1000 petals by axinia

the only truth I know is my own experience

The silliness of gym-philosophy or why quit physical work? June 17, 2010


My attitude to sports of any kind has been always very suspicious. Any kind of mass obsession caused by a brainwash “it’s useful and healthy'”  causes some natural resistance  in me. Recently I found out what the reason for my sceptical attitude towards any kind of fitness and sports: why doing it while we can do something more useful with the same results?

Modern people in the “civilized societies”  have created an enormous level of physical comphort. They have learned to avoid any physical work and enjoy their laziness.  At the same time they realise that “the body needs to be shaken.” And that – regular! So, the clever modern mind has invented the need of fitness and sports.

Look at this amusing description:

“A man who spends his necessary, unenjoyed working life among papers and ideas will recreate his innate expectation of physical work through something like golf. Unmindful that its main virtue is uselessness, the golfer trudges about in the sun carrying a heavy load of clubs and every so often brings his attention to a sharp focus on the problem of persuading a ball to fall into a hole in the ground; this is done, very inefficiently, with the end of one of those clubs, not by carrying the ball and dropping it in. If he were made to do all this by force, he would feel sorely put upon, but as it is called recreation and is guaranteed to serve no purpose beyond exercising him, he is free to enjoy it. But there are now many golfers who have allowed the labour-saving impulse to spoil some of this pleasure as well, since it has been suggested by the relevant sector of the culture that carrying the clubs is not pleasant and, more recently, that the trudging between strokes ought also to be moved into the work category and little automotive carts are used instead. To re-create themselves after playing golf, they may soon have to resort to tennis.” (by Jean Liedloff)

Isn’t it hilarious?

And the truth of the moment is very simple: why not do some necessary physical work (house cleaning, washing up, gardening,  fixing some small damages in household or any other useful physical work outside) on our own? No, we prefer to hire a cleaning lady and then go to a fitness club. The amount of energy we would spend on housework is surely the same as at fitness club, and besides it is a useful training! The joy of working with own hands is something hard to compare with other things. After all, our ancestors have been living it since millenia and that is a strong inborn mechanism. Then why reject it?

Another truth is that the huge fitness industry will never let us come back to the roots and enjoy the simple physical work.

LOVE, axinia


11 Responses to “The silliness of gym-philosophy or why quit physical work?”

  1. mahesh chendake Says:

    Thanks ,I was expecting this blog now, Axinia.
    A very simple answer is, we feel low stranded if when we do our own work,as a member of high class society?? (as we feel !!!).
    A well known star in well known Marathi movie,, Natrang, who increased and decreased his weight up to great extent within short period of time for the demand of role,explained very well in one of the interview really exercise has nothing doing with daily leaving. exercise in gym does not give that joy which we take in our self care activities, activities done for home, garden, vehicle maintenance etc or simply play for recreation, even with children out side the home?
    Left sided/lazy people usually who are many times in depression ,usually eats more and put on weight and call for ill health.This is even very true for children of high class? middle class ( parents imposed on them ), because their natural play is totally hampered and they are engaged in modern games on computers( virtual world), T.V.absolutely no exercise., No mixing with other children,No tension of failure, No need to adjust,….These children do not tolerate frustrations, do not extend satisfactions of their needs /demands. obesity and related conditions are great problem of those children.
    Till my adolescence period, In our village, we used to play simple games in leisure time or even while working in fields or after school. ,which do not require any money. Even adults used to share. Now our children even do not knows names of those games.They don’t have grounds and even my place they are not playing at all, engaged only in study, class work, home work, school work…..? children in apartment even do not see sun and fresh air so if so much artificial life is their we need one more artificial thing and that is gym. don’t you think we should change our whole life style? I am not saying we should go back but towards nature or or our natural ways of stress and tension free leaving where normal exercise will occur in our daily activities.
    The poor people who needs to require to do hard work for daily bread ( physical). even they are also in less immune zone as their energy is not properly channelized and have a caloric imbalance.
    Many players in their later life faces lots of health problems .Why?
    basic thing is How much we should eat and how much we need to do work to maintain our health? ….. balance…?????
    Newer concept I read is, if you take care of your spiritual component,your other component like physical,mental and social are taken care of automatically. balance is achieved . Balance of what? ….. everything…

  2. Abhi Says:

    just a question Axinia;
    Haven’t you ever exercised?
    you don’t do any exercise for some basic fitness?

    • axinia Says:

      hi dear, no I am not of this type 🙂 Sure I do sometimes exercises, and even in the school everone had to do that. But I prefer some extra movement only if I really feel like it.

      The reason why many people love physical training is because it activates the hormone serotonin,”the happiness” hormone. One gets a “high” feeling after some physical work out! IN my case, since I am always happy, I obviously do not need that “dose”. :)))

  3. swaps Says:

    This is what my mom says and has lived by… why hire a cleaning lady, just think of it as exercise.
    (But household cores are much much more tiring than a visit to gym, besides you can always skip the gym but not housekeeping).

    Anyway, I like sports. Because it is also about bonding, team work and (yes, your own favorite quality) striving for perfection.

    After all, Axinia, why not look upon sport as dance. Even dance is physical exercise that does no useful work. So you should be equally critical of dance, right?

    Fact is, man has more energy within him than he has any use of. Why do ANY so-called useful work at all??? Wont nature grow food for us?? Must we define prosperity in term of economic growth, industrial might and pollution??

    If man had let nature grow the food he needs and lived a simple life, and instead find fulfillment of life in say, sports the world would have been more civilized. If your hormones need a fix or you are frustrated go compete in a sport, instead spilling blood. It is better that nations let 11 player teams chase a ball in a soccer field than go for war.
    Sports means better civilization.

    What say?

    • mahesh chendake Says:

      @ swaps,
      I like your status, as it is very true
      Another point is ,in terms of money there are less or no returns from house hold work so no body want to do it. ( it is said informally that the lady who washes 10 people’s vessels, put another lady for her own house)
      Housewife’s job is very difficult job .
      In India Men’s don’t do such job after coming office they just relax and eats delicious food and also create ego problem. In almost all families(Including other house ladies such as in laws, husband’s sisters ) they underestimate the lady , and her status so do not share or help at all , wives have to do jobs and look after children and of course all house hold work. there is no help, no escape,no substitute,no retirement, no relax, even in illness also, years together…. chances of tiredness , Iron and calcium deficiency ,and frustration are more and of course it is very common. We see lot of such cases in OPD ( many Doctor’s ( as an typical attitude!!! ??) label it as middle age problem, hormonal imbalance/ menopause effect but i am sure it is not) .even they can not open their mouth in front of their husband, many of them totally unaware, they feels it is their job only and there is no escape… upbringing…?????
      Such Men’s and of course females in house definitely requires GYMS/ Cardio fitness to avoid illness and most of doctors/Physio’s recommends it ( another money business ) neglecting main problem.
      The lady needs at least some relaxations from her household job. Why men’s cant do it as an responsibility along with their job ( What to say about Houseman men? They do not earn also and do not work in family also.
      Of course many earning females i have seen changing their attitude and totally neglecting house, children and house hold work as they are earning but I think that is also wrong ( in certain time children definitely require mother only).
      parents are used as free servants for house hold work and care of children,and letter on neglected it is another immerging problem in India. Sorry to change subject but all is rooted in “House hold work” that’s why taken for discussion. People don’t like house hold work for various reason.
      So where they will channelize extra energy? Gym is answer found by society.

    • axinia Says:

      hi swaps, the idea of sports as dance is interesting, but i personally cannot compare. I know mayn people will be able to see it, but me. not. Dance is definitely something beyond, higher than any sport. May be becauase a dance suggest devotion?…don’t know, but it feels very different from sports to me.

      Overall, I guess my views on sports and physical work will be hardly understood by anyone..:) It’s clear. I was not even expecting any understanding, just wanted to share this provocative thought.

  4. radha Says:

    people who dont do any sport are usually very busy with something more impotant. i always admire them and know quite a few, and they are quite fit too.

    • axinia Says:

      hahah, you mean me? :))) I am very busy with soemting important all the time and I don’t do sports. and I am really fit.

      That’s a good supportive comment, Radha! :))))

  5. The photo is hilarious, Axinia! 😆 I can understand it if it was sports shoes or sneakers. But soccer balls in a glass display case alongside stiletto-heeled footwear 😀 What is the shop trying to suggest? That women can play football while wearing stilettos? OMG! 😯

    Perhaps, it’s a subtle message to women buying stilettos that men are like soccer balls that need to be kicked around to get them rolling! 😆


    • axinia Says:

      the image was taken during the soccer chmpionship in Vienna tow years back. Every shop used some kind of soccer symbolics, even the ladies shoe shop 🙂
      I liked the allegory.

  6. edwin hou Says:

    NELSON MANDELA once said that sports had the power “to change the world … to inspire … to unite people.
    During the 1950s he was a dedicated amateur boxer who would run two hours before dawn from Soweto to Johannesburg and back, before taking up his day job as a lawyer. He has lived to the age of 90, and he has achieved his most heroic feats when he was well into his 70s, because he kept himself in superb shape. In prison he spent most of his time inside a cell the size of a double bed, but he ran in place and did push-ups and stomach crunches with fanatical persistence. During a three-year spell in which he shared a larger cell with three other political prisoners, he would infuriate his comrades by waking them up at five every morning with his one-hour runs around the cell’s tight periphery. During his presidency, between the ages of 75 and 80, he would test the mettle of his bodyguards by making them accompany him on his unfailingly brisk, predawn one-hour walks.
    (http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/article/magazine/MAG1143996/index.htm )

    For me, sports have another meaning. It can be just an excuse to me old friends. And in turn, it may go back to the idea of Nelson Mandela – i,e, bonding between people.
    Sometimes, sports give me a time to relax, to enjoy the quietness within, to stay away from mandane trouble for a while, etc. I treasure moments i ride on my bike (racing style) on the road alone and it recharge my mind, and i got lots of inspirations and insights out of it. (Though my chiropractor urges me to stop all sorts of sports, i will carry on, only scale down )

    Besides, for many youngsters, sports can bring hope, and a goal of live, and sense of achievement. Not many people are as lucky as you, they need something to stimilate, to inspire, to cling on… watch the recent movie about South Africa capturing world title on rugby.

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