Nature (your own) or Nurture (yourself)?

Does survival of the fittest still apply to humans? We don't have to run from dinosaurs or bears anymore (except in Honda commercials), but our culture values thinness and athleticism pretty highly - making sure those genes get passed on first. Does that mean that high variance in athletic ability, body type, and fitness are primarily genetic? Are there slow gazelles? If so, my next question is about the threshold that my genetic makeup keeps me under - that is, even if I am not gifted genetically, can I train my way to speed/endurance substantially higher than the level I'm currently at? Can hard work get me to the same place that someone with better parents could get to after twenty-five years of cheetos and Real World re-runs?

Edited to add: From a post on a triathlon forum -
socially, distance runners never get the girl. Girls like the ones who can stay and fight, not the ones who can get away the fastest. Distance runners have muscles -- very well-developed muscles. But they are long and thin, not short and thick. The best are featherweights. Look at the guys who are at the front of the marathon pack. They have all the bulk of the javelins that the really strong guys toss a couple hundred feet.

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