Everything hurts right now. Moving is a veritable ton of work. Did I overdo it in the gym today? Yeah, probably a little – but it was worth it! I may feel like a sack of wet cement but I am one hell of a happy sack of wet cement when I am exhausted from lifting stuff. Which got me to thinking.
All the stuff going on in the world right now is making me sad. People are so polarized, so vitriolic, so irrationally devoted to their own dogma, so angry…that it seems as though we are on the brink of some kind of massive global meltdown. And you know what? If that happens, if we wipe ourselves off the face of the earth, we bloody well deserve it.
Lucky for everyone, I have figured out the answer to all of the world’s problems. Seriously. All of them. Are you ready?
The answer is, of course, lifting. And I’m not talking about just any bullshit 20-minutes-of-brisk-activity-gets-the-heart-rate-up stuff, I’m talking about getting into the gym, doing some big-ass lifts, and LAYING DOWN 100% OF WHATEVER YOU HAVE. You don’t necessarily have to puke or injure yourself or die or anything. Just get after it, HARD.
Hear me out on this: I submit that if everyone – everyone – spent one or two hours a day, 5 days a week picking up the heaviest weights they were capable of and putting them down again, we would virtually eliminate most of the world’s problems, and here’s why:
- Lifting feels awesome. After you’re done. Personally, I think it’s fun during, but I get that it would be naive of me to assume that everyone feels that way. I know most people hate working out because it kinda hurts. But after it’s over? Hell yes motherfuckers!! The sense of accomplishment after a good workout will leave you glowing for the whole freaking day. Lifting weights lifts your spirits.
- Conversely, if you have a bad day in the gym or on the platform, the existential despair kills any and all aggressive tendencies. No time for making trouble for anyone else – hell, you won’t want to even make eye contact with anyone for a few days. With lifting it’s just you against that barbell – no opponent, no other team to vibe out – and the bar doesn’t give a shit either way. This means it’s all on you to make it happen, and nobody but yourself to get angry at if things don’t go right – lots of life lessons about responsibility to be learned there.
- Lifting makes you an expert at conflict resolution. I have two daughters (ages 13 and 11) who squabble insidiously, and it’s annoying as hell. When I’ve smashed myself in the gym, I have infinite patience to help them resolve their differences peacefully, and most of the time it works. You know why? Because I am too freaking tired to do anything else! Just think of what the world might look like if all of its leaders were too tired to do anything except compromise over a protein shake.
- Strong people are confident people. If you challenge the outer limits of your physical strength on a regular basis, you develop a sense of quiet assurance that you can probably handle whatever life throws at you. Things just don’t seem as threatening. And if anyone gives you attitude you can always just shrug and think to yourself, “I can probably deadlift more than them” and walk away.
- People who lift are more patient, more tolerant, and generally more chill than people who don’t. You know why? Because being angry takes energy. Spreading misery is work. Hating requires a lot of extra steam. Now, if you were to go into the gym, crank up some heavy metal or some gangsta rap (I am partial to metal for working out but that’s just me), harness every ounce of blind rage you could muster, and bust out heavy squats until your legs quivered and standing upright in the shower afterward was a challenge, I guarantee beyond a shadow of a doubt that there will be no energy left to get angry over the guy who cut you off in traffic. Or people whose religion/politics/etc don’t line up with yours. Live and let live, bros!
Ok, yeah, I know this isn’t a 100% bulletproof theory, and there are assholes in every demographic…but a worn out asshole is a less vitriolic asshole, so there’s that. I remember back when I was doing some research on dog behaviour in preparation to adopt a dog. I read an article that basically took apart every undesirable canine behaviour by reiterating that DOGS NEED REGULAR AND SUFFICIENT EXERCISE, and when they are bored or restless or have too much energy they start getting into trouble. The article finished by stating that “a tired dog is a happy dog.” I would go as far as to say that in this respect, humans are the same – and most people who feel compelled to get all up in each others’ bidness just need to do some heavy-ass deadlifts. You’re welcome, world!