Letters For My Sons

Month: December 2014

strongman old man

Why Are Young Guys Piss Weak?

I work with a huge 21 year old kid.  He squats 180kg for reps, benches 150kg, and is generally built like a brick shithouse.  I like to dream about being that strong.

 

"What am I doing?  Oh, just chillin'"

Just chillin’ bro, just chillin’

 

At work, however, I kick his ass at just about everything.  I undo nuts and bolts he cannot budge.  I lift things he struggles with.  At one point we had a 2lb hammer on the end of a 10 metre pole, trying to break something out of reach.  I busted my ass swinging it for 15 minutes non-stop.  He couldn’t do it more than twice.  He smashes it in the gym, but I smash him at life.

I remember being 20 years old and being in awe of 30-40 year old men.  They all seemed so goddam strong.  They had man-strength.  Undoing bolts, prying open jars, lifting, throwing… they just seemed to have so much more recruitment in their muscles.

 

Pretty much just like this guy

Just another day at the office for this guy

 

Powerlifters regularly report their best numbers after they turn forty.  When non-lifting men seem ready to start getting old, powerlifters are turning it on.  Why is that?

And why do the old blokes, the fifty to sixty year olds, still have power?  I know a sixty-seven year old mechanic who is a fucking monster.  He’s built like a Jack Russell, slim and wiry, with ropey muscles strung out like violin strings on his forearms.  He doesn’t look like much but he is strong as an ox, carrying engine blocks around his cramped workshop.

I think it’s a function of practice and coordination.

Everything we do can be thought of as practice.  Every time you ride your bike, you get marginally better at it.  Every time you open a jar, you learn a tiny bit more about using your muscles to exert force.  I theorise that with forty years of practice at hard labour, men get extraordinarily efficient at exerting force.

In addition, as we use engrams over and over in our day-to-day, we get smarter at making the right decisions to move most efficiently.

Lifting 140 pound dumbbells is an athletic movement that requires a lot of balance and coordination as well as raw strength.

Now on my second week with them, I look much smoother.

Over the course of the two weeks I may have an ounce or two of extra muscle to help move the weight, but mostly the ventral striatum and other parts of my brain had been at work refining how my muscles will work in sequence.

I did not have to consciously think about how I was going to balance the weight–in fact it felt very smooth and easier than I expected.  Well, not EASY, the struggle was with the weight of the dumbbells not their awkward size.

Over the years I have performed thousands of repetitions in the gym involving the muscles used in an incline bench press–pecs, delts, triceps.  Every repetition has helped refine the performance leading to an improved Maximal Strength.  The more repetitions, the more powerful the effort of the muscles–giving the old man the advantage again.

http://www.fitforcombatsystem.com/maximum-strength-aka-old-man-strength/

 

I’ll be getting stronger for years to come.  Fucking awesome.

 

strongman old man

FUCK YEAH MARIUSZ

pokemon randomness

A Boring Post About Quitting Habits

Upon completing a negative goal, where rather than do something for a month, I do not do something for a month, I usually notice some things.

 

cravings

Replace those delicious pastries with manosphere and weight training blogs, and you’ll get the picture

 

There are the cravings.  Once the allotted time of the goal is over, I don’t overtly want to do the thing I stopped.  There’s a strong sense of control developed over the month, that keeps in line any physical need for the habit.  But beyond that lies a little, tiny voice.  It’s very insistent.  It tells me that there’s no need to go on with the goal.  The time’s over.  You can have some beer.  You can check your phone.  It’s ok.  It won’t hurt.

But it does hurt.  I remember as a teenager starting to smoke cigarettes.  They were awful.  They tasted disgusting, made me sick, but I continued anyway.  I would quit now and then, and I would have no physical cravings after several weeks.  But the mental voice would insist.  I would inevitably be disappointed with the result of trying it again.  It was never as good as I thought it would be.

 

teen-smoking

Duuuude… how fully sick are we

 

Beer is incredibly relaxing.  But it makes me stupid.  I like to relax.  I don’t like to be stupid.  On a hot Friday afternoon after work, I would rather be relaxed than tense, stupid be damned.  On a cool Friday night, however,  when I’m ready to write or work, I’m pissed and stupid and can’t do anything.  I don’t sleep so well, and the next day I’m still stoopid; my memory is noticeably worse, and lethargy is pronounced.

The brain is a trickster organ.  It told me that the beer I had on the first of December would be cold and delicious.  It also told me that the feeling it would give me would not be everything I wished for, that in fact it would be extremely ordinary, and after the first sip I would regret having one.

That’s precisely what happened.

 

Evil Brain Comics

 

But like any good man I pushed the voices in my head into a padded room and continued to drink.

The same thing happened with my iPhone.  I found a blog article and settled in to read it.  Five minutes later I had incredible tension in my eyes and forehead, and my temples felt crushed in a vice.

For the rest of the day I had trouble focussing on the world around me.  It travelled past me in a blur.  I looked at it, but I couldn’t see.  It was like looking at a slightly out of focus photograph, two dimensional and out of focus.

This has continued to happen every single time I read on my phone.  My distraction machine is no longer pleasurable to use.  But the habit is still there.  I still want to distract myself when I’m on the shitter.

I don’t like to do things that are bad for me.  When I really want to stop something, I set a goal for a set amount of time.  I’ve never set a lifetime goal.  I’ve never decided to quit something for ever.

So having never tried this before, here’s some ideas on how to do it:

 

  • Desire:  The desire to stop must be stronger than the desire to not.  Otherwise there’s no point.  Quitting something you enjoy without really wanting to quit will create immense amounts of pain.
  • Closing the door:  Once the decision is made, it must be like closing a door for ever.  You can’t see past a door that is closed.  You can’t wonder what it would be like to try that thing again.  It cannot be a part of your thought processes anymore.  It must be like forgetting a memory.
  • Systems: The Myth wrote a great article on lacking willpower.  The way to get around it is having systems to avoid what will encourage your lapsing.  Don’t visit bakeries if you need to give up sugar.  Don’t hang out with smokers if you want to quit.  Don’t carry a credit card if you have spending problems.

I don’t want to quit booze and iPhone browsing for life.  I just want to quit when it’s not necessary.  I want these things to be tools I can use rather than crutches I lean on.  But that’s where the difficulty lies. As St Augustine said: “Total abstinence is easier than perfect moderation.”

 

pokemon randomness

True dat, Augustine.

Spaghetti monster

WHO AM I? And Other Retarded Questions Asked By Young Guys

There is are three classes of logical statement that every man should know.

True

False

Meaningless

When one asks the question “Who am I?” of oneself, one cannot expect a reasonable answer.  It is a meaningless question for it leads straight down a smelly rabbit warren of unlogic, metaphor, and just plain bullshit.

Young guys, you have been duped into thinking that you have to find yourself.  Spend enough time on self-work, they say, and suddenly everything will fall into place, and you will know what you have to do with your life.

 

 

There is no “thing” you have to do with your life.  You cannot find yourself.  You are already here.  The statement “I still don’t know what to do with my life” insinuates that there is an outer force that will someday dispense upon you a crisp piece of paper with the words “The Thing Joe Must Do With His Life”.

If you wait for that, you will be waiting until the day you die.

Everyone who has a mission in life created it themselves.  They didn’t wait for manna to fall from heaven.  They started on a path and it gradually consumed them.

Celebrity missionaries often mention the Holy Spaghetti Monster coming down, dousing them in radioactive light, then suddenly they knew they had to alert the Western world to the plight of the hairy underarm hamsters of Ur.  I can guarantee you, there was a history to that hamster love that predated any pasta god.  When they woke up one day with a fiery goal lighting their way, they had months, years and decades of passion already behind them.

Spaghetti monster

Bless you.

 

As children we play, often and well.  We find things that interest us, that make us excited.  Kids get passionate about stuff.  Take a moment to think about the games you loved, the subjects that interested you, and what you wanted to be when you grew up.

Go on, take a moment.  I’ll still be here.

I used to love drawing maps.  I would roam around the streets of my suburb, pen in hand, drawing the intersections and roundabouts, sketching the curves of crescents and blazing arrows of the main drag.

I must have been pretty pumped about maps to actually leave the house with a sketchbook and draw them.  What about you? How amazing did your passion feel to you?  When did you lose that passion?  When did real life get in the way of your dreams?

Those people who “always knew what they had to do” simply took a childhood passion all the way with them to adulthood.

The rest of us got told “YOU CAN DO ANYTHING JOHNNY!” while our parent’s and teacher’s ensuing actions told us the exact opposite.

A man creates his own future.

One day I realised that waiting around for my True Calling was going to leave me high and dry.  I had been writing in a journal, meditating, and practicing intense self-work for years, waiting for the abyss to split open via the point of Excalibur, with James Earl Jones saying “THOU SHALT DO XXX” with “XXX” being something rad and probably world-shattering, making me fuckably famous though of course humbly so.

 

who am i

A typical young guy trying to “find” himself

 

This didn’t happen.  Ever.  The realisation slowly (very slowly) dawned on me that self-knowledge, while freeing, means precisely fuck-all if you can’t afford to pay rent, are too retarded to talk to people, and have only enough talent to sell useless shit to other middle-class spastics.

Waiting around for that perfect Flower Arranging discipline that ticks all the boxes for lifestyle, money and enjoyment is folly.  Instead, a good goal is to make sure each job you have is better than the previous one, while practicing a hobby at home.  This way enjoyment at work increases over time, while your skills at your hobbies also improve.   At some point your hobbies may become your work, or at least lead to an improvement in your working life.

I decided at one point that I wanted to create an app in the bar and nightclub market.  I spent twelve months developing it, and spent thousands upon thousands of dollars.  I had no clue what I was doing, but I thought I did.  I had read every blog about startups I could find, and thought I was smart.  I was, however, fucking stupid.

The app failed spectacularly.  I had 200 downloads, no bars signed up, and a very busy but fucking useless Facebook feed.  Not to mention a massively spiraling debt that I had to get under strict control.

I was left a little down in the mouth.  But the experience taught me a huge amount about software project development, user interface design, and conversion rate optimization, all of which I have used in my work. Plus, I had rarely had that much fun, and that much motivation for anything before. That year’s heartbreaking slog launched me from blue collar spanner technician to IT consultant within the one organisation.

There’s only one lesson here.  Stop asking “who am I” and instead create someone you can be proud of. Do it through earning money, talking to people, and developing above average skills. If I can do it, so can you.  Get out of your room, our of your house, get a better job, and work privately at improving your self and your standing.

Don’t be a retard.  Just Do it.

winner

And The Winner Of #NoNothingNovember Is… MASTURBATION!!!

Seriously, I had no idea so many dudes were entertaining the idea of giving up wanking until I entered #NoNothingNovember.  Masturbation seems to have taken on epidemic proportions!  But hang on… all young guys beat off!  When the hell did choking the chicken become a problem?

So many dudes try to give it up via goal-setting.  These poor fellas have gone about it all the wrong way, and not surprisingly, as I just found out after checking a dozen competing blogs, they’ve fallen off the custard wagon.

But before I delve into the sodden world of beating off, here’s the deets of my month at the helm of the goal-setting machine, Owl and the Bull:

 

winner

 

Alcohol:  I drank on two occasions: my wedding anniversary and my work’s christmas party, the first to cheers my wife,  the second as part of a long-term socialising experiment, i.e. becoming part of the in-crowd at work. From multiple past experiments I’ve found that blue collars notice and distrust you if you don’t drink.  So it was a matter of politics.

But hey, lest you think I’m making excuses to justify my behaviour, fuck you, Mr Judgmental.  Guilt is now a foreign emotion to me, and I stand by my decisions.

Smartphone use:  I smashed this like Samsung now smashes any iPhone before it.  Email, internet, and video were out in this goal, as were any apps beyond maps and music.  I broke this vice only once, and it was a decision that saved me $1000 and a week of my time via a quick email.

Several times I found myself clicking the email icon automatically, then squinting my eyes shut as I realised what I had done.  I refused to check other people’s phones when they showed me videos and articles, shutting my eyes and looking like a general freak.

It wasn’t all peaches and Jersey cream.  I often craved some distraction.  Taking a shit was sometimes tough without a blog to pass the time.

 

first world problems

 

After four weeks, I don’t feel like I’ve missed anything by not reading on the net 3 hours a day.  In fact I now know what the world feels like without a screen in my face.  It’s bloody fantastic.  I’m sure my eyes are seeing with better clarity and distinction than before.

This is certainly something I’d like to continue but I’m not quite sure how.  I don’t want to go back to reading blogs every spare second, but I’d like to read things sometime.  I’ll make a snap decision now.  I’m going to continue going without, but with the ability to check email if I really REALLY need to do so.  Work emails in, spam from Catch Of The Day, out.

Asking permission:  I didn’t adequately define this goal and thus sucked really hard at it.  At times I saw it as not asking my wife if I could do something or go somewhere (which is hardcore cool as my anti-fem blogger alter-ego, but kind of difficult in a real family with competing priorities), and occasionally as being more audacious at my job by sending blunt emails immediately without debating myself for weeks about their appropriateness.

Ultimately, I had a very nebulous idea of what it was supposed to mean, and despite my best efforts I could not define it.  So I’ve marked this one “sucked hard, better luck next time non-defining loser-type”.

 

So With All That Out Of The Way, Back To Spanking The Monkey

 

So here’s the deal:

Beating-Off Benefits: 

  • feels awesome

So yeah, that’s all I could some up with.

Custard-Chucking Cons:

  • depletes energy (if done too much, for average men)
  • wastes time (if done too much)
  • Destroys imagination and desire (if done excessively to porn)

Notice all those qualifiers in there?  Masturbation is not inherently evil.  If you’re wanking off once or twice a day, and you still get shit done, and you don’t do it every time to Regina Rapefest on www.horrorporn.sex, then you’re going ok.  You’re fucking NORMAL.

It seems that most of the guys on the Reddit page have been told by someone else that it’s an awful thing to do.  What is awful is trying to stop masturbating without a fuckload of distractions. These guys on Reddit are going into a gunfight with a fucking spork. You will not stop masturbating by force of will alone.  

You are fighting against your natural desire to procreate, notwithstanding your lack of a suitable biological receptacle.  As soon as your pervy, adolescent consciousness focusses for even a second on sex, every ounce of your energy is called to action.  If you decide to fight the desire, you can write off the next hour of your day, because it’s almost unbeatable. It will claw it’s masochistic way into your psyche, even as you breathlessly page through a distracted Tolstoy for your term paper.  There goes your pathetic determination to not waste time through not masturbating.

The other problem I see on Reddit is porn addiction.  If you have not masturbated without porn for a week or more, you are a porn addict, and stopping porn is much healthier and far easier than stopping the custard.  If you are serious, you will either ban yourself from porn sites via the many nanny web apps that allow this, or you will turn your computer off and give it to someone else for the month.  You will still have your penis, but you won’t have the problem.

Seriously, if your goal was to give up wanking, but you didn’t give up porn, or you didn’t make allowances in your lifestyle to limit porn viewing, you just set yourself up to fail.

Don’t give up masturbating.  Give up porn.

The final issue is the unspoken guilt.  Guys, if you are reasonably normal as detailed above, there is nothing to feel guilty about.  Guilt does nothing, absolutely nothing for you, except make you a shivering, gutless, disgusting shadow of a man.  If you no longer want to be a wanker, but you beat off one day to Romulus And Remus Do the Italian Penisula, accept your decision.  Admit you can do better, then strive to be better.  Then get on with your day.

Guys, your penis was bestowed upon you for your personal pleasure.  You’re allowed to use it.  Just use it right.

Happy December.

 

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