Friday, 3 August 2012

Grimaces of Glory

Paris iPhone Photo Chronicles
~ Grimaces of Glory ~

Grimaces of Glory, originally uploaded by Paris Set Me Free.

BONUS: For Street Photography Fans!

Cancel judo. Rub out wrestling, be it freestyle or Greco-Roman. Or both for all I care. They seem eminently interchangeable and equally boring to watch. Right now, just when I thought we'd escaped the interminable bouts of bods in dressing gowns feeling each others lapels we now have the charming spectacle, as I type, of a guy in a tight-fitting deep blue combo trying to, for all intents and purposes, take another guy in red from behind.

Whatever tickles your fancy I guess.

I'm missing the point, and badly. I know this. I'm sure I couldn't even begin to imagine the amount of preparation and the number of techniques it's necessary to master to excel at these sports. I guess I must be a simpler type as I tend to prefer the ones where there's a clear, straightforward effort and an obvious winner after a short period of time. Which is why my favourites are the 800m and 1500m. There's enough time for tactics and not just sheer brute power but a sprint at the end and you don't have to wait for ages to get the result.

I appreciate the purity of trying to run faster than everyone else. I guess you could say that about wrestling too and there isn't much more basic to human animal instinct I guess than trying to throw your opponent to the ground with your bare hands.

Boxing is a bit beyond me as far as enjoyable sport is concerned. I just couldn't imagine wanting to train my body to an extremely high level only to have the crap smacked out of my brain in the name of fun or at least voluntary competitivity. My wimp side showing there I suppose. I always liked running coz you didn't have to touch your competitors. As someone who ran in the opposite direction to the ball in football and rugby at school in the aim of avoiding any unnecessary contact you can see where I'm coming from.

Pain is there in running, and a lot of it, but at least it's willingly self-inflicted. These two characters above make me think of myself when I'm suffering in the middle of a long run - it's not a pretty sight. Above all, perhaps, it's mental. To keep going when it's hurting and you could so easily just give up and walk and no-one would be any the wiser is the biggest challenge and I've had plenty of conversations with myself in my head on this very subject. Normally my will power wins and I fight through the difficult period and it normally gets better towards the end.

The good old question of 'Why?' or 'What's the point?' still raises its head fairly often but plenty of other people do pretty arbitrary sports and leisure activities so I don't see why I shouldn't too.

And it just feels good. There's not much more natural than running through the elements and when you can include the Eiffel Tower or the Bois de Boulogne or why not pass under the grim gaze of our Notre Dame friends here on your route you can't help feeling that you're doing something special.

That's how I feel anyway and in the end I admire anyone who can devote themselves to something hard, physical or psychological or both and come through, however strange or seemingly pointless that activity might be.

P.S. One of my favourites in this latter category is the guy who has taken his photo every day at 9:09 since September 2002 - that's ten years!. My other favourite is a little Paris photo blog called Paris and I; maybe you've heard of it...

And why not...
© 2012 
Sab Will / Paris Set Me Free - Contact me directly for photo tours, interviews, exhibitions, etc.

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