Friday, February 20, 2009

The President's Challenge

No, this challenge doesn't involve an economic stimulus plan, or an increase in volunteerism, or a commitment to educating our children, or health care for everyone. In fact, the challenge didn't come from the current president. No, this challenge began with President Eisenhower, and it ruined gym class for thousands of children every year. Yes, you guessed it - it's the President's Challenge on Physical Fitness.

The good news is there's a twist: you can take the President's Challenge as an adult, and virtually any activity qualified! You don't have to climb a rope, or do chin-ups or run a 50-yard dash. Crochet doesn't count, but croquet does. Darts is sanctioned, though probably they don't mean adding them to sweaters. Other activities you mightn't expect include gardening, household tasks, children's games (ring-around-the-rosy, not Candyland), fishing, hang gliding, horseshoe tossing, and sky diving. Yes, the "normal" activities are there, too. Even Wii sports is on the list!

You log your activities online, and earn points for each activity. There is a mysterious algorithm for calculating points based on difficulty of activity, cardio/vascular benefits, and lengh of time (probably Charlie Eppes could explain it, but we just have to take it on faith that running is worth more points than playing darts). As you accumulate points you earn prizes - those elusive certificates that the jocks got at the final school assembly, or really cool Olympic-style medals.

I earned the three certificates and my bronze medal during the last administration, and was well on my way to the silver, but I just couldn't bring myself to have another item signed by that president. So I waited, and now I'm beginning to log my activities again. I created a Ravelry group, so all you knitters, crocheters and spinners can compare your progress. After you create your challenge account, you can click on the groups and choose ravelry. (For those of you who aren't yet on Ravelry you should click through and join that, too.)

Will you take the challenge?

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