Confession: there aren’t many bloggers I follow anymore. Not many people can captivate me with their prose, keep me glued to my seat for an entire 1,000 word article, or drop my jaw with their orgasmic metaphorical sentence constructions.
But today’s guest writer can. I’m glad Jonathan Pietrunti agreed to write for me because 1) I enjoy the readability of his articles 2) he’s not boring 3) I don’t have to edit his grammar and 4) he’s eloquent in his storytelling.
Look: It’s easy for fitness professionals to write just to write and get shit out there. But sometimes it’s all fluff. With that said, it’s easy to write meaningless fluff, rather than creative gold.
I’d argue the article below is the latter. Get ready for a thought provoking and self discovering paradigm shift, ya’ll:
Who Are You?
Listen, if you get nothing else out of this article, get this: Your story, as lame as you think it is, is more interesting and relevant than pretending to be someone else…or telling a story that you think people want to hear. Your story is your mythology. Own that.
So, who are you? What is YOUR mythology.
Okay, okay. Let me back up a bit to give you some personal context.
I lost sight of myself, recently. That’s okay, I think. We all lose sight of things sometimes, and it’s not like I was losing sight of myself because I was smack dab in the middle of a month long drinking bender. I mean, at least, not this particular time.
Simply put, I got caught up in a virtual world of avatars. Social media. Non-real people. “Friends” lists (*chortle*).
While I don’t really identify as a “FitPro”, apparently I found myself lumped into that group. In actuality, I primarily identify as a leader and a coach. Not because I jumped on Facebook one day and said: “Hi, I am a coach and a leader and an expert because I say so!”, but rather because I have the credentials and education and practical experience to classify myself as such.
Incidentally I was actually a very reluctant leader AND coach. As I outline in the introduction to a book I’ll probably never finish, I made rank VERY quickly in the military and while I was excited about the associated pay increases, I initially neglected to realize the increases in rank mean that you get put in charge of more and more things…like, you know, PEOPLE. Who knew?!
But, yeah, whatever…I guess I was in the “FitPro” realm.
The problem with fitpros is that everyone is yelling into a void. An abyss of absolute and complete BORING. For better or worse, online interactions like social media provide a degree of anonymity which facilitates poor – borderline sociopathic – behavior. From the perspective of a Navy Chief with a Sport Psych pedigree, it was quite fascinating for me to kick back and just observe the fuckery once I broke free of the mob. Oddly, everyone seems to be shouting for the attention of “influencers” and not even taking the time to examine who their audience is before they word vomit some boring shit.
AND IT IS BORING.
Frankly, even some of the influencers are boring and/or completely full of shit – yeah, I’ve met some of you in person…you KNOW who you are – they just have really big lists, which, apparently, are important if I ever want them to affiliate market my stuff and collect 90% of the profit for my hard work. (Insert picture of me holding up a certain finger).
Like, vanilla ice cream boring.
Like, flaccid meringues boring.
Like, the first 300 pages of Infinite Jest boring.
Like, some irrelevant status on “corrective exercise” – just shoot me in the head and end my misery kind of boring.
What’s much alarming is that much of this jackassery is on account of people trying to sound like one influencer or another. Unfortunately – and this is terribly funny – the influencer they are trying to sound like is often aping another influencer. And whatnot.
For a concrete analogy of this process, please walk into your nearest FedEx Kinko’s copy center with an original drawing and proceed to copy it.
…and make a copy of the copy…
…and make a copy of the copy…
…and make a copy of the copy…
…and so on.
This will give you a pretty good practical illustration of the inherent quality control issues that arise when you lose sight of who you are in the quest to sound like someone who is sounding like someone who is sounding like someone WHO IS ONLY SUCCESSFUL BECAUSE THEY WERE ONLY TRYING TO BE THEIR TRUE SELF!
Dude, I was getting sucked into this shit! Can you imagine? Have you met me? (Well, no…you haven’t…which opens up a whole can of worms for another article. Don’t worry, I’m going there next).
So I dumped Social Media.*
O, Discordia! “Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold.”
Did life go nuts, did the world shatter as chaos enveloped all that I thought I knew? Nah. I found my center. Look, man, I speak a lot about self awareness and mindfulness. It’s kinda my schtick, so let’s go there.
The first thing I did, post social media, was to get mindful. If you want to have a voice, build a brand, get that dream job, or simply set relevant goals, you had better practice mindfulness and know who you are. Mindfulness is the foundation of self-awareness…so simple yet so easily forgotten by me…and I have a friggin degree in this shit. If you don’t even know who you are, how can you create a vision and a roadmap to the future? IF you are trying to be someone else, how will you live YOUR best life?
Be still, be self-aware.
Now, tell me who you are.
What is your story, your MYTHOLOGY?
And stop trying to be all fancy and embellishing and so forth. Trust me, like I said in the opening, your real story is so much more interesting and authentic than the bullshit everyone else is trying to pass for reality in their Facebook feeds. Fuck that. BE YOU!
Listen, man…at the core, MY mythology really isn’t all that earth-shattering. Really, I’m an itinerant Massage Therapist with anxiety issues and rear-delt fly fetish. The fact that I went from a lost teen to a military leader is as hilarious to me as it is to the people who know me.
It isn’t elegant. Won’t ever be a lifetime movie.
But it’s who I am.
*NOTE: Okay, so I did have to pop back a few times prior to deleting my profile because I actually DO get Bodywork inquiries from my Facebook page, which, in the context of this article, is hilarious considering the non-marketing I do on social media.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jonny Pietrunti is a former Navy Chief Petty Officer turned Performance Psychology consultant, Strength and Conditioning Specialist, and Licensed Massage Therapist in Brooklyn, New York. When he isn’t coaching or Massaging, he enjoys arguing the merits of New York pizza, people watching on the subway, and being generally enigmatic for his own personal entertainment. You can find him at www.thatgreyarea.com, or wandering aimlessly in Midtown Manhattan.