A fish out of water

A fish out of water
By Aaron Mabry | Feb 28, 2012

Whether you’re from around here, you have family or are simply passing through, it’s evident that football is king in Western North Carolina. Let’s just be honest about it. I was a football player myself.
Albeit, when you think of a dual athlete in track and football, you imagine a sprinter/thrower type who lights up the 100 and 200 meter events, or can throw a discus half the length of a football field. Not me.
I was always that weird guy at track meets who ran distance but knew nothing about cross country because I always spent the fall running routes. In fact, I had never even been a part of a cross country team until I went to college. And talk about a culture shock.
I went from relying on stadiums and the weight room for strength to running 10 miles at 7 a.m.  on Saturday morning. Suffice to say, distance shape is a lot different from football shape. And I’ve spent the past seven years of my life developing a physique more suited for the trail than the gridiron. However, that’s all about to change.
About a month ago, I found out via Facebook that a company in California named Gridiron Alumni was in the process of coordinating a rivalry game between former Pisgah and Tuscola football players. In fact, the sole purpose of this company is to seek out the country’s greatest rivalries and coordinate an annual alumni game featuring former players from each related school. And though there is still question as to where the game will be held, the game has been set for May 5.

Slow Twitch
So what am I to do next? Here I am in pretty good shape, but know whole-heartedly that I wouldn’t last five minutes on a football field without feeling fatigued. It’s because for the past several years, I’ve been focusing on developing what’s known as slow twitch muscle fibers.
This type of aerobic conditioning is more efficient at using oxygen to create fuel for repetitive movements over longer periods of time. As a result, they are ideal for continuous exercises that revolve around a general pace or speed.

Fast Twitch
However, a sport such as football requires the use of more anaerobic, fast twitch muscle fibers. As a result, fast twitch muscles, when properly conditioned, enhance a player’s ability to perform fast, explosive movements. On the other hand, because they require the use of a less efficient anaerobic metabolism for fuel, they tire at a quicker rate than slow twitch muscles.
This explains why runners can only sprint at their peak rate for short distances, while distance runners can achieve a slower pace for longer periods of time.

More to Come
So here I am. I’m in training for a sport that I haven’t played in seven years and I’m all of a sudden a fish out of the water. So what now? Check back on Friday for the answer to that question, as well as more information on the May 5 alumni game.

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