Peter Van Eerden, fresh from USMC Basic School, became the first to hit the ice-filled water of the Homestead’s new cold plunge tank.

Teddy Roosevelt famously said:

Bodily vigor is good….

A jump into the Cold Plunge, just around the corner from Roosevelt Hall, dedicated to Roosevelt’s love of “The Vigor of Life,” offers an experience of bodily vigor.

But bodily vigor, while one of the gifts of life, is not chief among the gifts that we should prize. Roosevelt new something of this, and so we should nest the quote above into its context:

Bodily vigor is good, and vigor of intellect is even better, but far above both is character. It is true, of course, that a genius may, on certain lines, do more than a brave and manly fellow who is not a genius; and so, in sports, vast physical strength may overcome weakness, even though the puny body may have in it the heart of a lion. But, in the long run, in the great battle of life, no brilliancy of intellect, no perfection of bodily development, will count when weighed in the balance against that assemblage of virtues, active and passive, of moral qualities, which we group together under the name of character; and if between any two contestants, even in college sport or in college work, the difference in character on the right side is as great as the difference of intellect or strength the other way, it is the character side that will win.”

The Apostle Paul new something even greater. In words inspired by God and given to us many centuries ago, he reminded us that…

…while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.

Good words to consider as you hit the weights, or take a run, or visit the sauna — or brave the Cold Plunge!


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