A Story About Fitness

The Tale of Baldor and Magnus
Long ago, in a land of forgotten things,there was once a homely village.
The dwellings lay nestled between high cliffs and rocky outcroppings along the shores of a vast ocean.
A great many sea vessels frequented the port city and it was a noble place.
This was called Thalanor. It was a city brimming with foreign wares and a melding of peoples.

Baldors Lament
One such man was Baldor the baker. His shop was one of many on a particularly busy cobblestone street.
This fellow was a master craftsman of fine delicacies found nowhere else in the land.
He was renowned by all for his desserts and pastries. He baked sweet breads drizzled with a sugary glaze-
fruit encrusted buns that dissolved with each bite, and savory cinnamon loafs that were twisted together like vines.
As a baker he was equal to none.

Wealthy and successful was Baldor for his bakery was favored by all. However, this did not please Baldor.
He was not yet satisfied for he felt he was not an attractive man. A great baker he was but he had not yet-
taken a wife for the women did not favor him. All the years he had spent eating his own sugary pastries had-
caused him to become quite fat and docile. He weighed nearly 350 pounds! Baldor was very displeased.

Magnus the Mighty
There was another man. He was Magnus the mighty and the strong-willed. Magnus was very different from Baldor.
This man, though perhaps shorter, was well built and strong as an ox. He had a lean waist where Baldor had a large-
belly and broad sculpted shoulders where Baldor's hung limp. His chest was massive and his arms were like iron hammers.
Magnus hefted the longest and heaviest sword in all the lands. No one had a sword that was longer or bigger than his.
It was rumored that he could lift entire boulders and that he even won a wrestling match against a giant with only one arm.
All the women swooned in his wake and longed to be his wife.
Baldor heard them whisper these things about Magnus while he sold them desserts in his shop.

Baldor's had none of these things. He was not strong and he could not lift heavy boulders. And so he thought.
Baldor thought long and he thought hard about how he could be like Magnus. And one late evening he had an idea!

Skelmir the Trickster
This was an old time with many forgotten things. Forgotten gods and forgotten magics. In the town of Thalanor it was whispered-
and it was rumored that there was one such place where the ancient magics still lingered. It was said that there was a secret-
and hidden place where wishes were sometimes granted. Found only by night when the moon was fullest.
Somewhere between the high cliffs and the sea it was believed to be. So on the night of fullest moon and the darkest night-
Baldor waded out into the sea to find this secret place. And find it he did in a cave deep beneath the cold water hidden under the high cliffs of Thalanor.
This was the Hall of the mage Skelmir the trickster.

The Transformation
Baldor bowed before the mage.
"It is whispered and it is rumored in the village of Thalanor that this be a place of wishes. Is it so?" asked Baldor hastily

"For those who have the coin." said Skelmir as his unbroken features began pulling into a smile.
Baldor withdrew a large money pouch. The baker was wealthy after all.

"Might this be an adequate offering?" he asked expectantly
The mage's smile widened and he nodded his approval.

"What is it that you seek child?" the mage inquired

"I wish to be like the one called Magnus. He is strong where I am weak and good looking where I am fat." he began

"I wish to look as he does." spoke Baldor shamefully

Skelmir's smile faded into a frown as he pondered and then it returned much more sinister than before.

"You wish to look just like Magnus does?" asked the mage as he leaned closer. His eyes tinged with delight.

"Well, yes. Yes, I do." Baldor stammered nervously

"Truly.. the same?" asked Skelmir one last time. His voice lilting over the words.

"Yes but.." Baldor started but the words were cut off as Skelmir snapped his fingers with an audible click and Baldor the baker was gone.
In the dark cave beneath the high cliffs of Thalanor Skelmir the trickster laughed. He laughed long and he laughed hard.

"What a fool is Baldor!" Skelmir cackled

Baldors Delight
Baldor awoke in his bed quite pleased. He was no longer thick and fat. His waist was lean where it was once thick and he had broad-
sculpted shoulders where before they hung limp. His chest was massive and his arms were like iron hammers!
He had thought long and he had thought hard and now he was strong like Magnus the mighty.

"So clever am I." thought Baldor to himself.

But Baldor had been changed by Skelmir. Skelmir the tricktser. Skelmir the jokester and when Baldor looked in the mirror he was no longer Baldor at all but Magnus himself!

Magnus's Suprise
Magnus awoke feeling very odd. He reached for but could not lift his sword. The longest and heaviest of all swords. Magnus was displeased.
He was strong and mighty and his sword, the longest and heaviest, had weighed but a feather to him. Magnus looked in the mirror and was horrified.
His body was gone and he saw only the reflection of Baldor the baker and not Magnus the mighty. He tugged and he pulled.
He pinched and he pricked but he truly was in the body of the baker. He had a large belly where he once had a lean waist.
Magnus had shoulders that hung limply instead of his broad sculpted shoulders of yesterday. His chest was not massive and his arms-
were not like iron hammers. Magnus was confused and angry so he huffed and puffed his way up the cobblestone street to the shop of Baldor the baker.

Baldor loved his new body. The women in his store giggled and complimented. They blushed and whispered. All of it about Baldor.
"He is so handsome." said one maiden
"So much like Magnus." commented another
"I would be his wife." whispered a third as she fanned her face

Magnus's Exhile
Then came Magnus to his shop. His breathing heavy and his skin dripping with sweat.
"What have you done?!" demanded Magnus

"Be it the gods who favor me or the lady luck I do not know what has happened to us my friend." replied Badlor deceitfully

"This cannot be." Magnus exclaimed
"I have worked so hard to gain my might. I have ran, and lifted, and pulled. I have swam in the seas and climbed the high cliffs.
Each day I lifted boulders and swung my mighty sword. All this I have done to build my might." he explained to Badlor.

"I am afraid we are stuck this way." said Baldor apologetically
"I do not know how this happened and I do not know to fix it" he said

Magnus was silent as he turned away but not sad or sullen. His large steps echoed in the empty street and then he was gone.

Fattening the Calf
Baldor loved his new body. With feats of strength he would show off to the women of Thalanor. He flexed and teased and boasted.
The women swooned in his wake and many came to his bakery to see him. It was not long before he took a wife named Brida.
Brida was a fine wife and Baldor was very pleased.

As the days came and passed he continued to bake his sweet desserts and eat them as he had done before.
Baldor ate and drank and slept. He cooked, and baked, and tasted. Baldor ate with a fury for many days and many nights.
Baldor awoke one morning feelings less mighty then before. The baker looked in the mirror to find Magnus's lean waste getting fatter-
and his shoulders and arms shrinking smaller. Each morning was the same and soon he was almost as fat as when he was in his own body.
The women no longer favored Baldor for Baldor was fat and lazy and docile.

Magnus Returns
A year had passed and Baldor had become just as fat and round as he had been before but now in Magnus's body.
His wonderful wife Brida had left him and now he ate and drank even more than before. Baldor was very displeased.

Soon after, Magnus returned in Baldor's old body but it was no longer fat and round at all. Magnus's muscles were even bigger than before! He had a tapered lean-
waist and broad chiseled shoulders. His chest was gigantic and his arms were like iron sledgehammers. Magnus hefted the largest and heaviest-
war maul anyone had ever seen. The hammers head was the size of a smiths anvil! No one had ever wielded a hammer so large nor has anyone since.
Magnus was mighty indeed. He had forged the body of the previously obese 350 pound Baldor into a supremely muscled and stronger version.
Baldor stood aghast. He did not understand.

Recompense of Skelmir
Baldor returned to Skelmir the Trickster. Skelmir the Jokester.
"What has happened to me?" Baldor pleaded

"You wished to look like Magnus did you not?" he replied evenly

"Did you not enjoy being strong and muscled? "

"Yes! But it did not last." cried Baldor "I was strong and handsome but became fat like before even with Magnus's body."

"Magnus has returned with my body but now he looks even bigger and stronger then he did before!" he bellowed

"You did not make me strong and mighty. You tricked me and I want my gold back!" Baldor said as his face began to flush

Skelmir laughed mockingly. He laughed long and he laughed hard. He laughed until he was red in the face.

"You are a fool." the mage said still laughing

"What is so funny?" Baldor said scowling

"You think a strong man is just so? How many times have you ran, and lifted, and pulled as Magnus does?
 Have you ever swam in the seas and climbed the high cliffs? Each day lifted boulders and wielded a mighty weapon?" Skelmir questioned

"It is not easy to be great like Magnus. It takes time and hard labor. Discipline and a strong will power.
 Without these things you will always be fat and docile Baldor. No matter whose body you inhabit." The mage chastised

Baldor heard his words. He thought long and he thought hard as he did before. This time Baldor knew that he had to make a difficult a choice.
Work hard like Magnus or eat cakes?

Behind the Tale

What is the point of this story you ask? It's a simple lesson about fitness and a point that I want to bring to the forefront of your mind.
You may think that the message is obvious. Workout and don't eat cake right? Well yes, sort of.. but it's more then that.

Like Baldor many people look at bodybuilders, fitness models, and actors with envy. Wouldn't it be great to have the physique of super heroes-
like those in the Avengers or muscles like the bodybuilder Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson? Of course it would but many people only see it at face value.
You see washboard abs and bulging muscles and chalk it all up to genetics, expensive trainers, or just good lighting. Or maybe you don't even go that far.
All you see is something that you could never be. What you don't see is that the only thing seperating you from them is work.

What you don't see is the hours and weeks and years of training. Maybe you have tried to hit the gym, go for a run, or try a new diet but for one-
reason or another you quit. 

"I worked out everyday for a month but nothing happened."

"I just got too busy and couldn't find the time."

"I started to eat healthy but it just didn't last."

Do any of these sound familiar? I have heard excuses like this all too often.  In todays world we expect immediate results in everything that we do.
It's such a fast paced world and it's not all your fault. Businesses makes millions from this illusion by selling you things like "Get a Summer Shred in 21 Days" or
"Get Action Hero Jacked With These 8 Exercises." These are actual lines I found on Mens Health and you will see others like this everywhere. 

Here is the truth. YOU WONT CHANGE OVERNIGHT. You may not even see results in the first month or two. There is no get fit quick answer and it won't be easy. 
If you really want to be at that level I will give you the foundation. No BS, no sugar coating, this is how you get fit.
It takes a strong will, discipline, and knowledge. These might seem like general terms but let me tell you why I chose them. 

Will Power:

"When you want to succeed as bad as you want to breathe, then you will be successful." - Eric Thomas

If you have a strong enough will on the inside it will reflect on the outside. It takes an iron will, a hidden rage, an inner power to motivate you to hit-
that gym everyday and truly give it your all. It takes an extraordinary drive to willingly submit yourself to the pain and fatigue day in and day out. 
That will power will be the force that convinces you to be better then you were yesterday and to strive to be something greater. Do you have that power in you?

Discipline:

Will power is a tremendous force but no matter what there will always be days where you want nothing more than too collapse in bed and skip the gym for just
one day. There will be temptations that lure you away from your healthy diet. In these instances you must have discipline. That is what forces you to go workout
even when you don't want to and to steer you away from unhealthy snacks. It's your fail safe.

Knowledge:

Will power and discipline are the motivating forces but they do nothing without direction. You need to have an attack plan and you have to know what your doing.
This is where you hit the books and it can be hard. There is so much garbage out there when it comes to fitness that it can be difficult to find factual information.
I can really go into detail and start pouring out information but to keep it simple you need to establish a healthy diet and a workout regimen to meet your goals.
A word of warning though. Be careful with diets. There are tons of fad diets that will claim great results and present eye catching photos but many will do nothing 
for you. Educate yourself with trusted information from proven sources.

Notice that I don't give you any details. I don't provide an awesome diet or workout plan. Feel jipped? Well don't toss me out just yet because every person is different.
There are different body types, fitness levels, ages, and access to equipment. Each person requires a little different style to fit their needs so nothing I say can
help everyone. There is no blanket strategy or one size fits all. Nor am I a personal trainer or expert. I can only provide my personal experience. 

What I want you to take from this is that fitness is not an easy path and that there is no get fit quick method.
Take the three personality traits I shared and start using them until they become natural. Once you have the right foundation then you can build onto it.
This is where you decide to be like Magnus the Mighty or Baldor the Foolish Baker. 

 

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