Tag Archives: solar system

Moon Joggers

Here is an inspiring story about a group of runners from around the world who decided to run the distance from the Earth to the moon(238,857 miles/384,403 km) by combining their miles – A simple fitness goal shoots to the moon: The inspiring story of the Moon Joggers

They wondered, could they enlist the help of others and run the distance to the moon — 238,857 miles?

“We thought if we could get 237 other people to run 1,000 miles, we’d get there by the end of the year,” says Angie, 31, who works with special-needs children in Frisco while working on her MBA. “We put it on Facebook, and it exploded.”

That was Dec. 1. Within the month, “we had hundreds of people all over the world,” she says.

On May 23, seven months and eight days earlier than scheduled, the runners had accumulated enough miles to reach the moon. When Angie posted the big news on Facebook, Moon Joggers in Finland, Turkey, Egypt and New Zealand as well as the United States posted giddy congratulations.

This is really neat and inspiring. Very often, the right kind of motivation makes all the difference. There are so many different approaches that can keep runners motivated. This is one of the most unique ones I’ve heard of in a while. It’s like I always say, be creative when it comes to fitness, use your imagination.

I gotta admit of course that I immediately thought of “moon joggling”. This can involve the same goal of running 238,857 miles to the moon, while juggling balls that look like moons. If this distance isn’t challenging enough for you, then maybe you should consider jogging or joggling to Mars, which is 140 million miles(225.3 km) away from Earth, on average(this distance constantly changes due to the Earth and Mars having different orbits and because they move around the sun at different speeds).

238,857 miles or 140 million miles may sound like a lot to some of you, but compared to the size of the universe, this is nothing. The observable universe is a sphere with a radius of 46 billion light years – and it is expanding as I write this. One light year = 5.87849981 × 1012 miles(9.4605284 × 1012 kilometers). I think a saw an apartment in Manhattan the other day that went for around this much. It’s something of a brain exercise trying to imagine something so extremely vast, nevertheless, see if you can run that!

Life is a ball

On this blog, I have restricted myself to saying how wonderful, and life-affirming juggling is, until now. It is now time to discuss the dark side of juggling. Perhaps the biggest negative is that when you are a juggler, you run the risk of developing a mental illness called “sphairaphilia”. What is “sphairaphilia”? It is an obsession with balls and spherical objects. I coined the term myself(I even Googled it first to see if it was already being used), from the Greek words “sphaira” for “ball” or “sphere” and “philia”, for “love”.

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People with this obsession generally want to either play or juggle any round objects they encounter. I admit I have this condition. Everywhere I go, balls call out to me – “Juggle me!”, “Juggle me!”. Of course this isn’t always possible or appropriate.

As tempting as it is, I don’t juggle those expensive ornamental type balls I see at antique stores or Pier 1(or rather I do it very rarely). Maybe if I was Bill Gates or Warren Buffett I would, since I could break a million of them and it really wouldn’t matter how much they cost. I do, however, often juggle fruit at grocery stores and supermarkets, and have so far managed to not get myself into trouble.

Another symptom of this illness is sadness over the inability to juggle certain really big balls. The earth, for instance, is a giant spherical object – a really big ball! Although I live on it, I unfortunately cannot juggle it. Or any other planet, for that matter. Archimedes, the ancient Greek mathematician and engineer once said “Give me a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the earth.”

Perhaps I am a bit more ambitious than Archimedes, but I love to think that: “Give me but a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall juggle the earth, and mars and venus”. Maybe we are related, I am of Greek origins after all.

From my usual vantage point, I can’t see that the earth is a giant sphere, but there is another giant ball I often see(through dark sunglasses) while I joggle outside – the sun. How I wish I could reach out and grab it and juggle it. But it is 93 million miles away. And it’s a big ball of fiery gas, a giant nuclear fusion reaction – billions of tons of hydrogen getting converted to billions of tons of helium every minute and in the process, releasing so much heat and light that we can feel it across the solar system. There wouldn’t be any life at all on the ball called earth without the ball of gas we call the sun.

The sun itself is just one of countless stars in the entire universe. There are between 10^22 and 10^24 stars (between 10 sextillion and 1 septillion stars) in the entire universe. That is an incredibly huge number! And yet I will never be able to juggle any of them, not even any dwarf stars.

God, or the universe or whatever you want to call it gets to juggle all these stars, and planets and meteors. How I envy this! And manages to do so entirely within the laws of physics, as far as we can tell. Even the planet we are currently living on is getting juggled, it is revolving around the sun and the sun itself is moving through the universe within our galaxy.

The same laws of physics that I work with while juggling are the same rules that apply to all the stars, planets, and other objects getting juggled throughout the universe. The balls I use may be plastic, but it’s all part of the same glorious game. The elements in the plastic, the carbon and everything else were once inside of giant stars billions of years ago;  so was the matter that is now the planet earth and all life. It really is true that we are all made of stardust. So I am juggling parts of stars after all.

There is no cure for sphairophilia. Even though you will be super-obsessed with balls, and stars, you will more than make up for this by being super-fit, and being super-coordinated. You will also realize just how small we are, in the grand scheme of things.

If you want to get fit and stay fit, it helps to have a well-rounded fitness routine. Have a ball!