Fitness Leads to Other Virtues
Many people don’t know I love philosophy. It’s been a part of my life ever since I can remember. When I was a little kid I questioned a lot of things like Love, Truth, Beauty, Goodness, and Justice (among other things). Boys that age usually think about what color Tonka truck they need to get; however, my upbringing wasn’t the best — so instead of picking out the better color Tonka Truck, I wondered why Jimmy got one, the systems that allowed his parents to get it, and how or why I couldn’t get one. This would then lead to wondering about the nature of work, work ethic, the nature of money, equality, happiness, etc. My mind just wandered there and explored a lot of concepts and principles (some maybe that I wasn’t ready to explore at that age). This desire to explore spilled over to many things and only grew when I formally studied Philosophy in college.
That is where I was introduced to Socrates and the other great minds of the old that discussed Virtue. This exposure led to the formation of my Socratic intention towards making this world a healthier place. Socrates encourages us to test our bodies and bask in its abilities, “No human has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Now, if we know anything about Socrates, we know that he isn’t just focused on the physical but that he also mentions the physical for the reason that it is connected and leads to other virtues.
He, myself, and many others in their health journeys, learned that training your body leads to more than just a healthier body. When it comes to Virtue, the great minds of Aurelius, Epictetus and many other Golden Age thinkers of old believed that you grow virtue by simply doing virtuous things. So essentially if you want to be more loving…you have to love more. Want to be more patient? Slow down and wait more. Where it gets exciting, at least for me, is where Fitness and Health help grow the aforementioned and many other virtues!
If you want to be healthy and fit…you have to learn to be patient. It doesn’t happen overnight. If you want to be healthy, you have be organized with your time and diet. To be organized, you have to be intentional with your schedule and people. When you’re patient and intentional, you start being more of a loving person. Being a loving person, you start to have courage and boldness — confidence even. Not because you’re fit, healthy, jacked and/or good looking to now hunt down an attractive mate, but because you are confident IN YOURSELF, having seen your human potential turn into tangible proof that change is ACTUALLY possible. You CAN become better — more virtuous.
I encourage you to take steps towards not only bettering your body but your whole being. If that’s by running outside for the first time…then do it. Maybe running outside isn’t your thing, (I encourage you to try it at least a couple times) so then maybe try lifting weights. Maybe it’s going hiking. Maybe it’s taking a yoga class. Maybe it’s meal prepping for the first time. Maybe it’s parking further from the entrance at the grocery store. Maybe it’s walking your dog an extra 20 minutes per day. You’ll be doing more than just “doing more.” You’ll be exercising discipline, intention, goodness, and true beauty.