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WisconsinMomma

Fitness Goals for Scouters

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20 hours ago, JoeBob said:

post-16404-0-39443200-1432852981_thumb.jpg

Which one of these District level scouters do you want your child to emulate?

This is the photo that inspired the topic

 

When I went to wood Badge, a group was put in a cabin because they all had night breathing machines

Edited by WisconsinMomma

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Note there is nothing wrong with breathing machines, but it might make sense for Scouters to think about our own physical activity and conditioning for our own enjoyment and ability to participate. 

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I was out looking on the web at bunch of wood badge group pictures and noticed it looked like very few of the people in the photos could do a 5 mile hike.

I feel really sad that these folks most likely will be missing out on one of the best parts of scouting, hiking.

 

 

 

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Physically, I may not want to emulate them but one of my assistant scoutmasters when I was scoutmaster was heavy but had 55 years of scouting experience and was a model for everyone.

I am overweight, but run 4 hour marathons btw.  So just because someone is heavy it doesn't necessarily mean they can't do a 5 mile hike.  I can run circles around most of our scouts, when we do the running test for the tenderfoot rank, I run along side of the slowest scout and encourage them to keep going and not to get discouraged.

So, please don't make assumptions about weight.  I no many people that are thin and I would not want scouts to emulate. 

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1 hour ago, cocomax said:

I was out looking on the web at bunch of wood badge group pictures and noticed it looked like very few of the people in the photos could do a 5 mile hike.

I feel really sad that these folks most likely will be missing out on one of the best parts of scouting, hiking.

 

 

 

If you take a slice of any group of American adults, the majority would be overweight. Given the sedentary nature of work in America today, and the large amount of calories in processed food, it's inevitable that many Americans are overweight. Most of the Scouters I know are overweight to some degree. 

Some of the best Scouters I've volunteered with on the district or council level were overweight folks. I'd hike circles around them on a backpacking trip, but they have excellent character and are fantastic mentors of youth that I've been honored to know. 

Certainly physical fitness is something we should encourage in our Scouts and our adult leadership. For better or for worse, Scouting is going to reflect the average of society. That includes our adult leadership. Many of my assistant Scoutmasters and Scoutmasters growing up were on the heavier side. Not morbidly so, but certainly overweight. Many of them worked quite hard to be in enough shape to do trips like Northern Tier or Philmont. Being Scouters was a big part of what forced them to get their acts together, eat better, exercise more, and become healthier. 

 

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It is important to remember, however, that one's health and fitness is reflected by more than just one's size. Some people are naturally larger than others, whether taller or wider, and it's becoming all too frequent in our society to look at being larger as a "bad" thing, as though everybody should be thin and toned, and everybody who isn't is doing something wrong - or not doing something right. If you were to judge my fitness based on my shape you would easily think I was very healthy and exercise daily - I'm trim, toned, small waist et cetera. But the truth is I have conditional asthma and severe allergies, and I can't run more than a few blocks without getting winded. I can't even lift my own bodyweight. Obviously these are things that I continually work on, but I am not particularly "fit" even though my body shape might fool you into thinking so. By contrast, I have many friends who are big guys but who are healthy as horses, can run quickly and hike days on end without a problem. Yet looking at them, their shapes or waistlines might fool you into thinking they are unhealthy when they are actually extremely fit.

Be careful when basing your estimation of somebody's health on somebody's shape. That will rarely tell you the whole picture of the level their fitness.

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28 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

For better or for worse, Scouting is going to reflect the average of society.

This sentence struck a chord with me because I fear it may be the current reality.

I like to think (foolishly?)we as Scouts and Scouters are collectively better than average.

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1 hour ago, Chadamus said:

This sentence struck a chord with me because I fear it may be the current reality.

I like to think (foolishly?)we as Scouts and Scouters are collectively better than average.

When it comes to athletic endeavors? Maybe your Scouts and Scouters are above average athletically, and certainly some of mine are, but plenty of them are not. Hence, average. 

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I went on some cub scout hikes with a bunch of scouters on several of the special hike days.  There were many scouters that were in the obese range that did the 1 to 2 mile hikes and they had a very hard time, moving slow, breathing heavy,  getting light headed, and stopping to rest a lot and this was with no back pack.

Currently I am a heavy guy at 199 pounds and 6 foot tall, but also very strong for a 52 year old.  However, when I was 239 pounds  a few months ago I had tons of energy to move and I was not short of breath, the big problem that I did have was my legs would start to hurt really bad when I was going up hill. I just did not have the leg power to go up hill and keep up with the boys.  I had the energy, but the legs just would not work.  Now at 199 pounds I can run up the hills and my legs are fine.

You guys are right, some folks might look big,  but still be able to hike.  However many scouters I talked to have to push through a lot of pain to do a hike and it is not as fun an experience as it could be.

I know several scouters from summer camp that are in the 350 pound range and can barely make it across a parking lot without breathing hard.  

 

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22 minutes ago, Sentinel947 said:

When it comes to athletic endeavors? Maybe your Scouts and Scouters are above average athletically, and certainly some of mine are, but plenty of them are not. Hence, average. 

Sentinel, this is likely true for all Troops across America.

2 hours ago, Chadamus said:

I like to think (foolishly?)we as Scouts and Scouters are collectively better than average.

Average is not good enough.

Higher expectations for the win.

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51 minutes ago, RememberSchiff said:

Congrats on his weight loss but how much money did he spend to hire nationally known weight-loss coach Charles D'Angelo?   :huh:

True. But ...

Athletic trainers aren't that hard to come by. I had an uncle who was boxing at the local gym well into his 80s.

Personally, my problem is ego. I don't like spending time and money getting coached.

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We had a SM who was obese. On land, he was not destined to win races and he eventually would huff and puff up hills. But in the water he was master of the universe, full of grace and power. He had complete mastery of that environment and while he still probably wouldn't have won many races in the water, his weight didn't seem to be a handicap.

Thinking about some of the responses here, as I approach the beginning of an eighth decade, I can attest to the fact that age, while it seems to impart some negative things, is nevertheless inevitable not to mention  that the alternative is worse. I offer this encouragement: Those who are past age 55 (which seems to have been the age when I began to appreciate the 'true' effects of gravity) can take heart. With our decades of experience, as we lose our physical edge, we can instead employ guile and perhaps an accumulated psychological edge. After all, it's all we've got left, lol.

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