So, I saw this [link] recently and it shows people in different gear running an obstacle course. The short version is that it is a firefighter, modern soldier and medieval knight in full plate running the same course. They basically end up at around roughly the same time in full gear (the modern soldier is actually the slowest but I would argue that normally soldiers drop their heavy backpack before intensive combat).
This led me to a big thought: people in their contemporary time period always think people in the past were stupider. This is despite one constant throughout recorded history; we're still the same human beings. The idea that people built armour that was unwieldy and bad to use is really quite silly. Europeans would have built full plate to be highly maneuverable. Some of the basic moves by knights, such as raising a sword high above the shoulders, would have required highly flexible armour. Knights were also known to have fought for many hours, upwards to days of pitched close quarters combat. If it were so terrible to fight in their armour, they'd have dropped dead in an hour or two. Instead, they fight basically as long as modern soldiers before tiring out from exhaustion.
Another aspect of this real world test is that it has confirmed some of my personal suspicions about full plate armour. Namely that I had guessed it to be far better than what most people suggest because I could not fathom that people would progressively add loads and loads more steel plate to protect themselves if they turned them into a lumbering jackass on the battlefield. The benefit had to outweigh the cost because not only did many European polities use such armour, all the refinements led to greater amounts of plate (and the downfall of ranged weapons) until guns became highly reliable. Here, I can see that they could move much more quickly than I had anticipated, be much more flexible than I had thought and could even do a few jumps and leaps. All this with a person who had what would be equivalent to zero training versus a real knight from the middle ages. Knights would only have been much more amazing.
There's so many things that amaze me about descriptions of what people could do in the past just because they trained everyone from birth with a culture invested in certain skills. Mongols could shoot on horseback with heavy 120 lbs bows firing hundreds of arrows per battle. Inuit could throw harpoons one handed while riding a kayak in whale hunts. There's even the size of armies that people could manage in ancient times. Song Dynasty was fielding hundreds of thousands of soldiers per battle when we can barely do that today. Granted, I really wouldn't want to live in a world where there was so much war but to think that logistics or conscription was invented today would be silly.
Anyway, just some random thoughts about a random topic.