By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
September 1, 2016
I would like to think I have a decent sense of humor, but of course, many have accused me of not having one whatsoever. Sure, I find certain things kinda funny and enjoyable, but a lot of so-called comedy these days is just kind of dumb. Anyway, I either really like low brow rimshot based kind of comedy (which is why I loved Jay Leno so much on the Tonight Show) or I find a lot of enjoyment in satire. A couple years ago, I mentioned the satiric nature of the song “The Fox,” which I enjoyed on multiple levels. Not only was the song silly, it also confirmed much of the judgement toward pop music. As long as it has a beat, pop music lovers will go nuts over it because it is perceived as cool regardless of the absurdity of the subject matter. The Ylvisaker brothers are popular satirists in Norway, and most likely thought this song would be a great joke. Of course, multi-million dollar contracts and 618 million YouTube views proved their joke was kind of correct. And of course, much like pop music, it has pretty much been forgotten and no one even knows who Ylvis is anymore. Such is the fickle nature of humanity, for something that brought so much joy and pleasure for so many different people is lost in the ether now, destined to be an “Oh I remember that” moment stuck in time. Anyway, I have always found some inane joy in the ideas of satirical movies, even if they are on a much darker level than expected. Choices like “Wag the Dog,” “Idiocracy,” “Blazing Saddles” or “Tropic Thunder” kind of tickle my funny bone while also making me think about the world the movie has painted. Since my mind wanders and analyzes so much at such a quick rate in regards to these kind of movies, I can’t stand so called movies that are just pure entertainment schtick for the masses (like dumb comic book movies).
Anyway, I sometimes wonder about “real” life and the obvious points of oddities in our society…the sort of things that are sprouting up and creating unusual industries. I made a funny joke about becoming a “Cuddling Professional,” which if you google such a thing you will find some rather stirring results. But aside from the funny conversations I was having about this emerging industry, it makes me wonder what the hell happened to society to lead up to this point. Was this just a satirical jab that someone decided to take a dare and run with, or is this a harbinger, bringing us so much closer to the satirical “touchless” world of “Demolition Man?” I don’t know, considering there are more websites cropping up every day in regards to professional cuddlers, which just seems really….freaking….weird to me. I get it, it would be easy money, like shooting apples in a barrel, but c’mon people! This just gets me thinking about a lot of things in regards to my own life, like how I used to avoid just about everything due to fear, anger, disillusionment and dissatisfaction. Food was the only thing I really needed in those days, for pizza was the best girlfriend I ever had and candy with some Adult Swim viewing was the best way to let your troubles slip away. I’ll admit, I was a little ambivalent to the root causes of my personal issues, so it is really hard for me to judge anyone that might want to actually contact the services of this “profession.” But wouldn’t it just be easier to make yourself more available in the dating world, not letting your personal hang-ups and your past get in the way so you can find someone that would love to actually cuddle with you rather than pay a complete stranger? Or maybe establish deeper friendships and better relationships with your family and friends so a nice hug can ease the tension of being distanced from society, which is kind of the root cause of someone wanting to hire a cuddling professional? I mean hugs are pretty darn good for you! http://health.usnews.com/health-news/health-wellness/articles/2016-02-03/the-health-benefits-of-hugging I just find it weird that you would pay for one. Heck, it has even taken to an even stranger level now, for there is now a guy that calls himself a “People Walker” in Los Angeles now! https://www.facebook.com/circa/videos/1118913411508716/?hc_ref=NEWSFEED You mean to tell me some people are so alone that they would hire someone to walk with them? Now I guess this could be turned around on me in a way, considering I have such a strong support for certified personal trainers and nutritionists. These thoughts of mine could easily be used against me. Why would I need the guidance of a trainer when I can just hit the gym and look up stuff on the internet? Why would you need a nutritionist when all you need to do is find healthy recipes in some cook book? Okay, you got me on that one. Health and fitness is certainly something I should not have to rely on an outside professional when I have a world of knowledge at my fingertips. But don’t get this twisted…cuddling professionals and personal trainers are not the same thing.
First of all, there is the accountability factor. I never would have started going to personal training if my parents did not have a legitimate fear for me and my well being. It took nearly two months of badgering to even get me to consider, and then I had to work all day installing lights in a rather uncomfortable room and go up and down stairs for hours on end. These days, the idea of me missing a gym session for the sake of being lazy is not even in my blood anymore, for even on days where I am not really interested in going about the routine of peeling myself out of bad and getting to Parsons Training, I do so anyway. If anything, that is why I need help, for often times I would just prefer to sleep in and not work out at all, merely because doing so makes you feel tired and sore.
The second thing is this….there are a lot of dumb ideas out there. Trust me on this one, a lot of people post videos of themselves doing interesting workouts, but how many hundreds of bad ideas are out there that will eventually be featured on Fail Army. Just imagine the number of entries that channel gets? I mean, you nearly have to die or seriously hurt yourself to get in a compilation these days (which some of those people are actually hoping for!) I’m sure the doctors of the world start smacking their lips when they hear someone doing some kind of crazy workout philosophy. If anything, medical professionals love it when you hurt yourself. So that is one extremely important aspect of having a personal trainer. Without Jon, I might be doing deadlifts with my back and would have never known about my pronated ankles or my funky knees. These are the kinds of things needed to successfully change your life that you would have never noticed. I could try to do some extremely crazy stuff, but since Jon would kill me if I wrecked his gym, I stick to the time honored proven theory that works. But then again, this leads to the third thing.
If you find yourself stuck and uninspired, who is gonna bother to try and challenge you with new ideas or force you to go back to basics? You can certainly see some people do some interesting things when you go to the gym, but at least in my experience, I just witnessed how many different exercises you can do to get good sized arms (along with a little chemical help, hehe). It’s like having that extra voice in the back of your head—which just happens to be real—compel you to keep pushing forward. Now sure, I had a little of my own self motivation this week, getting back on my running regimen despite the deep contusion in my foot still being a tiny bit of a bother. But I also ran at a much slower pace to help me out a little. Eventually I want to try and get back over 10+ miles once again. Now I can do this sort of thing on my own, getting my running on track and such, but doing gym stuff and doing weights is not exactly my cup of tea on most days. Much like Earl Grey, it is an acquired taste for the masses. It is a way for me to stay on task and keep building the muscle I so desperately want in my life. I doubt you can get that kind of encouragement from a professional cuddler.
Sure, I might be stretching in regards to the point I am kind of making, but this also leads a person down an eventual path, at least in my opinion. If you are willing to overlook your own personal hang-ups and supplement them with strange and sometimes bizarre avenues, who is to say you won’t cut corners in other places? I want to hold a woman in my arms, kiss her, stroke her hair and the whole nine yards. Right now, due to some money issues I just can’t get out in the real world enough to find that person. Should I fulfill those needs with a prostitute? I have harped quite a bit about my issues with losing weight and gaining muscle. Should I also go ahead and get some steroids or maybe get some plastic surgery (though, that might be an option down the line for me due to loose skin)? I don’t know, this is a strange time to be living in, when we have people that want to be taxi drivers (but not pay for the licensing, medallions or insurance) and people that think their home would make a great hotel (just don’t complain when you find out your home was used in an orgy!). This must be some sort of post-millennium anxiety or something, where people fear robots and machines will overtake us in everything. I don’t know.
Maybe I am reading too much into this sort of thing. Maybe I just find it strange the lengths some people will go to avoid something in their life, like actual friendship. It speaks of the disposable nature of life, that we would be willing give someone 50 bucks to cuddle with us but not work on a marriage or work on establishing a good loving relationship with someone due to bitterness. I understand, it is tough getting back on your feet and I have struggled with the concept myself. But dang, I hope I never have to go to that extreme. I don’t consider having a personal trainer as some sort of extreme in my life, for a person that gets easily bored or obsessive compulsive like myself needs that good barometer to stay in check. That’s why I need it in my life. Physical fitness is something I definitely can’t live without, probably for the long term future. I mean, I have people to be make proud. I have people to compete with!
Truthfully, I really had no idea where this blog post was going. Maybe I was touching on the farcical side of life and how the world keeps changing at a break neck speed, or maybe just the anxiety I feel about change. Whatever the situation may be for me in my life, I feel establishing a good constant is the best way to stay on track with yourself. There will always be a day when I believe becoming a professional cuddle or a professional People Walker is a good idea, but we shall see how that works out. I mean, people do pay therapists to help them with their issues….so that would be a good comeback to my snickering. I don’t know, I think I will just keep on going with my nose to the grind before I start considering odd alternatives. Besides, if I want to cuddle with someone, I know my dogs will always be up to the task. And with winter just around the corner, there will be plenty of that down the line.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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