Sunday, October 17, 2004 - Athlete Perspective
Haywood National Team Report: A Crooks Perspective

By: Sean Crooks

You, Mr. Mrs. Reader are an amazing object. You are a specimen of the most complex thing known in the universe. You, and the rest of the seven billion humans on earth must appreciate that we are a marvel. As an example, reach out and pick something up. Really- stop and do it. Now, try it again and this time notice how smooth and swift you are, fingers opening and clasping just at the point your hand reaches it. Yes, humans are remarkable in many ways. The more I learn about the human body, the more unbelievable it seems. Thousands of biological processes happening every instant. How does my body remain warm even when itís -30 outside? Or how is my heart rate and breathing regulated, without me even thinking about it? Itís crazy that all these things happen constantly, and millions of other reactions that keep us alive and human.

As an athlete, I pay particular attention to what is going on in my body. I train it to be more efficient, faster and stronger. The coaches and doctors research ways to make us better and transfer it into training, so that we can be the best. We make our hearts bigger (engines), we keep nutritious diets (fuel), hydrated (lubrication), we improve speed (gears) and we look for the strongest and lightest equipment. Getting the idea? We are the race cars of the human race. Your average human is a Chevrolet Cavalier, and we are Porches. Basically, a cross country skier is Rally race car. We have to accelerate fast, maintain high top speed, corner well, and we normally race the same format, which is the interval start. Other types of athletes resemble other types of car racing. For example. Middle distance runners and Velodrome riders can be NASCAR racers. Sprinters with their powerful legs and instant speed are the Formula One racers. Vroom!

On almost every level possible we are rally cars. Imagine a transport truck trying a rally course- It would be horrible. This is just like trying to race a ski race with one of those child pulks. The ski racer is like the Subaru WRX STI. We the national team, have sweet intakes and exhausts (mouth and nose), we have premium fuel and lube (Sport drinks, Vitamins). We even have some Nitrous Oxide Boosters (Energy Bars, Gels). We also have some serious digital Dashboard gauges (Heart Rate Monitors) and stereo systems (Mini Disc Players, Ipods,Ö). When it comes to tires (Skis), they are super fast, yet grippy when needed. We have durable windshields (Racing Glasses) and headlights (Headlamps) when it gets dark. And of course, we have sponsor decals on our cars (jackets and toques). We are lacking a little in the aerodynamic department. Iím working on a spoiler for my toque, but it looks a little funny.

Like a race car, we have our mechanics (coaches) and researchers. With them out on the course, they are always ready to help with flat tires and other mechanical problems (broken pole, etc). The support crew is essential to the cars ability to perform and make Canada a strong car racing nation. The national teamís crew has been working hard on making bigger engines for its fleet this training season. They have bored the cylinders to give that extra horsepower. They have added new gears to the gear box. They have tested our power, speed, torque and liquids. However, one detail that has been greatly neglected is the brakes. They are overrated anyways. Arenít they? So next time you are out for a run, ski, ride, or whatever. You may be getting passed by a Kia Spectra, but remember, you are packing a HEMI engine block, and youíre rolling on 18 inch racing wheels. Youíve been officially pimped!

Haywood WC Report is powered by Haywood Securities Inc., proud sponsor of the†Senior†National Cross Country Ski Team

Source: Cross Country Canada

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