The crowds are roaring on both sides of the street. The roads are blocked, and thousands are watching from both sides as a small skinny man in a white tank top comes closer and closer. Six others follow him in all black as they all approach the finish line. The clock is ticking up second by second as he is in the final stretch of breaking what is humanly possible. Then he crosses the line, changing distance running forever. This man is Eliud Kipchoge. 

At first glance, this image might seem quite simple. It’s just a man running a marathon, but it is so much more than that. He is surrounded by thousands of fans cheering his name. This marathon broke many boundaries, and the first one depicted in this image is Eliud. He is the center of the image, and all of the focus is on him. His arm is soaring above him. The huge smile on his face and the composure he has after completing the most grueling races in all of sport is incredible. He almost seems as if it was easy. His stance and body language serve to inspire others; there are no limits. His posture and his form show his confidence and his pride in his hard work and training for achieving this insane feat. 

The pacers behind him represent some of the greatest runners from across the world. This team included 41 elite marathon runners from 12 different countries all over the globe. These pacers display unity. In times of human innovation and also in times of need, the world is capable of dropping their flags to come together to achieve, in this case, something that is not possible. 

The caption of this photo opened with, “Today we went to the moon and back.” This statement is symbolic of a significant step for humanity. It is bringing a parallel between two giant leaps for the human race, much like the space race back in the ’60s. Kipchoge was also repeatedly comparing the sub-two-hour marathon to the Apollo 11 mission.

Kipchoge also demonstrates that boundaries need to be pushed, and ceilings need to be broken through this image. This photo also came with the hashtag: “no human is limited” (#nohumanislimited). This image is trying to say that everyone is capable of doing great things. #nohumanislimitedis does not only apply to the sport of running. He follows his hashtag with “No matter what the challenge in life.” He intends to inspire all to achieve greatness.

A simple glance at this image makes it appear as just someone crossing the finish line of a race. This image means a whole lot more than that. It embodies the inspiration and greatness of the man who posted it. Its purpose may seem like a celebration, and it is. But it is also a beacon of inspiration for the rest of humanity. A hashtag to start a movement for something much more significant than a race.  


Youth Sports and the Spine

Overuse sports injuries are nothing new. It is not uncommon to see your favorite football player tear their ACL or favorite pitcher tear a rotator cuff in professional sports. Still, these injuries are becoming more and more common among youth athletes, especially spinal injuries. Spinal injuries can lead to lifelong pain and injuries. It is also common for youth athletes to specialize in one sport and train for upwards of 10 hours per week during their season, which can onset injury in young athletes due to overtraining. Youth athletes are also more inclined than ever to overtrain themselves because of collage recruitment and how competitive youth sports have become. 

The increase in volume and intensity of youth sports cause athletes to have overuse injuries. Young athletes are also more susceptible to overuse injuries in sports due to their immaturity in muscle and body development. The spine is a crucial element of the body that connects many muscles to the brain and transfers a lot of force from the lower body to the upper body or vice versa. Considering the spine is an epicenter in the body, it is most important to keep healthy and prevent injury for many youth sports.

Another of the primary causes of overuse spine injuries in youth athletes is the lack of development in certain muscle groups. The specific area that usually affects the spine is the lack of core strength to support the muscles that surround the spine. Havard medical states’ core strength is one of the keys to just staying fit and avoiding injuring all of the body (https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/avoid-back-pain-and-improve-balance-by-strengthening-core-muscles). Neuromuscular expert Dr. Robert Hammill also said, “The failure to absorb the forces of gait with weak lower extremity muscles may impose a high demand on the lumbar spine stabilizing muscles during gait and exercise” (Hammill et al., 454). Core strength is a crucial part of injury prevention in all athletes. The core is especially important to youth athletes because their bodies, and core muscles, are not fully developed, making the spine more susceptible to injuries. 

Athletes also need to do other things to keep their bodies healthy such as diet, avoiding overtraining, and proper stretching. Diet is important because youth athletes do not always have the most suitable diets getting all the proper vitamins, minerals, and calories necessary for them to recovery properly. Proper recovery prevents injury. Youth athletes often get overtrained by their coaches or themselves, trying to maximizing their performance. This increase in training usually results in athletes having a decrease in performance and can lead to injury. Athletes also need to properly warm up cool down and stretch to prevent small and large overuse injuries. 

Lastly, the most critical part is education and awareness for both coaches, parents, and athletes. Most injuries are preventable by incorporating proper stretching, diet, and core work into athletes’ daily routine. 

P3 Anxieties

I am wiring my paper on overuse injuries and their abundance in youth athletics. I am going to go in depth about why the increase industry of youth sports in America has majorly contributed to more serious overuse injuries in kids 10-18 years old. My plan is to start with my background knowledge and just build that into my thesis and research. My anxieties about writing this are not being able to find the exact research I need to connect my thesis to my argument. I am concerned that I have not yet found any specific articles or books that correlate the growth in competitiveness in youth athletics to reason why youth athletes are at a higher risk for these long term overuse. They are at high risk for overuse injuries because they are not fully developed. I feel good about my ability to write this paper in a timely manner and finish on time. I am just worried I may have to slightly tweak my thesis so my research properly supports my argument. I am also worried I may go over the word cap for this paper. Whenever I assignments such as this I just get everything out on the page and it ends up ending being way too much. So I will definitely need to go back and revise/ cut my paper down. Overall I am confident in my abilities to write a good argument with good research to support it.

Final research topic

I have solidified that I am gonna do my paper on overuse injuries in sports particularly pertaining to youth athletics. I am basing my research off of a few sports that where overuse injuries are very prevalent in youth athletics such as baseball, rowing, tennis and a few more. I will also focus briefly on why they are so prevalent and what can be done to prevent these serious and possibly life long injuries. I will need to establish why overuse injuries are so larger in some sports and also why they are so important to avoid for youth athletes. Youth athletics is very important in our society and it is important that we are teaching developing athletes to love the sport they are playing, not be overworked into injury.

P2 Proposal Idea

I am planning on doing my research on injuries in youth sports. I want to research why serious injuries such as torn ACL’s, serious rib and back injuries, and more happen in youth sports and can affect these athletes for the rest of their lives. I think it is crazy how competitive and serious sports for kids are from 5-12th grade are. The raised level of competitiveness and commitment has yielded many positive results that society praises, but also has many negative ones people ignore. Youth sports injuries are serious because they can impact athletes lives forever. I wanna research this and determine wether this increased level of youth sports is worth it for kids considering the injury risks and the life-long effects of those injuries.

Powering Space Colonization

Space colonization is a fascinating topic. Tons of movies and Tv shows along with new scientific research being done make it very prevalent in todays society. That being said many of these ideas about space colonization are oversimplified in society and pop culture. The resources that are needed to power space colonization are quite complex and have several different variables. Some of the largest resources needed are money, food, oxygen, and several more for people to survive, but I am only going to focus on the fuel and natural resources  required to get to the new colonizations and the fuel needed to power those colonies. The natural resources needed for space colonization to exist are complicated.

Getting to any space colonization from earth or from another space colonization is going to require fuel to power the rockets. Currently the only rocket that could possibly be up for these tasks would be the SpaceX Falcon9. This rocket runs on a a rocket fuel called RP-1. Basically, this fuel is a very refined jet fuel and is made from coal. This fuel is then burned with liquid oxygen. Getting this fuel on earth is no easy task and requires tons of chemical energizers to prefect the fuel for the rockets. The issue arises when there are multiple space colonies and rockets are no longer only going between earth and one said colony. Natural resources for fuel will need to be easily accessible and ready so travel for supplies that are not able to be grown in space can be imported. 

Many natural resources can be found on planets and astroids. Coal however is made from the dead remains of plants from millions of years ago, therefore it cannot be mined from astroids or planets if they have no life. This means alternative energy sources need to be utilized for space colonization. The optimal energy resource would obviously be solar. Solar energy would offer great benefits for colonies living in space. It would be able to power basically everything they would need while living in space. It could power the rovers they driver around on to the all of their electronics, etc. The biggest issue with solar is it is no where near powerful enough, yet, to power any rocket. Solar is also an issue if there is every an eclipse or a large space storm. Eclipses in space from the moon can be drastically different from those on earth lasting several hours to multiple days. But alternative energy sources need to be found for both life support in space and transportation. 

Currently the best opportunity for alternative fuel sources is from water. This water would be mined from the ice in places like the poles of the moon and can through a very complicated process of splitting the Hydrogen and Oxygen atoms can be made into fuel. All in all the power behind staying alive and traveling to and from space colonizations is a huge issue. 

Rolling Loud with a little bit of Euphoria

Contemporary music festivals are a hot commodity in the United States, but one with a severe drug problem. In Daniel’s paper about the drug problem at contemporary music festivals, she makes a very good argument. She uses robust vocabulary to establish her command over the drug crisis going on at contemporary music festivals. This strong vocabulary is seen throughout the duration of the paper. Daniels is also reliable at demonstrating her command and authority by backing up her facts with quotes from valuable sources. An example of this is when she mentions how drugs are a crucial part of much contemporary music festival attendee’s experience with her quote from Franciotti. Her essay is also effective at helping the reader understand by sympathizing with some victims of the drug crisis. Her paper, “The Drugs, Death, and Rock “N” Roll” is perfectly timed. Right now, contemporary music festivals are more popular than ever, and the legalization of drugs such as marijuana across the United States makes this very relevant. Overall she did a very effective and compelling job getting her argument across to the reader.

Daniels wrote an influential paper with a solid argument. She asserts her authority throughout the essay. Daniels is very good at demonstrating her knowledge of Drugs, Death, and Rock’  N’ Roll by being assertive. She is also good at using people who have established their authority to develop her own. Her logic is sound and is easy to follow. She consistently breaks pieces down to help the reader understand the individual elements of her rather complex argument. The only part of the paper I would have recommended she improve upon was that personal connection to the reader. I feel that she could have been much more effective by including a short story of someone affected by music festivals that was not all facts. I think this would have helped the reader relate to her argument, especially if they have never attended a music festival before. Adding this emotional element would be the only thing I would change. Her lack of emotion made it difficult for the reader to relate to the essay, but did not take away from quality of her wiring.

Analysis: Drugs, Death, & Rock ‘N’ Roll

  • Thesis: “It is up to festival officials to change the rhetoric and focus on absolute drug eradication within contemporary music festivals to a more hands-on, harm-reduction approach.”
    • Clear and concise
    • ends the intro paragraph 
  • Ethos 
    • Takes commanding lead right away by demonstrating good knowledge and following it with facts and evidence 
      • strong vocabulary 
      • Constantly throughout paper is quoting valid sources that only make her argument stronger and more credible 
  • Pathos 
    • Author makes the story almost personal in a sense mentioning specific victims of illicit drug use at music festivals 
      • Very specifically talks about certain drugs in detail
      • makes reader almost feel some of her anger and frustration towards festivals directors 
        • Makes it personal and explains how she has seen this first hand 
  • Logos 
    • Strong argument that very thoroughly breaks down how festivals are and how logically they should change in the interest of keeping people safe
      • Has very powerful facts that are always immediately backed up quotes and or evidence 
      • Is good at playing the devils advocate at times like when mentioning why festival directors feel certain ways about taking certain actions 
  • Kairos 
    • Her argument is at a perfect time. As the government is having a huge battle of whether marijuana should be legalized along with other drugs. 
    • Her argument is also very valid and timely because contemporary  music festivals are extremely popular right now and growing at exponential rates. With new festivals emerging annually the United States alone hosts several hundred every year where illicit drug use is at taking place

The Race of a Lifetime  

There I was. Heart beating slowly. I could hear every beat in my head as I sat on the start line, knowing that as soon as the flag dropped, it would go up to 180 beats per minute. I sat there knowing that the lactic acid in my legs would build and build, making my muscles feel like I was on fire, but I would crave that pain. Then I hear the starter turn on the megaphone and say, “Ready…Attention…Row”. My body, along with my three teammates, explodes off the start, pushing our high carbon fiber rowing shell from 0-48 strokes per minute. We were on the start line of the Stotesberry cup, the largest and most significant scholastic high school rowing race in the world, but to us, it was just another race. A race that Jake, Jack, and I had been preparing for all four years of high school. Jake, Jack and I all started rowing together freshman year and were my closet friends, and sat right behind me in the boat. All of our hard work had built up to this moment; every meter row, every minute at practice, every weight lifted lead us to this moment.

We took a full length from Fordham off the start, and we’re sitting in first with a comfortable lead. My legs were burning, and my heart rate was 195 BPM, but none of that mattered. After the start, we pulled away. We went under the first bridge, and we pulled away from the field of other boats. This was the relaxed part; the adrenaline was rushing. I was getting excited. We quickly moved ahead of Fordham and broke them easily. But then came the hard part. We now had used more energy than all the other crews and had to hold on and hope our training was enough. 

Next thing I knew, we were 500 meters down. Where the adrenaline wears off and all of the boats actual pace is displayed. The rest of the field dropped back. It was just us and Fordham prep. I slowed the pace just enough to catch my breath but also maintain enough speed to keep our lead. Joe, our coxswain, was encouraging us. He screamed into the mic that we need to hold our form, and the race was ours to win. This middle 500 went by quickly. Before I knew it, we were just before the final 500-meter marker. In my head, I thought, “This is the hardest part right here. It is all mental now”. Then the time to sprint had come. 

The intensity was rising as Fordham started to reel us is. We now had 200 meters left. I could feel my heart rate hitting the threshold. 200bpm, 202, 203, 205. The finish line could not come soon enough. We were maintaining the lead. Every stroke I took felt good. I could feel the finish line coming. Then Joe made the final call: “Blackout Ten,” he shouted. Our goal was to go so hard that you would blackout. Joe counted down the strokes. “3…2…1”. Then he screamed, “Yes! Yes, Boys.” At that moment nothing else mattered. The lactate and pain in my muscles immediately perished. 

All our hard work paid off. We paddled over to the trophy dock. We got out of the boat, and my coach greeted me with a huge hug that felt like it lasted forever. He congratulated all of us and had us step up onto the podium. The medals from a polished silver platter came to the podium. My coach shook my hand, and I bowed my head to revive my medal. There was no better feeling than this one. My coach, who was a solemn man and rarely smiled, had the happiest expression on his face. We knew all of our hard work paid off as we lifted the Bill Beldon Cup and everyone cheered. The thought hit me. All the hours, meters and pain spent and suffered was worth it to achieve this one moment. 

First Blog Post: Zach Kramer

Hi my name is Zach Kramer. I am from Oceanport New Jersey. Some of my hobbies include rowing, going to the beach, binging game of thrones and hanging out with friends My major right now is currently undecided, but I am probably going to end up majoring in some discipline of business. I am also a part of the crew team here at UD. The crew team at UD is what drew me to the school; It is a really fun competitive group of guys that I am really excited to be a part of. I am also excited to join new clubs and have new experiences at UD. I am really excited for this semester!