You’re a nice person, right? Of course you are. Nobody wants to think of themselves as an unpleasant person, except for sociopaths and Youtube commenters. But here’s something that not everyone knows: it’s much easier to be nice when you’re a badass.
Please note, I’m not using the Hollywood-shorthand version of badass – shades, leather jacket, doesn’t say please to waitresses – I’m talking about being a badass in terms of having a double-bodyweight deadlift, being able to run a six-minute mile and sprint up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath. These are useful abilities to have, and these things will help you to be nicer.
Here’s an example. At the tube (Americans, that’s a subway) near my house, there is no escalator, just stairs. Because it’s a residential area, there are always people with prams, or pushchairs, or massive bags, many of whom are incapable of carrying their stuff themselves. Because Londoners are often in a rush and sometimes just dreadful people, you’ll often see huge crowds pushing past these people, without an offer of help in sight.
I always help these people. Not because I’m much nicer than the average Londoner (I definitely am), but because carrying a pram or a gigantic bag isn’t a hassle for me, and it makes me feel like Eliot Ness in The Untouchables. And that’s the key. When you’re in decent shape from lifting heavy stuff, things that are an imposition to other people are…nothing. Significant other’s tired? Do the big shop yourself, it’s not like you can’t carry six bags of veg on your own. Someone needs help moving house or trimming their hedges? Get it done and count it as a training session. Someone needs directions but you’re already late for something else? Give them the directions, then sprint wherever you need to go. Let’s hope you never have to get involved in a more unpleasant or threatening situation, but if you do, then being able to run 400m in under 1:20 and power-clean the average mugger (apparently they’re usually in the 70-75kg range) really won’t hurt.
Bottom line: being strong and quick makes things easier, and that makes it easier to be nicer. And since you’re already a nice person, you owe it to yourself to be a badass as well. Now go to the gym.
HOMEWORK: In one of your workouts this week, do a move that translates to real-life badassery. Loaded carries like the farmer’s walk and zercher carry are good examples – so are 400m sprints. Oh, and if you see someone in need of help, help them. But let’s be honest, you should be doing that every week.