The Great Thing About You, Part 1

Being part of the fitness world means talking about muscles a lot. Muscles can be improved and in the frenzy to improve them in the best, most revolutionary way, it’s easy to forget that there are pretty sizeable chunks of you that do not need improving.

Most of you, really.

Muscles are pretty cool, sure, but there is so much other cool stuff going on in that body of yours; some of it you don’t have to work so hard for. Some if it is just there, free and clear, improving your quality of life in ways you may not even realize.

One of those things, which you get as a door prize just for being born human, is a pair of eyes that can see color better than most other mammals on the planet.

A4waveleLight moves in waves, and the distance between the peaks of those waves—what’s called wavelength—dictates what color light you’re looking at. The difference between the wavelengths of, say, blue light and orange light is around 100 nanometers.

Looking at this color wheel is practically super power
Looking at this color wheel is practically a super power

A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. For perspective, an object 100 nanometers wide will still pass through a surgical mask. Apply that infinitesimal distance to a wave of light and shoot it through your eye and it’s the difference between blue and orange: two colors you can distinguish so well, they could literally not be more different.Screen Shot 2014-03-17 at 3.22.19 pm

If that wasn’t amazing enough, the average human eye can comfortably discern wavelengths of light that are a single nanometer apart. That’s half the diameter of a DNA molecule. That’s how much human fingernails grow in one second. We’re talking on the size scale of atoms here, and you’re carrying two self-regulating, self-repairing, fully networked cameras in your skull sensitive enough to measure and use that information in real time.

Living in a world where that is true means that, sometimes, I just can’t get that fired up about bicep circumference.

So take a moment today, when you happen to glance at your socks and notice that one is just a shade or two lighter than the other, realize that you are effortlessly perceiving something on a scale barely conceivable by your conscious, rational brain, and be grateful that in this and many, many other ways, you are so much stronger than you think.

4 thoughts on “The Great Thing About You, Part 1

  1. Having just completed cataract surgery I can tell you that the colors of this world are truly beautiful and are truly amazing. Thanks for the reminder.

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