Over the years I’ve walked in quite a few different social circles, and one overlapping theme I’ve noticed is that those who are serious about weight lifting tend to either a.) have a conservative a streak that runs through them or b.) are much more open to considering the conservative point of view than my more sedentary friends. While the chicken or the egg question undoubtedly comes up, I can’t help notice that the weights impart hard lessons on anyone who’s willing to listen – and those lessons more often than not are of a conservative bent.
Weights don’t care who you are. They don’t care about your race, religion, or social status. They are colorblind. They don’t care who your dad is, where he went to school, the networks at his disposal, or his bank account. You can ether lift a particular weight, or you can’t. And if you want to be able to break personal bests and soar to great heights it ultimately will come down to your work ethic and how bad you want it. Personal trainers are great for those who need them, but they’re only an investment that can create an environment conducive to success; the best trainers in the world are still limited by their clients’ inner drive, discipline, and willingness to meet them half way.
Lifting weights requires patience. The “you” you want to sculpt is there, but like most worthwhile endeavors, success comes in incremental steps over the long haul. Success is fraught with setbacks and disappointment, and the finish line only awaits those with the persistence to work through pain, suffering, and at times unfair odds.
Conservatives who face down steel plates regularly know that they can glean important life lessons from their routines. They approach the cold, uncaring metal (that doesn’t respond to excuses or sob stories) like they do life, and they’re much better for it.
Working out with a friend or a complete stranger whose genetics or upbringing has them looking better or lifting more than you from the get go? The weights don’t care. Inequalities exist – deal with it. Work harder and smarter than the next guy. Put in hours in the gym or your basement or the garage long after everyone else is out partying, and more often than not the long haul will reward you. And if not, who cares – because there’s always someone who’s bigger and faster and stronger than you. And in the end it’s not really about the weights anyway. It’s about the work ethic that carries over into other aspects of your life without you realizing it. It’s about knowing that there’s a deeper meaning to life, and that the picture becomes clearer through sweat and effort instead of sloth and apathy.
Ultimately, our physical bodies are pieces of putty that will be ground down by time and returned to the earth, but there are diamonds inside each and every one of us. It might be in the form of an idea that changes the way the world does business, your expertise in a given field, or a body that was simply waiting for you to reveal it to the world. In each case it takes a sustained effort and a search for knowledge to discover many of our inner gems. Lifting weights has been teaching conservatives this for ages. Regardless of your political stripes, I hope you use this year to hone your talents and realize your dreams.