Z IS FOR ZENITH
" What our instincts and athletes and sports psychologists tell us is that sports and athletics will show us how to satisfy the main urges of this generation: to possess one’s experience rather than to be possessed by it, to live one’s own life rather than be lived by it—in fine, to become all you are. Up until now that has always meant your brain. No more.”" - Dr. George Sheehan
Zone. When you get in the zone in running you are at a place where you are comfortable, but not relaxed. It’s still work, but tolerable. Something you can do for a long period of time and that will produce positive results; i.e. fat burning, strength enhancing and endurance building. A good place to be. Everything is working right; you’re free of spirit, not a care in the world. You are one with the universe. That mystical place where you run effortlessly, smoothly, and seemingly forever…it just works.
Zany. What I have been accused of with some of my psychedelic running outfits. But hey, I like to think of them as slow-moving-vehicle uniforms; I need for people to be aware of me so I don’t get run over. So what they require audible lipstick; a man once attended a costume race dressed as me and won first prize. Now that’s some kind of fame. (I always thought I should have gotten a cut.)
Zippy. What I really wish all of my winter running stuff was, when my shoe comes untied on a cold swoop down the canyon I want to be able to unzip even gloves for quick re-entry. Must talk to Asics.
Zeal. No problem with this one, most fitness buffs (is that redundant?) have inordinate amounts of zeal about their chosen sport, and more power to them/us. It’s the way sports and fitness are perpetuated and certainly more entertaining than a boring, “Well I guess I’ll go drag my derriere through the park again.” Or, “Shoot, time to play tennis with the girls, I’d so rather read Elle’.
ZPD. Borrowed from the education people, in teaching our children to read, a philosophy I was taught in the 1980’s…the Zone of Proximal Development which means simply, assessing where you are, and pushing just beyond that to promote growth. Then when comfortable with that level, push the limit again to ensure growth and development at a rate the body and the mind can handle with out injury or burnout.
Zeitgeist. The spirit of the time; the taste and outlook characteristic of a period or generation. Readiness. This one borrowed from a counseling degree, the belief that there is a time and place, a preordained aligning of the stars for a particular event to take place. Happens in fitness all the time. Do all the prescribed workouts, eat right, get rest, drink water, and one day it comes together like learning to ride a bike. You wonder why you thought it was so hard! Readiness.
Zoo. This is it. What the starting line of a race looks like. A zoo. A pot pourri of people, running garb, form, style, pace, stride, and performance. A herd of running animals eager for the starting gun, making bad jokes, bouncing in place, retying shoes, surreptitiously assessing a speedy looking participant’s age group. An ‘A’ to ‘Z’ representation of FT HPNZ before the gun goes off. Potential speed and endurance waiting to be unleashed. A force.
Zero: The number of excuses acceptable for not getting in shape. JFDI. Just Focus and Do It. It’s your life, take charge. Yeah, that’s more like it. Zero excuses, zero rationales, zero tolerance, zero abdication. Z is for Zenith, shoot for the top.