Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Thunder Thighs

Raise your hand if you watched Stage 4’s Time Trial during Le Tour.

(Now picture me with my hands raised).

Raise your hand again if you watched the time trial more than once. Twice? Any takers for three times?

(Again, picture me with my hands raised).

Not that I watch a lot of TV. I swear, I don’t. We only own one, and it’s buried in the far back bedroom, away from the living room and books and study and what not. But it’s there, and I use it plenty for trainer rides, movie nights, and sports dates.

Bull Riding, Tap Out, Arena Football doesn't hold a candle to Cyclism Sundays or Time Trialing on Versus. Trust me. And I’ve almost got Nathaniel convinced.

(whispered). For the record: I don’t watch PBR, Tap Out, or Arena Football. Regular football – yes. But none of the others.

Well, maybe just a little PBR. And I may have, on one occasion, watched Monster Truck Rally for 10 minutes or so. But that was it, I swear.

Scouts honor.

Back to Nathaniel and biking. Yes – much better.

A few days ago, he mentioned that he’s interested in biking because I spent all of last football season watching (and cheering for) his Green Bay Packers. After my long Saturday or Sunday workouts, I would shower, eat, and the collapse on the bed with him and watch football. Quite honestly, I didn't have the werewithall to resist. And it became a sort-of "date afternoon" for the two of us.

But, I took the time to learn the finer points of the game, discovered the true meaning of “Special Teams” (just the third team in football, aside from the defense and offense!), and could spot a penalty with the best of ‘em. Give me a flag, and I would be throwing to my heart’s content. A whistle and I’m downright dangerous.

So today when the Stage 4 Time Trial came on, I was ready to watch and cheer as loud as I could. And Nathaniel was by my side, asking questions and cheering on with me. There’s just something so inspiring about watching these athletes churn down the course, push their bodies to the limits, and fulfill their dreams.

Plus, and let’s face it, the whomp whomp whomp of the disc wheel sounds incredible. (Bonus: I don’t have to hear it while it and its rider fly by me on a course. Sweet!)

And before you balk at my three times watching the time trial, I didn’t watch every minute of each broadcast. I caught the tail end of one, watched the entire second, and saw flashes of the third (while Nathaniel was watching some show about Crab Fishing in the Bering Sea).

The boy has his limits, it seems.

But one thing stood out in particular, aside from the skin suits, the aero helmets (green goblins, based on how they share an uncanny likeness to the character of the Green Goblin in Spiderman 1), and speedy time trial machines.

The size of the rider’s quads.

At the start of the race, their quad muscles looked relatively normal. Well, as normal as cyclist’s quads can look. On the larger side – yes. But not massive. But still big.

However (and it was only after viewing the coverage 2 or 3 different times), by the end of the TT, rider’s quads were mostly the size of medium-tree-trunks. They were colossal, huge, hairless, covered in sweat, and solid muscle. Every striation, every fiber, every muscular bulge was evident, and I couldn’t believe the size.

The epitome of Thunder Thighs.

It made me think about how after some of my own tougher rides, my favorite pants seem to be a tad bit tight in the leg/quad section. But I don’t know if that’s so much from my ride effort or the post-ride ice cream “recovery” snack.


The jury’s still out on that one.

So here’ to time trialing, cheering athlete’s doing what they love, post-ride ice cream, jeans with a small amount of spandex, and watching Le Tour. It seems to be a good one thus far (let's hope it stays that way AND clean!), and I’m looking forward to the next two weeks of racing.


BreeWee said...

That sounds like a blast to cheer and shout and get crazy with the hubby while watching some men in spandex! ha ha...
Enjoy the next 2 weeks of it & more "quality time" with the hubby! :)

IronMike said...

Hey Marit, IronMike here. Long time since I've seen that smiling face. Wow, you've been active. Me too. Please send me a note so we can catch up. Semper Fi to Nathaniel.

LZ said...

I think Eric and I had the same conversation about the thunder thighs last night while watching! Maybe that's why I am not a great cyclist...I need those thighs!

Anonymous said...

It is ironic that the best TV (Tour and Olympics) are in the summer when we are never inside! But, we (unlike most) have TVs all over. I LOVE the TV on in the background. I think it is b/c I work out of the house and I like the background noise. I am watching the TODAY show now as I make lunches and read blogs. :) Jen H.

Ryan said...

Clear the Tivo because the TDF is here honey!

I always cheer a little harder for the big boys of the sport. I wonder why? Jens Voigt, Fabian Cancellara, Thor Hushovd, my eyes always tend to steer toward their..............Vastus Medialis!

Wow! Nice Quads!

Steve Stenzel said...

Busted. You like monster trucks.

And I'd like some thunder thighs please. How do you get them without having to work hard? Lots and lots of Dairy Queen? I can do that.

Sarah said...

I LOVE this post!! Loved the green goblin reference. :)

Long before triathlon I thought "my big legs HAVE GOT to be good for something other than riding horses and skiing!" Turns out they were. :) They can climb hills and make me go fast on the bike - so hooray for that and like you said - hooray for jeans with a bit of spandex!!! :D

Eileen Swanson said...

Hi Marit,
Miss you, so funny, we've only chatted live once and I feel like I know you so well and already miss talking to you ;-) How is MM and HM? Hope they are doing better!

GoBigGreen said...

Funny..my teammate is called Drumstick legs and I am called Chicken Legs. She TT's at around 80rpms and I ride closer to 90 rpms. our times are nearly identical.
I am still convinced that those double drumsticks those boys have are the key. And like Stenzel says, I can do the DQ anyday!