"Nothing Must Stop Me! Nothing Can!"
acrylic and silkscreen on canvas,
48" x 60"
1997 Len Whitney
decades of working out, I've seen all kinds of approaches to getting and
staying in shape. The sad reality for many starts with the first well-meaning
weeks of gung-ho enthusiasm. But without guidance, continued motivation and
developing a sense of fun and enjoyment for the fitness process (as well as for
the results), most new exercisers either flounder and get frustrated, push too
hard and can't keep it up, or just get bored...
Ever wonder how the big fitness
chains and health clubs can offer these amazing deals (i.e., three
year memberships for only $15 - 20 a month, or a second year free when
you sign up for an annual plan)? The truth is, they know that after
your initial rush of enthusiasm, chances are you'll drop by the wayside
and keep paying them for NOTHING.
An astounding 50% of those who start exercise programs drop
out completely within the first six months. An even sadder statistic:
30% of Americans do not participate in any leisure-time physical activity at
You may think I'm some kind of
freak, but I love working out. Even when I'm on vacation, I always
look for the (usually pitiful) so-called "gym" or "workout room" at whatever
hotel I stay in.
Whatever else goes wrong in my life,
my body and my health are the one area where I feel like I have some control.
I know most people feel the opposite, that their weight or their skinny
arms or sagging butts are the one thing they'll never be able to control.
I've been there, too. Three years ago I relocated back home to LA
after living in NY, and all the stress of moving and finding a new career
made me blow up like a balloon. Every one of my friends was great
at enabling me to stay fat -- "You're a big guy, you look fine," they'd
say. "At your age, you're not going to look the same as you did when
you were twenty." That's all I had to hear, and I was on the stairmaster
and treadmill. 40 lbs. lighter and a lot happier, here I am today.
Exercise is like the opposite
of a vicious cycle. If you stick to it, you see the results, which
makes you want to stick to it more, and soon you enjoy what started out
as drudgery and punishment. Then more results, then you like it even
more. Before you know it, a way of life is born.
AAARRGH!! is my way of sharing
my success, promoting fitness in an enjoyable, focused yet fun approach.
I'm not a kid, nor a steroid freak. I'm a well-muscled, attractive
grown man. But I have star quality -- when I make an entrance, I
can light up the room. When you can be confident and comfortable
in your own body, you appear far more attractive than the raw materials
you start with. Living up to the superhero inside you -- that's what
AAARGH!! is about.