Saturday, March 5, 2011

Genes Are Only Anecdotal Evidence

I have great athletic genes.  According to family lore my paternal grandfather was a strongman for the railroad.  Family lore on the other side states that my maternal grandfather was a Golden Gloves winning boxer.  Heck, even the family that adopted my paternal grandmother included a relative that was a Major League Baseball player.  Yet, here I sit, a husky asthmatic that would be better suited to reading a book than chasing a ball.

These same genes that lean toward athletic prowess also produced men of questionable decision making.  The railroad worker reportedly successfully performed in a feet of strength so impressive that I would hardly believe the family story if that same story didn’t also end in the inability to continue normal work.  The boxer was unable to capitalize on his natural size and incredibly advantageous arm length and lead a meandering life spreading his genetic wealth around the Midwest and being mostly estranged from his children.  The baseball player is not genetically related and at least explained why I do not have a chromosome in me that could care about the sport that was once America’s national pastime.

As the end product of this genetic pool did not wind up with an athlete that could compete in any sport at an elite level. Though, I’m holding out hope for an increase in the popularity of curling.   Still, I enjoy watching gridiron football, or losing myself in the watching of a good fight.  I suppose I could make a case for genetic determination.  That the same determination that lead one grandfather to perform unbelievable, and ultimately self destructive, feats of strength and that lead the other to become a champion academic boxer have somehow found their way into me and fueled me into becoming successful in Higher education and training.

Still, I can’t help but waggle my finger at my genes when I look down at the body that they have formed into and instead of seeing an athlete, I simply see form following function.  Especially when I watch Mixed Martial Arts, a sport I see as the next evolution of the Sweet Science.  So, instead, I participate in the Mixed Intellectual Arts of Higher Education and training.  I get to participate in honing skills, showing off my own prowess and even developing efficient teamwork all without the risks of ever being knocked out or damaging a disc in my back.

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