“You’re An Animal.”

A sweet, fifty-something woman said this to me while I was lifting yesterday.  I looked at her blankly and inquisitive.  “You’re wondering if it’s a compliment, ” she said.  “It is.”
I smiled and thanked her and she went on her way.
But as I resumed lifting,  I thought, “What on earth did she mean?”  Did she like the way I was deadlifting?  Did she think I was doing a good job?  And if she WAS commending me, how and when did calling someone an animal become some sort of fist bump… between women… in the corner of a gym?

I wondered what she would do if she was in the grocery store, sifting through bananas, and a stranger moseyed up to her and said, “You’re an animal.”  Would she take offense?  Would she say thank you? Would she let out a scream, hold up a banana in one hand, squish it open, and then eat the hanging mush while looking the stranger in the eyes?  As awesome as that would be, I think she’d just disregard the comment and consider the stranger weird.
Going “Beast Mode” is an unstoppable mindset or action in the course of athletics.
Marshawn Lynch takes his moniker as a compliment, and has turned it into a clothing line.
photo credit: marijuana.com
(Apparently he even has an extremely potent strain of marijuana named after him.)

There’s even a bodybuilding website called “beastmotivation.com” that posts tons of pictures of extremely built guys who’ve obviously worked hard and claimed the spoils of an envious physique.

photo credit: beastmotivation.com

The fact that the virtues of this mindset has permeated our culture to the point where baby-boomers are freely using the vernacular is a little alarming.  Does that sweet gal who took it upon herself to deem me ‘beast-worthy’ too, want to be an animal?  Should she train like one?  This kid with the Rock, is he not good enough just being a kid and riding his bike?  Does he need a faux hawk and intense, open mouthed expression?  Is he flexing to scare off lesser wolves in the pack?  

I worry what will become of Marshawn Lynch.  People don’t take kindly to animals no longer being useful.  Especially ones with gold teeth.  
I worry about this kid.  When he should be out there trying many things I fear he will focus on just one, and the make or break-it-ness of that one goal will crush him.
There is plenty of ‘regular good’ to go around.  We don’t need to morph into some sort of slayer to hoard the spoils.

If I did have to peg myself as an animal, I guess I’d pick a kitten.  Everything about them is approachable and content.

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