"A man becomes what is common around him."

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by striatedglutes, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. striatedglutes macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Mark Twight is an accomplished mountain climber who started his own elitist gym, Gym Jones (for those that care, his gym's training forged the physique seen on the actors in 300, among other things). While I haven't read his books, I do read his posts on the web and follow him on twitter. A recent tweet of his linked to this article. What do you think?

    http://www.marktwight.com/discourse.php?id=31

    I am finding myself agreeing with most everything he is writing, including the above, and that troubles me a bit. I am asking the community for another perspective. Maybe it's the wrong community; maybe I should be posting this on bodybuilding.com or rockclimbing.com.

    Anyway, what do you think?
     
  2. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #2
    drink a beer and find some porn then those cultish thoughts will go away:D
     
  3. striatedglutes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Moreover, is the general message of the article fact or speculation?

    "One role-models what he sees daily and if it's **** he sees it is **** he becomes; unless he is really strong..."

    "Strength is contagious. Weakness too infects."

    Can these statements be proven with science? Or do we only have anthropological evidence?
     
  4. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #4
    "one does not rise much above the mean level around him"

    Complete crap. If that were true, the entire population would be one of mediocrity and minimal achievement.

    My personal heroes are people who have done exactly that - rise above their context and achieve something amazing. Walk to both poles, land a science rover on Mars, break the land speed record, sail around the world. These are people who are not only risen above the mean around them, they've risen to the very top of human achievement.
     
  5. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #5
    Not this rubbish. He's copying the hardcore Animal soundbite mentality for marketing

    http://www.animalpak.com/

    They've been using 'hardcore' soundbites for years. The irony is - the guys who buy into this stuff are mentally weak, and become mentally weaker. Guys who rely on physical strength become mentally weaker and are less reliable under stressful situations - something that Sir Ranulph Fiennes said when he was talking about choosing people for exploration expeditions.

    Go to any gym, the guys there have confidence limited to the people they are bigger than. It's all fake. I was into bodybuilding and strength training for a time - the whole thing is marketing and drugs. Go into any gym not and a huge amount of guys, even casual guys are taking pro-hormones that are OTC. It's ridiculous.

    Go to the gym, workout to stay in shape, be healthy and keep a decent physique. But don't make stupid gym buddies that fill your head with rubbish. Focus on what's outside the gym, because that's what's really important.
     
  6. striatedglutes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I believe the article was written in the vein that his hometown was filled with "nobodys", and that he needed to go somewhere "where powerful people pushed me to become more powerful myself." And that he couldn't go back to his hometown because he knew that he would be pulled back into their level of "nobody" because he wasn't strong enough to resist it. It wasn't for the scope of the entire population.

    So in your context, your personal heroes have done great things, and that's absolutely true. I just wonder how they achieved them? Do you know their stories? Did they surround themselves with those smarter than them (NASA, etc)? Have mentors? (Not trying to be confrontational, just genuinely curious)

    My intent with this thread was never to defend Gym Jones, but I think there's a little misconception here. Twight developed his training specifically to have both mental and physical aspects and to support such sports as free-solo alpining, where one does indeed perish without the toughest mind able to handle the most stressful situations.

    I agree that what you say is true of many guys in many gyms.

    A piece of the Gym Jones philosophy is that the gym work supports the sport with specific training. I don't think anyone training at Gym Jones is doing so with the goal to just "stay in shape."

    This thread isn't about the gym; I'd like it to be more about what I posted in post #3. Is weakness/strength genuinely contagious? If we surround ourselves with greatness and try our damnedest to imitate, duplicate, and one-up the "great," are we more likely to succeed than if we tried on our own? I want to say the answer is an obvious "yes," but I'm hesitant, and that's why I posted the thread.
     
  7. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #7
    Then he is the failure. He should have been going back and inspiring others to excel, rather than just throwing his hands in the air thinking he'd been 'dragged' back down in some way. Really a rather pathetic line of argument on his part imho

    I've read their autobiogs, and other stories as well. Comparatively normal upbringings, but then taking their lives and doing something exceptional. AND - they take those exceptional experiences and use them to inspire another generation. That's where Mark Twight has things so catastrophically wrong. Squyres is teaching, Noble is doing a huge educationally inspired engineering project, Mcarthur has set up an environmental foundation, Feinnes is working for charities etc.

    If we had a world of Mark Twights, then yeah, we'd live in a world of mediocrity.

    Fortunately, we don't.

    His words read like the word of Phil Daoust, an occasional writer for The Guardian newspaper here in the UK. I read a recent article of his bemoaning something dreadful, and I got to the end and realised... the problem was not with the thing he was writing about, the problem was with him. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XA2udpPjxUk < lyrics really not sfw. but funny. :)
     
  8. striatedglutes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Well, Twight is teaching, inspiring, and transforming great athletes into exceptional ones through his gym. The results of various races and competitions that the gym's members compete in can be found littered throughout the workout pages.

    He's an elitist, no doubt about it, and he has contempt toward the lazy, unmotivated, obese general public. Although lately it seems he's realized that people are like this because of lack of education and maybe they don't deserve all that scorn.

    So the point of the thread is HOW they've managed to do it. Did they lock themselves alone in their basements until they had the answers? Or did they have mentors, guidance and help towards their goals? Does greatness beget greatness?
     
  9. niuniu macrumors 68020

    niuniu

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    #9
    Look at big wall climbers like Dean Potter. He lives in isolation - does he then become 'nothing' - as per Twight's quote? What about Dan Osman, was he an elitist? I can find a ton of guys that trump Twight and don't have all these bull mottos. Because they aren't selling anything.

    You aren't going to find an answer in a motivational quote. You're going to run around in circles if you look for reasoning in these sorts of quotations.

    People who do great things have a passion for the thing they're doing, and they work hard at it. Twight is selling. Don't confuse salesman's pitches to greatness. There are far more accomplished men than Twight who don't go around selling greatness in a gym package. Next thing you know he'll be doing supplement endorsements :rolleyes:

    End of the day, you've already bought into this nonsense. So you're a lost cause until his spell wears off. Guys like Twight are a dime a dozen in the US. Guys claiming their method of hardcore training will transform you into a champion.

    Just make sure you have enough cash to afford the anabolics.
     
  10. Queso macrumors G4

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    #10
    Mental ability is the thing that makes humans outstanding. By that I don't necessarily mean intelligence, which is just one way in which our brains can excel.

    Even the strongest humans are physically weak compared to our ape cousins.
     
  11. djellison macrumors 68020

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    #11
    Nahh. He's making money through his gym by whatever means necessary.

    If he really gave a damn about 'what is common around him' - he should be back in the town he grew up in, inspiring the kids there to stay fit and healthy.
     
  12. striatedglutes thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    I think you're misinterpreting the quote...

    I don't think so? What was your point?

    I don't think there's anything wrong with making money for providing a service, and no doubt Twight is selling his gym pretty hard these days (updated front page with promo crap, accepting paid memberships, selling tshirts, etc.) My buddy bought a shirt, and I told him he was an idiot. I'm just trying to decipher any truth in the free stuff that he puts out there. Who doesn't like knowledge only costing you the time it takes to read and think about it?

    On the contrary, I think the message is pretty clear when you consider the whole message I linked: If you are currently average, and you surround yourself with average people, it will be very hard for you to become significantly better at whatever it is you are doing [this is obviously up for debate, hence the thread]. I think Twight also posits that if you want to become better at something, you should seek those better than you at that something and learn from them. I think the last part is often repeated advice from many experts in many fields.

    While I agree that inspiring kids is a noble thing to do, I don't think anyone ever implied that Twight cared at all, and in fact, I think pointing him out as an elitist cements the fact that I believe he doesn't care about anyone besides himself. Maybe lump his members in there too.

    But does any of this make what he writes less true? It would be one thing if all of his articles were slanted towards a certain thing, and every one flowed into a promo for his pay site (fool.com anyone? :rolleyes:), but I don't get that impression. Most are simply rants in paragraph form, yet I find them inspirational/motivational. Reading his writing makes me want to have better discipline, and to never settle for whatever my current state is.I'll skip the steroids though, thanks.
     
  13. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Is this guy a psychologist?
    If I surround my self with gay people does that make me gay?
     
  14. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #14
    Mark Twight sounds like a perfect ass... without a zen bone in his body.

    I will die a happy man if I manage to never think like him.
     
  15. Gelfin macrumors 68020

    Gelfin

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    #15
    It sounds as if he got his ideas of masculinity from Japanese comic books.
     
  16. Ttownbeast macrumors 65816

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    #16
    I just had a visual of rape with tentacles at your reference LOL
     
  17. citizenzen macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Wisdom and compassion are the two greatest gifts that a person can possess in life.

    The lowest, poorest, most unaccomplished human being can hold them in abundance.

    Mark Twight, from his article, seems quite lacking in them.

    I'd suggest you find the "gym" that could help you build those two qualities up.
     
  18. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #18
    "Chamonix – where powerful people pushed me to become more powerful myself"

    I've been to Chamonix!

    I drank wine and beer, ate Raclette and Tartiflette. Great time!

    Maybe Mark should have chilled out a bit too.
     
  19. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #19
    Your examples actually support the argument. I'm not seeing any Bangladeshis or Ethiopians doing those things, only those born into societies with the means to do those things. Unless they actually leave their surroundings and move to a better society (ie the USA or Europe). Born in the slums of Calcutta, die in the slums of Calcutta, not walk on the Moon. The only way out for most in the slum is to raise the entire slum itself out of the slum.

    In essence, I'd wager that every example you can think of your heroes who have 'risen above their context' is actually 'removed themselves from their context' in order to achieve what they did. The only ones I can think of myself off the top of my head (apart from criminals) who actually achieve while remaining where they are would be sportsmen like boxers from the ghettoes or African soccer players.
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

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    #20
    Well given that the Indians have reduced the percentage of people in their slums by approximately 50% over the past 20 years I think that quite a few people manage to leave the slums ;).
     
  21. awmazz macrumors 65816

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    #21
    That's exactly what I mean. A concerted effort to improve the overall conditions of the slum by reducing overcrowding for those who remain (or improving infrastructure, education etc). Raise the entire slum out of its own context to improve the opportunities for the individuals trapped within the slum is raising the context itself as opposed to individuals rising above the context.

    And doing so by giving half of the people opportunities elsewhere is also still the same as removing those people from their context and putting them into a better context, rather than rising above their context.

    Few who remain in a poverty context escape the context, despite romantic notions of roses growing in manure. You need to leave the poverty, literally, in order to rise above it.
     
  22. bobr1952 macrumors 68020

    bobr1952

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    #22
    Yeah, I'd like to think we as humans have more potential then that. I really don't pay attention to what is around me but rather what is inside of me.
     
  23. CorvusCamenarum macrumors 65816

    CorvusCamenarum

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    #23
    I believe this was the plot of both Precious and The Blind Side.
     

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