XXXIX – ON LOOKING THE PART by Mahatma Gandhi
The quest for a muscular physique is obviously a material endeavor, one caused, continued, and concluded by ingesting and digesting. I must invoke the First Law, one cannot create energy, he must consume it. Some might consider this quest to be superficial, surface level. However, one finds a shocking amount of internal friction and ensuing growth when walking the path. Moreover, it might be admitted by the experienced traveler that it is mostly mental, and, dare I say, spiritual. Please, let me make the case!
One hypothetical man (boy), surely not the person reading this, might find himself at five feet and ten inches in height. This man (boy) would be of normal stock. This supposed man (boy), as of the Year of Our Lord 2017, would most likely find himself at a body weight of ~155 lb. This would not be of normal stock. Skinny is a term often used for this creature. Gross is another term used by men and women. Lean is the term used by the deluded.
The men (boys) who look like this are often and inexplicably found staring at their reflection in a nearby pool. What is it that attracts these fools to their own abdomen; why must the Underweight Boy gaze for hours at his physique, one that might aptly be called Heroin Chic?
One might find themselves waving a hand in front of this Lost Boy, but I must warn against it, for it is an exercise in futility. Few of these souls will be gripped by the Masculine Spirit of Growth, leaving the majority as empty vessels to walk amongst us, unenlightened. Such is the unfortunate Nature of Man.
My dear reader: an unapologetic delve into My Story, how important I must be!
When I was a young warthog, I stood 198 cm and crushed scales at 82 kg. The realm of the gods would scoff at the idea of letting a pipsqueak such as myself softly enter their gates with my eyes pointed at the ground. My consumption was akin to that of a bird, just enough to fly. I hear the reader’s thoughts, a foul fowl, indeed! I must take a breath.
I desired to set on a path of making the earth crumble underneath my feet. To require doors to widen when they hear my name. To send the underweight and soft sheep cowering at the sight of my chest and chin high in the air while my tree trunks propel my absurd mass forward. I lusted after shedding the feminine skin the herd had wrapped around my slender shoulders, I would not have it any longer! I craved Growth, to command space and become Large.
There are many a night in which I stand hovering over a meal, feeling like I cannot take another bite of the flesh that once covered an animal’s beating heart, yet I rise to the occasion once again. Unsure if I might collapse in a heap of insulin-laden exhaustion, I meet the challenge of forcing down the last of my six thousand calories. This is not for the faint of heart, must I again mention that we are doomed to be surrounded by the weak? These are the folk who stare at their corporeal form but live the Unexamined Life. Such is the Nature of Man.
Several times per fortnight I come to blows with a barbell. We exchange with one another, but I always come out on top. To be smarter than my tools, what a gift! I must catch the reader if he is finding himself swimming in the pool of his own delusion. The process is simple, but never easy. Before I wrap my paws around the barbell, I know what needs to be done. Then I do it, putting the difficulty outside of my mind. If only a poor sapling could move it for me! Alas, it is only I who can make myself Strong.
Boys, if I can be so audacious, let me proclaim that walking the Path of Growth is one set aside by the gods for only those who dare exist amongst them. When one carries the burden of Mass, he must bear the sole of the stoic. He must be unmoved by the terror he sees in the eyes of the common folk. The stoic watches droves wade hand in hand into the sea, yet he is aloof. The Strong Man cares only about that which is truly under his control, Diet, Training, and Sleep – The Holy Trinity. Training must be exact and precise, otherwise, I regret to inform my dear reader, it is only exercise! Mice exercise while Men train. Diet and Sleep are conducted to excess. Copious protein and long bouts of REM. In six months, my dear reader’s family will not recognize him! Good, he was pathetic.
I bring excellent news, the Path of Strength has no end. What? I thought he said good news! My friends, it is delightful to chase, to catch is ugly. This initial bout of growth into Manhood is transient and one cannot gluttonously spiral out of control. The newfound physicality will slow, but inward progress has only just begun. Grab others on this journey and bathe them in light, if they will see it! The path only widens the further it is traversed. Do not forget that one can never be strong enough.
What makes a good man? Not a weak, harmless creature, but one who is quite dangerous and corrals it under a firm grip.