On Working Out and the Meaning(lessness) of Life

working out in San FranciscoHave you ever asked yourself why so many people in SF work out so hard? They sign up for intense boot camps, yoga, run marathons and triathlons, or rock climb to exhaustion, trying to achieve an illusory goal of setting a new personal record of speed or strength. No, it’s not so much about showing off. There is more to this. And it’s not so much about wanting to be healthy and fit. If that was those, they wouldn’t be eating at all the fattening restaurants and getting wasted so often.

I truly believe that the reason that people work out so much is because it provides some kind of meaningful experience in their life. This is because it doesn’t take them long to realize that their corporate job is pointless in the big scheme of things. How many of whatever they sell makes no difference. Another stupid assignment, or promotion, or performance review won’t stop you from wondering: “Who gives a shit about all this, and why does any of this matter?” What you do and stress about at work so much has no significance to the overall order of things and it will have no trace of legacy whatsoever.

The notion of friends is reduced to being drinking buddies, dinner buddies or wing men. Dating is reduced to playing mind games, flaking, and looking over your shoulder to see if someone better than who you are dating now might come along.

You want to be a hero, but you are too weak and too smart to join the army. Red Cross and Peace Corp are also out of the question for one reason or another.

You may have wished you were an artist of some kind, but you weren’t gifted any of the artistic skills or you weren’t lucky to discover one in yourself.

So you are left with trying to add meaning to your life by setting certain physical goals which takes a lot of physical and mental effort  to achieve, and you try to do it. You become your own hero. You create your own barriers and you try to overcome in order to hurt yourself so that you can help yourself. It’s not a good thing or a bad thing – it’s just how it is.

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