Sunday, October 06, 2013

Georges St. Pierre on the difference between Dinosaurs and Cockroaches

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An excerpt from Georges St. Pierre's autobiography, "The Way of the Fight", on the difference between dinosaurs and cockroaches. Believe it or not, GSP relates the dinosaur/cockroach to MMA!

It was disturbing for me to read about the cockroach. If you are clueless as to what I'm talking about, perhaps you should not read the following passages... especially if you can't sleep at night after learning disturbing facts/trivia!

Many people wonder why I’m so interested in dinosaurs and their history. The reason is actually really simple: dinosaurs were the biggest, most physically powerful creatures that ever walked the face of the earth, yet now they’re gone. They ruled the planet for more than 150 million years, but then they became extinct, they just disappeared, and it fascinates me. Ever since my mom bought me that encyclopedia about dinosaurs, I’ve been obsessed. How could these unbelievably powerful, fearsome creatures completely disappear?

But I’m also fascinated by cockroaches. Unlike the dinosaur, the cockroach is built for and exists for one single purpose: survival. It’s the total opposite of a dinosaur. Cockroaches are survival machines. Scientists believe they can survive very high levels of radiation from a nuclear blast, and that’s just the beginning of the story.

The cockroach is one giant nerve, fine-tuned to everything around it: the environment and all immediate sources of potential danger. It’s adaptable to almost any situation it encounters, and that’s what makes the cockroach so interesting. It’s a mobile radar system designed to identify and avoid threats.

The cockroach doesn’t waste a single thing; every part plays a role. It can run up to three miles per hour. It has faster reflexes than humans beings. It can live by eating paper or glue. It has two brains, including one in its behind. It has a set of teeth in its stomach to help it digest food. It can squeeze itself as thin as a dime. It can go about forty minutes under water on a single breath. It has been practicing survival for over 280 million years. A female can stay pregnant her whole life. Its heart doesn’t need to move or beat. It rests for 75 percent of its existence. It lives in cracks and nooks—so, anywhere. It survives at minus-32 degrees Celsius, no problem. It has one giant nerve from head to tail, and the hairs on its back legs measure disturbances in the air. And finally, it can live for a full week without its head, until it dies—just because it can’t drink water anymore. For humans, the cockroach is rather scary and intimidating, very suspicious and totally repulsive. It doesn’t even have a pretty name: the cockroach. But it persists.

Dinosaurs were huge and powerful; they could not adapt and they died out. And so the big difference between dinosaurs and cockroaches is adaptability: one is able to adjust, while the other, apparently, couldn’t. Dinosaurs didn’t make adjustments, either because they didn’t feel they needed to, or couldn’t understand that they needed to. They were slowly but surely dying out as food became scarce and their environment changed around them—be it temperature or the arrival of mammals.

The same analogy applies to fighting, and probably any other sport. It’s not always the strong that survive. It takes brains, guts, tolerance and forward thinking. We’ve seen this since the beginning of mixed martial arts.

A review is forthcoming of GSP's autobiography.

Were you creeped out by the cockroach facts as much as I was?

In case you missed my previous GSP-related entries:



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