Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

The New Stimulus Package

[Warning: Melodrama Added for Effect… ]

Do you remember the Presidential Fitness Test? I’m pretty sure every high schooler in the United States had to attempt it.

At my school, we trained for it. Weekly ‘run days’ would have us thundering through the halls of the athletic wing in preparation for the mile time trial. Pushups and crunches were obligatory warmups on weight training days and relay races doubled as practice for the 50-yard dash.

I was intent on earning that prestigious Presidential Fitness Award (and the lovely patch and certificate that came with it) every year of high school. And I did. All but once.

It wasn’t the mile or the pullup that did me in. The ‘curl-ups’ were a breeze and I could always stretch my hamstrings just enough to pass muster on the sit-and-reach. No, it was that dreaded shuttle run. Try as I might, I just couldn’t grab that silly block quickly enough. Maybe if I had played tennis, or field hockey, or some other sport that had you practice with suicides. But no. I was a swimmer. And it didn’t matter how quickly I could do a flipturn or how far I could extend my underwater kick. I needed that 10.1 in the shuttle run to get my certificate, and I just couldn’t get there.


The shuttle run. The bane of my high school existence.

In today’s Runner’s World Daily, columnist Brian Sabin recalls his own dismal failure in the Presidential Fitness Challenge.

It turns out, says Sabin, the Leader of the Free World is offering Americans a rematch. For all of us who couldn’t drop that last tenth of a second in the shuttle run, or who just missed the 6:30 cut-off in the mile, or whose chin was just millimeters shy of the bar, this is our time: Become a Presidential Champion.

Presidential Champion Certificate? $0.85.

Presidential Champion Gold Medal? $7.00

Stimulating the Economy and Toning your Tush? Priceless.

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2 responses to “The New Stimulus Package

  1. Denise February 17, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Oooh, I love my challenges!! Thanks!

  2. X-Country2 February 18, 2009 at 10:26 pm

    Ha! The pull-up killed my Presidential Fitness Challenge EVERY YEAR.

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