Hey, I’m Steve, and I’m a nerd.
When I started Nerd Fitness five years ago, I wanted to help people who identified themselves as Nerds: people who followed hobbies and pursuits outside of the mainstream.
I wanted Nerd Fitness and the Rebellion to be like Charles Xavier’s “School for the Gifted,” except instead of everybody having mutant powers, we’d all have unique nerdy and fitness “powers.” We’d get to discuss incredibly nerdy subjects while also learning about healthy eating, proper lifting techniques, and leveling up our lives.
Honestly, this place has already become something bigger and better than I ever could have imagined, and we’re just getting started.
Today, whether or not you identify yourself as a Nerd, I want to tell you my thoughts on why being a Nerd is awesome.
I also want to invite you to tell us why you’re a Nerd, and be recognized for it.
What makes a Nerd a Nerd?
Do you have to like Dungeons and Dragons to be a Nerd?
How about Star Trek or Star Wars?
Computers and video games?
In my humble opinion, Nerds are Nerds because they take their knowledge about a subject, “nerdy” or not, beyond the surface and dig into the layers beneath:
- Where normal people watch Game of Thrones on HBO, Nerds have read all of the books twice, spend hours debating the future of Westeros on message boards, and and have taught themselves High Valyrian.
- Where normal people might have loathed chemistry or physics class, Nerds fell in love with the endless possibilities of mixtures and experiments that could result from a day’s class.
- Where normal people devote a few minutes a day to Angry Birds on their iPhones at the bus stop, Nerds devote hours upon hours to getting 100% on Dark Souls or maxing out their character in World of Warcraft.
- Where normal people might spend their evenings watching the latest reality TV show, Nerds might spend their time creating and crafting an epic story for their next table-top adventure.
Now, going beyond the norm and fully immersing yourself in an interest or hobby is awesome, but oftentimes get Nerds ridiculed for being different: for not going with the flow or being part of the crowd.
Sure, our parents always asked us: “If everybody jumped off a bridge, would you do the same?” to encourage us to think for ourselves, but society really expected us to be like everybody else.
In grade school and in high school, being uber passionate about stuff (anything really), oftentimes resulted in bullying, weird looks, and a seat at the ‘not cool’ kids table. If we had nerdy passions, they would only be shared with our other nerdy friends, behind closed doors, and at night while everybody else was out.
Fortunately, thanks to the power of the internet, we’ve come to learn that we’re not alone in these passions.
And more importantly, we’ve come to learn that being a Nerd is freaking awesome.
Why being a Nerd is freaking awesome
Two weeks ago, I stumbled across a video from a ‘nerdy’ conference where actor/nerd hero Wil Wheaton was speaking.
A woman who plans on raising a nerdy daughter asked Wil to give her young child words of encouragement down the road. Wil did not disappoint. I found myself with a huge grin on my face as I watched Wil explain so succinctly what being a Nerd truly means, and why we need more Nerds in this world.
WARNING: This might make you tear up a bit (it’s pretty misty over here at NF HQ right now):
In Wil’s words:
Being a Nerd is taking the time to really understand what goes on in the world instead of just riding the planet through space. When I was a little boy, people really teased us about that and made us feel like there was something wrong with us for loving [science, board games, books, etc.].
I think a lot of us have realized that being a nerd or a geek…is not about what you love, but how you love it. So there’s going to be a thing in your life: sports, science, reading, fashion design, building things, telling stories, or taking pictures; the way you love that thing, and the way that you find other people that love that thing in the same way you do…that’s what makes being a nerd awesome.
Don’t ever let anybody tell you that the thing that you love is something that you’re not allowed to love.
Being a Nerd means finding something you love and not being afraid to dig in 100%. It’s about feeling connected, finding something that makes us feel alive, that makes life worth living, and then having the confidence to pursue it.
Thanks Wil, the world needs more people like you.
This is why the aspect of Nerd Fitness that I’m most proud of is the Nerd Fitness Community.
I love seeing people with different nerdy passions (Firefly, Cosplay, Star Trek) and different fitness interests (power lifting, running, parkour, yoga) getting to be 100% themselves.
Nerd out about our favorite passions and things we love while ALSO learning to be healthier? Hell yes!
What kind of Nerd are you?
I love getting emails from people saying: “I’m not a Nerd, but I enjoy your site…Though, I do love [something uber nerdy].”
Guess what, you’re a Nerd!
As my friend Mars says, “The world needs you.”
This would suck without passionate people.
I don’t care if you nerd out about: sports, sports statistics,Dungeons and Dragons, sewing, knitting, Parkour, video games, science, rock/stamp/fossil collecting, table top games, reading, writing, photography, science fiction, gardening, rock climbing, yoga, LEGOs, MineCraft, cosplay, anime, travel, videography, art, drawing, music, performance, theater, archaeology, philosophy, movies, shows, ancient history, Greek and Roman mythology, whatever!
Regardless of how nerdy your interests are, you’ll have a home here on Nerd Fitness.
I’ll start us off:
I’m Steve, and I’m a Nerd.
I am a bookworm; I’ve read the Lord of the Rings series multiple times. I’ve read the Hobbit a half-dozen times. I read The Silmarillion so I could understand more of Middle-earth and its rich history. I love the A Song of Ice and Fire series. I think In the Name of the Wind was phenomenal, and I read Ready Player One in a single sitting. I’ve read the Harry Potter series probably three or four times, and I honestly can’t wait to check out the Wizarding World of Harry Potter the next time I’m in Florida.
I love ancient history, mythology, archaeology, and old churches. I love a good conspiracy theory. This is probably why Pillars of the Earth is one of my favorite books and Assassin’s Creed II is one of my favorite games: they mix all of these things together so perfectly.
I love gaming. I can beat Metroid Prime on GameCube in under three hours, thanks to devoting hours upon hours to watching speed runs on YouTube. I recently spent a good 40 hours tracking down platinum trophies for God of War I and God of War II, and I’m working on the same for God of War III.
True story: Five years ago, while on a particularly epic raid in EverQuest II, the components in my computer, which I built myself from scratch, fried from overclocking and I didn’t have the money to fix it.
So, I finally started dumping some serious hours into this crazy idea I had for a website helping Nerds get healthy.
I think things worked out 🙂
What does being a nerd mean to you? What are you passionate about?
Leave a comment and be recognized.
We’re glad you’re here.