And how can you say you are happy and satisfied with your life? What's wrong with you?
At its best, this is an attempt to share something folks have found they think is of great value, ranging from religion, to diet and exercise, to politics, to beer. Lookit, lookit, here! I've found something wonderful! Check it out! It will make you happy, smarter, it will whiten your teeth! Come and see!
Done it myself. It's hard to suppress. You want to share it, help your friends out. You have good intentions, really, you do.
You've bumped into this, haven't you? Or even been guilty of it yourself? I have, both counts.
I'm about to be guilty of it again, right here, right now ...
So, a couple of Joseph Smith's boys or the Jehovah's Witnesses knock on your door, or your dotty old Aunt Sally tries to fix you up with the Pastor's spinster daughter. Still good intentions, albeit a tad obnoxious because of what it implies:
That you need help. That they can provide it.
When the two nice young men from Orem in white shirts and ties knock on the front door and want to tell me about the plates of gold and the Lost Tribe of Israel and Jesus in the New World? Excuse me, but I'm as old as your grandfather, you really think I haven't come up with some way of looking at the world by now that I need lessons from an eighteen-year-old kid whose entire life experience is Utah? Listen, children, I appreciate your zeal, but I have my own beliefs and I'm happy with them. You want a glass of water or something?
Below that, it can devolve into mean-sprited stuff, the isms–racism, sexism, nationalism. The notion that if somebody doesn't agree with what they believe, they are so wrong they don't deserve full human status. You believe that? You are a heretic! You should be tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail!
Vote? You want to vote? But look at you! You aren't one of us!
A few years back, a silat guy I knew slightly went charging off on the my-way-is-better-than-your-way rant. I should, he said, come to his house and learn the Real Deal™. Because his was the One True Path™ and what I had, while okay, was the art of a lesser teacher, nice guy, but really ...
Really? I don't think so, so I'll stay here, thank you. Glad you like what you found.
But–but–you don't understand! Why would you do that? Stay with something when there might be something better?
Well, first, because I think you are basically full of shit and it isn't better. Second, because even if it is filet mignon, I'm happy with sirloin here, like the taste better, and I'm getting what I need to sate my hunger. How much better can it really be?
But no: Got to be higher, faster, stronger.
I have a friend who, every so often, finds a new and improved way to work out, and he shifts from what he was doing, which was working perfectly fine, into the new and improved method. You should try it, he says. It's really good. Better than what you are doing.
Probably. But if I'm not in as good a shape as I might be, it's not because I don't have the tools to get there, I do, and they work just fine. It could be because I'm too lazy to use them. Tossing them and getting a new set won't fix that. Or it could be because I don't want to go there.
Because, you know, I'm happy here ...
See, at some point, you might come to realize that you are high enough, fast enough, and strong enough to do what you need to do. And elect to maintain rather than increase. You balance what you need, what you want, and what is possible. And you have to be realistic about the last. What is fit for an eighty-year-old desk jockey is not the same as what is fit for a twenty-five-year-old Olympic sprinter, now, is it? If I tried to train like the sprinter, it would kill me. I can probably keep up with the old desk jockey most of the time.
For those of you who are going to shake your heads and blather on about how the only limits you have are mental! that age doesn't matter! that what you can do is unbound and unfettered!? Try this: Jump off a tall roof and try to fly by flapping your arms up and down real fast. Let me know how that works for you–if you recover. 'Cause my money is on gravity and the biomechanics of an unaided human body = Wile E. Coyote augering into the hard pan way down there below the cliff, waaahoohoohoohoooo!
There might not be limits, but my ability and yours to get there from here needs more than positive thinking.
Jump, Steve, jump! Fly, Steve, fly!
Can I get a bomb-falling whistle and ka-boom! SFX here?
If you can fly this way? By all means talk to me, I'll listen. A working demonstration tops talk all to hell and gone.
Had a well-known and highly-regarded PE teacher tell me once that there was no such thing as over-training, only under-recovering. Really? You can make that rope longer by cutting a piece off one end and tying it to the other end?
We might say we don't believe in it, but a lot of us want magic. The magic pill, the magic bullet, the secrets of the Illuminati. Folks are always looking for a better path. Nothing wrong with being a seeker, with wanting to better yourself, learn more, achieve something. Life is about learning lessons and growing. However, that doesn't always mean you have to jump from this lane to that lane like some teenage driver in his daddy's BMW cutting through traffic as you wend your way up the mountain, hoping the new route will be faster, smoother, or more interesting. You can do that if you want, but that's not how I drive.
Sometimes, like the tortoise, you can achieve a lot by moving along slow, but steady, on a path that works for you. In a short race, yep, my money is on the hare. For a long race? Not so much. And if you are happy on your trip? Doesn't mean you are wrong because somebody else says so. They don't know you like you know you.