Friday, 17 August 2012

Found it!

Well, how's about that!

For what seems like years now I've been wondering where I heard or read a quote by a General about doubling the size of one's lungs.

Thinking about John's questions yesterday prompted me to look again and I not only found the quote but also where I read it:

"In war, as in peace, a man needs all the brains he can get. Nobody ever had too many brains. Brains come from oxygen. Oxygen comes from the lungs where the air goes when we breathe. The oxygen in the air gets into the blood and travels to the brain. Any fool can double the size of his lungs." George Patton from 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself

I downloaded 100 Ways to Motivate Yourself by Steve Chandler from the Safari books online site back in 2008 (Safari books online was a really useful perk. I miss it.) I ended up buying the paperback as well and have dipped into the book many times but it never occurred to me the quote was integral to one of the chapters.

General Patton sounds an interesting character. Even if he wasn't technically or physiologically accurate with his quote, I have many times noticed an improvement in my ability to think when I exercise regularly and even force myself to step away from the keyboard.

Reading about Laura Trott overcoming her own lung problems to win Olympic gold is inspiring. Then there are the Tour de France athletes: Bradley Wiggins with a heart like a V8 engine and Miguel Indurain having a vastly greater lung capacity to the rest of us mere mortals yet still I wonder... Some of us are born with natural advantages but can the rest of us improve what we have?

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