From The Fingerprints Of Others
If I could for a moment, recount every person who has touched my life, I would feel as rich as any man. Nothing has mattered more to me than the eyes I have seen, the words I have heard or read, and the names and personalities which have etched themselves across my psyche to create the living work that is me. Primary to this are the conversations and the observations which have taken place at the hands of those who I’ve been so blessed to know, know of, or interact with.
From my earliest experiences through my current moment, I am the unwitting product of these influences. Everything I am I owe to everyone else. Considering this astonishes and always humbles me; that my very essence is just the reflective fingerprints of thousands of others. I call it the web of personalities. It began with a doctor who smacked my ass, and will only conclude with the person who will pronounce me dead to whoever might be witness. But for all those in-between – for all those finger painters placing their marks and values upon me, I am grateful.
Who Is Me..?
I am intensity. I am weakness. I am music. I am action. I am words. I am scorned. I am fear, hate, and romance. I am the relentlessly optimistic individual who believes that at the end of the day it will all work out and be just fine. I am the pessimist who thinks a pistol to the upper pallet would be a better finish to the game than riding out what the increasing directionality and complexity of man have in store for us. I am a father who loves his little girl with all the love he can possibly love someone with. I am mortal, yet feel invincible. I am an athlete, a victim, a perpetrator of good, of bad, and of much in-between. I am the product of family genes and social memes – the sum of those who have touched me.
Above all things though, in my day-to-day, I am a member of a tribe – a group of like-minded people who have a sincere belief in perpetuating daily action; exercise as a means of living, feeling and looking better, as well as to better serve those about us.
We go about our active lifestyle with a near religious fervor believing that if everyone lived in such a manner, the world would function better as a whole. Whether we are in the gym, on the running trail, on the road, or in the water, when we are moving we are in a kind of church – the church of daily action. Some call us gym rats. Funny, I never use the term church rats for those once per weekers who sit in the pews believing that action will make the world a better place.
My tribe is globally dispersed, and scarcely organized as a collective. What I like best about this tribe is that the followers are really the leaders, and the leaders are often forced to follow. Primary in our agenda is freedom; the freedom to take ownership of practicing the action(s) which makes us feel best. We seek out and participate as we wish, as often as we can and on the days we can’t the weight of the world is that much heavier. We may subscribe to the values of a specific genre, leader, or orientation, but as we execute our daily action, we move self-centered, and blaze our own unique trail.
There are different bands within this tribe; those who run, practice martial arts, lift weights, power walk, kayak, swim, and play rigorous games with other tribe members such as tennis or handball, among many other things. What binds us all as a tribe is the common belief that to not participate in such opportunities is to deny a primary aspect of our human potential, and all the influences which have lead us down this path. To be human at all is to be in action – it just feels good. Sitting still is simulating death.
To all of those who have influenced me as it applies to the directionality of my physical life, you are too numerous to mention, but I thank you. I would be so much less without you – literally. To those of you who have tried to influence me with opposition – suggesting that I move too much and focus excessively on the physical me, I thank you too. If not for your contrast, I couldn’t know that I’m correct in how I live. Be well. rc
Please check back in 2 weeks for a new essay on the philosophy behind the fitness. Oh, and there is this from Doug Sahm. Enjoy!