Damon Young’s ‘How to Think About Exercise’, Reviewed by The Age

“The idea that exercise is ‘mindless’ derives from the mind-body dualism bequeathed to us by Descartes, and by Christianity’s distaste for the flesh. In the spirit of the School of Life’s practical approach to philosophy, Damon Young advocates a return to the holistic approach of the ancient Greeks, who believed exercise could be virtuous and character-building, as well as pleasureable. There’s the satisfaction that comes from pushing ourselves to our limits, humility as we face up to these limits, a new understanding of pain and the ‘agreeable horror’ of the sublime that teaches us to ‘savour the precariousness of life.’ Through the rituals and rules of competitive sports we learn the meaning of sacrifice without real loss. In pithy, accessible prose, Young offers up a new mantra for intelligent exercise – not ‘just do it’ but ‘just become it’.”