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Get Busy Living or Die in Your Bed
—The Benefits of Satanic Fitness—
Reverend Colonel Akula
Attention fellow Satanists! Prepare yourselves for a profound and stunning announcement; one that will change your life forever and leave you more alive and more motivated than you ever imagined. I, Reverend Colonel Akula know the secret of immortality. I have tasted the ambrosia of the Olympians and have sipped from the fountain of youth…well, maybe from the faucet anyway.
Those who are familiar with my work know me to be a man of many interests, chief among them is a life-long study of self-defense. Those of you who know me personally will admit that I also have a rather pronounced lust for life and am also a bit of a health nut. It’s true folks; I never sit still and am always doing…something. I sleep only four or five hours a night and am quite fond of the outdoors. I have been described by more than a few friends in the Church of Satan as a “Juggernaut of energy,” a “high-intensity health freak,” a “bungee-jumping bastard who jogs during February blizzards” or a “crazy kayaker who smashed out his teeth in some white water rapids.”
Yes I have been known to leap off of cranes and bridges with nothing but a rope around my legs. I am usually found in some sort of a gym. I jog or cycle all-year round and yes I did leave a few bits of my nose and tooth enamel in a river…but I had a Hell of a lot of fun doing it. I also enjoy a relaxing session of Yoga, off-road mountain biking trips, hiking and rock climbing excursions from time to time. I also have a rather strong interest in reptiles and arachnids. I pen the occasional novella, provide voice-overs for cartoons, teach private self-defense classes and SCUBA dive whenever I can, occasionally in a shark cage. All of this is true. I have the battle scars and suture marks to prove it.
Why do I do this you might ask? Am I addicted to pain? No not really. Do I have a death wish? Certainly not! Am I trying to prove something? Only to myself. Perhaps I just love being alive? …You may have something there.
For some time now, (well actually immediately after I hit the big Three-O), I have started to ponder the future; something you never really think about whilst in that tumultuous period of your life known as “your twenties”. Recently I have noticed that age is beginning to feel a little shall we say…uncomfortable.
You know what I mean. Friends around me are starting to loose their hair. Their old concert-going pants don’t fit quite as snugly anymore and their shirts seem to have…shrunk. Those who have kids now send them to junior high and grey whiskers are beginning to poke through on a few of us.
I am noticing that my body doesn’t heal quite as rapidly anymore. My eyesight is still perfect but my joints now ache for juuuuust a little bit longer every morning. I still hit the gym ever day, kayak as often as possible and try and get some cave climbing in on the weekends. So while I still make regular bungee jumps but now I take that extra second to double-double check the rope and I try and keep a tube of A5-35 somewhere close by. I guess I have recognized that life is really quite short and it is going to catch up to me eventually.
It is a sad but unavoidable fact that everything, everywhere, eventually and unavoidably dies. Nobody wants to accept it but ultimately we all have to. So while you can’t beat the clock, you sure as Hell can give it a run for its money and delay its sepulchral tick for as long as possible. I can’t think of a more compelling reason to live each and every day to its fullest or as the Klingons always say, “Live each day as if it were your last. Q’apla!” I try to follow this mantra as best I can and when I go, I’m goin’ out swingin’ that’s for sure.
In my quest to live as long as possible and savour all I can before I croak, I have examined a wide range of options including cloning, restorative surgery, spiritualism, transcendental meditation, out-and-out denial and even cryogenics. Sadly all of these have turned out to be embarrassing works of quackery or have a price tag well beyond my range. As a Satanist who values his well-being above all, I focus with great intensity on maintaining a healthy diet and engaging regular, physical exercise.
That’s right folks. That’s my big secret. Sorry if you were expecting something more grand but honestly, it really is that simple. Physical fitness is a venue that I use to unlock and harness my Satanic potential. Face it folks, you really only get a few, short laps around the track and keeping fit is one way to stay in the race. Of course you don’t have to suddenly give up drinking, throw out your cigarettes or avoid those hearty servings of red meat. I love a good burger now and then and I recognize the medical benefits of red wine. I just find that balancing your existing lifestyle with a healthy diet and regular exercise is the perfect way to continue your indulgences for an extended period of time.
Wait! Don’t go away! There’s more!
I am not going to preach to you. No I am not going to be one of those annoying, uber-keen fitness-club types who hound you to get off of the couch and put the nachos down. No I am not going to berate or decry your lifestyle like so many of those late-night Bowflex info-mercial guys always do and no I am not going to try and win you over. I am however going to show you the benefits that I enjoy through maintaining a strong, physical regimen and illustrate the advantages that such a lifestyle has given me.
Over the years, I have had the privilege to attend some of the most pivotal events in the recent history of the CoS (Shhhh!). Most of the Satanists that I have met at these gatherings rank among the most unique, talented and creative individuals on the planet. Their interests range from painting, sculpting, chemistry, bio-engineering, pro-wrestling, necromancy, theatrical makeup, politics, automotive repair, interior design and East-Indian cuisine to funeral direction, animation, erotic photography, music composition, law-enforcement, Yoga, martial arts, Batman and Bollywood. They attack each passion with unbridled, Satanic fury and it shows. No other group is more deserving of or more clearly demonstrates the tenet of “Carpe Diem” than my fellow travellers of the Left-Hand Path. While I share many if not all of the interests listed above, physical activity is my greatest passion.
How seriously do I take my health? Let’s just say that you will see Gloria Steinem fellate the Pope before you see a cigarette in my mouth, I avoid trans-fats like the plague and stay far away from the genetically-modified aisle in the grocery store. Adrenaline is my poison, accomplishment is my buzz and I can kill you with my bare hands if you cross me. I guess the benefits of physical fitness all depend on how you look at it. Is it an annoyance or a wise investment? I find it to be a lot of fun but sometimes…it does hurt a bit.
If there was any, singular term by which Satanism can be distinctly defined, my choice would certainly be “strength”. Strength, pride, discipline and power are all key elements of the Satanic ideal and those who rank among the Alien Elite most certainly exemplify these qualities in their personalities, thoughts and achievements. My question is why should the body be any different? The body and mind are inseparable as far as I am concerned. Both require energy and need to be regularly exercised. What benefits one, ultimately benefits the other. There is nothing more impressive or rewarding than feeling your body, mind and spirit working in perfect synergy. It really makes you feel like a superman. In truth, it’s frighteningly addictive.
I was lucky enough to be introduced to Satanism at a relatively young age. While all of the ideas contained with the Satanic Bible resonated powerfully within me, I was specifically attracted to the idea of man being “most dangerous animal of all”. My fascination with Nietzsche’s Ubermench and affinity with characters as Batman, Hercules and Tarzan only furthered my interest in this aspect of the Docktor’s magnum opus. If man is an animal, he must master himself, protect himself from harm and be able to move effortlessly throughout his territory. That is why I see physical fitness not just as a component of living a full life but also as a powerfully Satanic endeavour in and of itself. I regard it as a means by which I can give myself advantages in every aspect of my life, be they physical, artistic or professional.
For one thing, it instantly sets me apart from the herd. Being fit is a way that I distinguish myself from the unwashed mob that are now so embarrassingly out of shape, undisciplined and lazy that they routinely get their stomachs stapled shut and drown their intestinal tracts with experimental chemicals just to stop themselves from eating.
These days, being fit is looked down upon by the large bulk of the population. I cannot tell you how many times I get that sour milk face from my co-workers after I recall another exhilarating weekend of sky diving, rock climbing or competing in a martial arts tournament and then watch them go out and swallow bucket of cheesecake and a crate of cigarettes. I also get those envious colleagues at the office who say “Wow I wish I could do that” and then go on making excuses. My response is always “Well shut up and do it!” As the man one said, “get busy livin’ or get busy dyin’ ”.
Life is indeed the One Great Indulgence but it is also the One Great Adventure and increasingly more people are merely content to let life pass them by; living vicariously through the accomplishments of others or watching them on TV with a lawn bag of Doritos and a wheelbarrow full of Big Macs. It is true that television is indeed the new opiate of the masses. Bad foods and chat rooms however are not that far behind. With an ever-expanding smorgasbord of salty, bloated snack treats available and a two-thousand channel universe to surf, the masses now can routinely anaesthetize themselves with corn dogs, canned ravioli and squirt cheese in addition to their regular diet of Hollywood gossip and reality TV. The enforced mantra of political correctness and the rule of tolerance above all exacerbates this pathetic lifestyle; allowing weakness, stupidity and a lethargic attitude to become not only commonplace but encouraged.
Junk food and an increasingly sedentary culture have rendered the denizens of this continent frighteningly ineffective and unmotivated. Most of the population now look like the herds of cattle whose behaviour they have been emulating for decades and actually possess the attention-span of grazing livestock.
For the first time in its history, the children of the Western World are not expected to live longer than their parents and are systematically being discouraged from excelling in…well, anything out of fear of making the weaker, lazier or stupid children feel bad. They are fat, lazy, decadent and ignorant little eating machines; waddling on happy and oblivious to their impending fate while their parents validate their sorry lives through self-help books, Playstations and Oprah reruns.
In this increasingly clogged-up and dumbed-down world, being healthy definitely gives you an edge over the rest. Having knowledge of self-defense gives you an obvious tactical advantage in the concrete jungles of this world as it affords you the ability to protect yourself from harm. A healthy body is essentially a battery that powers your non-physical attributes. With regular exercise, I have more energy at work. I am also more effective at my job. I stand out as a strong and diligent worker. I can concentrate for longer periods of time. Stress barely gets to me and my mind works faster and is open to complex ideas. I find myself instinctively sizing up any task set out for me, be it an assignment, a bill to pay, a film review to write, a book to finish, a house to renovate, a strategy to employ or finding the time to plan my next rafting trip.
If this were not enough, physical health and active living contain distinctly Satanic motivations. “Getting to the top” is an obvious, Satanic imperative, be it metaphoric, financial, politic or artistic. After “getting to the top” of an actual mountain, you learn to employ the same attitude, willpower and discipline into getting to the top of your class, the top of your profession or the top of your craft. Physical fitness also promotes a longer lifespan, heightens the physical senses and allows you to savour the fruits of life more all the more deliciously. Food tastes better, scents are stronger, sensations are sharper and your perceptions are all the more refined, not to mention the fact that your stamina is given a nice boost. Let me tell you fellas, you won’t get any complaints in the boudoir, if you know what I mean.
I am not sure when, where or why this happened but sometime ago, society associated unhealthy eating and binge drinking with manliness. I still find it funny to watch the moron in the pub pouring cheep, domestic beer down his gullet while his habitually annoyed but “loyal” girlfriend looks ahead to the inevitable night of helping him throw up, putting him to bed and falling asleep unfulfilled. I on the other hand am never short on energy, ability or enthusiasm…just ask my girlfriend. Yeah, keep drinking tough guy!
As Satanists, we are wolves in a flock of sheep. We are the hunters. We are the Alphas and we are on this Earth to conquer. To do that we must have complete mastery over ourselves and that includes our bodies.
Conquering a cliff, rock face or mountain requires more than physical strength. It demands strategic thinking, meticulous planning, willpower, total body movements, balance, discipline and focus. The “rush” you receive upon making it to the top after the mountain has taken all of your strength, will, skill and determination is a feeling that is almost indescribable. Every ion of your body is charged. Your mind and spirit have been energized. Your muscles are vibrating like a tuning fork and you have tapped into reserves of energy that you never knew existed. My most favourite way to accomplish this is through outdoor activity and so-called “adventure sports.”
I always experience that feeling I described after conquering a set of rapids, executing a bungee jump, skiing down the side of a cliff face or pinning, submitting or knocking out an opponent. SCUBA diving through an undersea cave and actually touching a black tip shark or handling a seven foot Moray eel while traversing a coral reef gives me a buzz that no shot of Jack Daniels’s can ever top.
Not only do these kinds of activities put you in a different class of humanity but also remind you of the position you hold within nature. Outdoor sports demand that you respect the laws of the wild before you overcome them. If you succeed, you can look down from the top of a mountain and see your place above the rest. Conquering a river rapid, knocking out an opponent or swimming across a lake not only makes you physically stronger but sets you apart from those that are either too weak or too lazy to even try. With most of the population now hopelessly tied to the lifeline of the modern, welfare-bloated, nanny state, anyone can survive in the city. Only a few can make it out here and that is what it is all about. That sense of accomplishment and uniqueness that is only attained after succeeding in the unspoiled majesty of nature only re-enforces your unique and elite position in this world as truly, the greatest and most dangerous animal of all.
Now I know that some of you cannot, for medical, generational or physical reasons, perform the same activities as I can at present. The examples that I have given are just my own personal preferences. Some folks are simply afraid of heights. Others cannot equalize their estuation tubes at lower pressures. Some people just don’t like the water. Even though I don’t like red wine, a daily glass of it is very good for you. All I am saying is that regardless of their physical condition, everyone can always do something to improve their health and that to me is the essence of Satanism…ever forward.
So there it is folks, I have revealed my secret and shown you the rewards that I have earned through healthy living. While I avoid alcohol and bad foods, it is no reason for you to do the same. Many of my friends smoke and like to indulge in snacks that I avoid. Indulgence is the raison d’etre of our kind and nobody can make a Satanist do anything they do not want to do.
But every now and then, those same friends approach me and ask for some advice on their health. When they do, I respond in the manner in which I have in this essay; by listing the advantages that simply balancing their current lifestyle with a healthy dose of mine can produce and leaving the choice to do so in their hands. I am not telling you how to live but I am telling you that I live very, very well.
A few years ago, I was hit by a drunk driver while cycling. I lost consciousness and had to be resuscitated. During that time I had what I called a “mere-death experience”. I didn’t see a white light, a sparkling tunnel or a slew of dead relatives telling me it was not my time. I didn’t even smell the warm and refreshing scent of Brimstone. Nope, I didn’t see a damned thing and that was what was truly terrifying.
You only get one shot a being alive folks and when you’re dead that’s it. So while the herd continues to beer-bong, smoke and bloat its way into oblivion, I will be busy raising as much Hell as I can and savouring every drop of my life…perhaps while cliff diving.
I know that eventually the body inevitably decays and one day I will most likely be half-blind and missing one ear and perhaps a limb or two. When my time approaches and those around me recall the seminal events in their life, when we were kings and when they could still walk under their own power, most of them will probably say “I remember that.” I, on the other hand will be able to look back to my glory days and say “I did that!”
Life truly is the One Great Indulgence. So I choose to get out there and live it!
“The journey is the thing.”
Reverend Colonel Akula is a Priest in The Church of Satan. He is an avid outdoor enthusiast, author, herpetologist, humorist, film critic and self-defense coach. He has written and produced the Fang and Claw series of books which deal with personal, self-protection from a distinctly Satanic perspective. His works can be purchased at the CoS Emporium.