“Are you physically fit?” bellowed the man on the television screen as he jabbed a muscular finger in my direction.
“I don’t know,” I exclaimed, a bit startled by the suddenness of the question.
“Are you physically fit?” he persisted. This man was loud, muscle bound, and so deeply tanned that where ever he was, he must have been near the surface of the sun.
“You’re getting older,” he continued.
I am getting older, I thought, nearly every day.
“Do you even know what it means to be physically fit?”
I had to admit that I really didn’t.
“Of course you don’t know what it means, you’re a tiny pathetic weed of a man.”
I still didn’t know what it meant, was a little insulted, but wished that someone would tell me.
“Well I’m going to tell you.” He seemed to be reading my mind. “Physical fitness is the ability of the body to function with vigor and alertness, and with ample energy to engage in leisure activities. Endurance and cardio respiratory integrity are the overt signs of physical fitness.
Well this was absolutely no help at all.
My body functions with vigor and alertness, in as much as I seldom fall asleep when I don’t want to. I have endurance; I can run over one-hundred feet before the searing pain in my side renders my unconscious. As far as cardio respiratory integrity goes, my heart’s been beating for my entire life and hasn’t stopped yet, how much more integrity do you need?
Ample energy for leisure activities? Any activity that requires an amount of energy that can be characterized as ample, isn’t leisurely at all.
Here are a few activities that I don’t consider leisurely: running, jogging, speed walking, walking normally over long distances, walking slowly up an incline, lifting heavy objects, carrying heavy objects, lifting then subsequently carrying heavy objects, rock climbing. Rocks should never be climbed, if you’re trying to get somewhere and there is a rock in the way, go around it or blow it up. Why do think Alfred Nobel invented dynamite? They didn’t name that award after him because he wasted his time scrabbling up and down rocks.
It was at this point that the man on the screen began doing squat-thrusts. There has never been a time in the history of mankind that it was necessary to do a squat-thrust.
I decided to change the channel. Eventually I found a man reclined in a hammock, sipping a drink through a straw as waves washed a sun soaked beach in the background.
Now that’s a leisurely activity; one for which I have ample energy.