Saturday, July 25, 2009

Lousy at sports

Google “boys of steel” (come on now, don’t let me be the only one) and you’ll find that the majority of results have to do with a book called Boys of Steel: The Creators of Superman.

According to that book, writer Jerry Siegel and artist Joe Shuster were “lousy at sports.”

So I find it funny (come on now, don’t let me be the only one) that buried among those results are two related to athletics.

The first non-book “Boys of Steel” is a charity golf tournament. It’s sponsored by SME Steel (whose short web site intro, one of the few ever that I haven’t immediately skipped, strikes me as a cross between a cyborg movie trailer and an electronica rap video). It benefits a Utah school called West Ridge Academy. The logo says it’s the sixth annual but the text says it’s the seventh. Either way, it’s going strong, as steel tends to do.

In 2008, I contacted the school to see if we could partner in some way, thinking the synergy was too good to pass up. (On a secondary level, I wondered if this could also be my overdue motivation to learn to play golf.) I emphasized that I felt the book would tie in nicely with a youth competition because its central theme is the importance of persistence. That is a universal message but one with heightened relevance for athletes (and artists). The school declined this year, but perhaps for the seventh (or eighth)?

The second non-book “Boys of Steel” is a boys-only gymnastics class. It’s offered by Energyplex, a Canadian family recreation center that opened in 2009. I contacted them, too, because when you say “gymnastics,” the first thing most people think of next is “picture books.”

Joking aside, there is always possibility. I pitched them ideas including a special offer—sign up for the class by a certain date and the cost includes a copy of the book. The class is good for the body, the book is good for the mind! The owner kindly suggested that I check back in the fall, when enrollment is likely to pick up.

It’s not just the book that is about persistence.

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