FRI: The Paradox of Progress Based Criticism

There are people who are happy for their favorite indie band when they finally get a radio single, and there are people who resent it.

Those who will proclaim, “I’m so happy for them, I’ve been listening to them since they were playing local dive bars for free!”

Those who will languish, “They’ve changed. I remember listening to them since they were playing local dive bars for free, man.”

Make no mistake about this. It is binary. We are either one or the other, and I find Bandontheradioitis to be prevalent in many forms of life across many different mediums.

I remain perpetually aware that there are dozens and dozens of ways we fail people on a regular basis. In fact, my full-time job is to hunt for them. Some people come to our gym, don’t have a good experience, and quit. I won’t pretend for a second this doesn’t happen, so this is not a cry for you to tell me that we can’t please everyone, nor is it meant to excuse or sell you that my definition of progress should be yours.

Neither are goals of mine.

Yet, what continuously holds my fascination are not those we fail, or even those who exist in the grey, but those who achieve undeniable success and longevity, who change their lives yet seem hell bent on hunting for resentment in spite of it.

The woman who transforms her strength over the course of three years and rates us a 3 as she exits. The member who applies to coach here only to completely destroy us on his way out the door. The coach who mysteriously and abruptly resigns.

All representative of what I believe exists in how we perceive progress all around us, and I honestly do not get it. Is it really something as simple as some people just hate change? Or is it a more cynical bitterness that some of us are itching to unleash at all times?

I’m no innocent victim, here. I have found myself in this position many times, most recently at a favorite taco shop of mine. The line becoming longer and the wait a bit more demanding, and despite the fact I loved their tacos and ate their for years, I caught myself choosing resentment and abandonment of their establishment despite the fact I viewed them as indisputably superior.

I was choosing an option of whose inferiority I was acutely aware, yet I persisted in selecting them because of what? Sticking it to that taco shop? Because they had more customers that wanted their food and I had to wait ten more minutes? Quality and service were unchanged, there were just more mouths. It was simply my perception of how the experience should go that was violated.

What is about the perception of progress that magnetizes some and polarizes others? It is a mutually divergent definition of progress, like a married couple that drifts and chooses passive aggression rather than communication until they one day wake up divorced?

Or, is it something more insidious, a part of our fabric that is constantly on the look out for ways we can self-sabotage our own progress and fulfillment, by finding trivial traits we resent merely because we feel more powerful with a fabricated upper hand?

Who knows. Probably both, and I probably care way too much about it.

Per usual.


Friday, 7.20.18

First, for Strength.
5 Push or Split Jerks @ 60-80%
8 Slow KB Dead Bugs
Complete 1 set every 4’ For 16’
Then, For Conditioning.
5 Kneeling Arnold Presses
6 Lunge Jumps
10 Swimmers
5/8 Ring Dips
6 Oblique Pendulum Swings
300m Run