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  • Showing only topics with the tag "introspection". Back to normal view
    1. The one thing I wish someone had told me about physical activity

      "You haven't found your sport, yet." That's it. That's the thing I wish someone… anyone, my friends, my parents, some stranger on the internet… had told me a long time ago. I was not a very...

      "You haven't found your sport, yet."

      That's it. That's the thing I wish someone… anyone, my friends, my parents, some stranger on the internet… had told me a long time ago.

      I was not a very physically active kid. I wasn't fat, but did have above average BMI, didn't enjoy PE, didn't get picked in the football teams, the works. I grew up with this notion that I was just One Of Those People who Don't Like Sports. A complete lie.

      My dad was into Rugby, so he put me to Rugby practice as an 8 year old. I was very good at it, mostly because of sheer force (I was really strong and bulky for my age), but I did not enjoy it. The other kids were gross and annoying, it wasn't fun. So a couple years later, I stopped, and my father told me: "Pick another sport."

      It's a significant question, one you don't have the true answer to when you're a kid. I picked Fencing, though. I kinda liked it? As much as one can like a physical activity when you're "One Of Those People who Don't Like Sports", right? It was different, original. It wasn't particularly fun, but could I really expect to ever have fun doing physical exercise? After all, I hated going to the gym, and I didn't enjoy running, so surely, I'm just not that into sports.

      So that was it. I thought I had found it, the one I happened to pick at the age of 12, after not much soul searching at all. I did it for a few years, picked it back up at 22 for a few more. I tolerated it. Loved my club and coach in one of the cities, something which fooled me into believing I was a fencer. I'm 30 now, and until the age of 27, I had zero doubts about that. I had the gear and years of experience. I would move somewhere new, look for a new fencing club, get demotivated because it's a 40 minute bike ride to get there, and just… not go.

      In retrospect, it's obvious that I didn't particularly like fencing, any more than most people like ironing their clothes. Of all the things I'd tell Past Self, I would start with just how motivated I would be only a year later. I would tell them about the subscriptions to 4 different ice rinks across the country, the train subscription with the 1 hour commute to get there, how I'd go 4 days a week and feel sad when it's only 3, and how I'd always be taking my gear with me whenever I go to another country as trying out a new rink would be the most exciting part of an international trip.

      I'd tell past self:

      "You haven't found your sport, yet. It's just that you don't like the ones you tried. You're still thinking about motivation, but this is about necessity. When you find it, you will fall in love. It will become a core part of your life and identity. It will bring you joy and be your partner, like the piano to the pianist. You found a sport you can tolerate… one day, you'll find one that is truly You.

      Keep looking."

      36 votes
    2. Do you ever feel like you want to commit asymmetric, vengeful acts of violence, despite feeling that you are otherwise well-adjusted?

      I was crossing the street at an intersection in the Banker's Hill neighborhood of San Diego. Like many neighborhoods of my new home, this area was sorely, sorely, lacking in street lighting. Along...

      I was crossing the street at an intersection in the Banker's Hill neighborhood of San Diego. Like many neighborhoods of my new home, this area was sorely, sorely, lacking in street lighting. Along with this deficiency, the crosswalks were of the "unmarked" kind, and you can forget about additional safety features like raised crosswalks and HAWK beacons.

      As I am crossing, I notice an incoming driver, who seems to be stopping at the stop sign. Knowing that I am likely invisible, I start waving, hoping to get some sort of acknowledgement so I can cross in front of them. He just looks at me bemusingly, and continues on driving in front of me as I am trying to cross the street.

      I am likely to regret having this feeling at all. And I know I am unlikely to have this feeling next week, or even tomorrow. But some primal part of me, despite not knowing this person or even their perspective, deeply wants to hurt them. And frankly, I am having trouble dealing with it.

      I keep imagining acts of violence I can commit. As I was walking I picked up a nice rock, in case of, nay, hoping that another inconsiderate jerk proves my theory that the DMV hands out licenses like candy. I feel inspired by violent scenes like this one from 28 days later, at 7:50, and I imagine myself committing the same sort of violence against someone who has wronged me in a comparatively minor way. I feel as if the public safety system has failed me and failed society, and the only manner to fix it is to take justice in my own hands, and in a narcissistic manner assign myself the role of judge, jury, and executioner. And the great irony is, is that I feel like I must commit a great act of unjust violence in order to prevent a great act of unjust violence.

      And amazingly, after writing out a diatribe on my dangerously hypocritical feelings, I feel lesser temptations to react on my revenge fantasy. Somehow, writing it out feels therapeutic, and my brain seems less fixated on fight or flight and moreso on introspection. I feel more normal again. I acknowledge my previous beliefs that karma isn't real, bad things happen to good people, and that doing bad things to others, even if I think it is just, isn't going to solve anything.

      So what the hell just happened to me?

      14 votes
    3. Where does belief come from for you?

      Where are your beliefs and principles born from? What does it take for them to change? Do you have a conscious way that you manage and shape your own belief, or does it just happen? How much...

      Where are your beliefs and principles born from? What does it take for them to change? Do you have a conscious way that you manage and shape your own belief, or does it just happen? How much control over it do you think you have? Do you think that's different from the control others have?

      10 votes