quietly hanging

Repealing and Replacing the Presidential Physical Fitness Test

Things are going to be very different in this country after inauguration day. Obamacare will be dismantled, illegal immigrants will be loaded into a rocket and shot into the sun, your mail carrier might goose-step down your block because it’s 2017 and sometimes people are Nazis, now. But the question that we’re all asking, the question that the mainstream media refuses to ask because they’re cowards, is will President Trump repeal and replace the Presidential Physical Fitness Test?

Started in 1966 under Lyndon Johnson, the Presidential Physical Fitness Test was meant to motivate out-of-shape kids by giving them presidential awards for excelling in various physical activities. Government mandated sit-ups, pull-ups, and rope climbing turned the hour-long free-for-all known as gym class into a boot camp for the world’s shittiest military.

My middle school gym teacher made us all gather in the auditorium to announce that we would be participating in the fitness test. Bill Clinton was our president, and he was challenging us, the disaffected youth of suburban New Jersey, to take a break from discovering the Misfits and our bodies to instead do a bunch of push-ups for the good of the country. Arnold Schwarzenegger was also involved for some reason, appearing via VHS tape with a message of encouragement and catch phrases. He didn’t have to do that. The man was filming True Lies, he didn’t have time to threaten teenagers into doing leg lifts or risk termination. Tom Arnold is in the middle of telling an incredibly funny story about doing coke with the second Becky from Roseanne, and poor Schwarzenegger has to interrupt him to go film this stupid thing? There’s no way Tom will remember where he left off.

Despite the encouraging words from my gym teacher and Arnold Schwarzenegger, I received zero accolades from the president for my physical prowess. I was a portly boy on the precipice of discovering that it’s cool to hate things you’re bad at. Things like squat-thrusts, moving quickly and wearing clothes that fit. I hung onto the rope like a frightened Donkey Kong Jr., gently swaying for 30 seconds. I climbed onto a folding chair to reach the pull-up bar, grabbed the bar, then hung there for 30 seconds. If “Quietly Hanging While Wanting to Die” was a Presidential Physical Fitness Test activity, I would have been in the top 1% in the county.



In 2012, Obama replaced the Presidential Physical Fitness Test with the Presidential Youth Fitness Program, which focuses on a “health-related, criterion-based assessment.” I kind of know what those words mean, which means Trump will have absolutely no idea what those words mean, which means it has to go. First of all that name needs to be flashier. Sexier. Something like The Trump Test for Tremendous Athletes Like the President. Next change: no physical fitness required. The gym teacher saw you do three push-ups in as many minutes? Well he’s a liar, you did 600, and everybody’s talking about it. Can’t climb the rope? That’s because it was made in China, and the loathsome Chinese are trying to sabotage our beautiful children with their slippery rope technology, which is not nice, and also very, very bad. Congratulations Billy, you drank four Diet Cokes before 8 a.m. Here’s your Certificate of Awardness, which if you flip it over doubles as a coupon for 5% off a steak dinner at the Trump Grill. Enjoy it Billy. It’s about as close as you’re going to get to government assistance for the next four to eight years.