Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Real Talk: Misery Business

Self-health is definitely a growing industry, corresponding with the trend of growing waist-lines and swell of the fast food bloom. Today, counting your calorie intake and monitoring your pulse after a swift climb of a flight of stairs is more of an exact science than mirco-biology. Around a month ago, my friend took me to his cousin's shop called 'X-treme Sports', to guide me in purchasing some products in order to help me gain a bit of weight. A month on, I am on a convoluted cocktail of exotic scientific words in powder form and I have put on 6 kg. Don't worry, this blog will never turn into a 'Jon-Watch'. It will never become a constant update of my progression in the gym and photos of me posing before the mirror after weigh-ins. The very fact that I expect people to take time out of their precious lives to read what I have to say is enough of a testament to my vanity.

On some mornings, I will wake up at 8:30am to go to the gym. The place where men are men and can appreciate other men in an extremely manly way. I enjoy my trips to the gym. Being a bit of a grump by nature, I find my time pushing heavy things very therapeutic. Music in ear. Strain face on. Nobody bothers me. I don't really speak their language. For me, this is the perfect combination attributing to a bit of solitary time for myself. There are the cordial g'mornin's in Greek speak, but further communication is very rare for me. It's just an acceptable way to spend my morning. It's better than being in bed and missing half of the day. You see stubby looking women, shaking what they got (unintentionally and to their utter dismay) on the treadmill, skinny men (like myself) straining to lift weights that are slightly out of their capacity and the alpha males locked in epic, unswaying dick-swinging competitions. There is something strangely unsettling about this scene. All of this will for improvement and beauty stems from something far deeper.

The health industry exposes peoples' misery and exploits them. Obviously, we are not 100% happy with the way we look. We are egotistical people, clawing at celebrities, praying for better lives. Ergo, with better cans you can. There is no denying that being in better shape and fitness is a good thing. It is never nice to see someone struggling to function due to a constricting weight problem. It's heartbreaking. Despite this, there is no reason to get a six-pack on your ears. My gym routine is simple and not too strenuous. I take everything in my stride. It is disturbing when you see men and women pushing themselves further than their limits; to such an extent that their necks could implode and their colon simply leak out of their chizzled, toned bottoms. This kind of gym attitude leaves me feeling uncomfortable.

What drives a person to want to build veiny muscles on their vainy muscles? Initially, they must have been very miserable with their bodies and wanted to change the way they looked. I say this simply because it is the reason I started attending the gym, and the reason why I think there are so many mirror in here. Disgust for yourself drives you to better yourself. Then, over time, disgust simply turns into vanity. The primary function of these tall mirrors is so you can watch your form when you lift weights, ensuring that you are performing the maneouvres correctly. After finishing a set most people put down the weights and remain locked into their own gaze, breathing heavily and tensing as many muscles as they can. In these moments I don't know where to look, so I look at myself, breathing heavily... I begin to ponder over what must be running through their minds. I steal a quick glance and their faces say it all. 'Good for you,' they tell themselves. 'Good for you, you fine slab of a man.'

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