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The Soft American, written by then President-elect John F. Kennedy, was published in Sports Illustrated in 1960. Kennedy details the then decline of America’s “physical strength and ability” and cites the impact it will have on the health of a nation. The article, now written over 50 years ago, was a call to action to address the decrease in physical capacity of America’s adults and youth. 

We each have our reasons why we do CrossFit and why we believe in it at a deeper level than “it’s how I workout.” I added a few more reasons to my list after reading this article and I can’t help but think that JFK would have loved CrossFit. 

“But no matter how vigorous the leadership of government, we can fully restore the physical soundness of our nation only if every American is willing to assume responsibility for his own fitness and the fitness of his children. We do not live in a regimented society where men are forced to live their lives in the interest of the state. We are, all of us, as free to direct the activities of our bodies as we are to pursue the objects of our thought. But if we are to retain this freedom, for ourselves and for generations to come, then we must also be willing to work for the physical toughness on which the courage and intelligence and skill of man so largely depend.

All of us must consider our own responsibilities for the physical vigor of our children and of the young men and women of our community. We do not want our children to become a generation of spectators. Rather, we want each of them to be a participant in the vigorous life.” – The Soft American (excerpt and photo)

Thanks for the recommendation, James!

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