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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 02-22-2004, 11:29 AM   #1
Alexander Karatis
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In reading about two of the most interesting personalitites I've ever read about, Theodore Rossevelt and Alexander the Great, and after apreciating how much love they had for strenuous physical activity, I kept puzzling together the fact that their values, when it comes to physical activity and training, are exactly what we share here.

Alexander, who was raised by the Spartan leonidas the...Spartan way, was said to despise of the new (for their time) profession of athletes, and the fringe physiques it produced. (Olympic contenders used to come from all forms of society). He is often described as finding ingenious way to exercise himself and his officers while on campaign. (Which was a full third of his life).

Theodore Roosevelt, being "palpably massive" but not being "the decorative brawn of a mere body-builder" is said to have produced endless laughter to his contemporaries, by "indulging his passion for eccentric exercise". Besides boxing and some other stunts he regularly pulled off, i'm still reading and finding out about more of these "eccentric" modalities.

I'm sure you guys have read a thing or two about these men, but I just wanted to share what an inspiration it is to share these common values with men of their stature.
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Old 02-22-2004, 08:22 PM   #2
Aitor Astobieta
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That was very inspiring Alexander (the Great:happy:). I have read about Alexander's dislike of Olympic athletes, but I did not know he was so enthusiastic about exercise. This truly gives a new dimension to the WOD, sharing the same goals and desires as the greatest personalities in history.
Thank you Alexander.

Aitor
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Old 02-23-2004, 10:15 AM   #3
Michael Rutherford
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Teddy was a sickly little kid and his father was not going to allow this to be a handicap so he forced him into an exercise routine. During his term as president, he would just take off on hikes over hill and dale without regard for waterways, terrian or wildlife. I have created my own 'ruck' events. We take off on similar treks. We call it 'GOING TEDDY'
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Old 02-25-2004, 02:11 PM   #4
Alexander Karatis
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Michael,

Actually that's interesting (Haven't gotten to his childhood part yet) because Alexander, being a small guy was also encouraged forced into Leonidas' care. And no little boy at that time in Greece, especially a young prince would like to be trained by a Spartan.

Aitor,

His disgust of Olympic athletes had to do entirely with the fact that it had become a profession, which carried with it moral and physical implications. The Olympics as a value was held in very high esteem by Alexander and he would often host mini-intra-Army-games everytime there was a cessation of hostilities.

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Old 03-01-2004, 02:08 PM   #5
Ben Gimball
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Alaxander,

I agree it is inspiring to read of such things from great men of the past. Many have heard about President Lincolns wrestling ability. However, not many know that George Washington was not only the wrestling champion of his area (naturally, they had no formal leagues). But, he was also a very strong man and would perform feats of hand strength in local pubs.

Furthermore, he was noted for his ability to march (or ride) four hours without a break!

By the way, did you know that Teddy Rosevelt sponsored the very first Judo demonstration in the United States? It was on the White House Lawn in the early 1900's.

Interesting stuff-thanks for starting the thread!
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Old 03-04-2004, 01:27 PM   #6
Alexander Karatis
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Thanks for the contribution! I thought I remembered something along those lines-I just flipped a page that mentioned his jujitsu skills.

I think its important to note that both the people I mentioned, AtG and TR, were physically impaired-in different ways-but still, lacking. Alexander was a small man, and back then it meant a lot to be big, especially for a king. Now that, along with TRs sickness are a key point in their character, in that it provided them with an endless drive to excell, a non-stop energy.

T.R. acted as if he was trying to make up for the all the exercise he didn't get to do as a kid. AtG's character is profoundly marked by his desire to surpass those bigger (in every sense)than him.

I think that the effects that their physical fitness and abilities had on their characters are omnipresent in every facet of their life. And I think that is one of the most important adaptations we make by proper physical education. The development of character.
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Old 03-04-2004, 11:03 PM   #7
Christopher Sommer
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Alexander,
Great discussion. You have piqued my curiousity. What were the specific titles/authors that you were reading.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer
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Old 03-05-2004, 12:18 AM   #8
Alexander Karatis
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Coach Sommer,

It's easy to make it interesting with these two fascinating individuals!

I've read quite a bit about Alexander.Besides what I gathered from childhood and schooling I've tried to keep a pretty even reading list on all matters associated with the man and the times. Two good good examples that touch on different subject matters are:

"The Nature of Alexander" by Mary Renault.

"Alexander the Great and the logistics of the Macedonian Army" by Donald W. Engels.

The first is a very good attempt at defining Alexander's nature via the original authors and manuscripts. It steers clear from the first Roman scholars who in their effort to provide a more interested read for their readers at the time, embelished an awful lot. (They quote speeches when there were none etc.) The second has an immense wealth of information on all aspects of his and his mens' campaign. You can extract a lot of valuable stuff to help you on other aspects of the subject. (AtG, his campaigns, etc.)

The best starting point is Arian. It's more of a dry read and a narrative of AtG's journey but its the bare facts without any assumptions.

On TR I'm not that well read. Two great books i have picked up thusfar are:

"The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt" by Edmund Morris and its sequel, "Theodore Rex".

Of course the info relative to fitness comes from itty-bitty parts of different pages from these and other books.

On now to find another Famous Crossfiter of History!
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Old 03-08-2004, 11:39 AM   #9
Christopher Sommer
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Alexander,
Thank you very much for the information. I look forward to reading them.

Yours in Fitness,
Coach Sommer
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Old 03-08-2004, 03:44 PM   #10
James Taft
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Alexander. You should check out "Gates of Fire" I think the authors name is Steven Pressfield. It's a fictional account of the Battle of Thermopylae. You may have already read it, but if not you should read it for the pure motivation. The Spartans were some tough SOB's. I read this book along with other Samurai era books when entering into the military. Let's just say I was pretty let down when the Army didn't live up to my idealistic standards. LOL! In any case, it's a great read.
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