Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Rifle? Check. Spandex? Check.

Nature in her genius had imitated art.
-Ovid, The Metamorphoses, Book III
 [Jack's] Phrase of the week:  "Uh oh."  So simple, and so eminently useful in life.
[Jack's] Weird behavior of the week:  Taking his favorite food, broccoli, and dipping it in cherry juice, his next-to-favorite food.  Hey, it ain't ketchup or hoisin sauce, but who am I to judge?

I spent yesterday enduring the shoddy coverage of a half-melted event:  the Winter Olympics.  And I mean, there were some real turkeys in there, like the 7-0 shellacking of the Chinese women's hockey team by our own gals.  It probably ended 17-1, but I couldn't fight through it.  But the true gem, and I'm being completely serious, was the nearly-weirdest idea* for a sport ever, the winter biathlon.  Because nothing goes with cross-country skiing better than... firearms.  The sport was born in the 1920s out of something called Military Patrol, and originally included small teams scaling cliffs with heavy packs along with the skiing and shooting.  I know, I know, the next event was chasing Roger Moore down a mountain past a chalet.

OK, so the idea in biathlon is to bust your hump as hard as you can, skiing till your heart is ready to explode.  Then you stop.  And you target shoot as your hammering pulse does everything it can to shake your aim.  So it's a bit like a bungee jump followed by performing a coronary bypass.  In tights.  For time.

I'm completely fascinated by this sport, just on principal.  Relentlessly pushing yourself, only to have to come to a dead stop, and do something totally unrelated, using finesse alone.  That's darn interesting, because it's at the core of what being a dad, or a mom, or heck, a person is all about.  Charging yourself at flank speed through a day full of broken glass and jerks and layoffs and concertina wire and budget shortfalls to get to your daughter's tea party.  Or to watch your son for an hour or two while mom goes out.  Art... er, sport, imitates life.

Jack is running around these days like a crazed zoo animal and is particularly interested in climbing.  The only difference from say, a few months ago being that now he's strong enough, and just resourceful enough that he can actually get to pretty substantial elevation.  Just this morning I caught him in mid-flight from an end table, as he flung himself to his death on the hardwood floor below.  The only solution that I can think of is to completely convert the house to bouncy-castle.  I'll be taking bids shortly.

*I'm thinking jai alai is numero uno.  But that's just me.


Jessica said...

They only get stronger, faster, and smarter from here. That's the bad news and the good news.

Anonymous said...

Be careful that you don't leave the ladder leaned up against the eaves of the house while you check something on the roof. You might hear,'Hey, look at me,Dad!"