Neil Armstrong

I believe that every human has a finite number of heartbeats. I don’t intend to waste any of mine running around doing exercises.

This quote popped into my head today. Fortunately, the power of the interweb allowed me to check the veracity of this quote.

And apparently, it’s misattributed.

First On The Moon : A Voyage with Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins, Edwin E Aldrin, Jr. (1970) edited by Gene Farmer and Dora Jane Hamblin, p. 113, states of this: “Like many a quote which gets printed once and therefore enshrined in the libraries of all newspapers and magazines, this particular one was erroneous. Neil recalled having heard the quote, and he even recalled having repeated it once. He did not subscribe to its thesis, however, and he only quoted it so that he could disagree with it.”

So that sort of ruined the introduction to this post. However!

The real thought about this was, if we do have a finite number of heart beats: wouldn’t exercising help? As your stroke volume and capacity would increase, so less beats would be required. But then, would the beats you used in getting fitter increase the rate of attaining the finite number of beats you have? And then, what if it’s not the rate of your heart beat but the work that your heart is doing that is limited to a finite number?

It was a pointless diversion on a beautiful walk from dropping the tyrant at the tyrant minder.

I used to think it was a great excuse for explaining why I didn’t believe in exercise, and did smoking and drinking instead. But, I think I was kidding myself. I do love exercise, and not just in that “cycling is suffering” bollocks that goes around.

I love/d running, not massive distances. I don’t think I’ve ever covered more than 10 Km in one go. My knees tended to get sore, I got bored after so long. I think my 5 Km time was less than 25 minutes but greater than 20 minutes. I think.

What I got from running is similar to what I get from riding my bike. The state of being alone. Even when I’m with other people, when I’m on my bike I never really interact with them. They’re just there. There’ll be points to stop and chat, but mostly my head is gloriously empty of all the rubbish that populates it during the daily grind of sitting at a desk.

Anyway, I wrote this while listening to Terrence Dixon’s “Self Centred”. From “From the far future pt 2”. I couldn’t find a functioning soundcloud link to the whole album for some reason, but it’s given in this link from Fact mag. Track 1.

All this is not really more than another long (ish) ramble on the way to hiding the fact that I’ve got my first race next weekend and I’m cacking it. I’ve been ill, I’ve been off the bike, I’m not good in crowds, Hillingdon is crashy, and I’m fighting the excuses already.

Neil Armstrong

One thought on “Neil Armstrong

  1. You are going to be fine at Hillingdon…….with calves like those! Just sharpen those elbows and rule 5!

    Like your theory on the efficiency of one’s heart reducing the number of necessary beats too….!

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