Wednesday, August 13, 2008

If you wanna be the best, if you wanna beat the rest..

Being something of an armchair sportsman, I have to admit that, despite some of the appalling commentary and punditry, I am rather enjoying the sudden deluge of Olympic sports. You have to admire the dedication that goes into the elite athlete’s training and preparation for their moment of glory. This is perhaps epitomised by the 100m sprinters – the fastest men on earth – who spend, if we believe the hype – four years preparing for their 10 seconds of performance. It’s not easy to comprehend that input-output ration, so I’ve done a few calculations:

The Olympic sprinter has 4 years, or 126,144,000 seconds to prepare for the 10 second race, a ratio of 12,614,400:1 – and just for clarity, I haven’t included an additional day for a leap year – no need to get anal about this is there?

Let’s say you put the same dedication into preparing a meal that takes 15 minutes to scoff. You’d have to have started shopping 360 years ago. Some of my meals might taste like they were prepared that long ago, but I can assure you it’s not down to culinary dedication.

Or, what about those career-minded amongst us. What would be Olympic preparation for a 45-minute interview? Around 1080 years by my reckoning. Just imagine if you didn't get the job! Gutted or what?

On the plus side, life might be a bit easier for mums – a 9-month pregnancy could end in a 1.875-second labour. Not even enough time to swear at hubby.

As for conception – it would be very bad news for us chaps. Those of us who think 15-minutes of foreplay is more than generous would need supersonic sperm – never mind little Duncan Goodhews – we’re talking Phelps on acid!

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