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Why Do I Workout?

May 28, 2010

Why do I workout?  I had an in-depth conversation with my best friend, Jason, on this matter, and my reasoning actually went pretty deep.  Because, really, if you see me workout it doesn’t look like I’m having fun.

To a random onlooker, I look psycho.  I look super-determined.  I yell and swear at myself to motivate myself to keep on going – a habit from the rugby training days when I was alone on a track banging it out.  If I can’t handle a weight I often get upset with myself – once again for some deranged motivation.  On the last rep, if it’s particularly difficult, I cry-max (much growling ensues).  And at the end of a good workout all I want to do is lie on the floor and keep my food down.  No wonder I prefer lifting in an empty gym.

It’s broken it down roughly, and hopefully this resonates with some.

The superficial reasons:

  • I want to look good naked. Stolen from Mark Sisson.  But it’s true – I want to take my shirt off at the beach, or anywhere, and feel comfortable doing so.  And, just for a joke, I’m sure my parents would like grandchildren someday.
  • I want to be prepared for WSHTF moments. That stands for When Shit Hits the Fan.  If, for some reason, I need to protect my best friend from a deranged killer/rapist gorilla, or lift a car off a family member, my inability to do so will damn well not be from lack of preparation.
  • I’d like to join a club rugby team after I graduate. I’ve been 4 years out of practice, and I know that I’m going to crave some sort of team-based interaction to fill the void of awesomeness left from graduating university.  Or I’ll coach, and no one respects a fat coach who can’t do the work he’s doling out.
  • I want to be healthy. Do I need explain that one?  Walking up a flight of stairs will not wind me.  That’s just stupid … unless it’s a *really* long flight of stairs.  With ninjas guarding it.

But there are some deeper underlying things, too.  Cue sobbing string music.

I was a fat kid in school.  Maybe not morbidly obese, granted.  But let’s say that at my worst I was 175lbs and with a size 36 waist with a 5’5″ frame.  Granted I could toss kids over my shoulder on the rugby pitch, but I was *slow*.  And I didn’t quite fit in in high school.  Sure, it was mostly because I was a child of all worlds.  I was sitting honours classes, 1st clarinet in the band, and a community service do-gooder (we got ties in our school for almost everything – I had 4 different ties for service alone) while at the same time a varsity rugby, rowing, and field hockey player (we got ties and blazer pins for those, too.  I looked like an African general/dictator by the time I graduated).  High school is weird – why can’t you be a jock and good at math all at the same time, even a pudgy one?  For anyone reading this who is in that same boat now, I have 2 bits of advice: university will be where that all changes, and you can make yourself whatever you want to be if you feel the need.

Well, I’ve grown up.  It’s cool, it’s past me, and has made me the person I am today.  Just saying, where I was is surely an inner-motivation for what I do now (Freud would say otherwise, but he’s crazy.  A cigar is just a cigar, my dear psychologist).  It’s good to do a gut-check at times.

And if I was ever sore about my mishaps in school, boy, am I past them now.  I’m a size 30, maybe a 29, waist and 155-ish lbs (I don’t have a scale and really don’t care).  I’m not a 300 Spartan, but that’s just because I’m Asian, not Greek!  I could probably vault a wall with a family member strapped to my back – useful for when the zombie apocalypse happens (and it will!).  I have no grand delusions of Olympic fame, or flexing my muscles to coax women hither.  All-in-all, I’d like to report that I’m a reasonably well-adjusted individual, maybe with a slight masochistic bent.

So why am I working out with such an intensity now?  My goals are complete.  There’s no axe to grind, if there ever really was one to begin with.  But we can always be better.  We can always keep pushing ourselves to be great.  I’ll always tackle everything in my life with balls-to-the-wall effort; there’s no point doing it if otherwise.

So if you ever catch me in the gym, I’m not angry.  I’m not a juice-head.  There’s no vendetta.  I simply like pressing really heavy things over my head and running until I’m worn.  I just have a serious streak when doing so.  Because, after all, rapist gorillas and the zombie apocalypse are no laughing matter.

Vi sees.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Sean permalink
    May 28, 2010 12:26 pm

    I always liked working out with you because of your intensity. Mind you, I couldn’t get through a set without giggling so it kind of worked against me.

    Glad you’re still doing well bud!

  2. Rani permalink
    May 28, 2010 3:27 pm

    Ahh Nick come back to Toronto so we can hang out! Miss you pal!

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