No High-twitch Muscle Fiber Here

No High-twitch Muscle Fiber Here

One of the commentators during the Olympics a few years ago made note of a gymnast’s high-twitch muscle fiber. Immediately, my years of being less-than-athletically inclined all made sense to me. It’s high-twitch muscle fiber that I’m missing!

It’s not that I ever tried very hard to be an athlete. Although I grew up in basketball country, AKA Indiana, and within 15 miles of Milan (pronounced MI-lin), the town the movie Hoosiers was based on, I’ve never had much interest in sports.

Yet I do enjoy watching the Olympics every couple of years. I admire the natural ability of the athletes and their dedication to developing their skills and mastering their sports. I’m a great spectator because I admire gifts and abilities they possess that, regardless of how hard I might try, I would never be able to develop.

Now don’t think that I’m selling myself short. I simply know my limits, and I clearly wasn’t built for sports. Yes, you might see me walking into an orthopedic and sports medicine practice, but the signed jerseys and photographs of athletes adorning the walls don’t grab or express my interest. While some who visit my doctor have a sports injury and an exciting story to tell, I have to sheepishly report I tore my meniscus walking up my basement steps and that my rotator cuff gave way while I was putting away the groceries.

So, I don’t have high-twitch muscle fiber. That lack doesn’t define me. There’s much I do have for which I am grateful. In St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, after writing about different spiritual gifts, he writes about the importance of the different parts of the body:

Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say, “Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, “Because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,” it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. (12:14–20)

If we were all athletes, where would the spectators be?

photo credit: / Stephen Coburn


About the Author

Joan McKamey works for Liguori Publications.