Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Found My Inner Magellan

As many readers of roundseventeen know I am obsessed with mathematics. At one time in my life I even considered a career in Math. Perhaps as an engineer. Or as a math teacher. Or both.
But, as irony would have it, there's no money in Math. The numbers simply didn't work out. So I ditched Calculus and Education for a field in which I could really make a difference in the world -- Advertising.

Nevertheless, I still love math (as does my oldest daughter who despite being in 9th grade is studying 10th grade honors Geometry. You'll have to excuse my kvelling.)

Today, as logged my latest 3 mile run into my journal, it occurred to me that I have been running steadily for the last 26 years. As many of my neighbors can attest, I am faithful to the discipline. I'm often stopped at the supermarket by complete strangers, "Hey you're that mustachioed guy I always see running in Culver City."

26 years equals a lot of miles. How many, I thought.

Here's how it breaks out: I average 3 miles a day, 6 days a week. Mind you when I was training for marathons or triathlons, I logged considerably more miles. But then I also have to subtract miles for vacations, illness, business travel or days I was simply to hung over to slip into my Dolphin running shorts (never a pretty picture).

18 miles a week X 52 weeks a year = 936 miles per year.
936 miles per year X 26 years = 24, 336 miles.

The circumference of the Earth is 24,901 miles. Which means in approximately 6 more months I will have circled the planet.

In 1522, Ferdinand Magellan completed the first circumnavigation of the Earth. It took him 3 years to complete the journey. And actually, according to Wikipedia, he was killed in the Battle of Mactan in the Philippines and never literally accomplished the task.

So barring any unforeseen tragedy, I will achieve what Magellan could not.
And I'm not on a boat.


Mark said...

I will be there at the finish line when you complete this amazing life journey Rich. Mostly to see the shorts.

Jeff said...

I’ve done a little math of my own. Growing up on the mean streets of West L.A. (north of Wilshire), there weren’t any In-N-Out Burgers near me. I didn’t have my first Double-Double until about 1989. Now I probably have about one a week. So if I figure one a week is 52 a year, for the last 21 years, then I’ve had 1,092 Double Doubles in my life. Which is 2,184 patties of meat. Magellan never achieved that either. Although he probably couldn’t hear his arteries slamming shut.