When the U.S. military realized a third of their young people weren’t fit for combat, they mandated that physical education be taught in any school that receives federal funding. Students did regular calisthenics. We moved our bodies in large groups in unison. There was no competition. The goal was simply to move and keep moving.
photo credit: burtonlatimer.info
photo credit: mccoy.army.mil
Then we needed to be stronger than our enemies. We pushed weights around. Once certain movements had numerical value, being able to add more and more weight became the goal.
photo credit: startingstrength.com
To be acknowledged for our strength, we wanted to look powerful. Body building became all the rage. The goal became size and low body fat.
photo credit: bodybuilding.com
Once television started picking up sporting events and promoting athletic idolization, everyone wanted to be “like Mike”. The goal was to show your dominance at a given game and be cheered.
photo credit: fansshare.com
If you couldn’t BE a professional athlete, at least you could train like one. In their very own shoes. You could even make a competition out of the training process and call it Crossfit. It would be huge.
photo credit: games.crossfit.com
But maybe, just maybe, we can return to the original goal of simply moving. We can relearn the joy of doing something for the creative fun of it. We can celebrate our own work, even revel in it when no one is watching. We can move and move well and keep moving.