In reality, there are two main reasons people start lifting weights – to improve their physique and to hack life by joining the strength forces.
Like little kids we often look up to the muscle monsters lifting heavy barbells. We identify those men as Gods among men. We admire them and see a savior in their actions and accomplishments. Little by little the heavy barbell starts to look more and more like a key to freedom. Is this really the case or maybe it’s all an illusion? Is the ability to lift heavy stuff always accompanied by true character strength?
Strength athletes and muscle monsters certainly have a different lifestyle than most people. In order to become bigger and stronger you must subject your body to a very specific conditioning. You can’t live like an ordinary person and expect to be extraordinary. Thus, muscle Gods train, take steroids and eat a lot. Those are the actions required to become as big and as strong as humanly possible in the 21st century. Question is, what happens when you take those guys out of that favorable anabolic environment? Are they just as strong or does all of their strength evaporate like a malnourished muscle?
Bodybuilders and strength athletes are often just big babies. They have to eat all the time, shoot their butts with hormones and sleep like babies. Ironically, some of the big guys cannot sanitize themselves and it’s not unheard of to use the help of family members to clean yourself. It’s almost like all that strength act as a burden and enslaver rather than a liberator. Everything those guys do is in favor of their two big masters – strength and muscle. Doesn’t that make you weak?
Take any bodybuilder, stop his steroids and he will just shrink down to nothingness. This leads me to the conclusion that taken out of their favorable environment muscle men are not really that strong. This is further influenced by the fact that big muscles are often used as a bandage covering deeper problems. When that bandage is taken away an apparent weakness reveals. Muscle men lose their identity and the ego is deeply hurt.
However, isn’t that true for everybody? What is a runner in a phone-booth? What is a musician in a world with no musical instruments? Are we all weaklings outside of our comfort zone, outside of our personal panic house? I guess so.
The misery is further increased by the fact that we identify ourself with our professions and “free time” addictions. We forget that before lawyers, office drones…etc. we are humans first, and our true identity should not be lost once we are in a situation full of factors that could be considered unfavorable. Easy to say, hard to do.