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A Lesson in Perspective

It's very rare that I can think of a non-disease related physical trial that seems tougher than pregnancy.

Of course, I've never been pregnant. But short of having limbs and other things amputated with a butter knife, I don't think I've ever read about anything that comes even close.

However, that doesn't mean that other Herculean physical efforts aren't also incredible and deserving of gracious acknowledgement and sometimes praise.

Unfortunately, no one read the memo to actress Jennifer Lopez, who had twins about six months ago.

Apparently yesterday following a segment on Good Morning America, in which Lopez announced that she was in training for a triathlon, she was overheard complaining that she didn't understand all the hype surrounding Michael Phelps's sweep of all eight of his events in the Beijing Olympics.

According to MSNBC.com, J. Lo insisted that the bigger story was that a woman (her) who had babies six months ago was training for a triathlon. She couldn't even remember Phelps's name and referred to him as "that swimmer."

To her credit, Lopez is training for a charitable cause, and plans to donate money raised for the triathlon. Still, she could have shown Phelps the respect he earned.

Normally having given birth is the example I'd hold up to any guy who whines that he has it so tough. I'd point to a mom who's recently given birth and say something like "What you've done is run of the mill. What she's done? Now that's extraordinary."

Yet, I don't feel compelled to use that example today. I think Michael Phelps deserves all the props he gets. And I'm happy for J. Lo that she's a mom (even though her movies Wang Chung). So I'm gonna bite my tongue and rein in my fingers before they get me in trouble.

I'll let you guys opine. We're still feeling the after effects of Tropical Storm Fay, so I have to get back to my storm-related scribbling for now.


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"The United States has become a place where entertainers and professional athletes are mistaken for people of importance."
-Robert A. Heinlein


it's also wrong that they are labelled as heros. there is nothing heroic about what they do.
the sportpeople can be called champions, and the entertainers, entertainers, or maybe generous or goodwillful


The female human body is engineered to procreate. It's a huge strain and an enormous draw on the resources of the body, and the act is certainly painful, but it is designed to do this.

The human body was not designed to take a bullet, or get stabbed, or have parts forcibly removed therefrom, but that happens. And those people experience some damned impressive pain. Ever been with someone passing a kidneystone? that's impressive pain there, you beg for death if the stone is sharp and large enough.

Childbirth is a painful thing, and I'm sure I'm glad I won't ever do it. But it doesn't corner the market on pain, by any means. Talk to a burn victim if you want to know what real pain is.


Comparing pain seems a little silly to me because I don't think you can ever truly understand another's pain. It's different for everyone and the inner strength they need to summon to get through whatever it is (from papercut to childbirth to gunshot wound) will be different as well.

That said - JLo's triathlon is not as impressive to me as Phelps performance at this (or the 2004) Olympics. It's great that she's decided to do this thing for charity and it's wonderful that she's decided not to put it off just because she recently gave birth but it doesn't compare to dedicating your life to a sport and reaching the pinnacle of that sport on a world stage.

He's an Olympic Champion, she's training for a triathlon.

There really is no comparison.


comparing apples to oranges.
rotten apples to oranges, actually.

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