Why Fitness?


“Check out these gains!”

“What supplements you take?”

“DO YOU EVEN LIFT, BRO!”

These are things I have never, ever, heard at the gym.*

Yes, weightlifting has a negative image. Many think, thanks in late let to our popular culture, that guys who life are nothing more than meat-headed, steroid-abusing, unintelligent, overly macho, testosterone-soaked (like this is a bad thing?) jocks.

Whatever.

In truth, most of us are just guys trying to stay healthy in an environment filled with sedentary jobs, endless entertainment, bad food, and aimlessness of purpose.

If you follow my social media, you may have noticed that I’ve been posting about fitness more often lately, though I’m not giving advice.

What gives?

I’ll tell you what gives: It all goes to the “Renaissance Man” (or “Woman,” if you get offended by such gendered language) aspect of life: 

Never stick yourself in one box. Don’t look at having many different sides as a bad thing.

In life, be a generalist.

The mind and the body and the spirit are all connected. You cannot ignore any of these without negatively affecting the others.

If you are mentally or spiritually ill, it will have outward manifestations.

If you are physically ill, it will have inner manifestations.

The entirety of a human being is linked. This is why, though people mock Biblical statements about the body being a temple that should not be defiled by sin, including things like gluttony and lust, those boring old guys were on to something.

Let me give a little background here which may explain why I find fitness so important, despite the fact that I check pretty much all of the “Nerd” boxes.

You see, I am a former fatty.

I know, I know. Some of you might object to this term as well. I don’t care. It was only by being harsh with myself I was able to cut through the self-deception that convinced me to be comfortable in this state.

Until I was in my late teens, I never got serious about my health. Continue reading “Why Fitness?”

Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams

I never “got” Dilbert until I started working an office job. And then it all started to make sense.

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Copyright Scott Adams. Used without permission. If Mr. Adams wants me to take this down, I will do so without hesitation.

In just a few panels, creator Scott Adams is able to get to the heart of the workplace absurdity in corporate America. Adams brings this same clarity of thought to his political analysis, being one of the few people to accurately predict the course of the 2016 presidential election.

Whether it’s because of his persuasion and hypnosis training or just an inborn way of looking at the world, Adams provides a fresh perspective and a clarity of thought to everything he writes about.

Oh, and in 2013 he also published one of the best “self-help” books you’ll ever read.

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How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big: Kind of the Story of My Life is, by Adams’s own admission, “not an advice book,” cartoonists being notoriously unreliable role-models. Instead, Adams catalogs all of his life’s failures and explains the lessons he learned from them, suggesting that the reader “compare[s] my story with the stories of other people who found success and see if you notice any patterns.” (p. 1)

This sounds funny, and it is. Adams has a way with words. But aside from making you laugh, you’ll be blown away by the insights and just how practical Adams’s advice is. Here’s a big piece, for you:

Systems are where it’s at. Goals are for losers.

There. Now you don’t have to read the book. I saved you $10.00. You’re welcome.

That was a joke. I highly recommend you give Adams your money in exchange for his book. But I’ve made my point: Although he illustrates his lessons through the use of stories, Adams doesn’t play games and he doesn’t hide the ball. His descriptions of things that have worked for him in his life are direct and incisive, and he provides practical tips on how to incorporate these lessons into your life. Even better, he uses his persuasion techniques to plant the seeds in your head in a memorable way so that, months after you finish the last page and put the book down, the lessons still percolate in your head. Continue reading “Book Review: How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big by Scott Adams”

The Cranky Guy at the Head of the Table: A Philosophy of Fatherhood

Sometimes I hate being the disciplinarian to my son. Nobody likes to be the grumpy guy that’s always saying “no.” But somebody has to do it, and that somebody should be the father.

The amazing thing about children is that they instinctively understand boundaries and norms, even as they test them. Even after receiving a stern rebuke and maybe a time-out or two, my son still loves me. More importantly, he doesn’t fear me.

This is the way I want it to be.

I don’t want my son, or any of my future children, to ever be afraid of me.

I want them to be afraid of disappointing me.

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A large part of my parenting philosophy involves combining the stern with the tender. Once whatever disciplinary action is over, I act like it never happened. I never want my boy to think I’m angry at him per se, only at what he’s done.

And here’s another important part of my philosophy: I do not believe in corporal punishment.

All children need structure, but boys especially. I want my son to be self-sufficient. I don’t want him freaking out over every skinned knee and banged elbow. When he hurts himself, I act calm. If it’s minor, I tell him he’s a tough guy and that the hurt goes away by itself. If it’s major, I calmly tell him the same as I tend to his wound. Afterwards, he gets back on his feet and goes back to being his playful, risk-taking self.

Does this reinforce cultural stereotypes about gender and masculinity?

Your damn right it does. Continue reading “The Cranky Guy at the Head of the Table: A Philosophy of Fatherhood”

Book Review: Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich

Mike Cernovich is a madman. Whether you know him from his free-speech activism, his podcast, his upcoming documentary Silenced, or his journalism and political punditry, Cernovich does everything at one speed: full-blast.

And I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that he has one of the best Twitter accounts around.

But believe it or not, Cernovich first made a name for himself by writing about mindset at his blog Danger and Play and and in his book Gorilla Mindset.

Gorilla Mindset

People either love Cernovich or loathe him, but I’m here to review Gorilla Mindset on its own merits. I’m not alone in finding this book highly inspirational and thought-provoking. More importantly, it’s useful.

Let me tell you what I mean.

Continue reading “Book Review: Gorilla Mindset by Mike Cernovich”