After our earlier discussion about the relative unimportance of looks, I don't want you to assume that you can consequently let yourself go to hell. Not in the least.

Being an Ironman is about making the most of what you have, being the best you can be. And being gloriously, wonderfully, glowingly physically fit is unquestionably essential to being an Ironman.

In fact, many incipient Ironmen start here. Because getting in shape is a pursuit that's so actionable, so comprehendible.

When I ask you to throw yourself into your job, or into a hobby, I realize it's not as easy as all that. The path is not always clear. But getting in shape is something you can start on right now. And make no mistake, it is truly an Ironman trait.

The very word Ironman suggests strength, a flat belly, endurance, a hard, sinewy look. People ought to be able to tell just from looking at you that you work hard at staying hard.

This isn't to suggest, however, that you look like a weightlifter, all pumped up and bulky. Personally, I think that is not the look of an Ironman. To me it's an indication you spend too much time thinking about your appearance, about the effect all your muscles will have on the opposite sex.

An Ironman isn't that vain. He does what has to be done to be trim and healthy, to project a crisp, clean look. And then he devotes his time to self-improvement in other areas.


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