Saturday, November 9, 2013


The first definition of leg found on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary is:
  • a limb of an animal used especially for supporting the body and for walking:
    • one of the paired vertebrate limbs that in bipeds extend from the top of the thigh to the foot
The human leg is made up or four bones: femur, patella, tibia, and fibula.  These four bones are positioned for upright bipedal standing, walking, running, and jumping which makes them unique in the mammal world.  No other mammal spends its entire life upright supported by two legs.
The human leg bones are supported by three major muscle groups:  the hamstring in the back of the upper leg; the quadriceps in the front of the upper leg; and the calf muscles in the lower leg.  In reality, there are about 20 different muscles that make up these larger muscle groups.  All these muscles are designed to support the upright posture and ability to stand, walk, run, and jump on just two legs - we really are bipedal.  The human leg is definitely unique.

Shadow of my legs
Now to the meat of this blog - my legs.  You may want to stop reading here if you don't want to read about my love and appreciation of my legs.  My legs are by far my best physical feature.  Even before I met her, my wife Heather, remembers coming to soccer games during college and checking out my legs.  She has told me that she appreciated them and liked watching me play soccer - not for my skill but because I had nice legs.  I guess I should be flattered.  :)  Regardless - my legs have been a great asset in my life.

Let's introduce you to my legs.  Like any normal male human my age, there is hair on my legs.  My legs are not excessively hairy - thankfully because I don't really like body hair.  My legs are muscular and there has never been any fat on them despite how fat and big my stomach might get.  My legs are long.  My legs are lean.  My legs are nice.  Yes - I am bragging a bit here but hell, everyone deserves a little time to talk about themselves and shine.  If you don't like it - stop reading my blog.

Here are my legs 12 years ago and today (I wish I had older photos but that is before digital cameras and I don't feel like scanning in a whole bunch of pictures of my beautiful legs - shit - maybe I do want to do that...):
2001 Legs
2013 Legs
Now nice legs are great to have but what good are they if they don't help you get from place to place quickly and efficiently.  Human legs evolved to stand, walk, run, and jump almost endlessly.  Almost every day (I do a lot of eavesdropping on the bus, at the school, everywhere actually), I hear excuses for why person doesn't walk, chooses elevators over stairs, or can't run.  Frankly I do not buy it.  Walking and running are what our legs do naturally - a product of human evolution.  Think about it - primitive humans chased game (sometimes for a day or more) until the game finally got too tired to run anymore.  This puts modern marathon runners to shame.  The excuses I hear are that people don't walk or run because their legs, knees, hips, or feet hurt.  WRONG - their legs, knees, hips, or feet hurt because at some point in their lives their legs were not being used and muscles atrophied which led to joints mashing together.  After years of neglect, I don't blame your legs for screaming at you asking for the pain to stop.  Strengthen your legs by getting off your fucking couch and start walking then running to great leg fitness and less pain.  Yes - I used profanity because the only person to blame for your inactivity is yourself.

Check out my legs in action on a recent run:

A quick jog from Snakes on Vimeo.

Why?  Why be so passionate and fascinated by legs?  Because legs can help you accomplish amazing things in your life.  From your first steps as a toddler to your last steps as a senior, legs support your entire body.  They DESERVE to be strong and fit.  Legs should not be wasted - they should be celebrated. 

Things you can do with your legs:

Climb Stairs
Descend Stairs

Stand at Crosswalks
Walk Quickly to Catch a Bus
Legs can also help you do fun things:

Kick Back on a Long Bus Ride
Go for a Quick Trail Walk at Lunch

Legs can also make you look foolish like when you:

Stand Around in Saggy Pants
Hang Out in Sassy Pant
So what have my legs helped me accomplish besides attract Heather?  My legs have carried me my whole life.  I learned to stand with my legs; I learned walk with my legs; I learned to run with my legs; and I learned to jump with my legs.  My legs helped win races at field day during elementary school.  They helped me play soccer at a high level in high school and college.  They helped me lose weight by allowing be to get outside and RUN the fat off.  My legs help me walk the dog, take the kids to school, mow the yard, pick up the dog poo (See Ordinary Average Guy), run or ride my bike to work (yuck - see video below), wait in line at the grocery or DVM, jump mud puddles, coach soccer, chase the cats, find snakes, sneak down the stairs for a sweet snack before bedtime, drive a car - I think you get the point.  My legs are extremely valuable to me.

End of Morning Commute from Snakes on Vimeo.

My legs have also carried me through many 5Ks, 10Ks, half-marathons, marathons, and even a 50K race once.  My legs have also propelled me to the finish line of 3 iron distance races (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run = 140.6 miles for those of you unfamiliar with an iron distance race).  My legs are extremely active and have been my entire life.  I have no plans of slowing down either. 

With all this activity shouldn't my legs be worn out, cause me pain, trashed, or otherwise useless?  Most humans would say yes - I have overused my legs.  Hell No!  My legs are still in the best shape of their life.  I am in my 40th year and my legs are as strong, lean, firm, and good-looking as ever.  Is this because I am blessed with good genetics?  Could be but aren't all humans blessed with the same ability to stand upright and walk, run, and jump?  I believe my legs are still strong because I have not let them go to waste.  They have had a lifetime of constant activity.  Think about it - human legs evolved on the plains of east Africa so we could stand and see above the tall grasses watching for our predators; walk together to new areas when food became scarce; run together as we chased down game animals; and jump (dance) together as we celebrate our good fortune.  Did these legs get a break?  No because if they did, our human ancestors would have eaten by a lion, left behind by their families, or starved.

I still do not understand why so many humans waste and neglect our greatest feature and adaptation - our legs.

So I will agree that this blog is not my best work - it did allow me to show off my legs.  :)

shadow walking from Snakes on Vimeo.

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