ATHLETICS

I admit and revel in being 56.  None of this crap of heading out for botox or lipo or whitening or darkening or highlighting or enhancing or augmenting or vanity surgeries or implants.

Quite pleased with my balding, smiling countenance replete with slightly askance dentins.  Comfortable in my skin.

And why?  Athletics.  According to Percy Cerutty, “The term ‘athleticism’ does not merely imply running and field games, not at all.  It means, to me, all activities that are based in sweat and effort–and are something added to our normal, ordinary way of life.”

It escapes me as to why you can go to Life Time Fitness for injections.  And your mani and pedi.  And your coiffing.  Every superficial accoutrement you can buy, available at a “gym”.   In all fairness Life Time does brand itself as a Health & Beauty purveyor, maybe my antiquated notions about sweat not jiving with superficiality are just plain outdated.  Oh well.

More from Percy; “The fit, the truly strong, active, positive men who are athletes do not feel the need, the many supports and ramifications, that the weakly feel they must bolster themselves up with.  The strong and fit do not fear the other man, the other country, their competitor, as do the weakly.”

It is choosing to scoop the drive instead of snow blow.  It is parking at the end of the lot to get those extra breaths of fresh air before entering the store.  It is any form of labor that prefers the manual over the mechanical.  It is accepting challenges instead of easy ways out.  It is confronting failure when easy is the other option.  It is Outside instead of Inside.  It is standing alone against a tide of media and fools that insist on the absolute necessity of artificiality for approval.

And more Percy:
“What is valuable to the young especially?  I shall list them:
1. Knowing they are adult:  feeling they are–men.
2. Enjoying the respect of those around them, especially those above them in age and/or position.
3. The ability to carve their own careers: make their own way: seize what they feel they are reasonably entitled to.
4. To feel strong, muscularly, and to be able to act as strong men.
5. To conquer, to overcome, to be able to demonstrate these abilities.
6. To rise up to positions of self-satisfaction, to be ‘champions’ in something, even if only just one thing.
7. To believe and know they can wrest a livelihood for themselves and those dependent upon them by their own two hands alone, if necessary.”

And further,

“One does not have to set world records to know and feel what I have listed.  But it is important that you have lived and strived, trained and disciplined yourself as if you had set world records.  The setting of the record, or any record, even a personal one–is of no real consequence, except as evidence of something.  That something is the knowledge of accomplishment: of power within us: of a job well done.  I believe: that in the future it will be recognized that we can have no true spiritual or mental values without the results accruing to the personality from well-balanced fitness and athleticism in some form.”

“That no true aesthetic values can be arrived at, or appreciated, without the fitness and attitudes of the intellectually developed athlete.”

Well said Percy Cerutty.  Today’s quotes are from “ATHLETICS”, How To Become a Champion, A discursive textbook.  By Percy Wells Cerutty, published by The Sportsmans Book Club, 1961, London.

So while y’all are getting your hair did or nails done or eyebrows tweezed or tanned or otherwise gussied up to get comfortable with yourselves,  I’ll go hit a few miles in this driving snowstorm.

Dig your original skin.  Keep it Real.

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I’m just as real now as I was back in 1986.  Pictured here on my way to a 2nd overall at the Galveston Marathon in 2:56:56.  I’ve still got the Nike American Eagles shown in the picture,  4.5 ounces off classic cool.