Self-improvement imperatives always offer the seductive notion of untapped potential: it’s a bummer to feel like you have to change, but a thrill, sometimes, to imagine that you can. The trouble is that there is no feasible end to this process.
And this, too:
Today, young female professionals have an unprecedented amount of economic and social capital; at the same time, our adulthood has been defined by constant visual self-surveillance, a market-friendly feminism that favors any female acquisitive behavior, and an overwhelming redirection of anxiety into the “wellness” space.
A spread from my forthcoming imaginary book, Hangin’ Out: Up-ending Masculinity in 1980s Cinema. Richard Gere in American Gigolo (1980). Josh Brolin in The Goonies (1985). Michael Keaton in Batman (1989). Kyle Machlachlan in Twin Peaks (1990).
The value of physical pain is that it is finite. It ends when the ailment ends. We can use this as an opportunity to push on through, with the safety net of knowing it will eventually be over. It is practice.
Ryan Holiday. Just this weekend I was talking about the value of exercise qua mild self-harm. This is more articulate than I was.
When I really feel like dogging it at spinning class, I engage in some self-talk that goes something like this: This is 45 minutes out of the entire day, and 45 minutes is all you get. In an hour you will be at your desk, where you’ll stay for most of your waking hours. You’ll be envious of the joggers outside in the middle of the day. It’s very unlikely that you’ll get more gym time once this 45-minute opportunity has ended, so treat it like gold.