Episode 31. Things We Wish We’d Known, Way Back When
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Scott and Kevin talk about mistakes new trainees make, but what were some of the mistakes they made early on in their fitness journey? What do they wish they’d known earlier?
This episode explored some of the ways the fitness industry has changed over the years, and how Scott and Kevin were influenced by “the magazines” early on (after all… where else could they go for information?).
Things We Wish We’d Known:
- Both Scott and Kevin discussed the silliness of some of the routines and ideas they followed, and the myths they bought into, back when they were both first starting out in health, fitness and bodybuilding back in the 80s and 90s, and how shocked they were the more and more they learned.
- A lot of what people thought was simply… pure conjecture. Just guessing.
- The main things Kevin says he didn’t “get” early on were what it would really truly take, both in terms of sacrifices and time.
- Scott, who actually became a ghost writer for some of the very magazines he used to follow, described being disappointed as he learned more and more about the way the business was run.
- There was also a lot of smoke and mirrors about who was and who was not natural. It’s still like this; it was just even worse, because no one had a barometer for what was or was not a reasonable claim.
- In one instance, he described the writers putting a little dot of ink on the page (as in, like a period), but then claiming that the dot had a very small dosage of a new special supplement, and you could cut the dot out and swallow it in order to feel its effects. They did this just to see if people would actually do it. Sure enough, they did. (And sure enough, people loved it and could “feel its effects.”)
- There is an interesting paradox at work in that the magazines would instill a sense that you can accomplish these insane remarkable transformations, but it also tends to lead to a certain kind of myopic view of what’s possible. Scott attributes his success to having a really high aim that went beyond the physical stuff.
- Scott was reminded of The Legend of Bagger Vance, where your immersion in a sport of any sort doesn’t become about the competition or the end goal, but simply self-connection.
- Mike somewhat disagreed, in that the end goal (winning vs. losing) can still be important and integral and good. You don’t have to let that go. His example was Midnight Hockey, where guys who loved — loved — the game of hockey played into their 70s, 80s, and 90s. It’s no longer at a high level. And yet, nonetheless, even in a random game where it doesn’t really matter who wins and who loses, it’s a better feeling in the dressing room after a win. And that competition is an important part of the experience. Shooting pucks with friends without keeping score is fun, but there is a degree to which the competition — in which you’re trying, and your opponent is trying — is better, and is still about a true, deep love of the game.
- The writer of the original book of The Legend of Bagger Vance is Steven Pressfield, who also wrote several books about writing and work that Mike likes. E.g., Do the Work. In the book, writing, doing the things that are important, are about higher awareness, even spirituality… But that doesn’t mean it’s always easy or that you can’t frame it as an obstacle.
Links & Resources
The Underground Steroid Handbook by Dan Duchaine [Amazon has no copies. It seems to be available online.]
Midnight Hockey by Bill Gaston
Shop Class as Soul Craft by Matthew Crawford