood has for a property, of sequels...

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