Contemporary Canadian society appears to be slowly splitting into two groups. One group religiously watches what they eat,, has all sorts of gadgets to analyze, measure and provide digital bio-feedback about their workouts and they tend to share this info with all using the miracle of the Internet. The other group, plainly put, is a group of fat slobs who need mechanized assistance in crossing the street and can often be found with a tank of oxygen close at hand. While both groups have their pros and cons to join, this second group, less advertised and visible than the first, is worrying. Not from a compassionate, sympathetic view point, but in a rather selfish way. Gimme a break, I am an entitled self-absorbed Millennial after all.
This group of panting behemoths are, and will continue to be, an enormous strain on our socialized healthcare system. And while I'll gladly reach into my pockets to help pay for a kid's leukaemia treatment or to help the victims of a late night parkour accident, I'm a little hesitant to do the same for a 350lb porker who doesn't have the good sense to pass on the 20th beer and the third helping of McCain's Deep and Delicious. With the economy the way it is (read: shitty), I suspect I'm not the only one. All those artificial hips, knee replacements and diabetic socks aren't going to pay for themselves. Heck, it's already a strain on the system.
So rather than spend billions trying to help these geriatric bundles of bad decisions stay alive just long enough to scare the grandkids when they come visit at the hospital, let's spend the money revamping Gym Class.
Yes, Gym Class. Phys-Ed. Along with lunch and grinding up on grade 9 hotties, at the after school dance, it's most hormone filled boys favourite class. Too bad it's current state is a joke that sees most kids barely break a sweat, with ball room dancing, Capture the Flag and and other manner of bullshittery instead of true sport.
Let's face it, most kids today can't afford to play competitive sports these days anyway, so why not turn Gym Class from playtime to something you actually have to try at. Rather than have kids graded on knowing the differences between CFL and NFL rules, why not judge them based on the ability to learn new physical skills. I can already hear the gasps from the parents of chubby kids saying that isn't fair! The horror! Well guess what, it's not fair that a kid can pass a gym class without the ability to run a mile or do 20 push ups either. Instead of making gym class a session of intellectual masturbation on the rules of doubles badminton, let's encourage actual skill development. If you had a unit on sprinting, then the fastest kid in the class gets the best mark. Make passing the class contingent on actually learning a new skill, rather than reading about one.
If you have to study and work hard at calculus or chemistry, then why not also in Phys-Ed? If you suck at physics, you go get extra help and balance a few more equations. If you suck at gym and using your body, maybe you need to put in some more work there too. To learn your multiplication tables it takes repetitive practise, same as nailing a baseline 3 pointer.
Oh, and one more thing. Make in mandatory throughout grades K-12, so the pudgy little kids who need it the most aren't allowed to skip it, lest their fragile egos be bruised. No, not everyone will graduate with the manual dexterity of an Olympic calibre gymnast, but it might go a long way towards adding a certain level of shall we say, physicality to society that is sorely lacking.
There are many types of intelligence and being able to sit in a desk and do long division is but one. Implement a tougher, more skills based and competitive gym class, and I bet you dollars to gluten-free vegan donuts we end up spending less on health care in the long term./
If that system proves successful, maybe it will lead to a work place recess program. Wouldn't that be some fun?