Physical fitness, learning the appropriate foods to eat, and being judged by a group of peers has been critical for my physical development and my mental development. It takes work to be in the best shape possible and then realize you can go just a little bit further.
Fitness is about death though and my trainer serves to shepherd me through this process of death.
It means dying to some really good foods for much of the year. I LOVE ice cream. I LOVE fried foods. I could go on and on. But the reality is what I desire and what my body demands requires dying to these types of foods soI can achieve my goals. Simply to be as healthy as possible.
Thankfully, I do get small rewards when Coach Zeno allows me. Yet at the end of the day, as Coach says, “Trust the process.” Trusting the process, trusting the experience of death as it relates to fitness is humbling but it will yield rewards which are immensely beneficial.
Cicero, a philosopher, stated, “to study philosophy is nothing but to prepare one’s self to die.” There is something cathartic and invigorating about taking a notion about life and testing the potency of its existence. At the same time, when you take the time to read and listen to the various voices which have written and spoken about your particular claim, there will be moments when you will have to leave that claim behind. You recognize the impotency of the claim in light of all these other voices.
This is just the beginning of death.
The experience gets more difficult as you announce the impotency of previous claim which is held dear by a multitude of persons. Now there is a death of character, in their opinion. There is a death of intelligence, in their opinion, There is in their opinion, a death of fidelity and belonging.
Death involves alienation.
Yet learning to die actually leads to life. (I know I read those words from Jewish carpenter.)
Philosophy is nothing more than loving wisdom. The wisest thing we can learn to practice as human beings facilitating our human flourishing is testing the notions which “smart people” communicate to us on a daily basis in America.
So stretch your brain. Exercise your mental muscles. Find a supportive counter voice who will coach you through this death. Learn various perspectives on a particular claim asserted in our country today. Begin to understand the quality of the information you are digesting. When the routine is complete you will discover the life you now have is far greater than the death you experienced.
Get to work!