Being strong, fit, benching heavy, going to the gym – working for health in a bubble, in a closed environment – it’s like being an A-Grade student and then expecting everyone else in class to be the same. If I can do it, anyone can – all that statement reveals is an ignorant mind-set, and a low sense of self-esteem. It’s like training for a test at school and expecting that to make you better at life. Training doesn’t make you better in the same way grades don’t make you better. It’s privilege. The same old prejudice. Some people are better at some things, others are not, and who are we to judge? Training and fitness make some things easier, but that doesn’t mean you get to be a prejudiced dick about it. Exercise doesn’t make you better than someone else. Being a ‘better version’ of yourself is a moral judgment, and last I checked, being sick or disabled doesn’t make you less worthy, or less moral, than someone who possesses full function of their limbs. Having sporting abilities doesn’t make you worth more – whether you measure that in ultimate or relative terms – to society, to your loved ones. A ‘better version’ is moral. A more sportier version is simply a more sportier version.
We’ve swapped one prejudice for another. We go to the gym, practice obedience and call it rebelliousness. We practice conformity and call it individuality. We lift and train, we think that improved fitness equals improved worth and we think it changes who we are – we think it makes us better than we were before. But it doesn’t. The fact that you do or do not exercise has nothing to do with your worth. We all work at stuff, because we all want our lives to be better. The secret is, of course, that you are already worthy. And as your training cannot and does not make you more worthy, there’s nothing that makes you less worthy either.
Training. Education. How is this high-school stuff going to help me in the real world? How is Calculus going to help me provide for my family, and how is the number of chin-ups I can do going to protect me from heart disease? Don’t confuse the testing measures with the process of development. Don’t be afraid to fail the tests that are merely designed to keep us chained to the wheel.
Being a high-school drop-out doesn’t doom you to failure and misery any more than going to college and accumulating debt ensures a life of success and freedom. So what about training? We train to be healthy, people use phrases like “bullet-proof yourself against blah-blah”, as if the term bullet-proof is literal. But training doesn’t ensure health, in the same way that good grades don’t ensure success. It’s merely the confidence of ignorance, obedience and self-delusion. The fantasy of control and the blind denial of chaos. Somebody did a study once, therefore I’m not at risk of cancer. I used to believe that. Knowledge versus prophecy.
I’m doing what I’m told, therefore nothing bad is going to happen to me.
Where’s the wisdom in that?
So why train? Because it’s fun. If it’s not fun – if it’s not giving you something right now – some promised future benefit isn’t enough, I’m sorry – don’t do it. Don’t buy the lie that nobody will find you attractive. That you won’t be able to protect your mate/future/investment. That biology dictates women like big muscles. If you have big muscles, and you attract a mate, what happens if you get sick, you can’t train, and you attracted a person who values big muscles? What happens then? Who looks after you, so that you can look after them? So why train?
Do it on your terms, or not at all.
All systems of propaganda promise some vague future benefit. How many deliver?
Can you make your training more pertinent to your goals? Your education more pertinent to your life? Sure you can. It’s your path. You’re an adult - you get to choose what you like. But you wouldn’t seek out an education and expect success without paying attention, so don’t hop on the treadmill and watch TV while expecting miracles. It’s got to be worthwhile.
Health is health. Do what you can, when you can, without judgement, and you’ve got your best chance of progress.