I was thinking of titling this thread The Cyborg Complex, but I guess either term applies. I thought Bionic Man Syndrome would apply too.
Anyway, I am going to have a hard time explaining what I am talking about, but I will try. After listening to some fitness podcasts in my car last year because my total commute time for the day was totaling four or more hours per day, something dawned on me, not only from the podcasts but from social media as well.
It seems to me there is an element within the fitness, manosphere, self-help scenes, and forums who seem to be self-obsessed and in a constant state of polishing, refining, refurbishing, mastering, and improving every aspect of thyself. It seems like a sort of self-obsession. What is espoused by such men is in pursuit of creating an ever-improving self, treating oneself like a thoroughbred horse throughout the day.
Much of it is completely impractical considering most people are in no position to pursue daredevil pursuits and to focus on and live for thyself to such an extreme degree. Some of the gurus treat themselves as if their performance in the gym and staying lean is of such enormous consequence.
Some things that come to mind while on the subject are:
- Take TRT. Make sure you are “dialed in” with a “optimal” T and E values.
- Foam roll and stretch everyday.
- Launch a side hustle.
- Employees are suckers.
- Ordinary people are losers.
- A never ending-amount of conversations regarding inspiration. You know, how so-and-so was up shit’s creek, then turned his life around, and is now a seven-figure earning CEO of a clothing/coffee/food/exercise company and is “empowering” men or women to be all they can be.
- The ultimate morning routine, involving some form of low-intensity physical activity, reading, and making the optimal breakfast for human performance.
- Constant reference to how great one is at age 40 to 60. In some cases, fitness and manosphere personalities remind everyone of how old they are each passing year and that they are in the best shape of their lives in each passing year.
- Although there is the push to empower oneself, it seems there’s a cynical view of the world in which one sees the common people as boring, uninspiring, and underachieving and not worthy of one’s companionship.
- A never-ending series of diets to follow. One day it’s kept, another day it’s high carb, another day it’s carnivore. One day you stay away from dairy, the next day you can have it. Stay away from beans; they’re toxic. Eat a lot of veggies. Actually, no, you don’t have to; now you can do carnivore.
- Don’t get married; it’s outdated. Too risky for men these days.
- Don’t go to college. Wait, go to college, but only if you’re going into STEM.
And the list goes on and on with instructions about how to design the perfect life and perform at superhuman levels in all that one does, which is why I call it the Cyborg or Bionic Man Syndrome and feeling optimal 24/7. After all, cyborgs and bionic men don’t get tired. They’re always on and make the perfect choices in everything, from food, to friendships, to career, to child raising, to partners, and so on.
My take. Perhaps I am cynical but I have no idea how people have such emotional room for such navel gazing and overthinking or brass to recommend what every field a man should get into. Most people are indeed ordinary, attending work, raising kids, and have no time to constantly polish ever facet of their body and soul.
When I had a 90-120 minute commute to and from work for about a year, my morning routine consisted of brushing my teeth, eating breakfast and getting dressed, all while saying to myself, “I gotta get the ----- out of here!”
No stretching, no “reflecting on my day/life”, and some reading while eating.
Now my morning routine goes like this. If it’s a lifting day, wake up at 4:45 AM, sometimes very drowsy, thinking to myself, “I don’t want to do this. It’s freezing outside!” Change into gym clothes, drink coffee (usually Turkish coffee because it’s quick to make), and head to the gym. While in the gym, I love it, but there’s the constant nagging thought of needing to get it done and I look at the clock often. Head back home, shower, eat, clean, get dressed, leave! If my son wakes up, take care of him a bit. The routine is similar when I do cardio outdoors in the morning.
No reflecting, no brooding, and really no mental sparks going off. I don’t go to a job in which I am “making it rain”, “crushing it”, or “killing it”. I’m not constantly improving myself, reading a book every week, and only surrounding myself with extraordinary people. I work out three times per week, do cardio, and sometimes have to miss workouts simply because things pop up. I have a modest home and by New York’s standards, a modest salary.
I realized I’m not a cyborg. I have some baggage, but I have shaken off a lot of baggage. And yet I am pretty darn happy with my ordinary life. I usually don’t ingratiate myself, but I think considering what I’ve been through, I’ve come a long way. I might have had the ability to be a modern-day cyborg if I had the appropriate conditions to do so, but that’s not how my life went.
Does anyone get my point from all this? I apologize if it is a disjointed ramble, but it came to my mind that personalities in the fitness/self-help/manosphere (there’s a pipeline and connection with all of them) talk about the life of a superhuman/cyborg/bionic/ubermensch. A man who doesn’t age and has it all, and always all.
I noticed a common streak amongst them as well. Most don’t have kids and were never employed or seem to be unemployable or incapable of working in groups, which probably provided or provides the time necessary for constantly furbishing thyself.
What about you? Are you a cyborg or looking to be one? When does such a pursuit cross the line and become a narcissistic or self-obsessed endeavor?
I don’t mind jokes. However, if you don’t like this post, you can just not respond.