elitefts™ Sunday Edition

I have been so busy with client work and haven’t been traipsing all over the Internet, lately, so I haven’t taken any verbal abuse until recently. With the flooding here in Colorado we were stuck in the house quite a bit this week so I was fortunate to have the opportunity to get caught up on being disrespected and posed the question twice, “Do you even lift?” Thank God for the Internet.

Even though I am old as shit and have been around the sport of bodybuilding for almost thirty years, I don’t expect people to bow or fan me with giant palm leaves when I walk by. I don’t expect people to ride my nuts and agree with everything I say about training and nutrition, either. In fact, it makes for a pretty boring debate when everyone agrees with you. I do expect some level of respect when my opinion is asked and even if it isn’t, as I would return that respect if someone with years of experience over me, were to give their opinion. Seems logical but…as most of you know reading this, that sort of shit just doesn’t happen much anymore. It used to anger me but it has become so commonplace now that I suppose I am getting used to it.

I know better than to get into discussions about nutrition on Facebook whether I am asked my opinion or not. Over the years I have figured out quite painfully that giving my opinion will cost me roughly five hours of defending myself. It gets to the point where I skip over these types of situations even when someone is talking out of their ass, acting like they know what they are talking about. One thing I have learned from the Internet, and I admit it took me years to figure it out, is that you will NOT change someone’s opinion. The only thing you will do is bring out the worst in the other person arguing with you, and most times, yourself. You will find yourself saying things that your Mother would smack your face for if you weren’t so big and she weren’t so old. She is still fine, though. I have seen your Mom and she looks GOOD. Tell her Skip says hi. 😉 (That wink is for her, not you.)

A few days ago I am flipping through my news feed on Facebook and I come across an obscure pro bodybuilder ranting about how he is irritated that a young kid in his gym is walking around giving advice about nutrition and training as if he is an expert. I say obscure not because he doesn't deserve to be a pro but that he is from another country and isn't anyone that is threatening at the Mr. Olympia or that most people would know of. I didn’t give it much thought and figured it was just another obscure pro that was whining about having only 98 percent of the gym’s population worshiping him instead of the 100 percent that he expected. I actually responded with something like, “Cut the kid some slack as there are kids like this in all gyms all over the world, not just yours." He agreed, but the pro nut-hugger's kept him fired up, feeding his ego by agreeing with him. These nut-huggers are always funny, too, because they will respond agreeing with the pro trying to align with their “friend” (for whom they so envy and wish they could be). I get a kick out of checking out these guy’s profiles because they are never all that big but somehow being a friend of a pro on Facebook provides some sort of credential that allows you to talk about training and nutrition as if your opinion has merit because it is the same opinion of the pro’s nuts they are hugging.

Later on after getting back to work (my work is not cruising Facebook all day no matter WHAT my wife tells her friends or co-workers), I noticed a ton of responses to the post so I went back and checked on it. The discussion had taken an interesting turn because one of the guys that the pro was talking about, actually came on and posted a response. It was your typical, universally douchy response with the three predictable points that we all have seen a thousand times:

  • I can eat whatever I want. I train hard.  I stay ripped and muscular.
  • If I used steroids I would be huge, too, but I don’t want a small dick.
  • I get way more pussy than you do.

I have actually considered using some of these responses outside of the Internet just to see how they work. I mean, number three would probably win almost every argument you ever have in your life with another guy. Example: “Why do we have to watch the game at your house?” “Because I get more pussy than you do”. End of story. The game is at your house.

After reading what was quite an IQ lowering exchange over about twenty posts, I did what most of us do when you want to get a better idea of who you are dealing with: I clicked on his profile picture. Now, I am not embellishing when I say that the picture was of four “kids” roughly twenty or twenty-one years old standing on a beach with their arms around each other (full on bromo) while wearing board shorts and crunching down on their abs so hard that at least one of them HAD to have farted. I wasn’t sure which one of the kids was the one mouthing off to the pro, but it didn’t really matter because all four had arms roughly the size of my thirteen-year-old son’s.

I found the exchange entertaining and had managed to stay out of the posting, other than responding to a couple of questions about carbohydrates that was really not directly related to the negative exchange.

Then, it happened. Like it always does and like a dumb ass, I fell in headfirst. I fell in like a newbie with no clue what he was doing. It was like I was pushed into a septic tank while just standing there minding my own business, taking in one big whiff after another, laughing about how bad it smelled.

It must have been a member of the douche-clan that started to come after me about my advice on carbs. At first I put a smiley face and responded subtly that he should be sure if he wants to bring a straw to a gunfight before he gets in over his head. Clearly, to a twenty-one year-old-know-it-all, on the other side of the world, this was not going to be tolerated. I mean, who the hell was I to think that my old ass knew what I was talking about? His board shorts got bunched up and the first line he typed in response was, you guessed it: “Do you even lift, bro?”

I will spare you the details as it would be quite anti-climactic at this point, but suffice to say, that even after he was told who I was, he still didn’t care. I was verbally ass-raped by someone who had less muscle than my thirteen-year-old son.

It’s a tough spot because without the Internet I wouldn’t make anywhere near the living that I do and I would likely be working a regular job every day and bitching about rush-hour traffic. I guess dealing with these people is a necessary evil and something that I see no real way around. The Internet is full of trolls and full of people who will say things that they would never consider saying to you if they were standing in front of you. I can’t count how many times I have corresponded with someone on the Internet and have gotten a pretty good read on the type of person they are, only to meet them and feel as if I just met two entirely different people.

I respect people who speak their mind, whether you agree with me or not. If you have things about me that you do not like, you will feel the same way if you meet me face-to-face. I have been working on the Internet for years and I have been told time and time again that I am exactly the same way online as I am in person. I speak online with the understanding that everyone knows who I am and I have nothing to hide. I speak to people respectfully unless I have a reason not to, which, is how I act in real life. Until everyone starts acting the same way on the Internet as they do face-to-face, most people will have that anti-social, second personality that allows them to say the things to other people that they don’t have the balls to say to them face-to-face. The ideal scenario is not to get people to shut up on the Internet, but rather for people to act face-to-face, how they act on the Internet. We would all be better off.

Just Sayin’.