I started my website in 2001. It didn’t take long after to realize that not everyone will understand or agree with my ideas. I am okay with that as we’re all entitled to our own interests, opinions, and beliefs. What’s always humored me however are the comments made in regards to exercise safety (or lack of). Whenever I post a video of myself or others performing a strenuous exercise, it’s guaranteed that I’ll receive comments about the dangers of such movements.
Earlier this week I posted a compilation video of random footage from the last 18 months.
As expected, I’ve seen many comments on social media sites such as Facebook citing the supposed dangers of my routine. Perhaps the most humorous comments came from individuals younger than me who warned that I’d be bedridden with injuries as I age. Ironically, I received similar comments almost 20 years ago as an intern in college. I was a young boxer at the time and my boss warned that I wouldn’t be able to maintain the same pace as I entered my twenties. Now as I enter my late thirties, I’m hearing the same warnings about my forties. It never ends.
Such comments remind me of a quote from Chuck Palahniuk,
“What you don’t understand you can make mean anything.”
In other words, if you have not done something (or aren’t prepared to try), your opinion on the subject doesn’t hold water. For example, I don’t know how to fly an airplane. My opinion about flying is as useful as an ashtray on a motorcycle. The fact that it would be dangerous for me to fly doesn’t mean it is dangerous to fly.
And please don’t misconstrue the point to this entry. I’m not writing this because I care what others think of my routine. What’s more important is combating the fear mongers that discourage others from performing any physical exercise. I hear from people all the time who are genuinely scared to begin training. They’ve been brainwashed to believe that any type of physical exertion is dangerous.
If you’ve ever wondered why I share so many age-related stories on the site, now you know. I post these stories to highlight that the body can handle much more work than the average person will ever comprehend. Age is not the crutch that many believe it to be. No, we won’t live forever, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy our time with health and vitality.
Exercise is not dangerous, assuming you progress gradually, listen to your body, and don’t get ahead of yourself. I’ve been training for over 20 years and have NEVER had any serious injuries in the gym. I don’t take any drugs, recovery supplements or even a vitamin. I’m just a regular person who happens to be passionate about training.
Ignorance is dangerous. Inactivity is dangerous. Letting time pass you by with your ass stuck on the couch is dangerous. Hard work that is performed consistently and intelligently is not.
Since when did hard work become such a rarity? In today’s world, if you work hard to better yourself physically, you essentially become part of a small minority. Meanwhile, physical inactivity is slowly killing countless others.
I still consider myself young, but I see fellow parents in town who haven’t done anything remotely physical since playing high school sports twenty years ago. They can hardly walk a flight of stairs without gasping for air. I’ll take my chances with hard, consistent work in the gym any day over struggling to perform regular daily activities. The body is designed for movement. It is intended for use. You can either choose to use it or choose to lose it. The decision is yours.
As for the fear mongers out there lurking, consider focusing your efforts elsewhere. For example, I’m guessing more injuries result from texting while driving than from lifting weights in the gym. And unlike heavy lifting, it is something that you probably have some personal experience doing.