Measure of a Man. Physical

On a physical level a man is the male Homo Sapien. Sexual dimorphism is a thing in the human species. Males tend to be larger and with that there is a physical aspect evolved with be a man.  Not every man is stronger than every woman of course, but if you took a random 1000 people and choose the strongest out of the group it would almost certainly be a man. This trait is the culmination of millions of years of acting as fighter, hunter and protector. Those traits are not modern or put there be society, they are biologically programmed.

Physical size has been a constant theme in our history. Man was afraid of the rumored Giants from a far off lands. We had to fight off the big cats or pack of wolves. We need size and strength combined with our brains. We had to protect those that couldn’t protect themselves and we needed that body to do so.

A man’s size is no longer the primary way of measuring a man. In fact is probably has never been the primary way of measure.  Larger social groups favor more than just physical capabilities. Size alone is less valuable than it would be in a simpler species. As society and cultures have adapted, size and strength alone doesn’t cut it. Today an accountant may be more valuable than a large man that can unload a truck quickly.

But physical capabilities are still a large area of measure. Men still size each other up at introduction and it still seems to come into play with mate choice. Without a doubt physical is a measure of a man. It shows his health. It can show his ability to do work. His ability to provide. His ability to defend or attack.

In the quest to be a better man, the physical aspects should not be ignored. To be the best man you can be means also to be has fit as you can be within reason. Being in shape shows respect for yourself and pride in your capabilities. It shows others that you are capable. It helps you avoid injury when you need to accomplish tasks with physical aspects. It can even dissuade attacks as criminals tend to target people that won’t cause them problems.

A standard workout regiment also has many positive benefits for psychologically. Setting goals, working towards them and accomplishment re-enforces self esteem. Regular workouts promote healthy sleep. Working out also promotes the production testosterone, the most prominent males sex hormones, known to effect many aspects of the male health and well-being.

I believe the measure of a man is based on whet they control. The world of men is the construction of order, including the order of their own bodies. In that it may not be fair to measure a man by their height. Men may differ on how stocky they are or how thin their build simply through genetics. There are different ideas of strong. There are things that are out of the owners control. But it is pretty easy to make out a body that is valued by the being that inhabits it. It seems pretty justifiable to measure them by their care for themselves. Someone who does respect themselves enough to keep their body as best they can is seen to fall short in the world of men.

The physical measure of men is a real thing and it is constant though often times ignored by those that don’t care to see the truth. You as a male are judged by men and women or how well you keep the meat sack you walk around in. The most wonderful thing about that fact though, is it probably the most easy part of who you are to set straight. Perfection is unattainable, but best with what you have is always respectable and is always in your grasp.

Measure of a Man. Start of a series.

Manhood is  a term used often. People joke of “mancards” being revoked. People chide other about acting “unmanly”. Manhood gets connected to all kinds of things,  sexual preference for instance. But I am friends with many masculine gay men. Manhood and masculinity is on of those things were “I know it when I see it” is applicable.

This site is all about building an understanding of manhood. In this series I want to explore the measure of manliness. Offer perspectives that I have come to find. In no way do I think I am qualified to produce some grand measure of manhood. There are probably a billion ways to explore the idea. Still I’d like to share some things I have thought about when measuring myself and others.

It all could end up as utter garbage typed out by a fool. But even and earthworm can pass a bit of gold through its anus (Perhaps the strangest imagery I have ever used).

Mountains, do you know yours?

Mountains seem simple, an uplift, signs of volcanic activity or uneven erosion, but to humanity they have always been important. They mean safety from attackers, hiding places for outlaws and important ecosystems supporting game animals. Rough land has deterred settlement and kept these places less trafficked and more wild. They tower over many of our cities as gods or as a place for gods to stand to look down upon us. Looking up at them makes us feel small and when we find ourselves atop of them, looking down, we can again get the feeling of smallness as we see people like us looking ant-like far below.

Mountains are masses large enough for to make us feel small yet small enough for us to fathom. A mountain sized impactor ended the dinosaurs. We use them in common sayings like “He can move mountains” to define a large feat.

I am lucky enough to live in the shadow of a mountain. Sandia (Watermelon in Spanish), Bein Mur (“big mountain” to our Native Sandia Pueblo people) Dzi Nááyizí (“Moves-Around” in Navaho) this mountain has demanded attention from all that have come though the valleys that surrounded it.  At 10,000 feet the mountain captures the clouds from the sky, forcing them upwards and cooling them to precipitation. Its collected water and snow melt adds to the rivers and the underground water stores that would make life impossible otherwise.

This mountain has been a part of my life. As a child I played on its back side. It being to the west on my home, it was part of my sunset. Its forest called me to explore them. Its snowy winter backside slopes hosted snowboarding.

When I grew up and moved to the big city I found myself on the other side. The rocky grey and pinkish granite face acted as a GPS, as I can tell with a glance at the mountain were I was in the city 5000 feet below its summit. It is a place to go to take a break from the summer heat. Our family hikes its trails and hunts wild mushrooms. Pictures of adventuring in the Sandias liter my social media albums and will will be part of my families history.

Rather then to the west the mountain is now to my east.  But it is still part of the sunset as it becomes highlighted reflecting the suns final light as colors fitting of its Spanish name for watermelon.

The mountain serves as a connection to timelessness as it has been reaching to the sky far before me and will be here far after me. Living in its shadow, I have meant nothing to the mountain. The footprints I leave of its trails are nothing.

The giggles of kids going down a wooded trail are little different to the mountain than the wondering of a bear, or the careful walk of a deer. For being something that is a pile of surface crust, mountains have a way of being more than that to people. Over time we have envisioned them as the remains of fallen giants or built from the souls of the fallen. Some see the bosom of a loving mother earth. Mountains are powerful. They are defenders, providers and harsh lands, but they offer perspective and a connection to the world that is hard to fully comprehend.

If you have a mountain look up at it. Find time to explore it. Connect to it and take it all in. Understand you are not the first to gaze at it. For all of our ego a mountain is capable of making all men small both in size and in time. I think sometimes it important to be reminded of that.