by Matt Wiggins – MMAWeekly.com
I’m going to have to apologize for this article in advance.
I’m probably going to step on a few toes. But I’ve gotta say, if I hurt your
feelings a little, I’m not really sorry. In fact, it’s the very goal I’m
trying to accomplish. That said…
As many of you might know, I just came home from the Middle
East a few weeks ago. I was working for a government contractor in Diwaniyah,
Iraq, supporting the coalition forces. This was actually my second
"go-round" in Iraq. I spent roughly 13 months in Basrah back in
’05-’06, and around 10 months (’07-’08) this time around.
In the 2.5 years I worked (off and on) in Iraq, I spent a
lot of time in airports going back-and-forth. Since leaving my home in North
Carolina in October 2005, I’ve been to / spent time in airports in Atlanta;
Houston; Newark, N.Y.; Detroit, Mich.; Amsterdam; Dubai; London; Kuwait;
Germany; Iraq; and more.
Now, I’m not like a lot of travelers. Most guys I worked
with, if they had a few hours in the airport, the first thing they did was hit
the nearest bar. That wasn’t my deal. First of all, the booze was way too
expensive. Second of all, the last thing I wanted to do while I was traveling
was to miss a flight or something as equally stupid because I’d had "one
Most of the time, I’d find an out of the way seat, and just
"people-watch." I always find people watching so interesting,
especially in foreign airports. Not only do you see people from all walks of
life, but you also see how they interact, their emotion, their reactions to
different situations, etc. Observing people in these sorts of settings can be
a real statement on the human condition, but that’s a whole other topic.
On my trip home this past Christmas (December 2007), I had a
fairly lengthy layover in London Gatwick, roughly six hours. Like usual, I
found myself an out-of-the-way spot, and just enjoyed watching people being
I noticed something though. This was a really profound
observation, at least to me it was. It was more of a discovery than anything.
We’ve all seen suitcases that have two wheels on them,
right? That way, instead of having to carry your suitcase, you can just tilt
it and roll it along, as if it was on a dolly or hand-truck. Well, these
suitcases I saw people rolling along didn’t have just two wheels on them… they
had four! There was one at each corner, so the bag would sit upright all by
itself. All the owner would have to do is push it along, sort of like a
shopping cart. (Now these contraptions might be old news to some of you, but
I’d never seen them before, so bear with me for a couple minutes.)
I was floored when I saw these things. And it wasn’t any
sort of "high-end," expensive luggage, from what I could see, as many
people had them! And to top it off, this was in the main terminal area, after
the ticketing area and security screenings. This meant that most of these bags
being pushed around were carry-on luggage, small bags.
Now, maybe I’m old-fashioned, but I thought the whole idea
of having to roll your suitcase was stupid. If you’re so lazy or weak that you
can’t carry your suitcase from the car to the ticketing area, then you just
need to either bring less with you, or better yet, stay home altogether.
Finally, I accepted these wheeled suitcases, not because I
wanted to, but because they weren’t going anywhere. Now I can see this sort of
thing if an elderly couple is going on vacation, or a parent traveling with
small children (notice I said "children" – i.e., more than one).
There can be some extenuating circumstances in these sorts of situations, and
anything that makes these folks’ lives easier, well then I’m for it.
But I knew we were heading down the wrong path when I saw
regular, healthy people rolling their luggage instead of carrying it. Then I
saw wheels on smaller bags. Now I see kids wheeling backpacks (instead of
carrying them) to the school bus, and business professionals wheeling around
laptop bags (just how heavy is your laptop computer that you can’t even strap
it over your shoulder?).
I didn’t like any of this, but this new suitcase I saw takes
the proverbial cake. Just how freakin’ lazy do you have to be that you can’t
even drag your suitcase behind you? Instead, you have to push it along, as it
sits up by itself. What’s next? Luggage with a little electric motor and a
video game controller that you use to control it with, like a radio-controlled
Listen people, obesity rates are ever climbing. I’m not
going to cite them to you. I don’t have to. You know it. If you want figures,
hit up Google. It should only take you a few seconds to find. But if you want
real-world proof, just hop on over to your local grocery store, department
store, or shopping mall. Chances are, you’ll see really fat people everywhere.
For the most part, we’re getting fatter because we’re
getting lazier. We’ve found ways to make our lives easier (i.e., less
physical) through technology and invention. As a result, we move less and less
and in turn expend less and less effort.
Let’s think about some of the basic things we have to make
our lives less physical, yet, make us lazier:
–Email lets us send letters with a click of a button.
No more actually going to a post office to drop off the mail, or going to the
mail box/post office to pick it up. The same goes for paying bills and doing
–Remote controls will change the TV channel, radio
station, play the DVD, etc., (all stuff that encourages laziness anyway)
without having to get up from the sofa.
–Drive-thru windows let us get our unhealthy fast-food
quicker, and without even having to get out of the car to do it. And on the
way from the local burger joint, we can hit up the pharmacy drive-thru for all
our prescription medication (much of which, I think, we wouldn’t even need if
we weren’t so lazy).
–As long as I’m on the traveling kick, how about
escalators and moving sidewalks? Evidently walking is too much of a chore
these days. Especially when you’re pushing your luggage.
–I’m not even going to get into the little motorized
carts the fat folks use at the grocery or department stores.
I know it sounds like I’m being a jerk, and I’m not trying
to be. But I can’t help that if we just injected A LITTLE more physical
movement into our lives, many of the health problems we see wouldn’t be the serious
issues they are.
And I’m not even talking about hardcore workouts, going to
the gym, or running your wind sprints. I’m talking about taking the stairs
instead of the elevator. I’m talking about carrying your things out to the
car, instead of using some sort of cart or buggy; walking down to the corner
store instead of driving. All are simple little activities that, while not a
cure for obesity, heart disease, or any other such health problems, they sure
Don’t be lazy in your life; just because it’s easy, doesn’t
mean it’s good.
Train Hard, Rest Hard, Play Hard.
Matt "Wiggy" Wiggins is a strength coach and
author living in Cameron, NC. Having trained 15+ years, Wiggy is a strength
moderator at mma.tv, columnist for MMA Weekly, and an avid fan of Mixed Martial Arts Training. His site, Working
Class Fitness.com, is dedicated to designing low-tech, high-result MMA
Workouts, Navy SEAL Workouts, and programs for
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