For the past few months, I have been working with Adam Gilbert on my diet and fitness. With his help I’ve added muscle and have become stronger. I have a way to go, but Adam has set me on the right direction. More importantly he helped me realize that it is my ethical responsibility to be fit and healthy.
If you subscribe to the notion that our bodies are made in the image of the Gods. And that that a healthy body and a healthy mind are the greatest blessings bestowed upon us, then you can say that as human beings, it is our ethical and moral responsibility to be in the best shape we can, both physically and mentally. Being fit isn’t a choice or a privilege. It’s a responsibility to make the best of what we’ve been given.
There is a story about Epictetus that says that one of his students was complaining that the Gods are unfair. This student was born with a maimed leg, or something along those lines. Epictetus replies that he should be grateful that he has one good leg and that he should make the most out of what he’s been given. It wasn’t his leg to begin with, it was given to him by the Gods.
I think I finally understand what Steve Prefontaine meant when he said that “to give anything less than your best is to sacrifice the gift.”