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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Is fitness is a revolutionary act?

Image from Flickr, by chris.corwin
Most of us, at some point in our life, have glorified the idea of normal.  This is usually during our school years, where standing out leads to ridicule and social outcast status.  However, as we grow up, we should shed this idea that "normal" is automatically superior.

Right now, two-thirds of all Americans are either overweight or obese.  Out of the other third, only a handful could be defined as "healthy" in any way other than the fact that their body weights fall within a correct range according to their height.  The current "normal" is to be fat and unhealthy.

Why be normal?  Be a revolutionary instead.

I gave up being normal a long time ago.  I tried to hard to fit in with people, and I was miserable.  I embraced my inner geek and found actual happiness for a change.  In fact, the first blog I ever got any traction with was about table top role playing gaming.  That little blog didn't do to badly, but the niche was incredibly small.  It wasn't enough to build, and I frankly ran out of stuff to talk about.

Today, I find myself on the outside in a lot of ways.  To a lot of folks, I'm pretty normal.  I have a home, two cars, a wife and two beautiful children, and a host of pursuits that many would define as "normal".  I'm not.

I don't eat refined carbs.  I make meat a primary staple of my diet.  I throw around a cannonball with a handle for exercise in a way most people I know can't comprehend.  I am not normal.  You know what?  I'm really OK with that too.

At some point, especially after you build your new identity (and not in any Jason Bourne kind of way), you're going to realize you're not normal.

Normal doesn't involve making rules about who you are.  Athlete's aren't "normal".  That's what sets them apart.  They are driven individuals seeking to maximize what their own bodies can do.  That is what you and I both need to do.  Doing so, however, will make us outcasts of a sort.

So be it.

We are not the meek.  We are not those who cower from adversity.  We are the athletes.  We are the warriors of a new dawn.  We are those who refuse to accept mediocrity from ourselves any longer.  The "normal" world no longer applies to us.  We are those who have chosen more than the masses.

I'm not asking for a few brave souls to step up and make me feel better about my outcast status.  I'm fine with that.  I embrace it.  No, I'm asking for more than that.

What I'm asking for is to have brothers and sisters-in-arms.  I want people who will embrace the Outcast status.  We must build a community that doesn't concern itself with whether we do Crossfit, kettlebells, yoga, old fashioned free weights, or whatever.  It doesn't concern itself with whether we're body builders, athletes, warriors, runners, or whatever.  It doesn't worry about which particular set of guidelines we choose to follow in our desire to become the revolution this world needs.

We lift with authority, passion, and purpose.  We share what we know with those who need it.  We set aside old animosities in order to bring more into the fold.  We must build the revolution to include all who want to be part of it.

In time, we will overthrow the old order.  We will establish a new normal that involves healthy living.  We will change the term of outcast to include those who make no effort at all.

Make no mistake.  These days, real physical fitness is a revolutionary act.  It's revolutionary due to the fact that so few are actually doing it, though we all know how much they need to.  We are the revolution