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Let This Exercising Golden Retriever Help You Understand Sports

Dogs can't do crunches. Dogs don't need to do crunches. This dog is kind of trying to do crunches.

by David Roth
May 19 2017, 10:15pm

There is no keeping up with it. Because there is so much of it and because it does not stop, and because there is nothing that we can do to diminish the volume or the relentless wash of it all, there is just no keeping up. This is just the world reminding you that it's there, to an extent, but lately, a little more forcefully. Ordinarily, this is a persistent and even bracing pressure; think of a single pebble at the bottom of a rushing river. Sometimes the water rushes faster than others, but it runs always and always in the same direction. We are there at the bottom, smoothing out under the pressure.

Of late, it is more than that. The river is swollen and rude; some formerly frozen thing is melting, and pushing cold new streams into the current. Tributaries top their banks and meet each other catastrophically in the middle, they unite to blast silt and strange oils into the current. And the rush of it does not just move over us, now. It turns us over, it does not carry us so much as it pushes us, stripping the riverbed. We are in chaotic motion, not so much forward as down and down. This is not a thing we can keep up with. It is not a thing that can be kept up with. It's a flood, although it may be a while before we get around to naming it as such.

It is a nice thing, believing that you are in control. Within the very narrow band of order that holds, down where we are, that any sort of control is possible. It is only possible in a limited way, control, but it's possible. This is not the same thing as the control that the current has over us; it is not command. It is expressive, mostly. It is a question of the choices we make in the face of the ceaseless rush above; it's how we face the current. When it is too strong, it is a question of how we roll. It's a matter of how we turn the work of all this into something more redeeming, more human, more us, and more like play. It is not the same thing as control, really. But it is not the same thing as defeat, either.

So yeah, you're goddamn right that the golden retriever above is doing sports. We should all play as hard. What else is there?