Monday, April 27, 2009

Fitness on the Charles

I always knew the Charles was a haven for the runners and bikers of the Boston area. But little did I know that on a warm day, its banks become the site of the Charles River Olympics. The competition began with the inaugural “maniacal fathers pushing their infant children in baby carriages – while rollerblading” event, and finished with tamer activities such as slacklining (like walking on a tightrope), yoga and bocce. Traditional outside sports like baseball, wiffleball, softball, soccer, touch football, crew, kayaking, and Frisbee were also well represented.

There are no age, sex or race restrictions on the Charles. While a typical gym may have a certain type of clientele, the Charles attracts people from all walks of life. From little kids, to college kids, to the elderly; marathoners doing maintenance work to beer belly delegates making the annual hajj; and more races and nationalities than a U.N. meeting, the Charles River is an all-welcome, anti-discriminatory, free of charge outdoor fitness coliseum. It is a cultural magnet that brings everyone together with the mutual goal of improving health.

The views aren’t too bad either.

In the following clips you’ll see the range of people who enjoy this all-natural wonderland, including a university instructor stretching on a dock, Hispanic teams playing an intense game of futbol, and an rambling and eccentric, yet absolutely hilarious, middle-aged fitness fanatic who will explain why people who go to gyms are “stupid.”

To see some fitness in action, check out this video:

Charles River -

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