Ever true in Hardy Oak Be
Much has been made of competitors – athletes – who lose their appeal midform, who don’t always shine the light of desirable virtues and instead are wishy washing.
“To any man who has had opportunities of judging.. it is obvious that by the very nature of things the typical athlete is something of a hot-house plant. When he is in “training” he can, doubtless, perform certain feats with great excellence – when “out of training,” oh! What a falling off is there. That is inevitable; for it would be remarkable if a man who had got into “condition” by artificial means could hope to keep it when he relapsed into his normal way of life. Training which consists of subjecting a man to a hard and fast food intake, keeping off the little luxuries which he has been accustomed to… and sending him off to bed at an absurdly early hour of night, absolutely aims at bringing about an artificial state of affairs” 1
These are all very interesting ideas, and aim at the virtues of not being willy nilly and succumbing to vices at certain times and not others – “surely man was not meant to be fit by fits and starts”
“The great test, I take it, of health and real physical condition is adaptability. Man should not be like a hothouse flower but rather like a hardy oak which can stand the heats of summer and the rude blasts of winter with equal composure.”
The most interesting characteristic of an inclined man with virtues of endurance, physical culture, etc seems to be one who for all intents and purposes can endure strife laugh and keep going, and whose appearance is never often afoul from those periods of ‘artificial states of affairs’. Sorry if this all sounds like a trifling paper of an adolescent intended as a report, but the ideas are so important and meanings so applicable to today and tomorrow its something worth ingraining. 2
The parting shot:
Athlete or sportsman.. which is the better oman of the two? What I do mean is better in the wider sense of the word, more physially fit, sounder in every way.. more fitted to stand hardship, privatio, fatigue, if he should contact any malady, better able to fi fight against it.
1- Eugene Sandow, Sandow’s Magazine of Physical Culture – Athlete or Spornsman - 1900
2 – In grained in the style of Frederick Douglass, who would order the weekly ‘liberator’ and ‘master’ its contents – or the new Dolphins head coach, who was seen troving Pat Riley’s book on basketball and taking copious notes)