Something fascinating comes from watching Olympic events while at the gym: you're moving, they're moving, and a you get a new perspective on just how much faster they are.
For example, Wednesday night I was about to head home when I saw that the men's 5000m qualifying relay for speed skating was about to come on. I hopped on an open treadmill, plugged in my headphones, and started walking at a pleasant, normal pace. I started maybe 45 seconds before they did and stopped maybe 20 seconds after. In the time that the three-man relay skated 5000m--more than 3 miles--guess how far I went?
One-third of a mile.
True, I wasn't racing. True, they are Olympians. True, they were on a nearly frictionless surface. Apples and oranges, I know. But suddenly I understood physically rather than just mentally what the athletics neatly framed on the gym TV meant in real life.
I am in awe.