As I mentioned, fitness has been a passion of mine since I was a young high school student. I have been successfully training for over thirty years since that time.
Fast forward to early 2019. I was recovering from hernia surgery the first three months of the year, when it dawned on me that I needed to share my success and tips on how to get in shape, and more importantly, stay in shape and to follow this hunger to help people.
Maybe you’re experiencing a setback with a long layoff and have become sedentary. Or, you may be trying to combat any “demons” you could be going through.
This blog was created to help men, specifically Over 40’s men, overcome the adversities they’ve had in life by using exercise and incorporating the ancient philosophy of Stoicism.
Why Stoicism? There is a reason some things have stood the test of time. Quite simply, they work.
Militaries across the globe have been preparing men for battle for centuries with the rigors of basic training. Many of the same tactics they used are still in effect today for good reason.
Professional athletes will practice fundamentals over and over by coming in early and leaving late to get out of slumps, or simply to become great.
Any musician, actor, writer, etc., worth a grain of salt will tell you their first step when learning their craft was to study the classics.
Stoicism is no different. If you read Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, you’ll see it’s just as relevant today as it was nearly two millennia ago. There are many exercises the Stoics use to overcome daily challenges. One of my favorites is the exercise of voluntary discomfort. Every day I challenge you to do something that’s uncomfortable.
In a post on my other blog about mental toughness I mentioned I started the daily habit of taking cold showers. Doing things you don’t want to do, but doing them anyway, builds confidence, courage, discipline, and humility.
When I first started taking cold showers, I would visualize the famous scene in the Deerhunter when Robert DeNiro’s and Christopher Walken’s characters were forced to play Russian Roulette as POW’s in Vietnam. Warning….This is a very powerful and graphic scene.
I have chosen this example because of the intensity of their situation. The more vivid and profound the visualization, the easier your challenge will be to master. When viewing that clip and putting myself in their shoes, those cold showers are nothing. Today they don’t even bother me and in fact, I enjoy them.
You can also try fasting, walking around barefoot for a day, exercising in extreme conditions, going without heat or air condition depending on the season, etc.
The point is to do something every day that stretches your comfort zone. Using Stoicism like this in conjunction with intense exercise is very powerful and the obstacles you’re dealing with will be much easier to conquer.
“How long are you going to wait before you demand the best for yourself?” – Epictetus