Monday, May 12, 2008

Decathlon Event #7

Event #7: Physical Prowess

A salute to the athletic heritage of the Decathlon idea, this event simply asks you: What is your most impressive athletic achievement?

Example: I, michael5000, ran the marathon a couple of times. I was very slow, but I survived.

You may submit your answer either in the comments or by Email to

Judging: Entries will be judged according to subjective impressiveness of the physical feat. Qualities of strength, endurance, athleticism, dexterity, and physical courage will be greatly admired.

Deadline: Entries must be submitted by 10 p.m. (Pacific Daylight Time) on Wednesday, May 13.


Christine M. said...

in 8th grade I was playing third base in a soft ball game and I lept about 6 feet to my left to catch a low, fast fly ball. I landed in the dirt and everyone applauded -- even the other team!

DrSchnell said...

I rode my bike across Oklahoma (ca. 500 miles) on two different occasions during week-long cross-state bike rides (in 10th and 11th grades) (with 2000 of my closest friends), camping out on high school football fields each night in a mini-tent city.

And, if that won't cut it:
In not-terribly-impressive, but kinda funny category: In my last at-bat ever playing Little League baseball (ca. 8th grade), I hit a bunt triple, because the fielders of the other team were so inept.

Cartophiliac said...

With my bare hands I stopped a tornado!

I held a butterfly in my hands and briefly stopped its wings from flapping, thus, by Chaos Theory, I averted a tornado on the other side of the Earth.

Elizabeth said...

Several years ago I took a shortcut between two small Washington towns that went up over a not-so-high logging road pass, but said pass was buried in snow, as was my truck eventually, and I had to walk out. It was 3pm when I got stuck, and 10pm before I reached the nearest house.

Oh, and as I had been on my way to a massage appointment, I was wearing Croc-like clogs with no socks, yoga pants, and a t-shirt. Walking through (at first) six inches of snow, complete darkness falling around 5pm (this was December), temperature quickly falling towards freezing.

And I swear there was a cougar pacing me at one point. Rustle in bushes, a "huff!" of noise.

I reached the first house and my legs were so tired I literally could not walk up their driveway, but had to crawl up on my hands and knees.

The blisters did not go away for weeks.

Amazing what you can do when you have to, isn't it?

This story is entirely factual.

Nichim said...

I have removed my undergarments while hanging upside down by my feet from a brass pole fifteen feet in the air, and then righted myself and spun gracefully down to the floor, arcing my body backwards around said pole. (Often this was done with a handicap of stunning intoxication, rendering the feat objectively several times more dangerous and difficult, though subjectively easier and more fun.)

In case this falls into some kind of "professional" category, I also submit that I made an amazing diving catch in right field during the Western New English Prep School Small Schools Girls Softball Association (WNEPSSSGSA) All-Star game, after an entirely lackluster but good-spirited high school sports career.

Rebel said...

oh lordy... I might have to literally sit this one out.

Um...when I moved from WA to OR, Uhaul didn't reserve a truck for me (even though they had charged my account - another story), so the two friends who had driven up to help me ended up having to drive back to OR to get a pick up truck. Meanwhile Jenn and I rented just a regular van and moved almost all of my furniture & stuff - dresser, shelves, bed, tables, books, books, books etc. all by ourselves for a good 6 hours. And we managed to get about 75% of my one bedroom 2nd story apartment into an 11 ft van.

Oh... and I had vertigo, so after every couple trips up & down the stairs I had to lay down on the floor until everything stopped spinning.

Anonymous said...

High-jumping my own height. Unfortunately, I'm only 5'9".

Kritkrat said...

In 1993, I qualified for Zones, which in the swimming world is a BIG deal. The winners go on to the Olympic trials. I didn't win, and two years later I had quit the swim team and started smoking pot. I think my crash and burn after that meet is even more impressive than my backstroke used to be...

Anonymous said...

Let's see, what have I got here. . . strenuous dayhikes. . . several solo trips across the continent in a reliable car. . . a lifelong passion for the avoidance of team sports. . . surprising competence in ping pong. . . frequent summits of the neighborhood volcano (elev. 630). . .

When asked for proof of her athletic prowess, mrs.5000 performed a near-perfect swan dive in the ratings with very little splash.

Dan Nolan said...

I saved a penalty kick in a soccer match one time.

fingerstothebone said...

I once alighted at the top of a grove of giant bamboos and fended off an army of 200 Qing soldiers...oh wait, that was Michele Yeoh, you say? Hmm...that's funny, I could've sworn.

In that case, I'll have to fall back on my perseverance rather than impressiveness. I've kept up a daily exercise regiment for the last 18 years. Some of your readers may not even be that old. A variety of exercises have passed this way, but right now the routine is 4 miles of walking daily plus 1+ hour weight training 2-3 times a week.

Oh wait, I just thought of something -- my senior year (college), I danced for 20 hours at a dance marathon. That was the longest you could go, it was a fundraiser.

And how about this -- I can shimmy until the cows come home. Left, right, top, and bottom.

I'm just brimming with athletic prowess.

fingerstothebone said...

Oops, that should be 'regimen' of course. I always do that.

McGuff said...

Continuous improvement and accomplishments in golf as an adult*. Highlights include shooting 79 at Pebble Beach from the back tees (two under par for the round after 6 holes)**.

Career low of 70 (two under par) at a tough course in Houston, which included scores of 2-3-1-2 on the four par 3 holes.

Of course, by golf I mean 18 holes, playing by the strict rules of golf at all times. Really. Scorecards for the above rounds are signed and attested.

* This means I'm not one of those people who were great golfers a kid, and now rely on those prior skills to be better than the average golfer now.
** Back to even par after 7 holes - the dramatic, short, downhill par 3 seventh.

McGuff said...

Non entry background material:

Despite being very busy with three kids, career, community and charity work, I play golf once a week every week without fail, and occasionally get to play a quick 9 on Fridays or 18 on holidays.

Other than hitting 10-12 practice balls and a few chips and putts before playing, I am too busy to practice.

On the other hand, I don't build furniture much any more. When I lived in Chicago, I used to play golf in the warm weather and build furniture in the cold weather. Since it's warm all the time in Houston, golf wins and furniture loses - though I do owe Ms. Finn a headboard to match the armoire.

Morgan said...

I, Morgan, once actually beat someone in basketball. Someone good. And they weren't intentionally letting me win.

If that doesn't win, I don't know what will.

Anonymous said...

In one weekend I rode 65 miles; moved 1700 literature hardback textbooks from a six foot shelf to a ten foot shelf about fifty feet away for storage (about 8 books at a time and they weight about 7 pounds each); mowed .74 acres of grass; and tried asparagus for the first time.

I haven't topped that yet. It's been three years since then too. My arms hurt so much for four days because of those books that I never noticed how numb my legs and bum had become from the riding. And I couldn't hear jack because the mower's muffler was shot and I was deafened temporarily. The asparagus was excellent btw!

Anonymous said...

weight=weigh^ and Morgan has a great one IMO.

Michael5000 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Huh??? I thought we had till tomorrow night. The blog says "Wednesday, May13". Today is Tuesday. I'm still thinking. Please remove result entries. And hire Ernst and Ernst and Ernst and Ernst and Ernst and Ernst!

Michael5000 said...

@karma: Oh, right.

This thing is way too complicated. Just my opinion.

Carry on.

Unknown said...

OK, let's try this again.

Unknown said...

It is inspiring to realize that not only is my blog readership among the internet's most intellectually dazzling, but physically intrepid as well. Looking over the submissions, I can not but be impressed and intrigued by the phrases that jump out.... "shooting 79 at Pebble Beach"... "winners go on to the Olympic Trials"... "a couger pacing me at one point".... And, of course, "removed my undergarments while hanging upside down." I'm not made of stone. Cover your eyes, Morgan.

Now, I shall officially judge the entries.

Unknown said...

In 5th Place, it's a three-way tie between Boo, whose multiple-event entry nicely represented the spirit of Decathlon; Cartophiliac, as a gesture of thanks for having saved the village; and Critical Bill, because I doubt I could jump half my own height.

Elizabeth is in 4th Place for a harrowing story that actually freaked me out just a little bit, even though logically I knew that she must have survived.

Also in 4th, Karmasartre, for losing at ping-pong 11-0, 11-0 to the second best player in India, which is a country with over one billion potential ping-pong players. You have to be awfully good to be in a position to lose at that level.

Sharing 3rd Place are Fingerstothebone, who
can shimmy until the cows come home, left, right, top, and bottom; and nichim, who can clearly do the same.

Morgan takes 2nd. To review his achievement, he did not simply beat someone at basketball. No. He beat someone good. He has also parsed the prevailing tone of this crowd at a remarkably young age, something of an athletic achievement in and of itself.

Kadonkadonk and Phineas, finally, share First Place for actually having performed impressive athletic achievements at nationally recognized athletic venues. Fair is fair.

Everybody else was good too!