It is the key to our evolution. It has enabled us to evolve from a single-celled organism into the dominant species on the planet. This process is slow, and normally taking thousands and thousands of years.
But every few hundred millennia, evolution leaps forward.”
For your entire life, you’ve been told to hide your differences.
You’ve been told to fit in, and be like everybody else. After all, the kids that fit in don’t get picked on. The kids that fit in don’t cause trouble. The kids that fit in go on to become fine upstanding citizens.
What if I told you that it’s okay to be different?
That there’s a group of people who are waiting for you to embrace your differences?
That those who make fun of you for being different are the very people who will need your help?
My dear nerd fitness rebel, there is a war coming.
Are you sure you’re on the right side?
You’re a mutant, embrace it
Let’s be honest – you’re a mutant.
Yeah, you might not have blue skin, adamantium running through your body (yeah, not a power but bear with me), or the ability to change shapes at will, but you are still vastly different than everybody around you:
- You’re the ONE person in your group of friends who wants a better future.
- You’re the ONE person in your office who wants to get in shape and eat better.
- You’re the ONE person in your family who believes you deserve a better life.
It’s tough, I know. After all, being different makes you an easy target. You’ll hear it from everybody – “why do you have to be so weird?” or “come on, join us!” After hearing this day in, day out, for so many years…you might even start to believe them. You might start to wonder if it would be easier to just conform and go with the flow.
And then you take a closer look at the people who you are considering trying to be more like:
- Out of shape
- Have a litany of healthy problems
- Up to their eyeballs in consumer debt
- Living a life that leaves them unfulfilled
- Generally unhappy.
SCREW THAT. Yeah, you ARE different from those people.
Identify your differences
Are you the girl with superhuman strength? Are you the guy who has iron willpower and can say yes or no to ANYTHING? Maybe you can transform at a moment’s notice for any skill required. Maybe you run more marathons than should be humanly possible.
What makes you different?
If you’re not different yet…HOW do you want to be different? What skill do you possess that makes you stand out from the crowd?
Me personally? I have an unique ability to synthesize boring, intimidating information in the nerdiest, most accessible way possible.
I don’t quite fit into most nerd circles. Yeah, I’ve read all of the Harry Potter books multiple times. I’ve built my own computer. I’ve devoted years of my life to Everquest and Everquest 2, and the first thing I bought after coming back from my 14 month trip was a Playstation 3.
I enjoy being a nerd, but that’s not all I am.
I also love exercising, but I don’t quite fit into that conventional demo either. I get weird looks every time I set foot in a normal gym. I wear funky shoes on my feet. My ripped t-shirt and shorts I bought a decade ago aren’t going to win any fashion awards. While everybody around me is running on a treadmill like a hamster or doing their 47th bicep curl exercise…I hanging plates off a weight belt to do weighted chin ups. I’m usually foaming at the mouth and jumping around with my eyes closed in between heavy deadlift sets.
And don’t even get me started on how I don’t fit most entrepreneur/businessman molds either. I’m sure I do most things counter to how you SHOULD run a business, and I don’t care…hell, I rarely put pants on these days! (too much info?)
I don’t quite fit in anywhere, and I love it.
They’ll shun you til they need you
As it has been said in the X-men movies, “Mankind has always feared what it doesn’t understand.”
And this quote from Nightcrawler (my personal favorite X-men) sums up my thoughts about our less evolved neighbors: “You know, outside the circus, most people were afraid of me. But I didn’t hate them. I pitied them. Do you know why? Because most people will never know anything beyond what they see with their own two eyes.”
I’m not going to lie to you – it’s going to be tough to be different:
- You’ll get made fun of when you say no to birthday cake at the office today.
- Your friends will goad you into skipping your next workout to play video games
- You’ll get funny looks the next time you’re in the gym doing your workout.
- Your family will ask you to be normal when you tell them how you’re eating.
These are people who are afraid of being left behind and/or afraid of what they don’t know. Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do for them yet – trying to force them to adapt to your point of view is a recipe for disaster…for they are not ready.
Instead, wear their snide comments and insults like a badge of honor. You are the one who is mutating and evolving. You cannot force motivation on others – you can only inspire with your actions.
Days, months, or years from now, when you are operating at a higher level of existence and health, the questions will start to show up:
- “hey, so what was that site you told me about three years ago?”
- “hey, I’m thinking of getting in shape – what do you think of this workout plan?”
- “can you help me with this?”
This is not the time to gloat – but rather the time to help and support. Remember, it took years before the switch flipped in YOUR head. Everybody operates on their own timetable, so when its their turn to change, they’ll let you know.
Focus on evolving yourself.
Your friends, families, and loved ones will come around eventually.
Understand you are not alone
Every day, the evil forces of obesity, laziness, and apathy grow.
Fortunately, every day its resistance grows even stronger.
I’m talking about a group of people who work hard to embrace their differences and help out their fellow mutants.
No, not the Xavier Institute for Higher Learning. (But that would be sweet if it actually existed.)
I’m talking about the Nerd Fitness Rebellion.
We understand that being different is the only way that we will progress as a species. We understand that being different will provide us with unique perspectives that could lead us to breakthrough revelations and new solutions.
So bring your differences, bring your unique perspective, but check your biases and reservations at the door. We’re all learning from each other every day, and we’re all feeding off the successes of each other.
There’s a war coming…
Professor Charles Xavier said it best: “When an individual acquires great power, the use or misuse of that power is everything, will it be used for the greater good or will it be used for personal or destructive ends? Now this is a question we must all ask ourselves.
Why, because we are mutants.”
Thanks for being part of this funky group of mutants over here at Nerd Fitness.
So let’s hear it: What’s your unique ability?
PS – NF San Fran Meetup Tonight - Harry’s Bar around 7PM – Come grab a beer (or whatever) and meet your fellow San Fran rebels!