I was looking at past and present pictures of Arnold Schwarzenegger the other day when two things struck me: one, time is a real motherfucker. The man who possessed one of the most beautiful physiques the world has ever known is now reduced to moving through life in an advanced-stage version of "dad bod". The other thing is that building a perfect body is ultimately a lot like making a beautiful sand castle.
Part of what's cool about sand castles—especially the more elaborate ones—is that we know they're not going to be around for long. With our bodies, though, that's something that we like to ignore. Pump that iron and drip that sweat, but the reality is you've only got about 20 summers to enjoy your hard work before the wheels start to fall off.
The difference between building beautiful bodies and sand castles of course, is that no one is going to want to fuck you just because you made an awesome sand castle. It might happen, but it's much more likely that you'll be struck by lightning and then immediately eaten by bears.
Building a nice body, on the other hand, is pretty much all you need to ensure that someone, somewhere, will want to have sex with you.
Now, there are people that will tell you that it's shallow to want to have sex with someone just because they have a nice body, but those people almost always look like shit naked. They might even actually believe what they're saying. But the reality is that if a pharmaceutical company created a pill that could instantly transform your body into that perfect specimen people lust over in magazines and Magic Mikemovies, every one of those motherfuckers would take it.
Some people say they don't care what others think, and that they work out just because they want to look good for themselves. This, of course, is utter bullshit. If you were the only person on earth, the last place you would go to is the gym. There would be no shaving your arms or flexing in front of a mirror, and no one would be posting videos of themselves on Facebook in yoga pants doing squats.
No. You would be alone at the beach, talking to a coconut, and trying to decide when to kill yourself.
One thing that's strange about the temporary nature of the human body is that this transient state of vibrancy is one of the very reasons why it's so exciting to look good.
If we never grew old and never died, I think life would probably devolve into something that resembles the boring experience of playing a video game in "God" mode. A huge part of the fun of gaming is the awareness that you could get fucked up at any moment. As soon as you remove that threat of vulnerability, running around shooting things becomes meaningless.
I'm betting that's what it would be like to be perfect and immortal.
Our reality is that the physical bodies we all move through this world with are ultimately slaves to the savage demands of the past.
The human race didn't survive plagues, wolves and barbarian hordes by being non-judgmental about love handles and crotch fat. We made it to 2015 because women are attracted to men that look like Channing Tatum, and they want him to shoot his vibrant DNA inside their vaginas so that they can make babies that will survive an invasion.
One day though, he too will go the way of Arnold, and of the sand castle—reclaimed by an infinite process that doesn't give a fuck about your six pack or your sculpted pecs, or your stupid moat and turrets.
Joe Rogan is a UFC commentator, stand-up comedian and host of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast.