Throughout history, men have been defined in a wide variety of ways. Let us look at four traits often found in the males of today.
Almost a quarter into the 21st century, men and women have access to more information regarding their health than perhaps at any other moment in history. And while, for the most part, women have always been in tune with their physical and mental well-being, it hasn’t been the case for their male counterparts. Rather, aside from Hollywood celebrities and star players, guys don’t seem to care that much about what they put into their bodies, never mind the information bombarded into their brains, at least not until very recently.
Today, things have changed. Men worldwide understand the importance of knowing what is happening inside their bodies and are taking a much more proactive approach towards their health. In addition, they are becoming much more inclined to research the right doctors and the proper routine and urgent service providers if they need anything from a regular checkup to reliable lab testing, screening, injury management, or customized treatments for specific conditions.
In mixed martial arts, most coaches and pundits believe a well-rounded set of abilities is the best tool to succeed in the sport. For instance, if you are a good boxer, a well-versed Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner, can kick both high and low, and have at least a basic knowledge of defensive wrestling, chances are you will win the vast majority of your fights.
Of course, there are freaks of nature like recently-retired Dagestani lightweight powerhouse Khabib Nurmagomedov, an athlete who not only remained undefeated in the toughest division in the UFC but never even lost a single round with a style largely based on more than 20 years of wrestling. Still, men like him are few and far between, and a complimentary set of skills will take most the furthest.
From a fitness perspective, this entails a holistic approach to exercise, one that includes both aerobic and anaerobic training, pre and post-workout stretching, weightlifting for functionality, and getting enough rest to let the body heal, rebuild, and come back stronger.
Travel and Self Discovery
Later made into a movie starring Julia Roberts, American author Elizabeth Gilbert’s book Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India, and Indonesia details Gilbert’s post-divorce journey of self-discovery through these three very particular countries. She did not travel with anybody else. Instead, she embarked on this expedition of understanding and hope on her own.
For one reason or another, women have never been afraid of traveling by themselves. They have never feared packing their bags, buying a ticket to some far-flung overseas destination, and taking off. Men, on the other hand, do not often do this. Whether because of pride, fear, or something else, if they are not with somebody else, they would much rather stay on the couch watching TV at home.
Not the modern man, though. The modern man also struggles with the everyday burdens of stress, making ends meet, maintaining a family or a relationship with a significant other, and expectations. He also needs to take time by himself to go somewhere else and re-calibrate his mind.
In simple terms, the word masculinity is defined as the attributes or characteristics often distinctive in men. But what exactly does that mean? Does that mean he is packed with muscle and never cries? Does it mean he can work 15 hours straight without complaining and is always a source of strength for others to nurture on?
Like these, many other questions seemingly have nothing but ambiguous answers. Fortunately, we live in societies that have evolved technologically but also in acceptance and openness of mind.
In this day and age, if you are a man, being masculine is whatever you think it should be. If you want to, you can be robust and physically imposing and gay at the same time. Or you can be a man who hates sports, doing exercise, and watching action movies but would consider himself as straight as one can be.
Masculinity is not about exterior toughness and shaving only once a month. It’s about taking joy in who you are as a man, no matter what that may look like or be.
The modern man takes care of his health and places great value on a comprehensive fitness program. Furthermore, he is willing to travel by himself and is not held back by outdated notions of what he should or shouldn’t be. As a man, you should embrace whoever and whatever you are, for that is exactly who you are meant to be.