Man vs … man?

As a species, humans have come a very long way. We are no longer crammed into a cave, sitting around a fire, eating berries (unless you’re a contestant on Survivor. I love that show).

It is official, we have moved on from our cave-dwelling, stick baring ways and yet for some reason, I feel like members of the male population have not received this memo.

Men feel this inner calling to challenge their minds, bodies and manhood through all manner of self-induced pain. For example, the rotund gentleman on Man vs Food.

Now I would be all out lying if I said I didn’t honestly enjoy watching him sit down to a 10 kilo taco stuffed with 7 kinds of meat or the world’s most searing hot chilli sauce smothered on a sushi roll and then watching in joy as he sweats, grunts and pants his way through digestion hell. That said, I do struggle to understand why he does it.


The only thing he receives is a mild heart arrhythmia and a 100% chance of getting high cholesterol and/or diabetes. In fact, I think I read somewhere that his high cholesterol may even get diabetes.

If this guy were the only man out there punishing his body for little to no reason then I probably wouldn’t bat an eyelid, but he isn’t. There is a various assortment of obstacle courses and endurance races out there designed to push your body to the absolute limits, beyond the usual self-harming activities such as marathons and triathlons.

One in particular, Tough Mudder, sees competitors crawl under barbed wire, swim through ice cold water, run through fire and finally, sprint through live electrical cables. Sounds like a fun day out right?

While I am all about ‘be all that you can be’ I am definitely not all about ‘be voluntarily electrocuted and burned’ despite the whole ‘don’t worry ma’am – the paramedics are on hand’ message they promote. Stuff the paramedics! If electricity were my friend I’d be able to shove a knife in the toaster.

My idea of an obstacle course would be rolling down a hill covered in baby duck feathers, then crawling through a pit of snuggly cats and swimming through a river of ribbons followed by a cool down in the chocolate ice cream baths.

Men, however, love this stuff, they eat it up and nobody more so than Matt who not only loves the movie ‘Into the Wild’ but also loves the soundtrack. Even the instrumentals. I wouldn’t be entirely shocked to find him in the backyard one day trying to make a fire out of two sticks and fighting the neighbours cat for ownership of the perimeter.

Last night he came home at 10:30pm looking less than average. Now, some women would be concerned about what their man had been up to but this is not a problem I have ever faced and it turns out that, rather than ogling women in a dingy club, he had been at a steak house stuffing 1kg of animal flesh in a sesame seed bun into himself and was consequently feeling like he’d eaten a brick.

I’m not even going to pretend to understand why men, or anyone for that matter, would do this to themselves. I have no desire to pit myself against the world either physically or mentally and as far as I’m concerned, if I can make it out of Primark or the Myer boxing day sales alive, I can do just about anything.

But to those of you out there who want to be stuffed, burned, electrocuted and half-drowned… enjoy yourself, I’ll be on the couch if you need me.


13 Comments on Man vs … man?

  1. I hate that program, i think it is symptomatic of everything that sucks about the developed world. How can someone a) want to and b) be admired for eating an obscene amount of food, when mothers are litterally craddling their children, helpless as they starve to death, in other parts of the world. Makes me sad.


  2. When some other guy starts being all masculine, I start singing “Eye Of The Tiger” to inspire them to greatness! They never seem to appreciate it.


  3. I really think we missed out on the memo.. rofl..
    We can proudly say that we caused everything around us!
    I wonder why women want to be equals with us? don’t you see how amazing we are at doing pointless things?
    Good observation ;)


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