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Kalokagathia

Freedom is my goal, it always has been. Freedom from the chains of economic servitude, the ability to fly unencumbered into the stratospheric heights of my grandest musings. To work for pleasure rather than necessity, and to never again force myself to endure stifling conditions in the name of the Almighty Dollar. The moment I discovered investing and the almost fantastic magic of compound interest, I was floored. Here was my ticket, my key out of the shackles that seek to enslave the common man. Then again, I am no common man.

Its my belief that the world at large has been orchestrated to sap men and women of their energy at an early age, thereby snuffing out any premature rebellion or burgeoning talent. Before the military, when I toiled in factories for low pay and endured the tedium of assembly lines, this realization began to dawn on me. The man who would become my mentor, a large, robust black man in his early 30's I only ever knew as E, was a sight to behold. At 19 and 140 pounds, I was desperate to gain weight, willing to absorb any amount of punishment required to shock my muscles into growth. E, meanwhile, at 5'7", weighed a lean, crisp 220 pounds. We all knew this for a fact as the Muscle Milk warehouse I slaved at presented us a scale in the break room. They stretched overbearingly to appear concerned and devoted to the physical fitness of their workers, but, like all managers and overseers, we were little more than cattle to them. My job was simple enough, although it required considerably abnormal dexterity and deftness. My duties were to deposit the miniscule plastic scooping cup deep within the rising sands of whey protein, then push it swiftly away to the guy a few feet to my right. The boredom and monotony offered little solace to a mind growing aware and increasingly weary of the real world. Clouds of despair and terror would billow deep in the pit of my stomach, and it was all I could do not to break down and suffer an existential crisis. Yet always exactly on cue, E would rouse me from my despondency with a thunderous roar. "Hey kid. Drop!", hed bellow, and I knew better than to not heed his orders. 50 pushups later, I felt light, unshackled, and rejuvenated. "10 more sets G!", he'd bark, laughing at the reserved, defeated faces of our fellow partners in servitude. Slumped shoulders and pitiful gazes met ours. Later at the gym that night, I recieved the education on manhood that escaped me in high school. "Life can knock you down boy.", he'd lecture, as I stood rapt and focused, dreaming of the day I too would bench press 315 pounds for reps. "Shit gets hard. But take it like a man. And never, ever, stop training. Ever. This belongs to you.", he promised. Those words, both purposely and unconsciously, kept me going through the trials I would later encounter, in the frozen wastes of the East Coast to the overbearing inferno of the sands. Thank you E. I hope to see you again Brother. I hope Ive made you proud.

Kalokagathia is the Hellenic principle of Earthly perfection. For those of you who have no interest in the intricacies of Ancient Grecian etymology, it essentially mirrors our modern concept of "Sound Mind, Sound Body". There is little utility in being one of the dreaded Gym Bro's that preen and pump with sissy weight for hours everyday, harboring a collection of selfies that would inflame the jealousy of preteen girls the world over while simultaneously nursing a narcissistic streak unrivaled by even the most attention starved D-List celebrity. However, being a pale, frail and sickly bookworm terrified of the natural light and normal socialization he so desperately craves carries little honor and praise either. Most times, the conservative answer would be to find a happy medium between the two and exist there comfortable and serenely. Fuck that. In my opinion, the word "sound" in this instance should be replaced with the declaration "strong". Mediocrity breeds suicide and unfulfilled lives. Seek physical perfection and mental achievement. The ancients carried veritable libraries inside their heads through the use of the eternal Method of Loci. Look it up, the capabilities of the human brain will astound you. We all have the keys to immortality inside our hearts, hidden underneath the rust and the groans. Grip them fervently, like a barbarian meets the hilt of his sword. Fight this world and all of its trappings. The only alternative is the abyss.

Ive been mocked for the content of my pieces and the severity of my words before by those hollow souls residing hedonistically within malnourished bodies. Personally, I couldn't care less. The intensity and brute, blunt force of my writing weeds out those who have no reason to be sullying my blog with their revolting stench in the first place. As I pen this, my temples throb, my shoulders scream and my arms ache. But, this pain is not from some structural weakness or threatening injury. Debilitating suffering does not loom just over the hills if I dont perform my evening workout. Rather, the plump, soft arms of weakness reach out insidiously to trap me, wrapping like tendrils around my Warrior's spirit. This can never happen, not even after the last breath of life vacates this earthen shell and I depart for my meeting with the Lord. Some friends of mine will leave work and injest 3 or 4 bottles of cheap beer, laden with estrogen-enhancing hops and devastatingly corrosive calories. Others will reach for comfort foods, burying both their zest for life and their constant yearning for more underneath their steadily expanding waistline. I choose the harshness of the wild, the strenuousness of waging perpetual war against slovenliness and adversity. A lonely walk at times. But its all Ive ever known. This life is preferable to mundanity and the trance of contemporary living. I pant. I sweat. I breathe. I am.

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