The fabled Joseph Hubertus Pilates, father of modern Contrology, inventor of numerous exercisical gizmos, trainer of boxers, dancers, and POWs alike, had something on his mind one day in 1934. He put it in his book. English was not his native tongue, but, as readers will soon appreciate, he had by even this early stage mastered the gist of the language, with the help of a co-writer and an ego the size of his chest. He tackles the problem of modern molly-coddled unnaturally-nurtured children.
These children grow up lacking normal initiative, appetites, passions and the stress of competition. Figuratively speaking, they slowly sink to a low level, never experiencing the thrills of life, never experiencing the glory of successful accomplishment, and never enjoying the fruits of over-flowing vitality and health that should be theirs if taught the problems of life and the proper control of the body.
Later on, when their vitality is at a low ebb, they begin to shrivel at their extremities, their blood pressure is either subnormal or abnormal. Their heads get too warm, their feet and hands get too cold. Their mentality waxes and wanes and they are, so to speak, more or less animated clothes racks. This is a mighty serious problem. Think it over. It is deserving of every person’s consideration.
Joseph H Pilates, Your Health, 1934, p. 25
This is a mighty serious problem. Think it over. Keep that in mind and you can’t go wrong.