Achilles will probably be a known character in literature until there aren’t humans anymore. Just in case you are an uneducated toad, Achilles was the baddest Greek warrior to fight in the Trojan War. He pretty much beats everyone’s ass in The Iliad.
He is celebrated over 3000 years later because of his prowess on the battlefield. I would argue the ultimate test of a human is either single or group combat. All the best sports resemble war. Being able to beat someone’s ass is one of the fastest ways to up your social cred in school, at least in the American South.
The last fight I got into was witnessed by a bunch of my friends. It was one of my proudest moments, probably even more than graduating college, which will likely sound crazy to anyone who has been to school, but never been in a fight. More people called me to congratulate me on my stupid bar fight than called to congratulate me on graduation.
So what do we do if there is no path to renown like this? Starting fights is always a douchey thing to do. Ending them, well that’s another thing. Manufactured outrage in real life is as dumb as it is on the internet, except the stakes are higher, which is exactly why it’s as rare as it is.
Any red blooded alpha citizen looking to taste glory should get involved in something physical and fucking go for it. For me, the two best things have been lifting heavy weights and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. I’ve been more consistent with the former than the latter.
For weights, most of the effort I’ve put in has been in the context of Crossfit gyms. Every once in a while I see some boutique workout system that would probably get better body composition results, but I’ve always had a good range of benefits from Crossfit. I end up pretty strong, with good cardio, and semi-visible abs. My favorite part of it is the mental benefit I get from pushing through really hard workouts.
I get that there could be better form and more sensible progressions, I’ve done programs that made me much stronger than I was doing Crossfit. But the sheer raw silliness of crashing through some hard ass MetCon workout just does it for me.
I’ve started and stopped Jiu Jitsu so many times I don’t even know why I always think about it. If I had another couple of hundred bucks a month to drop into training, I think I’d like to add in some kind of martial arts. It doesn’t get much better than Jiu Jitsu for effectiveness, so I guess I’d go with that. I always end up fucked up though. My neck finally doesn’t hurt after about a year of rehabbing it. That said, there’s hardly anything more satisfying than catching someone on the mat. I always basically sucked at it, but every once in a while I’d come out on top, and when I did, it made all the time getting my face choked off worth it. Who knows? Maybe I’ll go full mid life crisis and join another fighting gym.