The journey of “fitness” from a quality of being suitable, to the ideal physicality of the body is very interesting to me.
“Fitness” as we use it today first came in to play in the 30s and you know, I’m a little uncomfortable about that timing. Fitness as an ideal physicality is a little close to the Nazi ideals of supermen and perfection – genetic superiority and such.
The word once meant something akin to appropriateness and the fact that we shifted that idea to bodies is a little disturbing. In the ever striving for “physical fitness,” so many strive for an unattainable ideal instead of, just, like, being able to do stuff.
Fitness conjures images of women with no fat on their bodies in pastel leotards and shiny tights.
My training in Feldenkrais leads me toward words that have more possibility. Instead of physical fitness – I’m interested in physical readiness – physical potentiality. The more stuff you can do, the more potential for movement you have, the more choice.
It’s not: Can you join the army of genetically identical warriors? But – Can you learn to do a somersault with a child if you want? That’s readiness. The readiness is all.