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Elegantly Wasting: A One-Year Journey to Overcome Americana Apathy

This article is co-authored with The Lone Star Veteran:

"Hard times create strong men. Strong men create good times. Good times create weak men. And weak men create hard times."

― G. Michael Hopf, Those Who Remain

tattered American flag
Overcome the apathy that is hurting us as individuals and as a society.

I have lived a comfortable life for the most part. While I have endured some rough patches, my life has allowed me to settle in and take the path of least resistance. Reflecting on my life, I see who I was, who I allowed myself to become, and who I feel I am meant to be. While I do my best not to dwell on the past except when it's story time, my current apathy and self-perception conflict. Apathy has dominated for several years because I bought into what I label "Americana apathy." The luxuries and comforts of our modern society dominate my life, suppressing any sustained efforts to break free and live with a more strenuous purpose.

There is a turning of the tide.

rusted locomotive
Even a rusted-out locomotive can be restored to run again.

All these battles over the past four and a half years have prepared me in a way that I didn't realize until recently. While any gains were short-lived, they built in my mind until they reached the flash point needed to make a permanent change to make my self-perception my new reality. It won't be easy, considering I am past my prime. I like to use the metaphor of restoring a steam locomotive: the wheels, cranks, rods, and pistons are rusted, so it's going to take more effort initially to break free and get moving, but once momentum happens, I believe the journey is going to be beautiful.

But I need to be upfront that these types of journies are riddles with the discarded remains of abandoned failures.

This isn't my first rodeo. If things had gone to plan, I could have completed The Murph Challenge in under 30 minutes. I would have conquered 75 Hard the first time. I could do a 50-mile ruck in under 20 hours. I would be competing in GORUCK Selection. I would give 110% for 100 days. My GPA would be 4.0, and I would graduate with honors. I would hold multiple degrees in the areas that interest me. I would be able to speak multiple languages and would have traveled the world. I would be living my best theoretical life.

But that isn't how it worked because life isn't in a vacuum. It's real, in your face, and can be cruel. It will test your mettle and resolve to do everything possible to force you into taking the path of least resistance. But where is the fun in that?

We need to be challenged. How can we know and appreciate the beauty in this life without hardship, pain, or struggle? We need strenuosity of the body, mind, and spirit to push us to be the best version of ourselves. And we must do it in our time on Earth, so we need to heed Andy's words and make the most of our gifts. In that spirit of rugged Americanism, I decided it was time to get busy living myself.

With that, I give you Elegantly Wasting: A One-Year Journey to Overcome Americana Apathy.

This is not just a health and fitness voyage; it's a journey fighting against "Americana apathy" in all its manifestations. While it will deal with physical fitness neglect and how to overcome it, there will also be philosophical discussions and questions on mental strength and spiritual belief as I tackle topics such as the decline in trust in our societal institutions and our abandonment of the pursuit of knowledge as we gorge on information. I will opine how we can return to core principles to reclaim our roles to better ourselves for our families, local communities, and outward across the nation.

After many trials with starts and stops and more failures than I can count, I finally feel like I have built a personal program that will hold me accountable to myself and is one of those closest to me who can rally around and help me stay on course. I have been ramping up for this since the first of the year, and through the rollercoaster, I realize I am ready.

This is where I invite you to follow along.

The journey began on February 1, without fanfare. The Gen-X Texan is partnering with The Lone Star Ranger to bring you this story as I chronicle my voyage over 2024 as I fight daily to win my war against American Apathy that will be shared through articles, photos, and videos.

You can like, follow, and subscribe to the following social media channels:

While this is my odyssey, it is a familiar calling for many of us. Sadly, too many of us either refuse to answer or find it easier to stand down when the pain begins. It's going to be a difficult trip, but it is one I am determined to make for the betterment of myself and to do my part to help build a better America that can find a balance between the luxuries of modern society and living in a way that would make our ancestors proud.

A bridge of hardship
Sometimes, we must have faith to cross the rickety bridge to be better people.

Please feel free to follow and comment on my articles, posts, and stories as I take the long trek of personal reclamation, reconciliation, and recovery. Your words are the fuel that helps fire the furnace within to allow me to steam forward every day.

If you feel compelled to join me, all aboard the Elegantly Wasting tour! There is plenty of room for improvement.


The Gen-X Texan is a native Texan who is a proud member of Generation X and lives in the Fort Worth area. Please follow for more content:

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