Please explain this question: "Do you get your second wind after dinner?" "Second wind"?
Do you get a second wave of energy after taking dinner during the evening?
That is the question, rephrased.
Wind is colloquialism for one's breath. One needs one's breaths when running or doing anything physically exerting. By that I mean one needs to breathe in and out easily and rhythmically.
Otherwise, one is known as out of breath. That's when you're probably too tired or too exited or too frightened. When you're out of breath, you cannot function properly, if at all.
Second wind, therefore, refers to the situation where you regain your breath, and hence composure and confidence, after initially losing it.
Second wind, as an expression, is inspired by what distance runners feel after running for a few kilometers. You know, they get tired after awhile and feel the difficulty to catch their breaths. If they persist, however, even if their legs are heavy, a few minutes later, they suddenly are able to breathe with ease again.
And their legs are light again. Now, not only do they no longer feel tired, they feel happy to run on, and on, and on.
This is known as the runner's high, in which state runners feel they can run forever.
Well, maybe not forever, not happily ever after but you get my hint.
In our example, I am sure many office workers can relate to the fact that even though they're dead tired after a day at the office, once they have dinner plus sometimes a wink, they all of a sudden are full of energy again.
Riding this wave of new found energy, they feel they're able to put in a few more hours of first-rate, efficient work.
Where is this feeling of rejuvenation come from?
Food, yes; a little rest, for sure; perhaps the immune system gets kicked into gear.
Whatever the reason, it's comforting to know that it's there.
So, next time you run into trouble doing anything, don't give up easily. Persevere and you may well be able to find your second breath or wind.
With that, you'll have a renewed hope for everything, who knows.
All right, no more commentary. Here are media examples of "second wind" and, indeed, "second breath":
1. Father Michael Pfleger, the outspoken pastor at St. Sabina’s church in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood, called on the state of Illinois to declare a state of emergency amid dire economic situations in Chicago and Illinois.
The comment was made during an appearance at the City Club of Chicago Monday. Pfleger participated in a panel on “Chicago’s Homicide Crisis” alongside Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson and the Democratic nominee for Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
"The city’s broke, the state’s broke and dysfunctional and in downstate Illinois when a hurricane happens, a tornado happens, what do we do,” Pfleger asked. "We call a state of emergency and resources are brought in.”
Pfleger encouraged using federal resources to embolden communities and bolster the police force.
"We need to call a state of emergency and not be embarrassed by it, but get the federal resources so Eddie [Johnson] can hire more police so we can bring in more jobs,” Pfleger added. “ So we can redevelop some of our communities that look like they’ve been hit by a tornado or a hurricane and bring back to our communities the equal opportunity our children deserve.”
Pfleger stressed the need to address the root causes of the city’s gun violence epidemic, like underserved communities, education, unemployment and gun control, among other things. He also addressed the need to mend the relationship between communities and police and improve community accountability.
"If everybody just takes care of their block, block by block we can take back this city,” Pfleger said.
Additionally, the pastor faulted the National Rifle Association for allegedly contributing to the increase in guns on the streets, claiming that politicians "have been bought by the NRA and aren't willing to do anything to make it so guns aren't as accessible on the streets of Chicago."
He also took time to address national politics and the rise of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
"Look at this election," Pfleger said. "I'm ashamed to be an American right now. I'm ashamed to be an American to think that somebody with views like Trump has risen to the office of possibly becoming the president of the United States."
Pfleger said that Americans need to address difficult realities like race and segregation.
"It's real in America," Pfleger said. "And guess what, the Trump America we're living in now is dangerous. We now have racism, it's got a second breath from this man."
- Pfleger: State of Illinois Should Declare a State of Emergency, NBCChicago.com, June 20, 2016.
2. On this day in 1996, the legendary cigar-chomping performer George Burns dies at his home in Beverly Hills, California, just weeks after celebrating his 100th birthday.
Born Nathan Birnbaum in New York City, Burns was one of 12 children. As a young child, he sang for pennies on street corners and in saloons, and at age 13, he started a dance academy with a friend. In 1922, Burns was performing the latest in a string of song-and-dance acts in Newark, New Jersey, when he teamed up with a fellow performer, Gracie Allen. Though Allen began as the straight one in their partnership, her natural comedic ability prompted Burns to rewrite their material to give her most of the punch lines. From then on, Burns played the straight man to Allen’s ditz, with hilarious results.
By the time Burns and Allen married in 1926 (his brief first marriage, to the dancer Hannah Siegel, ended in divorce), they had already become known on the vaudeville circuit. The 1920s were a golden era for vaudeville performers, and Burns and Allen were only two of a number of greats–their peers included Milton Berle, Al Jolson, Fanny Brice, Bert Lahr and Jack Benny (Burns’ close friend)–who successfully made the transition to other forms of entertainment. After making their radio debut in 1929, the pair landed a regular show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show, which aired from 1932 to 1950 on the NBC network. In the late 1930s, the program’s audience numbered more than 40 million people and NBC paid Burns and Allen $10,000 per week, an enormous sum for the time. The couple also played themselves on the big screen in a number of films, including International House (1933), Many Happy Returns (1934), A Damsel in Distress (1937) and College Swing (1938).
In 1950, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show made a seamless transition to television, airing on CBS and becoming one of the top-ranked programs for the duration of the decade. The Burns-Allen team remained in the public eye until Allen’s retirement in 1959. She died of a heart attack in 1964, at the age of 58. Though Allen was a Roman Catholic, Burns buried her with Episcopal rites, explaining that as a Jewish man he couldn’t be buried in Catholic-consecrated ground, and he wanted to be buried beside her.
After Burns underwent major heart surgery in 1975 at the age of 79, his career got a second wind. That year, he played a retired vaudevillian in the film adaptation of Neil Simon’s play The Sunshine Boys, co-starring Walter Matthau and Richard Benjamin. Burns won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the role. After that, there was no shortage of movie parts for the octogenarian actor, who played God in Oh God! (1977) and its sequels, Oh God! Book II (1980) and Oh God! You Devil (1984), in which Burns was featured as both God and the Devil. He also starred in Just You and Me, Kid (1979), Going in Style (1979) and Eighteen Again (1988).
- Comedian George Burns dies at age 100, History.com, July 27, 2019.
3. Ethel Bethea was a bit sluggish at her birthday on Sunday.
You can’t blame her. She turned 110.
But there’s nothing like hearing the R&B version of Stevie Wonder’s Happy Birthday song to get the juices flowing. You’ve heard it. The one with the joyous “Happy Birthday to You” chorus that celebrates Martin Luther King’s birthday as a national holiday.
Known affectionately as “Mom B,” Bethea perked up and began to wiggle in her seat with family members, pointing to those she knew. Her birthday might as well have been a holiday, too, when this supercentenarian got her second wind during the celebration at Genesis Westfield Center in Westfield.
Bethea, who lived most of her life in Newark, is the oldest living graduate of the Newark Public Schools system. The 1927 Central High School alumni appears to be among the oldest living people in the state.
- She’s 110, but who’s counting? N.J. woman is one of the state’s oldest, NJ.com. October 21, 2019.
About the author:
Zhang Xin is Trainer at chinadaily.com.cn. He has been with China Daily since 1988, when he graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University. Write him at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or raise a question for potential use in a future column.