I came across this article about laziness in The Guardian. We’ll skate over, for the moment, the irony of a newspaper article about laziness that’s presumably been lifted from a press release about another less-than-essential sociological study. It’s August, there’s not much going on.
To summarise, one in six people would rather watch a TV programme they don’t like than get up to change the channel if they can’t reach the remote. One in three won’t run for a bus. Two in three would take the lift rather than walk up two flights of stairs. We’re not going to hell in a handcart, but only because there’s no one prepared to wheel it. We’re going to hell in a golf buggy. Fortunately we’re still bickering about who’s going to drive.
Hmmm. The only thing is, all that perfectly described me in my days as a professional athlete. No way would I run for a bus. Stairs, absolutely not. Get up to change the channel? Nope.
Athletes’ lives revolve around training, as we all know, and also around not training, which for obvious reasons attracts less attention. The not training is just as important as the training. Not training consists of expending as little energy as possible, the better to recover and work hard again the next day. The ideal athlete life consists of a few hours of hard training, followed by the rest of the day in bed. Literally.
And, of course, huge numbers of athletes reckon they don’t do enough exercise – just as the study claims its respondents said.
I think they’d have learnt more if they hadn’t limited their study to professional sportsmen, which is what they seem to have done.