What we do, the activities we engage in to better ourselves, either for aesthetic or functional reasons, tend to lend themselves toward ego. For someone that started out fat and weak, the power one feels the day they rep their own body weight on bench press can be intoxicating.
Being driven by testosterone, the namesake of this very forum, is gratifying and fulfilling in a way few things in our ‘right now’ society can be. I feel power, I made myself powerful through sweat and blood. Through endless bowls of tuna fish and cottage cheese. Through heavy weights on days I would rather have contemplated the futility of my existence on the couch with a bowl of ice cream.
But this very fuel, the fire of intensity that burns in my heart and mind every minute of every day, can have it’s own disastrous consequences if taken to the extreme.
I can forget that once I didn’t know that soy was an evil protein. That 3 sets of 10 reps was far from a perfect formula for fat loss and muscle growth. That 2100 calories a day was far from adequate nutrition for my body weight and activity levels. That there was more to the weight game than just pounding away with curls and bench press.
I learned all these things from reading and believing things that weren’t true, then learning to question the information that I found, and finally building a base of knowledge (be it a very small base) that provides me with the ability to know what questions to ask when presented with radical information.
I catch myself being impatient with others who are just starting out. I forget too easily the days I thought the same foolish things about training and nutrition.
I’m not an athlete. I don’t compete in anything. I train for myself, for my health (and to look good naked).
The arrogance and cockiness I observe in others here is really a bummer. Just as Chris suggests in his article ‘The Psychology of Big Part II’ that the individuals mind can make or break progress toward a persons goals, I think the collective consciousness of the forum is powerful in the same way. The voices of negativity and arrogance can sometimes make this forum an uncomfortable place to hang out.
It’s the quiet giants that bring it back around for me. The calm, competent voices that impart knowledge freely without a hint of arrogance or impatience. This is a really smart place, with some not so smart people. I appreciate the big brains that do their thing without the ego.
I appreciate their humility. As I aspire to their max lifts, I also aspire to their displays of character.