9.3.12 Be a Spark

I’m sitting on a plane heading to Phoenix with three hours of uninterrupted time to spend writing and conjuring up concepts and ideas. By the end of this flight I hope to have revised the What’s Your Fitness IQ blog with updates on female standards and a few verbiage changes.
In many ways this is my ideal situation. There is no multi-tasking on a flight. Just good old fashion focus time. I even have a vacancy beside me, which means more room to spread out. The lavatory is close enough to get to quickly (which is key since I drink so much water on airplanes) but not close enough I have to bare the occasional stench associated with it. 
Walking around airports is always a reminder of society’s current state of health and fitness. I forget sometimes I live in a vacuum; in my own little world of perfection and vitality, free from the dysfunctions of the “real world.” Of course I’ve worked many years to control my environment, but it’s always fascinating to jump back in and witness just how fucked up everyone is.
For me I wake up in the morning after a great night’s sleep, my wife helps me prepare a gourmet breakfast, I sip organic coffee on my way to work and throughout the morning, I train 70-90 people a day also very interested in being healthy and fit, who also work exceptionally hard to make gains and improve, and I drive home at night, where I am once again greeted by my beautiful wife (and soon to be baby boy), where we sit down and enjoy another gourmet meal together talking about all the things we’re grateful for before going to bed around 9-10om. 
Even reading that again makes me realize just how isolated I am from societal regression. 
It made me think about a question Xeve asked me about a week ago while driving. He said, “Coach, what percentage of people do you think care about health the way we do?” I thought for a minute, unsure really, and said, “Maybe 10%.” Xeve was shocked by the answer, as he spends much more time traveling and people-watching than I do. So I refined my answer, ” Well, probably less than 5%.” 
But the more and more I think about it and casually observe the more I think it might even be less than 1%. Perhaps even 1/10,000. Let me be clear. I’m basing that number on a vague, yet measurable definition of health and fitness. Something like:
  • Plans their life around making healthy choices
  • Eats > 50% organic food
  • Shops at Farmer’s Markets
  • Trains vigorously 3-5x/week
  • Takes no prescription medications
  • Is below 20% body fat
  • Has a water filter in their home
  • Doesn’t consider breakfast a bowl of cereal and orange juice
  • Is interested in making the world a better place
Of course that definition is still somewhat loose, but at least it gives you an idea of the line in the sand. And yes, I would say perhaps less than 1% of people choose to wrap themselves around these ideals and to make them part of the normal fabric of their daily lives. Granted, the organic food industry has grown tremendously in the past decade. In the early 90s it hardly existed unless you owned your own farm.
And while the economic recession has slowed growth some, it’s still a 630 billion dollar industry, a sure sign that people care enough to buy good quality food. It’s still not a priority for most however. Just for fun, next time you drive by a fast food “restaurant” take a look at how many $50,000 cars are lined up. Chances are it’s a lot. These are the same people by the way who can’t afford organic food or training. Fuck them.
There’s even been a massive surge in functional training (i.e. CrossFit), which has fueled a turn around for many people, not only in their style of training and fitness ideals but in what they choose to fuel their bodies’ with. The idea that good food equates into a more lean body, equates into better performance has become more mainstream than ever. 
Despite all of this, a healthy lifestyle is far from mainstream. But, we are doing our part. Ten years ago I set off on a journey to be as healthy as possible. Suddenly everyone around me followed suit: my friends, my family, my clients. My influence spread in part because I began to surround myself with people who gave a shit! Who cared enough to make a similar change. They too influenced people around them. In essence, they paid it forward.
Today that influence permeates each of you. And so on and so on.
The natural order of progress must begin with the individual (“I”). When “I” has been satisfied, the focus can shift to “WE, ” a collection of “I’s” bound together by likemindedness and common good. And when “WE” have demonstrated our resilience and determination “ALL” can begin to witness a global change, where everyone can work together to spread ideas that should become the foundation of our existence. Deep down, this is what GP is. It’s a spark. And may that spark start a fire that spreads to every corner of the world. Our world may not need it. But our children’s world will, and their children, and so on. Be a spark.  

It’s hard by design. If only everyone had what it takes. What a world this could be. Duality is a mother. The idea that strength is strength because of the weak is a law of nature. But strength will always win. And when the meek* do finally inherit the earth and the sissies fade away into obscurity we can finally begin making real progress. 


*Meek – commonly understood to mean weak or submissive. However, the Greek meaning is quite different. Applied to human relationships it involves tolerance and flexibility. The ability to do more with less; versatile.  Thus, in this context, “meek” is synonymous with strength.