I know why you’re here.
I know what you’ve been doing – why you hardly sleep, why you live alone, and why night after night, you sit by your computer. You’re looking for him. I know because I was once looking for the same thing. And when he found me, he told me I wasn’t really looking for him. I was looking for an answer. It’s the question that drives us.
It’s the question that brought you here.
“What is the Matrix?”
If you didn’t pick up on it, that intro was lifted straight out of The Matrix, one of my favorite movies of all time and one that certainly belongs in every nerd’s collection. This movie and its themes are very similar to a lot of my personal views on fitness and life, so today’s post was an inevitability. I want to start by address the world in which we live:
The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the wool that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…You are a slave, Neo. Like everyone else you were born into bondage. Into a prison that you cannot taste or see or touch. A prison for your mind.
From here on out, I’ll be Morpheus and you be Neo. K? Good. I am going to help break your mind out of the “jail” it’s currently occupying. “But I’m not in a jail!” you say. Are you sure? Tell me if this routine sounds familiar:
- Wake up tired.
- Skip breakfast and drive to work, maybe stopping for a large coffee at Dunkin Donuts.
- Eat a bagel or donut that one of your co-workers brought in.
- Sluggishly work your way through a full day of desk work.
- Pick up your lunch at a drive-through window.
- Eat whatever is put in front of you for dinner.
- Watch a few hours of television.
- Drink a few beers, eat some ice cream.
- Go to bed.
This routine is your jail, and it is holding you captive. Don’t feel too bad, there are hundreds of millions of people trapped in there with you. I’m here to tell you that there is more to life than this. I know there is great potential within you – we won’t know how great until you take the Red Pill and see how deep the rabbit hole goes. It’s time to break out.
I’m trying to free your mind
Remember when Neo woke up in the real world and asked Morpheus why his eyes hurt? I will never forget Morpheus’s response:
“Because you’ve never used them before.”
Today is your first day seeing the world for what it really is – You are in the Matrix, and everybody around you is completely unaware. Ignorance and apathy have slowly but steadily turned our country into a bunch of overweight zombies just drifting through life, waiting to become batteries. They don’t really live life – they just exist.
You are not like everybody else – you are an anomaly. Once you recognize the fact that you are different, you need to use this to your advantage: let’s start by cutting through all the bull**** that is keeping you locked up.
It is the wool that has been pulled over your eyes
You are not a battery.
Don’t let the ads you see on TV and the Internet keep you caged. These ads, programs, and products are created by Agents who are afraid you’ll discover how to beat the system. Want to defeat them? Let them know they no longer have any influence over you:
- You don’t need supplements. Weight loss supplements, weight gain supplements, hyrdoxycut, cortislim, etc. – Don’t mess with them. A healthy diet and exercise is the only safe way to lose weight.
- 4 weeks is not enough time to “ripped.” It is going to take months of hard work and dedication to get incredible results. Don’t fool yourself into thinking it’s an overnight process. Don’t spend money on products that make these promises.
- Low fat does not mean healthy. Most low-fat products are loaded with processed sugar and high fructose corn syrup. Read the ingredients, and be smart about what you’re eating. Common sense goes a long way.
- No amount of exercise can fix a bad diet. Your diet is 80% of your success or failure – eating better will make your life better. Vegetables, lean meats, fruits, and nuts. Stay away from sugar. Don’t buy from a vending machine or a drive-through window. The more REAL food you can eat the better off you’ll be.
- You don’t need to spend two hours a day in the gym. If you’re eating healthy, 30-45 minutes in the gym doing compound movements with free weights (pull ups, dead lifts, overhead presses, squats, push ups) is enough for you to build muscle. Don’t believe what you read in muscle-building magazines.
Everybody is looking for a cheap and easy solution to wellness, and money-hungry Agents are eager to keep status-quo by developing the next great weight loss system, product, or health food that over-promise and under-deliver. Buy into the hype for any of the things listed above and the Agents win. I hate Agents; please don’t help them.
Now this is where the fun starts. Let’s find out what you can accomplish by hacking your existence in a system that can’t hold you.
What are you trying to tell me? That I can dodge bullets?
Not gonna lie, you probably won’t be able to dodge bullets any time soon. However, I guarantee there are things you are capable of doing that you didn’t think were possible. Want an example? Take three and a half minutes to watch Damien Walters doing some of the most amazing stuff I’ve ever seen:
The Most Amazing Video I Have Ever Seen
If you are willing to work hard, there are very few things in life that are impossible. I don’t care who you are or what kind of shape you are in right now. If you make a change and dedicate part of your life to a new activity today, within a few years (or sooner) you will be an expert. People do it all the time, so why not you?
I know Kung Fu
Be honest: when Neo downloaded hundreds and hundreds of skills into his brain within seconds you thought to yourself, “how cool would it be if that was actually possible!” I’m here to tell you that it IS possible – it’s just going to take a lot longer.
As you saw in the video above, Damien found something that he loved to do (run and jump and flip), and dedicated himself to becoming really really ridiculously good at it. He picked a skill, “downloaded” the information required to start learning it, and then practiced it over and over until he was an expert.
If you want to be a great great barefoot runner, you can read a book on barefoot running, watch some YouTube videos on how to run barefoot, find a barefoot running club, and then go run a marathon barefoot in a few months. If you want to be a black belt in Brazilian Ju-Jitsiu, go sign up for a beginner class at your gym and work your way up the rankings. Maybe you want to be an accomplished power lifter – pick up a copy of Mark Rippetoe’s Starting Strength and then get start lifting heavy things! Whatever it is that makes you excited, give it a shot.
Neo was excited to learn Kung Fu. These are the skills I am excited to learn at some point:
- Capoeira. Brazilian break-dance fighting. Awesome.
- Parkour. Why not?
- Breakdancing. This would probably go hand and hand with Capoeria. I’m currently a “not-terrible” breakdancer, but I’d like to be a lot better
I look at people who are experts in these skills as life-hackers – they have figured out how to hack into the Matrix and get what they want out of life. For each skill, I plan on finding my own Morpheus (or group of Morpheuses…Morpheui?) and learning from them. Sure learning to dance like these guys might seem like a complete pipe dream now, but even they had to start somewhere, right? Why not me?
Why not you?
Why not now?
What are you waiting for? You’re faster than this. Don’t think you are, know you are.
I don’t care if you are 400 pounds and haven’t exercised a day in your life: there is a better, upgraded version of yourself hiding inside. Neo couldn’t beat Morpheus in a sparring match because he wasn’t confident enough in his abilities. You might think now that you could never do what Damien did in the video above, or that you simply weigh too much and you could never have a six-pack.
I’m here to tell you that you’re a better and more capable person than you give yourself credit for – I have no doubt in my mind that this is true. I need you to believe that with 100% conviction. You need to know that deep inside you is a more kick-ass version of you just waiting to get out. You need to know that you can honestly accomplish whatever you put your mind to. Don’t think you are going to lose weight and get in shape; don’t think you’re going to change your life and free the minds of those around you.
Know you are.
I can only show you the door, you are the one who must walk through it.
Morpheus showed Neo what was possible if he was willing to work for it, but he didn’t babysit him through the whole process. He gave Neo the tools and the resources but the left the action up to him. He didn’t hold his hand when jumping between buildings. He jumped, and told Neo to follow.
I hope you read this blog today and say “I want to make myself a better person.” More importantly, I want you to read this blog and then take action towards becoming a better person. I can’t hold your hand though.
I need you to jump.
Make a pact with your fellow hackers (read: Nerd Fitness readers) to not sleepwalk through life. Pick a new skill you want to download and then do one thing every day that get better at that skill. Nerd Fitness exists to show you what’s possible with your life if you’re willing to work for it. It’s up to you to make it happen.
What skills do you want to download in 2010? How are you going to make sure the Agents don’t win? Please share in the comments below.