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Our Daily Struggle

Have you ever heard about Sisyphus, a character from Greek mythology? After incurring the wrath of the Gods, he was condemned to roll an immense boulder up a hill only to see it tumble back all the way down, so that he would have to repeat this action forever.

At once, we have the reflex of sympathising with the condemned. However, there is no indication that Sisyphus was unhappy with his punishment. By adopting the point of view that he had no choice but to roll this damned boulder up the hill or else he would be run over by it, or would have to start all over again from the beginning, the way to address the situation becomes completely different. Ultimately, it all becomes a question of perception.

Imagine that each time, Sisyphus learned to empower himself through the simple fact that he became better at performing his task, however pointless it may be. What if he found pleasure in becoming stronger and stronger (and more muscular) day after day by performing his routine all over again? After all, the boulder was going to roll back down anyway; he might as well make his task easier and easier, and put in all the necessary effort to perfect his craft, even if only to avoid seeing his condition degrade. Don’t you agree?

Of course, we can presume that in an ideal world, Sisyphus would have preferred to eat plenty of Ferrero Rocher instead of having to roll a gigantic one to the top of a mountain! Nevertheless, I like to think of him as being able to find happiness despite his hopeless situation. I even picture him smiling proudly each time he would reach the top. Why not?

Isn’t it a little bit the same as what we experience through training? “Condemned” to repeat the same thing forever, without which we run the risk of regressing… and having to start all over again sooner or later? Is it such a sad fate? I don’t think so. Regardless of where you are in your process, what you want is to progress. What if we were to rephrase this for something like “invited to improve,” rather than seeing it as a condemnation? A question of perception, as I was telling you…

From the moment you choose to be healthy and feel good about yourself, you condemn yourself to live in this endless cycle. And it’s just as well! I do not pretend to know the exact definition of happiness. However, I would bet my bottom dollar that it is through progressing as an individual that we can come closer, and even sometime get a taste of happiness. Take pleasure in improving yourself, and give yourself the credit that you deserve.

Come on, let’s meet up the hill! Bring your boulder!

By Xavier Jutras

Xavier Jutras

Holder of a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology from the Université Laval, Xavier has decided to join the ranks of Nautilus Plus during the winter of 2012 to share his passion about training and sports in general. In sports, he has tried it all (soccer, tennis, dek-hockey, hockey, mountain biking, running, crossfit, etc.), so we could say he qualifies as a hyperactive person. That being said, between two sports, he particularly enjoys writing. Philosopher and blogger in his spare time, he gave himself the mission of selling you physical activity as the (sometimes unsuspected) solution to many of your questions and problems. With a very pragmatic approach, he will know how to guide you through the steps that will lead you to succeed in what should be one of the most important projects of your life: your own well-being. His motto: A healthy body leads to a healthy mind.

Our Daily Struggle is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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