I went on a hike the other day.
It was my fourth trip up the Pichincha (4700m), but things were a little different this time around.
As we were closing in on the peak, the skies darkened and the weather turned. Not the kinda action you want on 4000+ meters above sea level.
Within minutes it got so cold I felt my bones shaking and my hands going numb (I can count on one hand the times in my life I’ve been that cold). To spice things up further, the visibility was bad as the icy wind kept blowing dust into my eyes.
But that didn’t keep us from marching onward (I remember telling myself I would rather die than not make it to the top. This is the kinda self-talk I have every day, in case you were wondering).
The last stretch to the top of the mountain involves some rock climbing. No safety net, no railing, no nothing. If you slip and fall, it’s hasta la vista for you.
Now, there are very few things that make me feel uncomfortable in this world. Political correctness and heights are among those things.
We arrived at the top moments later, and after eating a piece of fruit and some candy, it was time to head back down.
On the descent, there was an instant where I was struggling to find a good grip to secure my position and feeling the very real threat of falling to my demise.
And then it got to me.
I could feel the fear rapidly building up inside my body, almost to the point of paralysis. Granted, it was only for a split second, but I felt myself losing control over my muscles as I was holding on for dear life.
I felt weak and afraid, like a deer in the headlights.
I wasn’t myself.
And as I proceeded to make my way down the mountain it dawned on me…
This is exactly how 9 out of 10 people feel every day. They live in fear. They are insecure. Uncertain about their future, afraid of losing their (worthless) stuff, afraid of whatever the world throws at them.
But more than anything, they are afraid of pain. They are afraid of suffering. Afraid to the point of paralysis.
Weakness is a Disease
“Suffering exists only because weakness exists.
You must hate all weakness. Hate it in others. But most of all, hate it in yourself.” – Ozunu
There’s nothing romantic about weakness.
I hate weakness in all forms. I hate myself when I’m weak. I hate myself when I’m anxious and indecisive.
Truth be told, those are emotions I rarely deal with anymore. But sometimes the darkness creeps in. Especially when I open the door by overtraining and undereating for weeks on end.
But as soon as I feel myself slipping, as soon as I feel weakness growing stronger within me, as soon as I see the demon rearing its head, I grab it by the horns and twist the motherf**ker clean off.
I’m not immune to weakness. Nobody is.
But I’ve grown stronger than fear, doubt, and inaction. I’ve grown stronger than weakness.
Not consciously. I never set out to “conquer weakness”. No. It was merely a side effect of some of the choices I’ve made in my life.
I get it.
You wanna know how I did it, or at least what I’m smoking to make these bold claims. Tranquilo chico, I will tell you.
Weak Body Weak Mind
“[…] man cannot derive real enjoyment from life unless he possesses a powerful and healthy physical constitution.” – Georg Hackenschmidt
You must be strong physically to be strong mentally. There is no other way.
The mentally strong people you know are either enjoying a strong physical constitution or they are insecure little pricks acting tough.
Listen here, you cannot be truly confident if you’re a fragile little gazelle. Because deep down you know, at any given moment, somebody could walk up to you and take everything from you.
Somebody like me.
I don’t care about your diplomas, your titles, your money or your big-titted girlfriend. I don’t care about the show you put on.
I see right through you.
If you were standing here in front of me, I could take everything from you in the blink of an eye. With my bare hands, I could end you. Just like that.
Luckily for you, I’m the nicest guy you’ll ever meet. And I have no ill intent towards you.
But I want you to remember that there is a jungle out there with wild beasts starving for a piece of meat. And you cannot reason with savage animals. You cannot talk your way out of an ambush. If you try to run, they charge at you full speed.
If you give in to your fears, they will eat you alive.
Yes, you can be physically strong and mentally weak. But you can never be mentally strong with a weak and fragile body.
And before you try and come up with examples to challenge my argument, know that most people you meet are not what they appear to be.
Cut The Demon’s Head Off
“Nature creates few men brave, industry and training makes many.” – Machiavelli
Most people you meet out on the street are not real.
They act confident. They act successful. They act smart. They act friendly. They act tough.
But they are driven by fear. And that fear is born out of weakness.
Years of abusing their bodies and neglecting their true nature have made them fearful, anxious and insecure. Physical weakness has made their minds weak.
Ask yourself truthfully, can you stand your ground?
If you got assaulted on the mean streets of South America, could you defend yourself? Could you stand your ground against multiple assailants?
Do you think your diplomas or titles would keep you safe? Do you think you could talk your way out of a drug-fueled confrontation? Do you think you could reason with a pack of starving hyenas?
Let me make something perfectly clear to you: If you’re fat, weak and out of shape, you’re a joke, not a man.
If you can’t defend yourself, your family, the people you care about, the people who cannot defend themselves, you are a fukin joke. A. Fukin. Joke.
Get your priorities straight. Don’t tell me about your accolades. If you’re the real deal, show me.
Be a man of action.
Be a man of your word.
Be the man others go to in times of need.
Be a real-world hero, or crawl back into your hole you whiny little whore. Crawl back into your hole because you are of no use to this world.
People depend on you, they need you, some even, look up to you. But you have nothing to give as you cower in your corner. Worse even, you are infecting others with your lack of fortitude.
Like a highly contagious disease, your weakness is sabotaging the lives of others.
There is only one way to conquer fear and overcome weakness. There is only one path to true strength.
And it begins in the gym.
You must get physical.
You want to conquer fear and crush weakness? You want to be more confident and self-reliant? You want to grow into the man you were destined to be?
Build your body and learn to defend yourself. There is no other way.
Do not consider yourself too evolved, too educated or too smart to get your hands dirty. This is a fatal mistake all too common in our society.
Weak-willed Willies thinking they can outsmart every obstacle in life. Don’t make me laugh. You know as well as I do, that it is precisely those people who lose their composure in the face of adversity.
We are physical creatures first and foremost. And you’re fighting this law of nature at your own peril, not mine.
We are all born weak. Your job is to make sure you do not live a life of weakness.
Remember how I told you I outgrew fear in my life?
It was after I cut the demon’s head off, repeatedly, day after day, that I separated myself from fear, anxiety, uncertainty and weakness.
And when shit hits the fan (as it does so often in these parts of the world), I know I can stand my ground. I don’t think. I don’t hope. I know.
Years of industry and training have given me this supreme confidence. I am the gorilla no matter where I go. And who in their right mind would step up to a gorilla?
I need you to understand the importance of physical health and fitness. It is the foundation of mental strength and fortitude. It is the foundation of confidence. It is the foundation of a successful life.
Without it, you will never see your potential realized.
I’ll see you at the gym.
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