Working out, the focus on the self that it requires when done seriously, is hard to explain to another person, uninitiated in hyper-intensity and focused self interest. The only parallel hard-to-explain situation that comes to my mind is one of my female friend's inexplicable penchant for strip dancing at a club. Total selfishness. Inexplicable...in direct opposition to the philosophy of Jesus, Mahatma Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. But not Ronnie Coleman. Also, not Jenna Jameson. There is one philosophy, the denial of the self, which is a form of self-aggrandizement--the denial of the self resulting in communion with the non-self, the outer world, the universe, however one would like to phrase it.
In my personal life I prefer the Western concept of the individual. In Nietzsche and Freud, we find the individual self emphasized to the point where its will becomes so projected that it effects (and affects) the non-self, the out world--even the universe, however one would like to phrase it.
The denial of the self--which I believe to be equally as illusory a narrative as the puffed-up, projected self--yes, self-denial does not hold the future for the modern. It cannot hold my imagination. I cannot keep my focus on the concept of self-denial; I do not dream of being in the mountains of Tibet with monks. I dream of simple pleasures, epicurean ones--an alternate spirituality. The mode of the cult of personality--which starts with focus on the self--befits our modern, postmodern, frazzled, frantic, hyperreal, fragmented reality--where those who are great enough to project their personalities do so as a matter of course.
Thus, today I dunked a full-size basketball for the first time. (About a decade late--a postponement due to a knee injury at age 14.) I did it by cupping the ball, Dr. J-style, against my forearm. Not in a game, tho'. Then I went and lifted weights, and squatted 315 six times. Max according to the chart: 372 lbs.
"My humanity is incessant self-overcoming." --Nietzsche, Ecce Homo