It’s Not Just About Strength
Recently there have been some articles and videos which are quite rightly, knocking Planet Fitness for their ridiculous policy of discouraging anyone who looks like they might lift more than the pink dumbbells from joining. I think we can all agree to have a good party the day that shower goes under.
Anyway, this got me thinking…..
When I was a kid growing up in South London being strong was really cool; not that I was strong as a kid but all my peer group aspired to be strong. These days I’m pretty happy that I’m strong, not satisfied, but pretty happy.
Today kids want to be “buff”, “tonk”, or “hensh” but they don’t really seem to care about strength, with the possible exception of the Bench Press. They seem to have bought into the “a little bit of tone” bollocks which is poisoning gyms everywhere. I hardly need to mention this but things are even worse for women where even a hint of muscle is often deemed as being manly.
When talking about such things I’ve heard the term “Pussification” used; especially by my American friends, but I think it goes further than that; it’s the mediocrity of society which is the real problem. People now aspire to be only slightly better than average; being exceptional is almost considered vulgar.
Wanting to be well built but not too well built. This would show that one is obviously an obsessive compulsive, and probably a narcissist to boot. I lose count of the times I’m told “I don’t want to get too big”! Don’t worry Buddy, not much chance of that.
Wanting to be strong enough to perform activities of daily living. So long as you can get out of a chair, or climb a flight of stairs you’re happy! Guess what, after not that long a time that’s all you’ll be able to do.
Wanting to be smart enough to be only slightly above average. Well, the average person reads one book a year! The most popular magazines have pictures of vacuous celebrities plastered all over them; you only want to be slightly more educated than that?
Wanting to be informed enough so you’re able to carry on a conversation with the Daily Mail reading idiot you meet at the water cooler every day. But so long as it’s the correct “Daily Mail” view then who cares? You don’t have time to cultivate anything close to an informed opinion.
Well that kind of attitude isn’t good enough for me! I really don’t care if you think I must be a meathead because I’m passionate about my lifting. I must spend almost as much time on that as you do on your drinking!
I don’t care if you think I’m a nerd because I’d rather watch a debate on theology on YouTube than “The X Factor”.
I really don’t care that you think I’m strange because I drive around in a £500 car, yet I have spent over £15’000 on my gym.
I really don’t give a toss that I know nothing about Alex Reid even though I read 40 books a year.
And I really don’t give a shit that my philosophy of what constitutes success is diametrically opposed to yours. I’m an average lifter, but I will work my arse off to be as good as I can be. I’m not very smart but I will become as knowledgeable as I can. I might not be the best at anything but I’ll be the best I can be.
I implore you, who read Get Mighty Now, don’t be like those poor saps at Planet Fitness who just want to “tone up – but not too much”. Be the exception to the rule, be the best you can be, however good that might be.