Thursday, April 03, 2014

Cougars and Other People

A cougar has a vertical leap of 16-18'.  That's tall.  A year or so back, our ranch neighbors were working cattle - i.e., doing vaccines or branding, or whatever would entail putting said cows into a squeeze chute one-by-one.  Maybe they were AIing them.  (Artificially inseminating)  Whatever was going on, one cow came into the chute with large, symmetrical, claw marks down either side of its hide, from front shoulder to back flanks. 

A cougar.  Mountain lion.  Puma.  Whatever.

Seven years ago, there was a youth out running on the country roads, and he was attacked by one of these wildcats.  (And I do not mean K-State.)  He kicked and fought and managed to scare the wildcat away.

Let's get back to vertical leaps.  18' is a long leap straight up into the air.  That cougar can do a lot of catching if he's in the mood for birds or coons or squirrels.

All righty.  How about humans?  Her are a few fun ffact.  (Unless they are media brags.) 

Julius Erving, 6'7", vertical leap: 41."
LeBron James, 6'8", his leap is 44".
Michael Jordan, 6'6", with a leap of 48".

All are very commendable.  Very, very.  I am thrilled this week that I can RUN up my 17 stairs without loss of balance or breath.  Whew!  I moved my office upstairs a month ago, and have made myself get into the habit of running up and down the stairs.  The UP-thing is fine, just fine.  The DOWN-thing is a bit wobbly in balance just now.  Check back in a month or so.

Speaking of months, I challenged my local book club to run a mile a day in April.  I think my challenge was met with some smirking and shrugging and deleting.  But here we are, day three, and some of us are at least walking a mile a day, and I have notes from some who have begun the venture into running. 

That Spouse o' Mine and I were talking last night about running.  As kids, we ALL used to run.  Tag.  Duck, Duck, Goose, or Drop the Handkerchief, and so on.  But then, some people stopped running.  And have never ventured to run again. 

"Knees."  "Hips".   Yep.  I get it.  I have to stretch a lot before and after runs anymore.  I NEVER used to stretch. 

My Dad ran track in college way back when.  And he runs now, at age 80-something.  (a few miles each day, unless he plays tennis instead.)  But he says he did not run, at least regularly, in the "between". 

And so, I see a light leading me to the track. Or trail.  or even a race.  (My Dad ran a 5-k just a few months ago!)

Ok, I digress.  Today I went to the Rec center (K-State) and ran around the track for three miles.  I love watching all the other athletic activities going on, and one in particular made me stop in my tracks, clogging lane traffic ( I know, I know, and I did not care, at all, at all,) - here was a guy, doing a squat or a "sit" on a bench, and then immediately vertically jumping onto what looked like a 36" block. 


Is he part cougar?!  I have no clue at all how he could do this.  I saw it once, and then stopped in my lane tracks to ascertain that  h did that more than once.

And here I was, silly me, thrilled that I run up and down my stairs a million times a day.

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