There is nothing shallow about wanting to look good.  What’s shallow is to think that how you look is the most important thing.  Or that looking good makes you somehow better than someone else.  Obsessing over every wrinkle or getting lost like Narcissus in your own reflection are symptoms of pathological vanity.  But a little satisfied admiration is healthy.

You have the right to like what you see in the mirror.  You were given just one body to live in, caring for it isn’t vain, it is responsible.  Just as coming home to a freshly cleaned house should give you a sense of satisfaction at a job well done, looking at yourself in the mirror you have a right to admire the results of your efforts in the gym and in the kitchen!

In fact, what is tragic is the idea that you should be trapped living in a body that you are not proud of.  And I don’t mean perfect – none of us are or ever will be.  Hindu ascetics developed the practice of yoga because they realized that a mind tethered to the world by aches and pains and infirmities will never be free to transcend the physical concerns of the world to explore deeper spiritual truths.   A healthy body is the vessel necessary, the prerequisite as Maslow identified, to higher orders of thought and fulfillment.  You deserve to live in a body free of pain, a body empowered by the strength to sustain itself and you should feel pleased when you look upon your strong, healthy, vital body.  The body you have created through effort and practice.  For only when you are yourself strong and healthy and empowered can you truly turn your energies to serving others.

This is no more vain than the painter stepping back to admire his canvass or the poet reading with joy the verse over which she has laboured.  Each in their medium have endeavoured to bring beauty into the world.  As you have done with your body.  And like the artist, the greater fulfillment comes with sharing created beauty with the world for your beautiful body brings pleasure to those who see it also.  And not necessarily in that sexual sense though I’ve no question your partner appreciates the care you’ve taken in sculpting your form – but also in the way the Greek sculptors venerated the human form.  As we still do today.  The way we admire the grace of the gymnast or the power of the professional athlete.  The way they have honed their skills and trained their bodies to create beauty in movement.  The playing field or stage are their canvases and their bodies the brush or instruments if you prefer to compare them to performance artists like musicians.

It is beautiful to watch them expressing the full range of human potential with their bodies.  It is uplifting, inspiring and joyful.  And notice how their bodies have been honed to their art, the sprinter, the gymnast, the swimmer, their bodies are sleek and trim, carrying no excess, not an inch of flesh that does not contribute to the expression of their art.  No excess fat nor excess muscle, just what is needed to perform at their best. 

Should they not be permitted to step back and admire the bodies they have so vigorously trained to perform at such high levels?  You may not be a professional painter or sculptor, you may not be a published author or musician signed to a record label but does that deny you the right to admire your artwork, the truest expression of your soul?

Every now and then it is pleasing to step back and admire in the mirror your efforts thus far.  This is neither shallow nor vain.  You deserve to live in a body that you love!

Friday WOD
No equipment needed for this one (unless you have a portable pool you want to bring to the gym).  The 5am crew is headed to the ocean for the workout but for those of us doing it in the gym we will substitute a run, row, bike or ski for the swim portion.  100m swim is roughly equivalent to a 400m run, 500m row, 600m on the Airdyne or 1.2K on the Echo.  

Ultimately, this workout is less about the swim and much more about the 150 push ups.  There will be a significant time disparity between athletes with strong versus weak push ups.  To bridge the time gap and make sure we all struggle together right to the end, we will have a bonus finisher to keep you entertained and out of trouble even if you are done early.

Warm Up
(2 people per station)
1 min sled push
1 min shoulder circles
1 min agility ladder
1 min judo push up rock
1 min skipping

Push Up
Swim alternatives

5 rounds
100m Swim
30 push ups

AMRAP in time remaining:
200m medball carry
15 medball sit ups
10 medball get ups