Today’s blog is starting off with a quote that is paraphrased from several dozen different people I’ve met across my life who are all older than me and have, on some level, told me that “once I get to their age”, something will come around to proverbially bite me in the arse.
Whether it’s weight, money, marriage, health, or anything else – there tends to be this bizarre proclamation that whatever ails them will eventually ail you – it’s just a matter of time.
Yeah, bullshit. And that’s today’s topic. On fatalistic old people and their incessant babbling on about how their screw ups will eventually hit you too.
One of the main ones that I’ve heard over the course of my late 20’s and till now that is frequent is in regards to fitness and physique. At around 26 years old, I started taking my health and fitness really seriously. I had a bit of a health scare and felt terrible, and I distinctly recall looking at myself in the mirror at two in the morning telling myself that I am going to take my health seriously.
Some hiccups here and there aside, I didn’t really let up on that vow to myself. I lost a lot of weight at that time (about 17kg), then built a bunch of muscle, tried several different diets and exercises, and now at 32 I look great, feel great and have found a lifestyle and routine that works extremely well for me. I’m a well oiled, 78kg leaned out frog machine – and while that is the perfect way to end this blog post by naming my damned online handle, I’ll keep going, because this is important.
Since that time, I’ve had lots of people give me two thumbs up and encouraged me a whole bunch, and I likewise them – but there’s also a group of people who are often older than me and seem to hold a mindset that me being in good health is some kind of temporary thing, and as entropy begins to accelerate in the mortal flesh tomb that is my body, my physique will worsen, my health will decline, and most importantly…
..all the calories I have consumed over the course of my life, that have parked themselves in the frozen state quantum realm after being consumed, will shift gears and hurry back to this reality, so that it can rapidly accumulate, give me menopause and heart problems, alongside a shitload of love handles.
Most of that is nonsense – maybe not the menopause part – but you get my point. I’ve had comments like
“Oh just wait frog, when you get to my age, it’ll all hit you at once!”
“It’s impossible to keep the fat off buddy, just wait till you’re my age!”.
The dire fatalistic approach to my success in fitness is explicitly handed over to me, and the fat fortune tellers of fitness failures have laid the cards out onto the table, with smears of butter and all.
Shit talking aside, this annoys me greatly and it’s a prevailing issue with a number of people when it comes to anything that you do that is largely considered a success. It’s annoying but it’s also implicitly malicious – it is telling you that no matter what you do, destiny will take hold and that destiny is always shit.
It’s not, because there is no such thing as destiny. You have choices in life, and those choices lead to consequences. It isn’t a lie to say that we all age, get weaker and eventually die – that is just the nature of things and without fail, I will likely not be as agile in 20 years versus today. I am 100% fine with this. Half of what I write about is the damn grim reaper!
But why does that mean that I won’t be healthy? Why does that necessarily imply that somehow, fat will just pile onto me without realizing it? Who is the one choosing to intake more calories than they burn? Who is the one that ceases any form of basic exercise? Research on diet?
It’s all on you, and I get the gut feeling that when people attempt to give you these subtle comments lamenting the futility of taking care of one’s self and how one day it’ll happen to you too, it’s also a projection of their own failures to think and act in their own lives, and seeing someone getting it done is on some level an affront to them – it’s the crab in the bucket, trying to pull you back into the bucket.
I don’t think it’s intentionally malicious, but there’s something there that is defeatist. Perhaps many of these people need to just look at themselves in the mirror like I did several years back and make a promise to themselves – that no matter the mistakes and failures along the way, they won’t give up on their values.
I didn’t, I won’t, and I sure as fuck am not going to listen to some fatalistic fuckwit telling me I eventually will.
You shouldn’t either. Eat the crabs in the bucket.