While I know I am overweight, I also know that once I get warmed up and get the proper pace established for the terrain and pack weight I am carrying (I have a tendency to want to go FAST and that eats my lunch), I could get out on the trail and do 500 miles (not in one day…); it might take me a little longer than people with faster paces or longer legs, but I could do it. Just ask my mama. I recently did a crap job of it with a raging cold. I felt like shit day in and day out and yet I enjoyed it and was only about 10 minutes behind the group. (..and I will be doing it. I have the Virginia section of the AT in my sights when I get the $$ in place and when Bunny decides she doesn't need me anymore.)
Quite frankly, I know people with higher BMI than myself who put me to shame in terms of endurance and capability.
(and if we are basing the BMI system then according to the news, my BMI means that I am sick all the time, that I have diabetes, that I am in the hospital and using up tax payers' money and I am causing the world to collapse. Yeah, sure. I don't by the way.)
Sweeping generalizations are for shit.
In any event; BMI is not measurement of capability.
If some person who is slender and well within all published metrics wanted to do it then they can do it, right?
Maybe, maybe not.
My friend Marsha meets all these numbers and yet she would be the last person that I would let out on the trail she is in a motorized wheelchair due to MS…see how that works? Her BMI has nothing to do with her trail-worthiness.
Just as my BMI has nothing to do with MY trail-worthiness.
What about an asthmatic kid? Or a kid who can't carry their pack? Or a total klutz? Those have NOTHING to do with BMI.
They have everything to do with capability.
And that is what I am arguing against. This piss poor choice of a metric that does not encompass the real requirement.
Not to mention that by creating these inaccurate and unrelated criteria, they are telling these kids, who might be completely capable of humping pack over miles of trail, who might benefit from all that lovely walking and the social aspect of troops and learning things; that they aren't worthy of being associated with…just because their BMI is too high.
That they should just stay home and eat chips in front of the PS3 and shoot up heroin…you aren't worth our time because some test that isn't even tailored to their own age group or sex is the reason that they can't go.
(Oh, and they can't be gay. Oh and they have to be Christian.)
Only zombie Jesus-lovin' hetero skinny folks may apply. Those are the values that the Boy Scouts of America are teaching.
Not honor, not fairness, not skills, not accountability, not ability…not even test hikes to see who can cut it and who can't.
But wait, fredlet, that's NOT what we are saying!
Yes, in fact it is. It is exactly what you are saying when you use an inaccurate measurement to exclude people from being involved in your organizational activities….and you have the right to do it. I also have the right to think you are giant assholes and do my damndest to point out to everyone in the world that your values and the fact that you are emulating Hitler Youth with this poor excuse for a requirement.
What's next? The race card? Whiteys only?
It sounds like I didn't appreciate this group and I am washing my hands of them all together….I'm not completely.
I know people still associated with the scouts and I know they are quality people. They are absolutely interested in the development of young people.
But this administration is making it very clear that unless you meet their weight, religious a sexual orientation standards that you aren't worthy enough to join this group and I would hope my friends would protest this… if they are inflexible, leave the organization for one that values the uniqueness of the individual rather than numbers that are meaningless when applied this way.
The Boy Scouts of America are showing themselves to be the bigoted shitheads that I fight against…I'd say it was a very Un-American practice to be this way, but I am heartily ashamed to admit that is a very human and very American practice.
See the other side of the coin here: