We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Most people do not care about it. Just look around - it's obvious. That is because, unless your daily work involves manual labor, in the modern world most of us do not use our bodies in the ways for which they were designed.
We are designed to be hunter-gatherers and warriors, which entail day-long physical activity and often required lengthy periods of inadequate nutrition and starvation (which is why human fat cells are such sponges for hoarding carbs). The hunter-gatherer activities involve endurance, and the warrior activities entail strength and athleticism.
All of the people who do not care about their fitness have a strong case. In Western civilization, hunting is recreation, gathering is done at the market or the backyard garden, and we play sports for fun and hire our warriors. Speaking of warriors, last night I watched a live match between McEnroe and Jim Currier. Gosh, what beautiful and powerful games they still have in their late 50s.
But why would any ordinary man or woman want to spend discretionary time imitating primitive hunter-gatherer and warrior exertions? Well, they mostly don't. Furthermore, they know that fitness, except in the case of overweight and obesity, has little correlation with health or life-expectancy.
Here are the reasons Mrs. BD and I devote a mere 5 or 6 hours per week for structured physical conditioning (trying to compact a full day's activity into a brief time via intensity), and generally try to keep our weights at a fit and youthful level. It's about quality of life:
- we feel better, look better, and have more energy without any excess fat on us. Fat fatigues. And a sloppy appearance makes a poor impression in our Anglosphere culture. - becoming stronger makes us more functional in every way. - we want to be at our best for sports - a body is a gift, and deserves decent stewardship - we want to get a head start on fending off the physical deterioration of age - tough physical exertion to exhaustion is good for our heads - the discipline required is a good life challenge. Progress is stressful and unpleasant, and the rewards are slow to come so it's a good test of delayed gratification. Is it rewarding to lift up 200 lbs without spraining a muscle? Yup. It's a cool feeling of masculine competence and it has many practical applications. - and for us dads, we must consider what sort of condition the mothers of our kids would appreciate in us. Chances are they appreciate good attitude, high energy, a bit of visible muscle, and a trim physique.
For me it's been mostly about fighting fat, but I do appreciate gaining stamina that helps me get more gardening done. Still, what grabs and keeps my attention is the spectacle of my elderly mother-in-law gradually losing the ability to perform ordinary daily activities. I suppose I dread a loss of independence more than anything.
No, no, no. Body shaping is God's gift to trust fund lifestylers with pictures of half naked young women of other parents who do lectionaries because of faith. And a better sex life, which is also publicly topical. Because it's a temple. And hunting because of the gospel of BBQ.