I am back again writing for the newsletter after a brief absence spent caring for the latest addition to my family. Having handed off the more serious responsibilities of the NICHD Fellows Committee to the next generation of leadership, I am taking a more relaxed role as “Sporting Director.”
“What, Why, Where, and When?” are the obvious questions, so here goes: The idea started with my plan to run the Marine Core Marathon next year (midlife crisis averted). While attending a run for infant mortality awareness (in my case walk, as I broke my toe) I discovered that our Scientific Director, Dr. Constantine Stratakis, is not only a runner, but also ascribes to a very old Greek philosophical position that I concur with—healthy body equals healthy mind. I have been looking (as one does) to keep my motivation up for running a marathon. Then it struck me: “Team NICHD!” Since our new leadership is looking for ideas to bring fellows together, I suggested an NICHD intramural sports team to Dr. Stratakis, and he was keen on the idea.
I am going to include a pick-up sports forum in the “wiki” for NICHD fellows. I know at least one Ph.D. student who is interested in forming a soccer team, and we have a field on campus, so he’ll be running point on soccer (he doesn’t know it yet, but...). Basketball was mooted, and obviously running will be there too. We could also construct some kind of NICHD bowling league, where—on an honors system—you could post your game scores to a league table and compare your points to your fellow NICHDers’ scores. We could even do NICHD get-togethers across the road at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Recreation Building (you all know about the best value bowling in Bethesda that we have access to as NIH employees, right?).
Jason Riley, PhD
p.s. Would anyone like to organize competitive sports against other institutes?