“Beauties in vain, their pretty eyes may roll; Charms strike the sight, but merit wins the soul”-Alexander Pope
I haven’t been doing my regular exercises, which invariably included a heavy regime of weight training and stretches. Nor have I been on my regular diet consisting of a healthy mix of the three principal components of nutrition. This is bad.
However, what is worst is the alternative. Working out in Thimphu’s gyms with their varying levels of professionalism is more than just a matter of keeping good health. From wanting to build unworldly biceps to shedding the last remnants of fat, from pounding on the mega mass supplements to cutting down on all nutriments, and from the disorienting narcissisms to the gym blues, these clubs and their members are all on what one could call vanity exercise.
Day in day out, men and women of all ages and of all walks of life pump iron and run on electronic tread mills, defying age and sense to achieve physical standards of the plastic-made Hollywood world. When one is in that narcissistic mode fanned by an impressionistically glam global media, egged on by thoughtless gym partners, one forgets that good health is more than just looking good, unhumanly good. One forgets too that a consistent lifestyle that works on the model of the right balance between exercise, nutrition and rest is the proper, in fact the only way, to go about achieving a wholesome health that will ultimately reflect in one’s look and personality. After all, like every machine, which our body essentially is, wear and tear will factor in when the faculties of our body are over employed.
It is rightly said that if all of Thimphu’s people start working out like this, people’s per capita nutrition intake and their cosmetic requirements will skyrocket. Such is the trend that is picking on.
As I thus write righteously, I know that I have been a party to all this and in my own way, have promoted what is essentially just a very vain exercise. Like everybody else of my kin, I used to religiously leave aside everything to make time for a two hours’ weight training session that was topped up by another hour of sauna. This was in addition to the consciously high protein diet that I took and the innumerable hours I put in thinking about all these processes. After all the investment of time, resources and sentiment, it is only natural then that one will expect payback, which because they are misguided, turns into a vain pursuit.
However, I will do well to acknowledge that I say all these at a time when I have let myself be overwhelmed by worldly preoccupations that must necessary precede the achievement of any kind of success. These can be just a rationalizing of my own sedentary life that is just as harmful as anything that big muscles can bring on. So, while I haven’t still given up on my first love that is improving my whole outlook in life, both physique and character, at this moment in time, I might be unconsciously looking for a way to put it off till I am convinced that I have gained the said successes to my heart’s content. The best way to justify such passiveness is, of course, by talking down these traits in others like I just did here.
As I have reminded myself constantly then, life must necessarily constitute a wholesome balance if at the end of it all, what you crave is satisfaction of having made the best out of yourself. This would imply that I must imbibe the best of everything, including body and character building while avoiding an excess of both.