I’m one of those people who gets very productive when on vacation. Maybe it’s just because I don’t have actual “work” to think about for a couple days, but being away always seems to kick my creativity and production in overdrive. That being said, I’m in Las Vegas for the 2013 Mr. Olympia right now, and I’m waiting for my fiancee Courtney to get ready for the night as I write this. We are heading to see “One”, the Michael Jackson Cirque Du Soleil show in a bit. (Post edit: amazing show!) I began thinking about my kids back home and what they may be up to. Probably watching shows with some of their favorite Disney stars who have risen to popularity. They love “Good Luck Charlie”, “Austin and Ally” and “Jessie”. All shows with stars that are gaining popularity even outside of the show itself.
What has me a bit bothered by the American culture (very visible here in Vegas), and even bodybuilding and sporting culture for that matter, is the drive for people to be popular and the lengths they will go to in order to achieve popularity. The iHeartRadio festival just finished last weekend and I saw a picture of who else but Miley Cyrus hanging out with the Kardashians. Yeah, she’s probably at the height of her popularity. But why? Because she talks excessively about drug use, sex and dresses like trash? (Search out that outfit to see what I mean.) Way to go. I hope she has a child one day and has to shield them from people like herself. But at least she’s popular, right? Sadly, she’s just one example of many. Today’s generation of bodybuilders, athletes and celebrities has its share of great people. I worry, though, that far too many of them care more about the status that they get than what they could represent once they get that status. If you’re a baseball player, you should probably skip the chewing tobacco, because I promise that 6 year old wants to do everything he sees you doing. If you’re a bodybuilder, get out into the community to stop the stereotype that bodybuilders are all narcissistic meat heads with little to no intelligence. If you are a singer or actor, perhaps skip the second Lamborghini and get out and do some charity work. (I am aware that MANY wealthy people give significant amounts to charity. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are amazing at giving back.) If you’re a reality TV star? Well, there probably isn’t much hope for you!
I’m a bodybuilder. It’s no secret that one of the most popular bodybuilders of all time is Arnold Schwarzenegger, and he happens to be one of my role models. He has had a few personal slip ups, and I am sure that some of his behavior in the past makes him shake his own head now and again. However, on a positive note, Arnold has been involved in numerous charities and public improvement campaigns even well before his political career. He took a break from movies while in politics to focus on the job at hand, and didn’t take a salary paid using a paystub creator to be a public servant as governor. When he failed at certain things, he accepted responsibility. He has been extraordinarily popular in many different roles. Why is he different to me? Arnold is different because he is someone who can be admired as well as be popular.
I’m far from popular in the real world. I am slightly more well known than your average chiropractor, but mainly inside the fitness industry. However, my position in the community that I practice in puts me in a position to influence others. I am far more interested in using this influence for positive changes in society. I strive daily to be someone who can be admired. I’ll take that over popularity any day. I hope a few more folks begin taking that stance.