I’m passionate about several things in my life. My family, accountability, education, common sense, and empathy are all things/virtues/ideologies I hold in high regard and, sometimes unfortunately, I can get easily emotional about. Emotions can cloud objectivity. Clouded thoughts can leave clouded conclusions. (And yes, the irony of getting emotional about understanding another person’s point of view is not lost on me…)
One of the things in life that I am also passionate about is physical activity. And the United States is tremendously fat and tremendously misguided when it comes to physical activity. Our kids are fat. Their parents are fat. Most of America will struggle with heart disease and diabetes because they are fat.
When we aren’t fat we are shallow. Our heroes are thickly muscled men and toned women with fake tits and nice tans. Comic book characters are more well-known than people like Dean Karnazes, Oscar Pistorious and Katherine Switzer. We emphasize the look of a body over real fitness, muscle mass over muscle prowess. My country has become an overmarketed morass of politically correct, infantile, self-serving twits. An unintelligent herd of “gots to gets mines” children whose value system is as fragile as their understanding. Pathetic.
I notice this more and more as I have cut weight from upwards of 180-185 pounds down to 170-173 pounds. Everywhere I go I get told I am skinny. I am, at this weight, more productive, more fit and, comparatively, much stronger than I have ever been in my entire life. I can run 3 miles in a little over twenty minutes and then go workout. Workouts that include over 400 pound deadlifts (or 60 deadlifts at 135 pounds, 25 pushups, 45 second jump rope and 10-15 pullups circuits without stopping) and a very nearly 300-pound bench press with rest periods of no longer than one minute in multi-faceted, total body sets. And yet I am “skinny.” I “look like I have lost weight.” I am consistently asked if I am “feeling okay.”
Fuck you, you mass marketed simpletons. Think for yourself. For once. Just for a minute.
I am the only one that sweats in the gym. I am the only one that doesn’t care how much I can bench, but how much I can bench when pushing my glycolitic energy pathways to their max. I have a resting heart rate of under 60 beats per minute, which rivals most professional athletes. I have no joint problems and run on pavement often. I am rarely sick. I eat healthy and often but can eat desserts whenever I choose and never feel guilty. And yet I am skinny because I don’t look like the meatheads on MTV.
Our cultural barometer has become has skewed as our moral compass. We idolize visage over intelligence, musculature over muscle function. Stupid. Irresponsible. Lazy. Inept.
Maybe I am skinny but I’ve gone where few men have the balls to tread and if anything, the rugby pitch has taught me this: size alone has nothing to do with true and continued strength. Keep it simple. Try to think before you speak.