Lance in the Bush

Well, technically, ‘Lance in the Bush Ranch’ but then that doesn’t make a good headline. What does make a good headline is “Rabid Rabbi Runs Amok” which was what a paper in Dunstable recently ran with after, surprisingly, a rabid Rabbi did indeed run amok. But I digress, whilst that headline may have written itself, this blog will not.

I opened my pocket (if it was a clown’s pocket) sized Times today to find a story about (multi Tour-winning) Lance Armstrong spending some time at the Bush family ranch in Texas. It’s hardly a revelation to me that a fellow Texan is being invited to share campfire stories and herd cattle but what is a revelation is the President’s apparent level of fitness. Having heard about his mountain biking accident at the G8 and various mishaps in the past I was shocked to discover he has a resting pulse of 47 and can run 3 miles in under 20 minutes. I used to be reasonably fit and strong and am hoping to regain that and more in the run-up to our wedding in 2007 but I’m fairly sure that reaching those levels of fitness could take some considerable work … and I’ve got 31 years on the President. Ok, so he might be a bit clueless at times but you can’t dispute those figures. He must ensure his security team have similar levels of stamina to keep up … unless he supplies them with horses. (aside: more about the Prairie Chapel Ranch)

Oddly, the article goes on to describe that Lance is actually a bit left of centre. How odd that we are even made aware of a sportsman’s feelings on abortion, the Iraq war and so on (more about Lance's political aspirations)… does this affect the ordinary man? It says more about the long hours spent in the saddle pondering the Big Questions than it does about the political aspirations of sporting champs. In the UK I can’t imagine asking Paula Radcliffe, David Beckham, Ellen McCarthur or Steve Redgrave where they stood on such issues. But it’s not unlikely that a tabloid paper could discover and discuss Tony Blair’s resting heart rate. I’d wager that our premier isn’t in quite as rude health as his Cowboy chum. Best he gets Paula round to Chequers post haste.

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