As a longtime supporter of knowing your own specs, physically speaking, we support this. All of it. Everyone in America should know their forty times, their mile times, and where they fall on the grand bell curve of American speed.
If distribution works like it should, the chances are that you, reading this right now, sit somewhere firmly in the middle. Or, if you are like us, you sit a full standard deviation towards slow at 6.09 seconds in the forty, and possess Powerful Natural Slows.
Side argument: Powerful Natural Slows may be just as much of an evolutionary advantage as Actual Blazing Speed. Like the cheetah, some fast people may have survived only because of their speed. Yet like sloths, some of us may only have lived to this point in our lives because of those Powerful Natural Slows.
For instance: Joke’s on you, person who caught that flight because they could run fast enough to get to the gate on time. That plane crashed. We lived because we were too slow, and you died because you were fast enough to make it. The system works in both directions, baby.
Either way, it all puts a few things into perspective that we will repeat until the day we die:
- Athletes are athletes for a reason and that reason is because they are faster and quicker in space than most other humans
- Most humans look incredibly stupid while running
The first is inarguably true. Keeping up with someone who runs a sub-5.0 forty yard dash is a desperate, sad thing bordering on despair. It’s like watching a child lose in Madden to an adult because of its lopsided outcome and resulting despair. It’s like watching an idiot fighting an overhead compartment because one side won’t give up even though they’re just slamming the same oversized bag into it over and over again, and their opponent is “the laws of nature” and “their own stupidity.”
Someone is doing this right now on a plane, and you’re furious just imagining how stupid it is. You’re welcome.
The second is true because no normal person on close examination looks normal running. Go film yourself running. Then, watch it three times. By the third viewing you will find yourself doubting your own ability to run upright without falling over and crashing face-first onto the pavement, or even how you lived to this age anyway. What age? Any of them, because a shambling sack of bones and fluids like you had no reason making it this far anyway.
It’s still beautiful, though. The 40 is one of the few universal appraisals or indictments of human potential, especially now that anyone can post one on the internet. Someone can watch Usain Bolt — in what appear to be capris and a pair of some shoes that look like Vans — run an official NFL record-tying 40 yard dash at the age of 31.
And on the same stage, at the same distance, someone can now watch our man here stride in the same species’ basic package with shockingly different results. It looks like he has a restrictor plate on knee drive, which makes his 5.5 result...actually kind of impressive? Like he’s probably a decent 5.3 or better if he actually raised his knees higher than this.
(We looked: This is as high as he ever got them. Restrictor plate across his entire damn pelvic girdle, this man.)
When the body is the instrument, anyone can solo, is what we’re saying. The amazing thing about watching anyone run at top speed is that sometimes it looks like Paganini on a Stradivarius sounds, but most of the time looks like this.
This dude, for the record, is not Paganini on a Stradivarius. This is a classroom full of fourth-graders slamming away on “Ode to Joy” with public school beaters. This is most humans, actually. None of us should have survived the Ice Age, and sabertooths should be typing this post right now.