“Slacker” was a term for citizens who were uninvolved in the war effort during World War I, and a “calamity howler” was a fear-mongerer. When the Spanish flu hit in 1918,
“the term slacker took on the added meaning of one who went out in public while ill, coughed and sneezed openly and in the presence of others, and generally disregarded the prudent recommendations of city authorities. The calamity howler became one who spread unfounded rumors of hundreds of influenza deaths in one day and vituperated health officials’ inability to minimize the spread of the contagion.”¹
Here are some of the things people did to keep society moving during the Spanish Flu epidemic when schools, churches, offices and civic centers were closed:
- Kids were encouraged to do use their knitting, crocheting, sewing, wood-shop and arts and crafts skills to make new or repair damaged hats, gloves, and toys for the needy.
- Churches teamed with Boy Scout Clubs to deliver stay-at-home Sunday school lessons to the homes of parishioners.
- High School students were expected to be prepared for exams when they returned to school. Teachers were available to assist struggling students by phone.
- Outdoor schools, opened to fight tuberculosis, continued to operate throughout the early 20th century. Kids didn’t just make do with outdoor schools, they excelled. Evidence suggests that students actually learn better outdoors than they do within.²
We are martial artists. We should neither slack nor howl, but get our butts in gear.
Slack nor Howl: Martial Arts Training Involution #219
- Warm-up thoroughly for at at least 8 minutes. Do 2-3 minutes each of (a) jumping rope (b) light calisthenics and (c) shadowboxing, forms, or light heavy bag work, or 8 minutes of MBF.
- Crack yourself a sack. Get a floor bag (a heavy bag with chains taped). Make one if necessary. Set timer for 10 mins. Scissor lock the bag from the bottom and squeeze as hard as you can. Straighten your trunk while you hit the top of his “head” with hammer fists. When your legs gas, swap top/bottom foot position. If you can’t make the whole 10 minutes, alternate Smearing Push-ups on the bag and Hatmaker’s Kansas Burpees until the timer beeps.
- Get your crack out of the sack. Run 1 mile as fast as you can.
- Sack up and crack right back. Whatever pressures are putting the squeeze on you — social, work, health, financial, etc. — there is always something you can do. Restriction breeds creativity, not freedom. Get paper and pen and set a timer for three minutes. Don’t analyze and think deeply — you’ll do that later — just throw out ideas! Write down as many things as you can that might help your current situation. When the timer beeps, calmly review and analyze the list. Pick the three best ideas. Put them on your to-do list, set completion dates on your calendar, and so on. Taking action — any kind of action — is better than laying there and letting life, your opponent, or your assailant, crush the life out of you.
¹ How Did LA Cope With The Influenza Pandemic Of 1918?
² Schools Beat Earlier Plagues with Outdoor Classes. We Should Too.
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