Noooo...Not by consuming legal or illegal substances. The trick: Spot the opportunity and immediately develop a plan and execute on it. When required: Adapt the plan and execution of it as we go. Be prepared for others to try and disqualify our results and prevent that from happening.
Not sure how it is today, but when I was at primary school we had these obligatory gym classes. Being a child who was more fond of reading books and trying to discover how things work, then being someone who would excel in the sport arena; These gym classes were not my biggest 'hobby', so to speak. At many occasions, the teacher tried forms of competition, to get us moving. I never was really bad, but I usually didn't belong to the 'winners' as well. You could say, I was mediocre, medium, average. But even, mediocre people can excel from time to time and become winners! So I became a winner at a few events in our school gym. My story...
image created by @edje
Ropes and Racing
Once our teacher created a game in which we had to race along a wall of hanging (vertical) ropes, from one side of the gym to the other side, without touching the floor. Kinda like playing a monkey moving through the Forrest! The one who was the fastest, wins.
A few in my class went first, amongst them one or two real sport jockeys. All climbed the first rope for just a little bit before starting their race to the other side. Looking at what happened, I quickly developed an idea how I could beat all of them. It is mighty difficult to keep the same horizontal height when moving from rope to rope using just your two hands and arms. Sure, feet could be used as well, that was allowed, but when having to move across 30 ropes at least, using the feet to put a part of our bodies weight on, every time when moving one rope, slows you down so much, it will not be a winning strategy.
something like these ones, but then hanging of the ceiling, vertically - image published by Frozen Ropes (source)
So, I decided to climb the first rope all the way to the top, must have been at least 5 to more meters above ground, and started my travel to the other side of the rope curtain from there. Since I had a long way to go to the floor, I didn't had to compensate my body weight completely to stay in a horizontal line, when catching the next rope. I could travel a diagonal line. Within two to three rope changes I discovered I could be much faster this way. Quickly I figured how much height I could loose per shift of rope and started more like jumping from rope to rope (sometimes even skipping one or two), losing a few 10s of centimetres height per jump and ended almost at ground level when reaching the last rope.
A few children followed my example, but most of them only climbed the first rope for a meter or so leaving them not enough room to easily reach the end of the rope curtain. A few tried to disqualify my results stating it was unfair I climbed the first rope all the way to the ceiling and my route was diagonal instead of horizontal. However, no rules where mentioned about this, therefore my teacher decided not to disqualify my race.
As a result: I was declared the winner!
WOW! Although this event happened a long time ago, I still remember I felt darn good! Beating all the others, all those who were really good at sports, just by using my mind, discover the opportunity nobody saw and execute in the most efficient manner.
One Zero! :)
Pushups and Hand Claps
At a similar time in earthly life (maybe a year before, or after, I don't know anymore), our gym teacher wanted all of us to perform some indoor endurance activities. To motivate us, again he decided to make a game out of this. Many exercises we had to do, repetitive exercises. Within a fixed time frame (not sure anymore this was a minute, two or more), we had to repeat the exercise as many times as possible. The number of times we performed each and across all exercise was the measurement of ranking the winners.
Sometime after 4 or 5 exercise, my totals were not more than just mediocre, maybe even less then that. The push-up exercise was up next. We had to push-up as many times as possible. A normal sport exercise with the difference that when pushed up, we had to clap our hands before the next pushup. Since nothing was said about how the pushups shall be carried out, I decided to keep my body at heights level, never bend my arms to move my head and body to the floor before pushing up again. I simply kept my arms straight and used as less energy as possible to jump my body into the air just enough I could execute a quick clap. I can tell you: This was soooo much quicker and required so much less energy and strength than all those who did the real pushups! Some even touching the floor with their chin before the next pushup.
something like this, but then without all the muscles and strenght - image published by Askmen (source)
Not only I won this exercise by far, I even came out top of the class after done all the exercises that day. At least a few classmates (all jockeys) complained at the gym teacher: I could not be declared winner since I didn't execute on the push-up exersize correctly. But, fortunately, the gym teacher agreed with me he never stated how the pushups needed to be done, no concept of proper pushups, nor chin to floor; The only rule was to be in a pushup position and clap the hands as many times as possible. The jockeys were not happy at all! Lost from a skinny book loving classmate with no interest in sports at all.
Two Zero! :)
Be a Winner
During all the gym classes we had during my primary school years, I increases the Two a bit more, but the Zero increased much more making me mediocre (at best) in school gym. But still I feel very happy I could outsmart the best of the best a few times!
You have stories like these? Bring them forward to us; Write about it; Tell us your winners; Entertain us. Those cool and interesting articles, I'll arrange a nice vote for.