I have a theory. Admittedly it's probably not a very good theory but I like it. It struck me while undergoing my regular gym torture. I was nearing the end of a workout and starting to look forward to the best part of exercise - stopping!
I was feeling particularly sorry for myself on this occasion and I couldn't help but think that people are a strange design. All we really want is a nice comfortable, pleasant life and yet living healthy (which for most people is about living long) we have to suffer so much. And there it is. The Catholics were right - man was born to suffer. Not suffer in the context of not wanting to live (that would be extremely counter-productive) but living is a double edged sword. A wonderful experience for the most part but full of backlash; and sometimes the backlash can cut deep.
Here is the point, physiologically we are designed to be permanently fighting for our lives and for scraps of food. Before civilisation this made us naturally healthy (in a fitness sense) and therefore we are not designed to be comfortable (well not all the time at any rate). Therefore, we are left with a sense of not being quite right - not quite at one with the world - and so we translate this into guilt.
Oh, and what a guilt it is. Unconstrained guilt makes us so worried about all kinds of things. For most people this seems to translate to a reasonably healthy respect for our environment and desire to not treat it too badly. But for some the guilt is so consuming that they must spend their whole lives in state of denial and self-flagellation. The problem is, though, because this doesn't make them feel any better they then believe the problem is everyone else isn't trying to do things we actually can't control and chastising themselves for it.
Now, I don't have this problem. Somewhere along the line someone managed to convince me that I would die instantly if I didn't exercise hard, this proved to be motivation enough and so I do. The common wisdom is exercise gets easier as you get fitter. This shows the true value of common wisdom. It is b-grade ollux. I've been saving my life for four or five years now and it isn't getting any easier. It's always hard and it always hurts. It is awful; but, as a result I don't feel guilty. I've paid my price.
So here's the solution. Let's get all the Greenies exercising properly. Hard exercise I mean. The kind of exercise that makes you wonder if living longer is actually worth it; not just nipping down to the hemp shop on the bike. Just a thought.