A little over a week ago, a friend of mine asked me “Akil, why the hell do you work out so hard just for carnival? It’s not as if you have a beer belly resting on your lap!” At first I thought the answer was obvious. Because I want a six pack! Never the less, I’ve actually been giving this question a little, or rather a lot more thought. Why exactly do I work out so hard for Carnival?? Here are the reasons I could come up with.
1. Carnival is a mental goal
Without goals, be they short, medium or long term, staying focused is extremely hard. Laziness,procrastination, distractions and everything else seem to prevent me from putting in the work I know deep down I should be putting in. When it comes to exercise and staying fit, Carnival serves as the goal that helps keep me focused. Nobody wants to be gasping for air, or asking a girl “for a likkle rest” while she’s giving it her all and giving you the sweet wine of your life! Don’t be the one to tap out mid wine!
To some degree, I’m vain. Point blank. I want to look my best. If that means my best this year is a 2 pack then that’s my best. If it means washboard abs to help girls wash their jouvert shorts on, even better! But, when I go on the road come carnival Tuesday, I want to step out, covered in sun block, feeling like I look my best. For those few hours, I’ll know I put in as much effort as I could, made all the sacrifices I could, and I’m the best me I could be…. at least up until the 5th drink…
3. The friendships..and the pressure
By this point, any carnival veteran will be present in at least 3 different carnival whatsapp/facebook groups. In fact 3 is a conservative number for some. Part of the fun of these groups (at least ONE of mine) is helping each other stick to their workout and diet plan. A side effect of this is not wanting to be the one left behind. When I see 4 out of 6 people eating right, hitting the gym everyday and making steady progress towards the body of their dreams, I have no choice but to find myself in the gym putting in the same amount of work I see them putting in. In a sense, it’s positive peer pressure. The kind of peer pressure that makes you better.
4. That Sweet Sweet Objectification
As a man, unless you’re a Hollywood celebrity (curse you Idris) or a professional athlete, chances are you have no REAL idea what it feels like to be ojectified by dozens…scratch that…hundreds of beautiful women. You just don’t. That is unless you’ve been to Carnival while you’re in good shape. Guys, trust me, there is no feeling better than having to defend yourself from two beautfiul women trying to grab, wine and climb up on you all at the same time. Does it make me shallow to admit I enjoy being objectified just for a few days? (well maybe more than a few…)
OK, I know I could have mentioned the obvious things like staying healthy, preventing all kinds of illnesses, stress relief and so on. But, the truth is, when I’m training for carnival (and trust me, it’s training), that stuff very rarely enters my mind. I’m more focused on making sure that if I’m going to be treated like a piece of meat, I want to be the best piece of meat I can be! It’s only right!
Why do you workout for Carnival?!