Lessons from Road Rage Recalcitrants
Although we Californians didn’t invent road rage, we perfected it to a high art form. Back in the 90′s you couldn’t so much as look at another driver without them pulling a gun on you.
It was the Wild West where gun fights on the highway were as commonplace as cars themselves.
There are countless stories of people getting shot up by some psycho for the simplest of provocations.
A friend once told me how he got into it with another motorist who had cut him off. My friend decided to really anger the other guy so he blew him a kiss. This tipped the dude over so much that he pulled out his gun and waved it at my friend. My friend wisely backed off after that.
I remember seeing a yuppy in his BMW recklessly cutting people off with no regards for anyone else, thinking he owned the road. When the beemer came to a red light, one fellow he cut off got out of the car. This guy was a massive, gigantic Paul Bunyan type. He goes over to the BMW fully enraged, yelling at this guy to get out of the car. The big ape wants to fight so pounds his fists on car and shakes it. Lucky for the beemer the light turned green, teaching him a valuable
lesson about road etiquette. And lucky for Hoss that the yuppy didn’t have a gun on him. You just never know about people.
I’ve learned many good lessons from all the recalcitrant road ragers over the years, and it all applies to fitness:
1. Be realistic – Just because you’re encased in 2000 pnds of steel doesn’t mean that you’re invincible. Like our BMW driver, he wasn’t so tough outside the car, was he.
And just because you exercise for only a week and aren’t perfect yet, doesn’t mean it’s not working. Be realistic about the time. It will happen but it’s a process and won’t happen overnight.
Also, remember that if you do nothing then everything will fall apart. That’s the way it works. Don’t expect to even just maintain what you’ve got without doing something.
2. Don’t take yourself so seriously – Sure you want to take driving seriously and not treat the road like a frat boy on a bender. Be responsible but don’t get so easily offended or indignant. Learn to laugh at the little things.
Years back, one old lady (who couldn’t have been a day under 90) was tailgating me in the slow lane because I was going only 70. She was so enraged that when I changed lanes to get out of her way, she flipped me the bird. It was so absurd I had to laugh; I couldn’t get upset.
Yes, you want to be serious about getting super fit but nothing’s worth getting pissed off about; that’ll just delay your progress.
Having fun with your fitness makes the results happen faster and the ride much more enjoyable.
3. Compassion – Sometimes people are just having bad days. We’ve all been there. It’s rarely personal when people vent on the road. Just let them go and stay out of their way (see #2). Of course some people are just jerks but no need to get involved (see #1).
Most importantly have compassion for yourself. Most people don’t. Whether you demean yourself with words or neglect/abuse your body, you’re not being compassionate. You might be Mother F’in Teresa to others but when it comes to yourself you’re more like Mommy Dearest. If you have any interest in getting stronger, leaner or fitter, you’ve got to be kind to yourself.
So, even the maniacs on the road can teach us a thing or two about fitness, mainly how NOT to do it.
Although you might not want to drive like an animal, you do want to train like one. Why? Because your trip will be fast, fun and effective for getting lean, mean and strong as an ape.
All the best,
P.S. George Carlin once said “Anyone who drives slower than you is an idiot, and anyone who drives faster than you is insane.” That’s some awesome insight. So, don’t be an idiot or insane when it comes to physical supremacy. Be an animal…