Thursday 7 August 2014

Are you fit? Are you strong? If so; fit for what and strong at what?


As a reasonable generalization, people are fit for whatever they do a lot of, and their strength is related to what they do a lot of in a physical sense.

Three generations ago, the fittest, strongest men around here (Newcastle upon Tyne, England) were the face workers in the coal mines.

They were fit for work - and indeed fit to make superb infantrymen when it came to war - able to keep going under severe conditions.

The fittest men were (like my paternal grandfather) small, bandy-legged, wiry - and they could pick-axe and shovel coal, hundreds of metres underground, in cramped conditions (the seams around here are shallow, about half a man's height), hour after hour, and against the clock (they only got paid for what they shoveled).

This was elite work - most men could not do it - they just did not pick and shovel enough to keep themselves alive or make it worth employing them.

They were fit for what they did, they were strong at what was needed.


Nowadays, the local equivalent are the vastly bulky androgen-using power-weight-trainers, maybe working as 'bouncers' (door security) - who are fit for lifting weights, and strong at lifting weights (and presumably also at shoving and hitting people).

Or perhaps they are sportsmen - who are fit for their sport - strong at whatever the sport requires.

Or perhaps they are the narcissistic weight trainers/ body builders who use drugs (and dietary supplements etc) - but only as a means to the end of enhancing and sculpting their muscles, and making themselves feel more... well, if not exactly 'masculine', then at least macho.

They are fit to look at themselves in the mirror; to parade up-and-down in cut-away vests, shorts and flip-flops. They are strong at using exercise machines.


Fit for what, strong at what?

And what is the point of it?


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