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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Chen

are you here to fight, or defend?

Personal fitness might look different these days, but the pressure to have the perfect body still exists - and now it's harder than ever to obtain (let alone maintain). I sit down with a personal trainer to unpack our insecurities with the look of our bodies in another episode of 100 Masked Men on the Miss Amanda Chen Show Podcast.

Masked Man #16 is the Masked Defender. When we talked about men in society, and where moments of "toxic masculinity" could occur in his life, he said something very interesting about lions - that the lionesses actually do most of the hunting while the male lions just lay around in the shade looking pretty. And yet lions (or generally speaking the male species) get all the credit for being the hunter-gatherers that invoke all the traditional characteristics that go into what "being a man" means in the world today. It all depends how the story is told.

As a troublesome kid that always got into fights, he shares that the reason wasn't out of anger, it was out of protection for something or someone. Reflecting on his own childhood and his parents having defensive tendencies from their experiences in war, he said his mom told him that he's not actually a fighter, he's a defender.

In this episode we talk about the stereotypes or assumptions that come as an attractive male personal trainer with mainly female clients, so you can imagine the backlash he might get from both male colleagues and male clients with his unusual popularity among women.

There's so much we talk about here, from encouraging women to desire to get stronger and fitter, yet also having some guys in the gym complaining about women training too hard, or lifting weights making them look overly masculine and thus start to "look like a man" - sounds like a lose-lose scenario.

We talk about what being "strong" means, the dangerous focus on looking good versus being able to move your body, and the confidence boost he's seen among women in boxing. As someone who got pretty intense in boxing herself, I have to admit that nothing is scarier than getting into a ring with another human that is ready to fight you. Every other problem suddenly feels insignificant. It's a great way to get out of your head and reframe what matters.

This man is actually the first interview I ever made 2 months ago for the 100 Masked Men Series and I think now's the perfect time to share his episode as we hit January 2021 with a fresh set of goals, which usually involve a surge of sign-ups for gym memberships.

I've since changed a lot of my views and the way I conduct my interviews, so it's been a fun reflection listening back to this. I hope you enjoy the episode.

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