8 Facts About Theodore Roosevelt: Put Up Your Dukes!

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2. Put Up Your Dukes!

Move over, Rocky, Theodore Roosevelt is in the ring! Well, not quite, but growing up small, frail, and asthmatic, T.R. faced overwhelming health issues. Despite his physical challenges, young Roosevelt was an avid outdoorsman. While on a hike in the Alps with his family, T.R. discovered that the demanding exertion helped his breathing.

Whenever T.R. found a cause or an interest, he always dedicated himself 100 percent. He trained in gymnastics, weightlifting, judo, and boxing. At Harvard College, he competed in the intramural lightweight championship and afterward, continued to spar for fun, even in the White House, where he boxed with former pro boxers and others. When an artillery officer hit him hard enough to detach a retina, nearly blinding him in his left eye, Theodore hung up his gloves, and turned to a “less strenuous” sport—jiu-jitsu!

He kept up some kind of rigorous exercise regimen for his entire life.