June 3rd, 2011
09:00 AM ET

Letters to the President: #865 'Keeping fit?'

Reporter's Note: The president seems pretty fit. Maybe that’s from going to the mailbox for my letter every day!

Dear Mr. President,

I assume you have been following the NBA Playoffs, just as I have been hawk-eyeing the Stanley Cup Finals, and even making allowance for the obvious superiority of hockey over basketball, I will allow that the action has been pretty fun on all fronts. I am more impressed by professional athletes the older I get - not in the starry-eyed, teen “they are so cool” kind of way but more in the older, been around the block, “and I know just how difficult it is to pull off some of those tricks” kind of way. It is awe-inspiring to imagine that any human being can move that fast, hit that hard, and exhibit such control and finesse under such duress.

But here’s a more important question: In which sports are you participating these days?

When you took the oath it seemed as if every other week we were hearing about you hitting the court with some of your pals. Now not so much. I can understand how it would have been unseemly to be hooping around amid some of the tough news we’ve had lately, but I hope you are at least keeping up with it off camera.

As you know, I recently returned to more serious running after years of taking it easy. It was hard as first, but gradually I added up the distance, and now I am clicking off 5-, 8-, and 15-mile training runs like drinking iced tea. It is an excellent feeling (despite the odd jaunt when my lungs wheeze like a concertina and my knees creak like a Boris Karloff movie) and it reminds me how neglectful I was of my exercise for so many years as I wrestled with my career and all those endless demands at the office.

My point is I think a great many men in this country treat their health as something that can simply be shoved off until tomorrow. It starts in your late twenties, gets worse in your thirties, and suddenly in your forties you realize you are a benchwarmer at best. We could learn something from the nation’s women who, by and large, seem to take much better care of themselves than we do.

And a president, even in difficult times, can be a good role model. Not sure why this was on my mind for the Friday at the end of a busy week. Maybe because I’m hoping for a nice long run this weekend. Of course, you are welcome if you want to give me call. And if you can keep up! Ha!


Follow Tom on Twitter @tomforemancnn.

Find more of the Foreman Letters here.

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