Sunday, 22 September 2013

HOW TO BECOME A CHAMPION. Blood, water, and surgery.

The other day the Globe & Mail ran a headline that got my immediate attention: Ultimate Dieting. But this diet, it turned out, isn’t for ordinary shlubs like me. It’s for champions -- Ultimate Fighting Champions, to be exact. To get into the lightweight division, Jesse Ronson needed to lose weight, or rather water. That meant going thirsty, peeing often and sweating for hours in the sauna. How did he feel about that? Not good. Side effects included fatigue, cramping, irritability, and nausea. The Globe article doesn’t mention where Jesse’s significant other was during the purge. Maybe she joined him, and they cramped together and took turns being irritable & looking at each other nauseated. Or maybe Jesse suffered alone, and that’s the price you pay for being a champion.

I myself am looking for an easier way to get to the top.

How about blood loading to increase stamina? This method involves raising your oxygen level with transfusions of your own centrifuged blood. That’s like growing your own weed, right? You know it’s pure, and you cut out the middleman. Unfortunately, like growing weed, blood doping is illegal. It was outlawed in 1986, although they forgot to tell Lance Armstrong.

So I’m too late for that particular short-cut to championship, but if I hurry, I can still get an eye operation. That hasn’t been outlawed yet.

Champion baseball players need exceptional eyesight to process information on fast balls moving at 90 miles an hour. 20-20 vision, which I wish I had, is not good enough for champions. According to, a lot of players have their sight surgically corrected to 20-12, so they can see at 20 feet what normal people see at 8. In my case that would mean I can look into the mirror and, without putting on my glasses, see the crowfeet radiating from my eyes.

No, it would be easier (not to mention, more democratic) if the Special Olympics broadened their definition of handicap and created a division for myopic, overweight people, 65 and over: the M-O-65+ division. But I bet you some people would cheat their way into qualifying for M-O-65+ with myopic-eye surgery, illicit weight-gain clinics, and fake birth certificates.

You know what? Fuhgeddaboudit! I’ll go on living in a short-sighted haze and will be rewarded every morning when I look in the mirror and see my face unlined and unblemished. Ultimate youth!

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