Friday, December 24, 2004

d is for doping

Random weird connection. Some talk show on NPR talking about the recent sports doping scandals made the interesting connection between sports doping and other realms of performance enhancing drugs, i.e. academics and music. I never personally knew of anyone who was into sports enough to be a likely steroid user, so the prevalence of it though widespread didn’t really hit me.

But the expert suggested that there are college students who take un-prescribed Ritalin to help them study for exams, and musicians who take beta blockers to help them escape stage fright. I know people who do both.

Who knew that Ritalin, miracle treatment for ADD would work for anybody to provide added focus. And then you have to wonder, is it really wrong.

It was shocking how casually this one girl admitted to the Beta Blocker trick, for a high school violin recital of all things. These drugs prevent your heart rate from increasing. It is something I can relate to very well. I pretty much choke every audition I’ve ever been in, because my heart must triple in speed to a rate I never feel in any other situation, including exercise. But a drug seems like a ridiculous measure. The girl joking warned to be careful. She had gone jogging after the recital and passed out because her heart couldn’t provide enough oxygen since it couldn’t beat fast enough.

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