I came across this video the other night, and I couldn’t help but be impressed. I remember watching a comedian some years ago talking about how Arnold Schwarzenegger’s became famous by lifting heavy things and then putting them down where they had been. This man took the concept a bit further by applying intelligent thought to lifting the heavy objects and placing them elsewhere. It inspired me to wonder what it would take to turn my garage around.
When I was sixteen I took a job working in the building construction business. I rather enjoyed the heavy mindless work of shovelling gravel, cement, and carrying heavy materials. The older men we worked with often challenged us younguns to prove our mettle and keep up with them. Back then it was pretty typical for guys to wrestle with each other at work and since I was a lippy brat, I got knocked on my ass on a regular basis. Nowadays I suppose the only option would be to fire a kid like me.
I worked for one fellow back then who, while not a large man, was nonetheless possessed of an uncommon strength. He was a profoundly religious fellow, so I tried to be on my best behaviour around him. One day when I had completed my assigned tasks, I went to find him and ask for my next assignment. He was about to carry some sheets of three eighth inch plywood into the building we were working on and answered my question by telling me I should see if I could bring as many sheets of plywood as he could. He then grabbed a stack of five sheets and walked away. I managed to follow him with another five sheets as we weaved our way through the massive building but my middle finger, which was the only one long enough to support the fifth sheet was not pleased by the end of the trip. My boss was amused by the fact that I had managed it but of course, to him, it was no significant feat. He had moved down from working in the bush up in northern Canada and seemed unable to slow down from a dead run unless he was carrying at least his own weight. The old-timers were tough as nails, and they talked about old-timers who were a lot tougher. Maybe they ate healthier. Maybe they just worked harder.
I consider it unfortunate now that we have steered the young away from hard work for so long that few can be found with interest in it. Hard work seems unpleasant until you actually do it and the brain begins producing the rewarding chemicals that cause you to enjoy yourself. In Canada at present, a majority of people hold a post-graduate degree qualifying them in most cases to non-physical work, which has the consequence of creating certain over-supply of qualified workers while the physical work falls behind. I would like to encourage the young to give physical work a try if they can find a job in it. The pay can be satisfactory, and performing the work teaches you something about self and will. You are stronger and more capable than you think you are.