Are you a Meathead or an Egghead?
Dumb jock or academic nerd? These are farcical dichotomies and yet these stereotypes are very much a part of our culture. And sadly many people live their lives as if they were true and valid.
The ancient Greeks did not live this way. The Greeks believed that EVERYONE should train both mind and body!
According to the Greeks a healthy mind can only exist inside a healthy body. I agree. When the body is weak, injured or diseased so too is the mind. The Greeks believed that exercise develops discipline which leads to diligence and better citizens. A person who takes responsibility for their health will undoubtedly be less of a social burden in our current health care system. And a person committed to physical health may be less likely to engage in unhealthy vices. Among dedicated CrossFit members we certainly see more people making healthy life choices for themselves and their families.
In ancient Greece gymnasiums served as community gathering places for both physical training and intellectual discourse. Socratic dialogues often took place in the gym. I like to believe that is what we have created in our little Dunbar Street community: a gathering place for health-minded individuals that attracts intelligent, educated people. Where interesting ideas and information is exchanged daily. We have so many Professors, Grad Students, Medical Professionals and Professionals from every field that conversations are never dull or mindless. Big ideas get discussed.
The Greeks would have disparaged the modern dichotomy between physical and mental health arguing that virtue is found in creating a balance between the two. Vancouver is an exceptional city in this regard. I think Vancouverites set a stellar example of balancing physical and intellectual health. And yet I still meet so many people who live as if physical and mental excellence were mutually exclusive goals. I think that the Greeks would agree with my assertion that you cannot achieve excellence in one without the other.