When I was a young scout… (ahh, the days that I could eat a whole large pizza in one siting and stay up past 10:30 at night) like most scouts, I completed the Personal Fitness merit badge. The only thing that I can clearly remember about completing this badge is all the push-ups, sit-ups, and running. It was not until I was a little older that I realized the personal fitness is more than doing strength or aerobic activities. Yes, the physical fitness element is a part of being personally fit. Personal fitness not only includes your body, it also includes your mind and spirit. Personal fitness it your own personal desire and individual effort to be the best that you can be (Cub Scout Motto: Do Your Best!). If you are “fit”, you are healthy.
Here is what the merit badge pamphlet has to say about the three elements that make up your personal fitness.
Mind - mental willpower and alertness, emotional balance, and social skills
Body - physical health, nutrition, and athletic fitness
Spirit - faith, core values, how you take care of yourself and reach out to help others
“It is important to strengthen each element of your personal fitness because each element affects the total person you are and your development and well-being.”
Look at it as a balancing act of a plate juggler. The juggler needs to keep all the plates spinning. If the juggler focuses on only one plate, just like if we only focus on one of the personal fitness elements, the other plates will come crashing down. It takes is just a little attention on each plate to keep them spinning. Sure, the plate after some time will start to slow down and wobble a bit, but all it takes is just one little flick of the wrist to speed it back up and allow it to continue spinning. The same with the personal fitness elements. We can be “fit” and healthy if we focus on each one a little bit at a time.
Remember, Do Your Best!