Scouts-L Mail Archive for October of 1998: Re: Personal Fitness Merit Badge
Re: Personal Fitness Merit Badge
James H. Moss
Thu, 8 Oct 1998 11:45:47 -0600
This thread has a real sting in it. The sting is not that Scouts can be out
of shape (fat) The sting is one of those personal ones, I did it, now they
want to lower the bar.
And before you start taking off on me, let me tell you a few things. It
took me one year to earn Personal Fitness MB. I fall down faster than I can
run. When I was a Scout I looked like a fire hydrant. If I stood still for
more than 5 minutes dogs would come sniffing.
My family is pre-disposed to being fat. (Except dad and brother). I am 6'3
and currently weight over 275. That is terribly out of shape and I am
embarrassed about it. But that has never stopped me from trying. I have
run and completed 2 marathons. I was not fast, but I did it. I am
currently running again. (Went trail running in the mountains Sunday night
and got lost, came home an hour later than I expected. Spent the whole time
lost laughing about how my friends in Search and Rescue would give me heck
if they had to come out and find me.)
It hurts to run, it scares the animals when I come by and the City requires
me to have a "wide load" sign on my butt when I do it. But I am doing it.
When my knees hurt to bad, I ride my bike for a few days. I blow tires a
lot, because my weight does that. I take the tire into the bike shop and
the guys grin. They know what I have done and they are the ones after
about five repairs who told me why. It is embarrassing, but I do it. They
of course blow away in the wind. When I ride them, I am always in front,
they can bask behind in the draft I create.
I have given CPR to heart attack victims, I don't want to die that way. I
spend 6-10 hours a week exercising. If I am this bad of shape with that
much effort I shudder to think what I would be like if I did not exercise.
If I can do it, then anyone can as long as they have the basic physical
My rock climbing partner just got back from Alaska, he said it was time to
get on the rock. I am dreading it. I am looking for limestone gray
climbing clothes so maybe I can stealth my way around. My last harness was
custom made for me by a climbing company. But I still go climbing. I still
cut the weight when I want to and I still go out and have fun.
The most embarrassing moments are when I tell someone I am an Eagle Scout.
They look and me and don't say anything, but I know what they are thinking.
Wow did he let it slip. But that is what the public thinks of Eagle Scouts.
Personally Fit. It is in our Scout Oath.
The idea of Eagle is not that Eagle's are a superior race or breed. The
idea is an Eagle is someone who worked hard to learn, grow and change.
(Grow in the mental and emotional sense). The next hardest MB I completed
was Textiles. My mother made me wash my uniform in the front yard in front
of everyone as you would on a campout. But I learned and I grew.
When all we read and hear about on TV is how badly out of shape America is,
I would think this thread would not be supported. Are the people supporting
the thread really wanting to lower the standard of Eagle. Wanting to
increase the number of Eagles or wanting to justify their own inability to
meet the requirements of the MB.
When I was in the best shape of my life, I ran the Dayton Corridor Classic.
It was a running race in downtown Dayton Ohio that was a 20 K race I
believe. The winner set a new world record time. I remember running
through the three mile maker as he was going through the 7 mile mark. He
was more than twice as fast as I was. I also ran the fastest mile of my
life in that race at mile 7. But I still finished more than 2 1/2 times
slower than the winner. But I did it.
Based on my experience, I do not believe that any boy (or girl) not
physically handicapped in some way, can achieve the Merit Badge.
50% is a C in school. If you kids only got C's most of you would be pretty
upset. (Thank heaven's my parents thought C's would good, or I really would
have been in trouble.) The Merit Badge only requires making the
requirements over time. Anyone can improve their grades for a while, then
slide back into being lazy.
The genetics' argument is an interesting argument. If you genes tell you
that being lazy and fat are OK, that is going to be hard to overcome. But
find a geneticist who supports the idea that genes would not allow a kid to
achieve Personal Fitness MB.
As I read the requirements for Personal Fitness MB, they aren't that hard.
I think in the future, if you want to jump on this thread, you need to sign
your name, your height and your weight. You may not be proud of it, but it
would add some interesting comments if you are arguing against the MB and
you where in great shape.
6'3" and 275 lbs. Not proud of it, but working hard!
Yours in Scouting
12340 W. Alameda Pkwy., Lakewood, CO 80228-2841
Eagle Class of 69, Vigil, Denver Area Council