Science Knows If Your Child Is Destined to Become a Pro Athlete or a Blogger

My dad, bless his soul, wanted an athlete. He truly did, especially since he was short, moderately talented at sports, and knew that with the right genes tumbling around his offspring could fulfill some of the athletic ambitions his frame could never support. Unfortunately for him, his firstborn is a blogger, which meant years of failure at getting me interested in participating in anything athletic, a few unfortunate episodes involving tears and a ball, and one particularly colorful anecdote in which he chased a screaming 13-year-old version of me around a track with his foot firmly implanted in my ass. Ah, childhood! ↵

↵[Takes eight shots of tequila, cries. Recovers.] ↵

↵

↵If only we'd had this technology when I was young and not yet revealed as completely unathletic in every way: DNA testing for ACTN3, a particular gene whose twists and variations have a powerful effect on whether you develop fast-twitch muscles (see: sprinters, speed athletes) or slow-twitch muscles (endurance athletes). Atlas Sports Genetics will happily tell you your child's particular variant of the gene for just $149. That's cheap for genetic testing, but even cheaper when you consider the cost of ruining your child's happiness with extremely specific harassment over their failure to live up to their potential. ↵

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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