Monday, December 19, 2005

How To Feel Like A Blob In One Easy Lesson

Let's say you eat reasonably well, eschewing fast food, sweets, deep fried chicken, etc, and you don't smoke, drink, or engage in risky forms of behavior. Furthermore, assume that you run 6-7 miles 5x per week while lifting weights for about an hour at a time some 5x per week as well. In addition, you play basketball once or twice a week.

You should feel like a reasonably firm fit fellow, should you not? On this level alone, should there not be some pride, as if you're takin' care of biz, at least in this sphere of affairs?

The problem is that, as the adage goes, there is always somebody somewhere who is better, faster, bigger, stronger, [insert comparative adverb here], etc, than you. And, when you run into such a person, or even when you are simply made aware that such people exist [perhaps in profusion], it is rather humbling.

Recently, through a follow-the-link-fest involving a series of internet surfings whose sequential order I cannot remember, I stumbled on a site and message board that is quite the change of pace from my usual news/philosophical/religious fare.

The site is Testosterone Nation.

Having read through a part of that site, I now feel like Jabba the Hutt, the Lord of Lipids and Love-handles, the Doyen of Donuts, the Baron of the Buffet, etc. Readers are encouraged to supply their own alliterative genitive chain here, noting that L, D, and B are already taken.

At that site, you'll read about guys benching 400 pounds, squatting lord-knows-how-many pounds, 5% body fat percentages, rigorously planned diets that leave absolutely nothing to chance, and killer workouts that make my workouts look like girlie-man sessions to me in retrospect. I may have a 32" waist [not bad for 6'] but it ain't no six-pack compared to the Testosterone Nation posters and article-writers! It's fun stuff to read, but very deflating. You get the voice in your head saying You're still a chump, chump!

There are countless articles on nutrition and such, and, not being a logical-deductive discipline but an intensely empirical discipline, it leaves me wondering who is right, or even if there are any sort of universal principles. Then the thought of You could've gotten so much more if only you'd done X instead of Y and eaten Z instead of W enters the mind. These thoughts are invited into the mind by having been stuck at a strength and endurance plateau for a month now.

Anyway, if any fitness enthusiasts* out there can read this site without feeling like you've missed the boat and are not too far beyond the man who goes through a 12-piece x-tra crispy KFC family bucket at one sitting and then loosens the button on his pants [in Bundyesque fashion] while watching pro wrestling mindless TV, you are farther along in the game than I am. Relatively speaking, I feel like El Blobbo typing this post. Fortunately, I can sleep the feelings of inadequacy off....we hope. :-)

[[* ---- by fitness enthusiast I mean somebody with specific strength/athletic/running goals who is actively working towards those goals in the sense of making time in his life to achieve them. I don't wish to convey any idea that I'm some great athlete or budding Mr. Universe. Hardly. Just a thirty-something trying to relive 1989-1994 all over again.]]


Anonymous montster said...

Wasn't it Frank Shorter? the long distance runner that died from a heart attack while in his prime?

Excercise scares me!

Monday, December 19, 2005 6:57:00 PM  

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