Well, I'm not an athlete, Socrates.

Why do we lift? Or, said different, why should you lift?

I often think back to that Socrates quote that I have read a hundred times..

No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.

Before writing about it I did some research, and it turns out that this popular quote is a modern intepretation of this line:

“Besides, it is a disgrace to grow old through sheer carelessness before seeing what manner of man you may become by developing your bodily strength and beauty to their highest limit. But you cannot see that, if you are careless; for it will not come of its own accord”. - Socrates, Memorabilia 3.12

While reading thru this piece, I really loved how it started. With Socrates telling Epigenes that he looks like he needs exercise. “Well,” he replied, “I’m not an athlete, Socrates.” Socrates then proceeds to lay into him, with all the reasons he should be training, exclaiming that he is an athlete ‘Just as much as the competitors entered for Olympia’.

I feel like this kind of argument is timeless. People like to tell themselves they dont need to worry about fitness. Evidently even in Ancient Greece.

“I’m not training for the olympics!”