I’ve long attributed my slow swim times to my poor lung capacity, which makes it necessary for me to gasp and flail like a beached carp every time I do a couple of laps, infrequent though that may be. And my plumpy physique, well, that’s clearly a by-product of a sluggish metabolism which dictates that I could literally eat nothing all day, and still weigh more or the same the next day. I have done this. I know.
Since these were just grand assumptions I’ve made based on my on my manatee-like swimming and my remarkable ability to turn any food ingested into insta-fat, imagine my surprise when I actually went to get these things tested a couple of weeks ago. Annette from the Tri Club has started up her own company, doing fitness testing and the like, and several of us went through training so that we could administer the testing as well. Naturally, we started out by doing these tests on each other. First up, RMR, or Resting Metabolic Rate.
Karin P. goes first, and even though she’s as skinny as a string bean, the girl needs something like 2100 calories to maintain basic body functions if she just lays about all day eating bonbons. You know, the usual.
Annette, something similarly extravagant.
Jody and Patty, not quite as high but still “normal.”
Then along comes Miss Tasha. Finely honed athlete, queen of the Thighmaster, blah blah blah. Okay, so I’ve been a bit of a slug lately, but all those hours and days of Ironman training must have done me SOME good, yes?
Or rather, no. A big fat no. My RMR...........is a whopping 1213. Or, to put it in layman’s terms, 2 jars of Schnuck’s peanuts a day. Colleen and Karin L. tried to make the point that they have similarly low RMRs........but they’re about half my size, so at least they still fit into the vague “10 calories per pound" formula that one reads everywhere, whereas I’m more like 5. So cry me a river, girls. Yippity doo dah.
I decide that I can no longer ever go on long bike rides with Karin P., Annette, and those with a similar “African Nation” profile, with the raging metabolisms of Amazons that will require that they stop every half hour for sustenance. I can see it now.
Annette: “Well, we’ve been biking for at least 20 minutes – I really have to stop for a big sundae or mayhap some fried dough – I can feel the weight just dropping off me. Must keep my strength up, you know.”
Tasha: “Oh, well, you just go right ahead on to the ice cream shoppe – I’ll meet up with you, after I go into this farmer’s field and dig up a CARROT to gnaw on.”
You see why this might be a problem for those of us permanently sequestered on Rabbit Island......unless, hmm, unless I put into action my plan to get us all lost somewhere out on the steppes, where I could survive for decades on a small pile of twigs, while they.....oh, but, well, never mind that for now.
The other test we did was a VO2Max test. This too was not pretty.
Colleen, cutting right to the chase the night of the Superbowl: “So what was your VO2Max?”
Me: “Something like 34.”
Colleen: “No, I’m serious.”
Me: “Really. Me too. That’s what it was.”
Colleen: “Mine was 58.4. Bridget’s was 59.6. Should we call around to see if we can get you an iron lung somewhere on the cheap?”
The rest of the evening I was referred to as “Babylungs”, and songs were sung in my honor: “Runnin’ down a dream, her and her baby lungs, working on a mystery, how does she ever run? Runnin’ down a dream.....”
AAARRRRGH! Now, If you'll excuse me, I hear people at the door - I think those are the scientists coming to study how a lumpen ball of fat such as myself with the breathing capabilities of a sea sponge even manages to get out of bed in the morning. Apparently I'm something of a scientific anomaly. Tell me about it.