There was a time in the not so distant history when men needed to be strong to survive. Leadership was determined by a man’s intelligence and prowess as a warrior. A man’s strength directly reflected their job, and the greater the man the more respected he was.
There are accounts of ships captains determining which men would work by the stones they were able to lift. If a man could not lift the stone, he did not work.
In the not so distant past, the world was a dangerous place. Violence, robbery, rape, and the general assumption of taking what you could, by force, was prevalent. Man needed to be strong and capable to protect what was his, and for the safety his family. Often times a man’s stature could be a worthy enough deterrent to thwart a planned attack. A mans physicality was displayed not only in his stature, but in his stance. Standing tall, shoulders back, head up. Not cocky, but confident.
Today, in our first world modern society, we are much safer. We do not to contend with the same issues our ancestors had. We live in a civilized world where we have laws, police, and the modern man can choose to be any version of stature he chooses, and it typically will not affect his role as a provider. Yet somehow, although we no longer have the need to be as big and strong and capable as possible, we find that our role models, our superheroes, our sports giants and superstars, the men we look up to, are physical representations of the way men used to be.
The modern man will scoff at the bodybuilder, the power lifter, call them a meathead, an oaf, but underneath it all, the modern man uses this as a cover so that his inner nature is not known. Men have an innate need to be end up here and act as dominant individuals. This used to come in the form of a physical representation of stature and strength, yet now it is found in posturing and words and money.
The men that do not build them selves to be capable Warriors will find excuses as to why they have not done it, or why they feel they do not need to do it, although all men have the need, or the desire to be the superhero, or the superstar sports player. We’ve grown up with pictures of them on our walls, yet pretend that we don’t want to be them.
In a world where we are safe, in a world where we can work behind a screen, over the Internet, and without the need for the inner warrior to be displayed in an outward fashion, there are still men that find themselves working towards being the most capable that they can be physically.
Call it the spirit of man, or as John Eldridge puts it, a man’s wild heart, a man is wired to be a warrior, and how he decides to release that warrior determines his confidence and place in this world. Some men, brave men, men who figure this out at a young age, find them selves in the military, finding themselves with the camaraderie of like-minded warrior men. Others seek a release for the violence and aggression that is within, and they find it in the form of lifting objects, seeking adventure in the mountains, on the ocean, looking for a surge of adrenaline, to fill the void that was created when the necessity for warrior man was taken away.
There is a need to be strong still. It may not come out of necessity for work, safety, but it comes out of necessity for the spirit of man, for the livelihood and confidence of the man that holds his head high, that knows his capabilities, that walks tall and casts a shadow. The man that embodies the image of the man he has looked up to since boyhood, the Supermans, the Batmans, the Captain Americas, the quarterbacks, the wrestlers, and the titans of today. The man that grew up with weapons fashioned from sticks in his backyard is a boy, that played with G.I. Joe, that viewed his father as larger than life, that would dream to aspire to be the hero, the Hercules.
There is a place for building your body, and it is for the man that wishes to walk tall. It is for the man that wants to know that he is portrayed to the world as a warrior, as confident, as capable. There is still a place for men like this, and there is always time to become a greater man than you are today.
Grow stronger every day, seek Challenge, be uncomfortable, learn the limits of your mind, and push past them. Learn the limits of your body, learn to feed it in ways that it will come back more capable stronger and larger. Be your own hero.
Walk tall, and cast a shadow.