ESPN, one of my favorite magazines (part for its slick design, part for the gritty/matte paper stock and on-the-cheap saddle stitch binding) offers some insight into the athleticism of the new U.S. president:
Barack Obama has a tough act to follow (we’re talking about sports here), succeeding a man who once owned a major league baseball team, bench-pressed 185 pounds and ran a marathon. But the skinny newcomer should hold his own. Before the election, candidate Obama championed a college football playoff and lobbied to bring the 2016 Olympics to Chicago, his hometown. His passion for pickup hoops and his clutch three-point shooting during a summer visit with troops in the Middle East are, in their own way, Jordanesque. And now that he’s moved into the White House, President Obama is looking for a room with a ceiling high enough to hold a basketball court.”
Here’s ESPN Magazine’s overview of Obama’s athletic career.
Everyone keeps asking newly anointed White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emmanuel if he’s “having fun.”
“Fun is not the first adjective that comes to mind,” he said in a profile appearing in Sunday’s New York Times. Still, I found his physical fitness regime (detailed in the same article) pretty impressive:
He woke as usual at 5 a.m., swam a mile at the Y, read papers and was in the office at 7 for the senior staff meeting at 7:30. There was a meeting in the Situation Room about Afghanistan; a leadership meeting; a conversation with the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, Democrat of Nevada; a meeting with Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah; budget meetings; several conversations with the president.
Later, in the same article, we get some more specifics about Mr. Emmanuel’s resistance training regimen:
On days he does not swim, he works out, and conducts business, at the House gym: 25 minutes on the bike, 20 minutes on the elliptical, 120 situps, 55 push-ups and many sweaty conversations with his former colleagues.
Whether or not you agree with his politics, it’s good to finally see some physical fitness in the White House.