Although we are a school of relative diversity, the one thing that seems to be common among all CMC males is the desire to get jacked. Big, swole, ripped, diesel…whatever you want to call it, the bottom line is that if you were to sit outside of Ducey Gym for a whole day, you will probably end up having seen 70% of the male population.
What explains the high attendance, then?
Well, only a minority plays a varsity sport, so it’s clearly not for athletic purposes. I’m sure nobody is working out their triceps with the main intention of elevating their inner tube polo game to the next level. Is it because it’s a nice place to hang out? Well, the weight room resembles Average Joe’s gym from the movie DodgeBall, so it probably isn’t that. For heaven’s sake, there are barely any lights in the smaller basketball court, let alone ventilation.
Is it because working out is an enjoyable past time? Surely not. I’m sure everybody would much rather take a nap rather than workout. In fact, I’ll bet that grunting it out under a coat of sticky sweat is not on many people’s lists of desirable things to do. Is it because we are care deeply about our health? Well, the activities that people engage in on Thursdays and Saturdays would beg to differ, and weightlifting to excess is beyond simply a healthy practice.
Then, coming down to the seemingly last option, could we, supposedly sophisticated students, possibly be so shallow that we work out simply for aesthetics’ sake?
Yes, we do. Some people will be quick to justify that they work out because they feel “better” afterwards. But is that the whole story? Or do people feel sharper, more confident and positive afterwards because they are actually one step closer to achieving society’s definition of beauty? I think it’s the latter, and that if being fat were to become the new benchmark of beauty tomorrow, Ducey would probably be as undesirable of a destination as Oldenburg.
So although on the one hand the Freshmen 15 seems to be a nonexistent problem here, on the other hand it seems that we are pressuring one another to fit one single image, specifically the image of a Greek god in a tank top.
Is there anything wrong with this though? So often, may it be in the classroom or in the Athenaeum or in any other formal setting, we are told it’s what we have inside of us that matters — our personality, our intellect, our maturity. Yet ultimately it still seems that it is what we have on our exterior that affects us most. Maybe it’s just human nature, then, to “look good, feel good.”
In this case there doesn’t seem to be anything we can do. We all know that confidence and happiness must come from within and cannot be painted on. So if working on our physical aesthetics provides just that, then all I can say is go on! Sure it may sound shallow and foolish to promote this cycle of peer pressure, as we are all suppose to be leaders at this school rather than followers, but at least working out isn’t something destructive or malign. Besides, nobody wants, later in life, with back pain, saggy skin, and medical pills for every organ, to think: “Oh man, if only I knew what having rock hard abs felt like.” So as long as physical perfection is not the only thing we pursue, then keep lifting those big heavy weights. Maybe you can try to get that Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior or Senior 15 in your biceps this year.