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DAVIDSON: Can Un-hardy Americans Lead By Example, In the World?

As a populace, will we ever return to an adequate level of fitness?

Jeff Davidson

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I could not have imagined 35 years ago how un-hardy Americans have become. If individually, legions of us have grown soft and become couch potatoes who fill our faces every night, watching our favorite Netflix series, collectively, as a nation, can we maintain a leadership position to which others aspire?

As its citizens go, so goes a nation. Not everyone has to become a marathoner, or finish a five-mile swim. Still, as median weights have risen up and up and up over the last several decades, one has to wonder: Is there any leveling off point? Will there ever be a time when we return to a level of fitness, collectively, of which we can be proud?

A Pretty Great Generation

I’m on board a cruise ship years back with nearly 3000 other passengers. As with the rest of the U.S. and increasingly the rest of the world, two thirds of the passengers are overweight, and about half of that group is obese. I’m a baby boomer, among those born between 1946 and 1964. Most of the passengers on board are older than I am.

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Of this older cohort, many fit the overweight or obese category. Most of these older passengers appear to be born between 1929 and 1945. In other words, they were not old enough to be in World War II. The 17 or 18 year old World War II veterans were born in 1927 or 1928. Older veterans, of course, were born earlier than that. Since few people appear to be in their mid- to late 80s or beyond, it’s a safe bet that few World War II veterans are on board.

The realization hits me: The “greatest generation,” those who fought in World War II, and the “least remarkable generation,” the baby boomers of which I am one, are separated by a half-generation, which I’ll call “tweeners,” born in the late 1920s to 1945.

Tweeners

The tweeners did not fight in World War II – it was their parents or their grandparents. Some fought in the Korean War and even Vietnam, but the total number of U.S troops in those wars was considerably less than in World War II.

Most tweeners benefitted from the sacrifices of the generations before them. They grew up during the boom times of the 1950s and early 60s. Where, however, is their hardiness? Not that hardiness is dependent upon having served in the military. Still, how did these tweeners become the least healthy people in our society?

The individuals that I saw on this and many other cruises, in their late 60s to early 80s, were distinct from the handful of those in the greatest generation. Those born earlier than, say, 1929 were more vigorous, tended to be more agile, certainly more slender and, in many cases, healthier than the tweeners. Okay, the cruise crowd might well be different than the rest of the population, but not by much.

Fanny Packs Galore

On occasion, I had the opportunity to discuss my observations about American hardiness with crew members. The crew members themselves – they are often Indonesian, Indians, or Filipinos – are hardy types. They work for a living in ways that the typical American probably does not. There is no obesity among them, and hardly anyone is overweight.

I asked crew members if it is easy to spot Americans because we tend to be, well, so large. They smile, but they say nothing. I presume that they cannot make disparaging remarks about any class of passengers, even if given the green light to do so. Crew members, indeed, are used to seeing portly Americans. They’ve seen literally thousands of Americans who can’t fit in bus seats, or cannot make their way up three steps. Crew members know too well what a fanny pack is.

The crew is used to seeing tweener-aged American women with beer bellies that once were ‘reserved,’ seemingly, only for their male counterparts. The crew is used to seeing Americans in this cohort with canes, walkers, or elastic stockings, in clothing so large that there is enough material for two normal sized people.

Just Another Day

Unlike me, the crew doesn’t question the phenomenon any longer, if they once did. To them, it is business as usual. Once this cruise ends, a whole new swarm of passengers will populate the ship, with the same physical dimensions and maladies as described above.

Three and a half decades ago, in general, American hardiness was a defining characteristic. What have we become?

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Wyoming Witness Describes Restaurant Scene Caused by Gabby Petito’s Fiancé

Oh boy…

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The death of Gabby Petito has been a lengthy, slow-moving tragedy for much of the nation, and there is still some road left to be traveled.

Petito, who was confirmed dead on Tuesday after authorities suggested that they discovered her body over the weekend, went missing while on a cross-country road-trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie.

Just days before her death was confirmed, Laundrie went missing, likely to the Carlton Reserve in central Florida, where authorities are searching still.  The missing man had previously refused to cooperate with law enforcement in Gabby’s disappearance, leading to his being named a person of interest in her disappearance and death.

Those following the case are already aware of an incident in which the two were captured on police body cameras after a domestic dispute – a situation that led many to speculate as to the state of their relationship at the time of her death.

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Now, a new incident has come to light, and not far from where Gabby’s body was found.

“I have chills right now,” Nina Celie Angelo told Fox News Digital Wednesday. “It’s crazy because it wasn’t just like we passed them on the street — it was a full blown incident.”

Angelo said she and her boyfriend, Matthew England, were in town for a wedding in late August. They were out to lunch at Merry Piglets, a Tex-Mex restaurant, between 1 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 27, when they said an agitated Laundrie began arguing with a waitress. Four and a half hours later, a travel-blogging couple passed Petito’s van at a campsite north of town.

Angelo, a photographer, said she couldn’t overhear the conversation but that she believed Laundrie was arguing with staff over the bill or about money. She described his body language as “aggressive” and said he left and returned about four times.

At one point, Petito came inside and apologized for Laundrie’s behavior, Angelo said.

Laundrie’s family has garnered quite a bit of criticism from their characterization of Brian as “missing”, as those following the case have suggested that he’s actually on the run.

Petito’s cause of death has not yet been made public.

The death of Gabby Petito has been a lengthy, slow-moving tragedy for much of the nation, and there is still some road left to be traveled. Petito, who was confirmed dead on Tuesday after authorities suggested that they discovered her body over the weekend, went missing while on a cross-country road-trip with fiancé Brian Laundrie. Just days before her death was confirmed, Laundrie went missing, likely to the Carlton Reserve in central Florida, where authorities are searching still.  The missing man had previously refused to cooperate with law enforcement in Gabby’s disappearance, leading to his being named a person of interest in her disappearance and death. Those following the case are already aware of an incident in which the two were captured on police body cameras after a domestic dispute – a situation that led many to speculate as to the state of their relationship at the time of her death. Now, a new incident has come to light, and not far from where Gabby’s body was found. “I have chills right now,” Nina Celie Angelo told Fox News Digital Wednesday. “It’s crazy because it wasn’t just like we passed them on the street — it was a full blown incident.” Angelo said she and her boyfriend, Matthew England, were in town for a wedding in late August. They were out to lunch at Merry Piglets, a Tex-Mex restaurant, between 1 and 2 p.m. on Aug. 27, when they said an agitated Laundrie began arguing with a waitress. Four and a half hours later, a travel-blogging couple passed Petito’s van at a campsite north of town. Angelo, a photographer, said she couldn’t overhear the conversation but that she believed Laundrie was arguing with staff over the bill or about money. She described his body language as “aggressive” and said he…

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Swamp Search Intensifies as Missing Influencer Confirmed Dead

Will Brian Laundrie be found in the muck at the bottom of the Carlton Reserve?

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The parents of Gabriel Petito are in mourning, officially now, as authorities have confirmed that their daughter is now deceased.

Petito’s body was found over the weekend in Bridger-Teton National Forest after an improbable tip by a fellow YouTube vlogger led police to her body, which appeared to have been placed about 900 feet away from where her van was parked.

This is, of course, the same van that her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned to Florida in on September 1st, sparking a national firestorm over his unwillingness to cooperative with authorities investigating her disappearance.

Now, with Petito’s fate confirmed, (and with the coroner calling it a “homicide”), Laundrie remains missing, possibly within the vast and wild Carlton Reserve in Florida.

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Search crews headed back to the Carlton Reserve in Venice to look for the 23-year-old on Wednesday morning. Around noon, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office SURF (Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force) team pulled up to the Carlton Reserve as the search continued.

“To confirm, yes, members of our Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force have responded to Carlton Reserve. This in addition to our Emergency Response Team, Air-1 & patrol,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. “SURF Team members are divers called upon to search bodies of water for evidence. These highly-trained deputies work in the most difficult and challenging environments imaginable. They are on call 24/7/365.”

Laundrie’s disappearance has infuriated those who’ve been following the case, especially as his parents refrained from reporting him missing from Tuesday to Friday of last week, giving what some online commenters considered a “head start” to escape.

 

The parents of Gabriel Petito are in mourning, officially now, as authorities have confirmed that their daughter is now deceased. Petito’s body was found over the weekend in Bridger-Teton National Forest after an improbable tip by a fellow YouTube vlogger led police to her body, which appeared to have been placed about 900 feet away from where her van was parked. This is, of course, the same van that her fiancé Brian Laundrie returned to Florida in on September 1st, sparking a national firestorm over his unwillingness to cooperative with authorities investigating her disappearance. Now, with Petito’s fate confirmed, (and with the coroner calling it a “homicide”), Laundrie remains missing, possibly within the vast and wild Carlton Reserve in Florida. Search crews headed back to the Carlton Reserve in Venice to look for the 23-year-old on Wednesday morning. Around noon, the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office SURF (Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force) team pulled up to the Carlton Reserve as the search continued. “To confirm, yes, members of our Sheriff’s Underwater Recovery Force have responded to Carlton Reserve. This in addition to our Emergency Response Team, Air-1 & patrol,” the sheriff’s office tweeted. “SURF Team members are divers called upon to search bodies of water for evidence. These highly-trained deputies work in the most difficult and challenging environments imaginable. They are on call 24/7/365.” Laundrie’s disappearance has infuriated those who’ve been following the case, especially as his parents refrained from reporting him missing from Tuesday to Friday of last week, giving what some online commenters considered a “head start” to escape.  

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