Narcissism is the personality trait of egotism, vanity, conceit, or simple selfishness. Applied to a social group, it is sometimes used to denote elitism or an indifference to the plight of others.
Now that I got that out of the way, we by NO MEANS think that to be a Man of Virtue in any way involves weakness. In fact, the be a good man is to possess strength. Virtue means both manliness and power, because the two are not opposed, but are assumed to each other.
Pride is the root of all sin, and certainly, the physical strength that comes with being in shape can lead to it, but it need not do so. We are soldiers for Truth. (Please see my article on Confirmation for a Sacramental aspect of becoming a warrior)
Our bodies are temples of the Lord, and we were created in His image. I do not want to overemphasis this aspect, for it would be easy to get lost in thinking that physical training could be sufficient to be the man one was made to be. The same problem comes from a superficial understanding of other aspects of our lives, such as “work as prayer.” Certainly, our work can be “prayer.” However, we dare not decide that “our work is prayer” and neglect taking time to concentrate soley on prayer itself. Likewise, I reiterate this upfront: physical fitness IS an important aspect of being a good man, a Christian man. But it is certainly not all. It is one part of our body/mind/soul make-up as God’s creatures.
For now, I would like to suggest a couple workout programs that have great health benefits, are certainly very challenging (offer it up) and help forge a level of fitness that goes beyond show to one that makes a man capable of living the adventure, fighting the battle, and saving the beauty (those that have read Wild at Heart will understand, and those that have not…should)
Let me state briefly that I certainly do not agree with everything philosophically about these programs and those that designed them (the second title should make that clear). Nevertheless, these programs themselves I highly recommend: look into them.
Much more will be said about workouts and how to align them with the faith lived completely, body, mind, and soul. For now, do a little research and hit me back with your thoughts.
Captain Matthew Menking, U.S. Army, Infantry