Presidential Fitness Awards

Gentle reader,

Journey back with me, and behold my 15-year-old self. It’s gym class during the most dreaded week of the year — Presidential Fitness Test week. My scrawny body is months away from the testosterone bath that will propel me into manhood. Now, however, I dangle on a chin-up bar, attempting pull-ups.

I defend my manhood the only way I can — an internal dialogue of withering cynicism.

A 7:30 mile? Was that the length William Henry Harrison’s entire presidency?

The “sit and reach?” Which President invented that? James Buchanan while he was leading our country into civil war? “Doughface” indeed.

And what would Howard Taft’s shuttle run time be? Probably longer than his tenure as President and Supreme Court Justice combined.

And crash. Down I come. I’m sad I didn’t endure longer, not because I wanted to excede the 85th-percentile, but because I had two more categories to ridicule. At least someone in our family won the award.


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