Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday - 4 miles

This would've been a good day to test as I was feeling better and the HR data was definitely back to normal. The run felt strong, light, no pain anywhere and according to my pace, my HR was low. This is probably what one means when he says, "Everything rests on rest.. it's the only time we get stronger." Avg. HR 135. Hopefully I test today (Saturday). I also spun for 35 minutes, about 110 rpm, nice and light.

One side note: I grew-up playing soccer and excelled playing club and college ball. So, obviously, I'm a fan. But I haven't really, for whatever reason, jumped-on the American soccer movement (nonetheless, when I was a grommet, I was a big San Diego Jaws fan and remember when the New York Cosmos came to town fielding a team that included this guy named Pele).

I have enjoyed watching world cup ball and some of the other international competitions, despite the constant American criticism of futbol/soccer that the players flop. We've all heard it, seen it. In fact, I was watching some 2008 UEFA Euro matches and became pretty distracted by the flopping. I concluded that it's part of the DNA of a futbol player. One might say, "don't they know this is televised and there's this thing called slow-motion?" Guys grabbing their ankles when they weren't even touched is totally absurd. It's part of selling one's cause to the game officials, I guess. The American ball I played lacked that quintessential element of drama.

I'm then led to generalize about Europeans in other sports. The biggest example is their impact on the NBA. There are some good European players in the NBA. But the consensus is they're soft. A few years ago, Dirk Nowitski led the Dallas Mavericks to the finals. They were on the verge of winning, but literally collapsed. Verdict: Dirk folded under pressure - executed an extended flop. This year, the Lakers Pau Gasol is heading down the same path. Such generalizations are naturally flawed, and I apologize if anyone is offended. But the evidence seems to suggest that the American blue-collar work ethic is still pretty strong.

Although some might ask why can't Americans succeed on the futbol pitch, Americans will probably counter with we're at a huge disadvantage historically, and who wants to play a game riddled with a bunch of melo-dramatic floppers. It's a good game. It's too bad.

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