Oct 192010

I’m feeling inspired by sperm today. What an amazing bunch of little guys! Every day, somewhere near you, a multitude of brave and eager sperm journey forth on a trip fraught with many dangers. They overcome obstacles and face heavy mortality in the ranks so that the human race itself may continue on. Sperm really are great role models.  I’m in awe.

Let me paint a picture of a sperm’s existence. Sperm are basically clones. Boys are born with what is essentially a sperm template and all sperm are copied from that template. The sperm cells take 65-74 days to develop – kinda like aging wine. Amazingly, an adult male manufactures over 100 million sperm cells each day. Does that wear you out?

So, you’re a sperm and you’ve been hanging out. All of a sudden, something is starting to happen. It’s your turn! You take a nice bath in those juicy seminal fluids and BAM, you are good to go. You are energized and activated. You are live, baby! You and a few hundred million of your closest buddies are jet propelled out of the penis.

You are lucky enough to make it into the vagina! Those less fortunate friends who hit the open air will die almost immediately. But your journey is just beginning. You feel a strong compulsion to move toward your goal. Sperm can travel about 8 inches in an hour by wagging their tail about 16,000 times. You swim as fast as you can, letting the motion of your brothers and the contractions of the female reproductive tract help you along. In fact, there is no going back. Sperm are not designed to move backwards. Only about the 1,000 strongest sperm reach the cervix. The rest perish in the acidic fluids designed to clean the vagina.

The next hurdle is the cervix. Most of the time the cervix is blocked by a hard wall of mucus. Today, all systems are go and you slide right through, leaving more of your comrades behind. You swim through the uterus with about 200 other brave souls, feeling the magnetic pull of the egg waiting for you. You know that the odds are against you, but you just know you can do it. It has to be someone, it might as well be you.

If there is not an egg ready and waiting, sperm can stay alive for up to 5 days in the fallopian tubes. But today is your day. You’ve made record time – about 15 minutes – and the egg is yours. You made it. You get to fertilize the egg! World domination is yours!

See, you can’t help but be inspired. Did our little sperm throw up his flagella in despair knowing the odds he faced? No way. He worked as hard as he could until he succeeded. Did he try to annihilate the competition? Nope. He used his competitors strengths to help him reach his goals, knowing that they would fall to the side on their own.  Did our guy try to run away from his destiny? Biologically impossible.

So go out there and change the world! Sure there’s a lot of people out there, but someone’s gonna make it – why shouldn’t it be you?