Performance and Maintenance
By Marc Andresen On July 19, 2013 · Add Comment
We all like “new”. New is shiny and exciting and a future filled with possibility. “Performance” rings similar to “new”. It’s stimulating; sounds like fun.
Maintenance is tedious and, well, hard to maintain. It’s the reason we get sticky doors, clogged drains, and potholes. It’s also why, in performances, we get injuries.
Performance demands maintenance, and the higher the performance, the more maintenance is required. Most common cars can get by with gasoline, correct tire pressure, and oil changes. Most common people can sit, stand, and walk about without pain. But the performance of these cars, and people, although good, are nothing close to what an auto or a person is capable of.
A top dragster can attain 300 mph in about 4 seconds. Extremely high performance. Following every race, the crew rebuilds that car, taking 70 minutes. They spend about one-thousand percent more time on maintenance than the performance takes. But that is what the performance demands.
Jerry Rice was renowned for his off-season training when he played football, as well as in-season physical maintenance. He took advantage of every resource; strength coaches, trainers, and chiropractors. Logging eight-hour days, long after his teammates were gone. Taking into account the length of a football game, it’s fair to assume that he approached that one-thousand percent maintenance figure. And his performance reflected it, enjoying an NFL career of twenty seasons. Long after his teammates were gone.
For us mortals, it’s just as important to make sure these bodies of ours are working optimally. For someone who enjoys a relaxing walk, simple stretches and basic yoga moves are usually sufficient maintenance, as demands on the body are not extreme.
More strenuous activities – “Ironman,” “Tough Mudder,” or a tennis tournament – probably require a bit more personalized approach. Get an objective opinion of how you move. You want to shore up any weak links that, hard as it is to admit, you DO have. Injuries are a regular part of these competitions and you want to give yourself a fighting chance to train and finish in a healthy state.
Your own performances may or may not be at the elite level, but they are your performances and it’s so hard to have to say “I could have done better”. It’s unlikely that you’ll require a thousand hours of maintenance; or even half of that. But there’s no free lunch. If you’re at any appreciable level of performance, you have to do the maintenance.
Jerry Rice, in a Men’s Health interview: “…Whenever I stepped into that stadium, I felt like I owed the people something. I wanted them to walk away with something special on that given day.”