An Ode to Hate

An Ode to Hate

Mar 10, 2013

An Ode to Hate

By Josh Hunt

John Lennon once said “There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance.1” In my personal opinion, this is an oversimplification of the human emotional spectrum and a gross under appreciation of the human condition. But, what can you expect from someone that was so egotistical he thought he could stop the Vietnam Conflict and promote world peace by lying around in bed with his wife (seriously hippies if you are going to do something, do something. When doing nothing seems like a good idea, you’re probably wrong!)? I do have to agree with Mr. I Love New York that fear and love are motivational forces; they are actually very strong emotions that can help or hurt someone as the make their way through life. But, I would like to suggest that there are numerous driving powers, ideals, and emotions within the human mind and heart that we all can pull from and use. I am sure that loneliness has been a force that has driven some of us to do some incredibly stupid or courageous things in our lives. I know that I have done some foolish things because I was lonely. Loyalty is another human feeling/quality that can push us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. I have personally been crushed due to my feelings of loyalty to people I thought were friends, and on the converse I have been the recipient impressive acts of kindness due to my friends loyalty to me. Now, that I have pointed out that there are more than just two emotions that fuel a persons’ rational and desire to do what they do (and that hippies, even famous ones, are wrong. Get a job), I am going to talk about one that tends to make people cringe when they hear it, and that is the power that is hate.

Much to my Mother’s chagrin I throw the term hate around a lot. I can’t tell you how many text messages I have sent to my friends that have the term hate somewhere in the body (and really it is a lot, I oft time wonder if sixteen year old girls text as much as I do). Nor, can I recount the number of times the word has left my mouth just in reference to the New England Patriots (every time Tom Brady loses, a honey badger eats a snake and Phil Simms sequesters himself in a room full of Tom Brady fatheads and weeps openly. If you are a band wagon Pats fan you should get bent. No one from outside the Northeast rooted for them when they sucked in the 80’s and 90’s). Now, I am not advocating hate groups, prejudice, or the ignorant shit that people do in the name of ‘hate’ because frankly that type of stuff really disgusts me. I am more celebrating the polar opposite of love; like the old adage goes there is no light without darkness. We live in a society that says love all the time i.e. I love churros (which I really do, so sweet, damn those Mexican doughnuts are amazing), or I adore NCIS (that show really sucks, I saw an episode where a self aware and sentient HMMWV [hummer] went on a killing spree), or I worship my girlfriend that I have only known for three days (you might want to wait a little while to drop the L bomb, she could be an ax murderer or worse a squatter or an Evanescence fan). Folks throw the word love around a lot, but feel uncomfortable when someone uses the word hate. I hear ‘Josh, hate is a strong word’ a lot, but all things being equal shouldn’t hate be just as strong as the word love? And, is loathing things really that bad? Is it so awful to get pissed off that one in six Americans may go hungry tonight2 or that that almost 7,500,000 people in the world don’t have clean drinking water3? Is it horrible to hate the fact that there is a possibility that you maybe in a competition against someone that isn’t clean in a drug free event and federation? Heck, last year a competitor at a meet that I was in, a few weight classes below me, popped hot for steroids. Yet, before the test he had claimed that he was all natural but was bench pressing almost as much as I was (to be honest that type of dishonest really grinds my gears and makes me want to torture these people by forcing them to watch Tyler Perry movies, and episodes of 2 Broke Girls and Glee ala A Clock Work Orange style). Why would hating the ills of the world or a bad training session be a negative, especially if it evokes a reason for change? On the converse love can be damaging too. It’s a bad thing if someone loves a physically or emotionally abusive partner. It’s a bad thing to love going out and drinking so much it has a harmful affect on you and/or loved ones. It’s a bad thing to love a workout that is injuring you and causing you to regress as an athlete. It is a bad thing to love being lazy and having no motivation to better yourself.

I bring these points up because I hate a lot of things: Jimmy Fallon (you are an unfunny hack), The Dave Mathews Band (you’re a crap jam band that pseudo-hippies and frat boys love. Make some music that is worth a damn), Pancakes (long story, but I get a lot of WTF’s out of that one), Superman (he has all the powers of the X-Men combined and still has problems fighting a mortal. Plus he reminds me of kids playing superheroes in the park, they keep throwing on powers as the game progresses), Metallica (just because I am a metalhead doesn’t mean I have to like these guys, they are overrated and hard rock at best), hipsters (you are not that cool and everything you are into has already been done), lazy people (seriously it is not that hard to get off the couch), and a plethora of other things (as you can probably tell, but I will spare you my list of discontent). But, one thing I really hate, I actually loath is failing. I think I hate failing more than I like winning. When I don’t get a lift at a competition or at the gym, there is a feeling in my gut that is hard to explain. I try not to let it bother me. I work hard not to be a child and sulk because things didn’t go my way. But, when it comes down to it, I hate losing. Sometime this is the kick in the shorts that I need in order to find my focus and get to it. This anger and aggression that is caused by the feeling of hate can force me to be a better lifter under the bar. It can drive me to say this weight is only a number and I can do more. This basic primal emotion can (and sometimes is) the charge that pushes me to evolve as a person and contribute to society (I contribute to charity because I am pissed that there are inequities in this world). This feeling motivates me to go back into the gym and refine my workout, clean up my diet, and rethink my methods of training and living. It makes me push myself a little harder and not make as many excuses. My hatred of performing poorly has helped me get to where I am now as an athlete (and really as a man). That’s not to say I am ‘the cat’s pajamas’ (trying to bring back that old saying from the 20’s) when it comes to powerlifting or athletics in general. But, without the fire of hate under my ass there is a good chance I would not be where I am today (hell I’d probably still be having issues benching 300 pounds). To quote Hatebreed (yes I know I have already used them before, but you know what I like them and you should too); “hold onto the hate that has helped you stay focused.” It’s a strange dynamic because hate is something that drives me in a sport that I love dearly. It’s like the savory and sweet complexity of a caramel and pretzel concrete (for those that don’t know; a concrete is a dessert in the St. Louis area that is like an ice cream with the toppings mixed in) or bacon and anything.

As you can tell I have a fondness for this emotion (it could be because I am a contrarian and like things that other people don’t) and that I am an expert in abhorrence. This may lead you to two questions; “Josh what should I hate?” and/or “How can I tap into a perceived negative emotion for the betterment of myself?” Those are great questions, thank you for asking, and I am glad I have made this article interactive (dear God I am self-absorbed. I sometime feel like Deadpool breaking the fourth wall and telling jokes about myself and everyone else. If you ever meet me please yell at me and tell me to stop being such a judgmental garbage-clown). To answer question one: when it comes to training you should hate anything that makes you weaker. Be it a routine that has not allowed you to realize any gains in quite some time or that has caused injury and/or strength loss. You should detest that there is someone out there working harder, smarter, and longer than you are just to make those incremental gains that will allow them to be a stronger competitor than you. You should have an extreme amount of distaste for apathy and lethargy. If these feelings (or any like them) are perpetually with you, you should really reconsider being an athlete and maybe even a member of society. On a much broader note folks should detest stupidity, callousness, extreme amounts of selfishness (I have to caveat that one because spending several hours in the gym is pretty selfish) and other negative aspects of life that cause pain and prevent human culture from functioning properly (I swear I will eventually get off my soapbox and I will burn it. Let’s just hope after I do, I don’t find another one. Now where did I put my bullhorn?). To answer the next questions: first listen to a lot of metal, there is nothing like a little Deicide or Darkest Hour to get the blood pumping. Then allow yourself to feel these ‘destructive’ emotions because after all they are part of the amazing palette of colors that we use to make life vivid and vibrant (just because it isn’t pretty doesn’t mean it ain’t beautiful). After you can feel it, use it in any way that will benefit your training (and if possible other aspects of your life. For example you might be able to harness this disenchantment to push yourself into a better job or station in life) be it motivation to train harder, or aggressiveness on the platform, or that drive that makes the last rep look easy. Don’t waste this powerful sensation just because someone said it isn’t nice. Because I don’t think nice feelings have helped people attain American and World records in the USAPL (USA Powerlifting) or IPF (International Powerlifting Federation), or even in other sports competitions (although most of the lifters I run into off the platform are genuinely nice people).

Just to be safe, in case I didn’t articulate myself properly and/or my message was not received as intended I want to make a few things clear. I hope those of you that have suffered through this don’t consider me a hate monger. To be honest I consider myself a very passionate person that is opinionated and has a hard time keeping my mouth shut. I also have a propensity to go to one extreme or the other; I find that being indifferent or middle of the road doesn’t suit me well. I also want to do the right thing so when I feel a situation is unfair or unjust I get angry. That being said, just because I don’t like something doesn’t mean it is wrong. I may have a differing opinion, but that works for me, and you should do what works for you. If you can harness the power of an emotion to better yourself, someone else, or society as a whole I say do it. Just because ‘negative’ emotions are not pretty and some folks may disagree with this sentiment it doesn’t make it wrong. Tapping into visceral and powerful feelings is not only part of being a member of mankind it can bring about positive gains on a number of levels. I believe that feelings like hate are similar to a double sided battle ax (I bet you were thinking this hackney ginger was going to use the term double edged sword. But I slightly tweaked it in the name of being ‘original’). It can be a weapon that can cause great amounts of damage to the people around you (if you were a pillaging Viking this might be a positive) and yourself. But, this ax can be used as a tool for survival. It can assist you in hunting a deer or felling a tree (these are loose illusions for providing sustenance be it spiritual, physical, emotional and other and overcoming hurdles and things that stand in your way respectively). These are not bad emotions, they just are. So you might as well get something out of it. Now I am off to go complain to myself about how much I hate emo haircuts, when people sag their jeans so I can see their butts, David Lynch movies (they don’t make sense. They are like the emperor’s new clothes), and bad tattoos. Wow, I am 30 years old and I am already a curmudgeon, I guess I should go outside and yell at those kids to get off my lawn.

– Fuel for Hatred, air raid siren. Satyricon

1. Mind Body Green Your Guide To Wellness. (2010). Retrieved January 21, 2013 form: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-1529/John-Lennon-on-Fear-and-Love.html

2. Just Facts Daily. (2012). Retrieved January 21, 2013 form: http://www.justfactsdaily.com/how-many-americans-go-hungry

3. Water Aid Statistics. (2012). Retrieved January 21, 2013 from:
http://www.wateraidamerica.org/what_we_do/statistics.aspx?gclid=CMHwwL7U-rQCFayPPAodE3cA9Q

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One comment

  1. Love the article
    and this Summary Video:
    http://youtu.be/W8qasNIcOUM

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