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46 and the Conflict of Selves
Doing more for less.
I’ve done the “X Things I’ve Learned Since Turning X age” numerous times, and it’s fun to look back for themes. This one may seem morbid in tone, it’s not, it’s different.
The number one switch I’ve noticed since reaching a certain age is that you have to work harder to stay the same. Before going further, I’m not on TRT (don’t ask me why, it’s of no concern to you) and not soliciting advice from 25 year olds on hacks. I mean that. No one is asking for advice from aspiring gurus.
Have you ever looked at an old man’s legs?
I lost some quad muscle when the gyms closed during Covid. Even doing stuff at home didn’t stop this. It took me 18 months to gain this muscle back. To break even.
I trained hard in my younger days, but didn’t closely track macros or log stuff. I have to do all of that stuff now, to stay the same.
There’s a transition from when you were adding weight to the bar, to holding steady, to starting to barely hold on. All of this accelerates at 50 years of age, plus or minus a couple of years.
Years ago I joined the YMCA gym to stay in touch with what it means to get old. Our culture shuttles the elderly aside. I see them talking and going on about their lives. Just like real people. (Yes I get how strange that sentence may read, especially if you’re on the older side.) Every old guy has tiny legs. Losing muscle / sarcopenia can be mitigated by not avoided. (You also have to do way more cardio as you get older, and this changes the fiber types in your legs.)
Look at the legs of Sylvester Stallone compared to his upper body. The Rock has lost clear amounts of mass in his quads. That’s while training hard and being on every peptide and GH and testosterone variant.
Build those legs up when you’re young. Train legs twice a week as you get older. One harder workout and one easier.
How old are you?
Sometimes I ask myself, “What the fuck are you doing?” The context being posting about drama and gossip, most recently the Ben Shapiro Candace Owens spat.
One of my super powers is that I don’t have institutional support. How many conservative podcasts reviewed Hoaxed or mentioned it getting banned from Amazon? This makes me not really prone to keep my mouth shut to keep the peace. People don’t like me, I’m OK with this.
On the other hand, “WHO CARES?” I ask my kids of my kids almost daily when they bicker. Last night they got into heated battle over who got to break down the Zevia box and put it into recycling. My oldest daughter only wanted to break the box down because my younger one had started to. They fight. I ended up saying, “WHO GIVES A SHIT WHO BREAKS DOWN A BOX?”
Before going to bed after making too many posts on X about Shapiro and Candace, I felt like a huge loser for even using my mental faculties this way, and asked myself what was wrong with me.
When did you become you?
I wish Elon didn’t make it impossible to embed posts from X. There were some fantastic answers and insights to that question.
Conflict of Selves.
My Older Self is trying to break out of the cocoon. My Younger Self is fighting this metamorphosis. This puts my Current Self at the maturity of a 35 year old. I was always an old soul, so my 35 is much older than what you see in the Senate or in personalities like Mark Cuban.
Do I want to be a 60+ year old man who colors my hair every week and gets endless plastic surgery in order to chase a state of perpetual youth? Say FUCK YEAR BRO to appeal to a 25 year old male demographic? Buy that AP, post a picture flexing in front of a supercar. My hair looks good but it could use filled in. Maybe take a trip to Turkey for surgery, says my Younger Self.
Older Self says, This is exactly the problem, chasing eternal youth and vanity, the idolatry of the self. Read more spiritual fathers or find your way back to Peru for a journey. Trust God.
Random: The writing work I do has surfaced in ayahuasca journeys multiple times. Once I was told, “Isn’t it great that people think you’re crazy and call you fringe? You can write about anything and no one raises any eyebrows, because you’re already not legitimate.”
That’s funny and true and allows me to take risks, in the sense that writing is a risky activity.
During another journey, the spirits, super intelligence, demons, my own unconscious mind (people will have debates on what you encounter) told me: Do not write anything unless it’s true and heals.
I most certainly fail on the latter path as my style is caustic and I do insult people back. This is all lower level programming within myself. That’s why people who use plant medicine talk about “doing the work.” You don’t get easy homework assignments from the elves.
More and more these conflicting personalities meet. Younger Self says engage in the online fight. It’s a good show, great fun!
Older Self says, Go listen to Seraphim Rose’s lecture on fun again.
[Modern life has become] a constant search for "fun" which, by the way, is a word totally unheard of in any other vocabulary; in 19th century Russia they wouldn't have understood what this word meant, or any serious civilization.
Life is a constant search for "fun" which is so empty of any serious meaning that a visitor from any 19th-century country, looking at our popular television programs, amusement parks, advertisements, movies, music—at almost any aspect of our popular culture—would think he had stumbled across a land of imbeciles who have lost all contact with normal reality.
Read the rest here, I will be as well.
Get older, change focus.
One advantage to refusing to let yourself become frozen in time is that you are also less likely to become Boring Dad.
Becoming a dad (and husband) has made me understand why so many men STOP evolving once they get married and have children Being married requires personal growth. No questions about that. and being a father does as well.
But once you've done these two things, you are in these roles, I can see how the creep of complacency could set in if you dont already have high standards for yourself By your estimation, you are already handling more responsibility compared to being a single man And if your family is overall taken care of, WHY keep pursuing challenge? Most men quietly resign themselves to "good enough". Youre already married, you slack off on being fit.
Your kids love you, do they really care if youre fat?
Expenses are covered, the BIG ideas that you want to pursue...is the risk worth it? It will take more energy, more focus, it will require so much more of you than compared to being unattached
So they dont.
Men have a similar experience with spiritual fitness. Spiritual growth is painful.
You have to let go on what you’re holding onto to find yourself in a new unknown.
You go to bed wondering if you made the right choices, if you’ve updated your understanding of the world. You ask if you set a good example for your children.
Self-accountability will leave you feeling naked and vulnerable. Men, especially the kind who would be likely to read me, are especially not comfortable feeling this way. Better to shut down, proclaim we are the best most alphas ever, and bury emotions with a few more alcoholic drinks.
It’s much easier to imagine yourself as that hot 25-year old, have the same habits like watching sports, and never evolving. It’s a delusional state, when the bubble is pierced it will be far more traumatic than the daily work.
Life gets busy, bills need paid, kids are screaming for attention, spouse has needs, your boss is a jerk, and it never ends. We get it. No judgment.
You’re going to change, anyway, and hence may as well direct it yourself instead of waiting for Life to unload on you like a ton of bricks and then you’re left confused and concussed.