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Spirit of Fitness

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With the Olympic torch lighting up Turin, Italy for the 2006 Winter Games this month, many of us turn our attention to national pride and the spirit of competition

With the Olympic torch lighting up Turin, Italy for the 2006 Winter Games this month, many of us turn our attention to national pride and the spirit of competition. Probably the oldest of all instincts, the competitive spirit is responsible for many of our historical achievements as a civilization resulting from our push to create, advance, and stand out.

In ancient Greece, the emphasis on athletic achievement through public competition was related to the Greek ideal of excellence. Aristocratic men who attained this ideal, through their outstanding words or deeds, won permanent glory and fame. The Olympic ideals sportsmanship, values, fair play, and peaceful competition are alive in today's Olympic movement and in every offshoot of the original games.

Though we may not all be Olympic hopefuls, chances are that, with a little challenge, we can awaken that spirit of competition inside ourselves. The goal: to reach a level of fitness and well-being that will allow us to achieve our personal best. It may not be fame and glory, and probably won't earn you money or even a shiny gold medal, but that personal best will put you in the race for a healthy and happy life.

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