Human beings are some fairly opinionated critters. I don’t think you need to check out a documentary on National Geographic to figure out that piece of wisdom, but that also doesn’t make it any less true. We have opinions and dagnabbit, we are going to foist them on each other whether we like it or not… so like it, damn it! For instance, I am of the opinion that there was no logical reason to use the Leave-It-To-Beaver-esque “curse” of dagnabbit followed by damn it in the same sentence. But that’s a point I can only really debate with myself and what fun is that?
No, the real “fun” seems to lie in the intersection of opinions in the marketplace of human ideas. This is actually a fairly worthy endeavor in many cases. Sometimes you need the white-hot crucible of public debate to test theories and produce the best ideas. Think the debate around the creation of U.S. Constitution and such.
But there are times when debate goes beyond passion and falls into a realm I can only describe as thinly veiled (if veiled at all) rage. And you know where I tend to see it most? When people debate about training and exercise. Seriously.
The level of base, demeaning and utterly horrifying interaction that occurs when disciples of different exercise camps engage each other on the Internet (home of all discourse, both civil and decidedly uncivil) is just flat-out silly.
It’s incredible because the opposing sides are people who are passionate about health, fitness and performance… oh but WOE UNTO THEE WHO WOULD BLASPHEME MY ONE, TRUE HOLY TRAINING METHODOLOGY!!!! The next thing you know, it’s the fitness equivalent of Richard the Lionhearted versus Saladin for the soul of Jerusalem.
I get passion and admire those who have it in their lives for something, but the point at which the passion is just fuel for rage? Count me out for one very simple reason: I see physical training as a part of the overall development of each of us as complete human beings, so if you are red-faced screaming (literally or figuratively) about some fitness point, you have basically sold out on the mind or spirit parts of who you are. That’s an utter waste and serves no purpose but to more firmly entrench you in a place where dogma rules and you spend your days creating heretics… in a topic that is about becoming better and healthier. Re-read that dichotomy for a minute and let that marinade in your gray matter. Kind of leaves you fuzzy, right?
We can all embrace our own personal passions, especially when it comes to things that improve our lives. We should really find one or two areas where we can throw ourselves in with wild abandon for the sheer joy of it and enjoy coming out better on the other side. Let’s just be mindful that our joy may not be someone else’s… and choking on our own rage over that fact produces little else besides a gag reflex, regret and a big slice of missed opportunity pie. And that’s some bitter dessert, my friends.