In both meetings of the Athletic Association, last week, there came forward a very good number of freshmen, and the records made by them give promise of good material from which to fill the place left vacant every year by the graduation of our older and better trained athletes.
The material from which to recruit our crews and teams will, it is fair to suppose, be supplied by men whose ambition prompts them to give their time to training, and there is no reason for fearing that the reputation of the college for special athletics will ever suffer from a lack of candidates for the honors of the field and track. But the greater part of the freshman class will take no part in these college games, and not one man in five, probably, will ever see his name in print in connection with any athletic event during his entire course at Cambridge. A few words to those men who from various reasons will not enter into any special branch of athletics will not be out of place at this early date in the college year. Probably most men who enter Harvard have never had such opportunities for general physical development and muscular training as are now furnished by the new gymnasium, with its splendid system of physical examinations and careful supervision, and the work in the gymnasium now naturally supplements the mental training received in the collegiate department. The four years which a man gives to a college course offer opportunities for bringing his body into a healthy and muscular condition which no man can afford to lose. In this period of a man's life many structural defects may be eradicated by a course of gymnastic training under scientific supervision, and it is sheer folly to throw away such a chance of bettering our bodily condition because of sensitiveness or laziness.
There are altogether too many of our students who pass their four years either without any muscular exercise at all, or at best spend a few hours a week at tennis or some other sport which, though excellent as a means of obtaining fresh air, yet fails to furnish that training for the muscles of the whole body which is absolutely required if a man wishes to find himself thoroughly fitted for the strains which his system is sure to undergo in later life. Let every member of the freshman class present himself to Dr. Sargent for examination, and, if he faithfully observes the directions for exercise given him, he will leave college with a reserve of muscular strength which in after life will be as valuable to him as the mental strength which he has acquired in his college course.