Sunday, May 08, 2005

So, what's the point?

I have been thinking about fitness, weight-loss, eating right, and other matters allied to 'healthy living'. Ultimately, What's the point? What are we shooting for?

So, you go to the gym, workout hard, eat right. What the heck are you getting? So, you are stronger and fitter. Does it matter?

Physical capacity has no bearing on our lives. We move around in motorized vehicles(with power steering, power brakes and power windows where possible), have sedentary jobs and very few of us raft down the mighty Amazon on theweekends. No grizzlies to fight. No rampaging hordes of barbarians to keep from the door.

Clearly, we have no *real* need to be fit. Let us examine the usual reasons given for being fit.

It makes you feel better about yourself :
Does it really? Working out hurts. You sweat, you stink. Then,you go home all cramped up and tired. Your muscles hurt. Overwork and you get hurt. Run too much and your knees get injured. It's like some kind of weird masochistic ritual.

It is going to make you live longer:
Does that really matter? Let's say working out adds 10 years to your life. Is it going to let us live our 20s all overagain? No way. The ten years are going to be added to the *end* of our lives. From where I stand, it makes no difference if I die when I am 90 or when I am 100.I am going to be a tired, grouchy old man, with most of my friends dead and with irritating relatives to put up with.
What's more, after you cross a certain age, it is diseases that you can do nothing about that get you. So, even the living-longer claim is really dodgy.

It is going to let you do more:
That's not even true. Unless you are into solitary pastimes, your activities are going to be decided by your group of friends. By definition, then, you are only going to participate in things that the majority of your friends can participate in. So, in essence, there's no advantage to being fitter than average.

So, folks, we might as well go with the flow. Eat everything. Don't work out. Why bother.