Exercise

I’ve never really gotten “working out”. I understand it as a concept, but it seems like such a massive waste of time when your objective is to simply “get stronger”. Especially activities like lifting weights or using a stationary cycle… they’re all so boring. Functional, but oh so dull.

It seems to me like exercise should be something productive. Not “productive” in the sense that “Oh, I worked out in a gym for an hour, now I’m 1/90000% stronger”, productive as in “accomplishing a goal outside of simple fitness.

Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been into the stereotypical “masculine” activities like lifting weights and doing other exercises in Your Local Gym with the other men. Lots of manly men. With big strong arms. And big, long, hard… cars.

It just seems like it’s all for its own sake, which is silly when you consider what you could be doing instead.

Want to work out your legs? Run/bike to the store instead of driving. For your arms you could put up that fence that you always wanted, or re-organize your basement, which is probably filled with fifty-pound boxes. Plant a really big tree. Hell, just move some furniture around to a different position. Do something that gives you real benefits in your life, gifts that lifting a really heavy bar up and down won’t net you.

Of course, you might have to get creative for some exercises; I doubt that you’ll find many household opportunities for doing chin-ups. However, I bet that a little free-running would be fun, and it could come as a useful skill…

Personally, I’ve begun riding my bicycle as much as I can, and it has proved to be a lot easier than I had expected. A little slower, yes, but not all that much harder. Plus my starving wallet can bear the weight of a man-powered vehicle…

But that’s what I’m talking about. I’m not going to the gym to work out, I’m just doing it as I’m accomplishing a goal. Because… well, why not?

This sounds extraordinarily preachy, so let me say that I’m not trying to force people out of their gyms. There are a few things that one cannot reliably do outside of a environment like a gym, although the importance of working out those particular muscles is debatable, as since you cannot work them out in a normal environment you may never need them. I’m simply commenting on how silly it is for people to rush to gyms every time they want to exercise.

Perhaps I don’t have the proper motivation for such activities, after all, I am far from in the best shape that I could be in. However, I can’t remember a time when I’ve been truly impaired by my “weakness”. Because the same principles apply to muscles as computers or cars: yes, you could get a car that goes 500 mph, but why would you want to? Yes, you could get a computer that has enough power to run Crysis five times at once, but why would you want to? If the opportunity to use all of that power will never present itself without you seeking it out, then what’s the point in spending so much time and money on getting it? That may be a lazy man’s excuse, but it’s a valid point. Let me put it this way: let’s say that you suddenly had the strength of Superman and the speed of the Flash. Would you really use it in your everyday life? Does Superman buy eggs any differently than anyone else?

Make of it what you will, this is obviously my opinion. But think about it.

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