Hammertime

So wave your hands in the air
Bust through the moves
Run your fingers through your hair
This is it for a winner
Dance to this and you’re gonna get thinner!!!

-M.C. Hammer: Can’t Touch this.

Hovering in front of brilliant trees and blue sky on the corner next to my house, this graffiti cracks me up every time I pass.

A college student when “Can’t touch this” was a hit in 1990, I used to dance my brains out (badly) to this song.

Wikipedia contains many cultural references to “hammertime”. But they completely miss the bicyle racing useage; to most two-wheeled athletes, going really hard is “hammering”, and “hammertime” means the race is ON.

I can’t think of an equivalent speedskating expression. Years ago I heard Kip Carpenter once call going really fast “roasting your pair” (legs? or your opponent on the track?), but that does not have the same ring.

Don’t laugh at M.C. Hammer, he currently has a blog where he writes haiku like entries about his faith, and the things he sees all around him.

Looking at these lyrics, I never considered the weight-loss benefits surrounding “hammertime”, but think of how many calories have been lost during this song! Maybe America’s looming obesity nightmare can be solved through strong doses of “Hammertime” “Groove is in the Heart” and “Everybody Dance Now“. Maybe it’s our national lack of these qualities that contributes to the problem.

I am writing to you all on an off day from training, a truly needed off day too… The last two weeks have been craptastically hard. But walking to the coffee shop with my hands in my pockets against the chilly fall air, I can tell my hip flexors have much more size and definition than any other year of racing I have ever done.

This time of the year, it’s all about refining race fitness & taking speedskating specific musculature to new levels. I hope all this hard work, this circular roasting hammertime, will take me to the next step.

Meanwhile in Missouri, the artisan who built Apollo Anton Ohno’s skates continues working on my new boots. It looks like the molds of my feet have been sprayed with some magical, pink substance. Hmmm.. maybe liquid Hammertime???

10 Responses to “Hammertime”

  1. Hmmmmm…I think you should add some lime green to those pink foot molds. Then you’d really be back in the early ’90’s!

    Now that I’m working full-time instead of training, it looks like I need to find ways of preventing myself from getting fat, just like the rest of my fellow Americans. I’d love to be able to continue to speedskate, just for fun, to stay in shape, but here in Salt Lake City, how can I really do that? The club speedskating session starts at 5:30 PM, so when I get off work at 5 PM and rush hour starts, how can I possibly get across the valley in time to get my skates on? Never mind getting any sort of warmup off the ice.

    Those Air Med helicopters parked outside the University Hospital are starting to look really appealing. I wonder what would happen if I “borrowed” one? Hey, it’s not my fault SLOC decided to build the Utah Olympic Oval across they valley from the University.

    Maybe I will look into those aerobics classes at the Oquirrh Park Fitness Center. At least they have them at 6 in the morning. “Groove is in the heart,” baby!!!

  2. Oops…I didn’t mean to make it sound like I’m saying that all my fellow Americans are fat - I’m trying to say that we all need to find ways of staying in shape! (Let me make it clear who it is that I’m NOT trying to insult with this comment!)

    Anyway, I’d really like to hear from some European recreational speedskaters: Are there ice sessions available on the European speedskating ovals that don’t interfere with the normal workday? Because here in the USA, either your parents have to pay for your skating so you don’t have to work, or you have to work the graveyard shift if you want to skate and have to pay for it yourself.

  3. It’s ok Eva. Americans are pretty fat.

    M.C. Hammer?

    Oh. My. God.

  4. That right ankle bone looks pretty funky.Looks more pink than the left one.

  5. sue, maybe my right foot needs more “magic hammertime” than my left, actually in the turns, its my left foot that needs techical work…

    and bro, Hammer was before your time, so your attitude is forgiven, besides, if there is one human being on the planet who dances WORSE than me, it’s you….

  6. I like the phrase “it’s go time.” Dropping the hammer also works. And to quote Bonnie Blair commentary, “throwing in the strokes” at the end of the race means you’re really pushing it…speaking of pushing it, I remember seeing guys skating around in hilarious M.C. Hammer pants. What good wind-resistance training that could be!

  7. Egad, i think of pink and lime as late 60s, not early 90s!

    Driving hard is putting the hammer down.

    My favorite parallel is construction - measure, cut, fit, yeah, but then with floors and shingles, it’s just pound, pound, pound. I’d rather be sweating the pounds off on a roof right now…

  8. Hey Andrew, Groove is in the Heart was one of my pre race songs last year. Love that song! But since my Ipod was stolen I don’t have the groove on for this year yet. Love Bootsy and Lady Miss Kier. Funny didn’t think an upstate New Yorker like yourself would be into that stuff. Thought you’d like Metallica and the Heavy Metal stuff. -brian

    Oh yea Eva I long ago gave up on warming up since I work fulltime the last few years. I just jog for a bit and warmup on the ice. My longest warmup is 10-15 minutes. I like working in West Valley since it’s a little closer to Kearns. I have been skating better since I did away with my warmup.

  9. For David: Your comment inspired me and I can’t resist -

    Oh. My. God.
    Becky, look at her butt.
    It is so big.

    From MCHammer to Sir Mixalot!

  10. Hey Eva, don’t worry, because you’ll never be as fat as me. The other day I read that I’m 300lbs… who knew?

    As for the songs, they’re all great. Who can’t listen to them and wanna get up and “shake it”? Plus, don’t they just remind you of good times? I think I’d laugh every time I pass that stop sign, and then have to force myself to get that song out of my head for the rest of the day, and the Nationwide Insurance commercial… Nationwide is on YOUR side!!!!

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