There seems to be a misconception among the general public that the Norse were brutes who only desired to dominate other peoples. While the typical Norseman could be an absolute brute, an absolute brute is not all he was. The average Norseman also understood the value of sacrifice to enable a better future and the courage and self-discipline required to see it through.
It was near impossible to simply murder your way to the top of the typical Norse social structure. If all you did was murder, then all you would ever be is a murderer, and that’s clearly not conducive to societal advancement. Likewise, if you didn’t have the courage to defend yourself or your people, you were no good either. Ascending to and remaining at the top required one to possess multiple traits operating harmoniously together. When this occurred at a high enough level in a Norseman’s psyche, he was able to form and lead coalitions to help achieve something bigger than himself.
We at Norse Fitness call this the Norse Mentality.
There is a reason we call this enterprise Norse Fitness. It isn’t to cash in on a trend and run. Rather, it’s because we know that this mentality can be tested and honed even today through any given strength sport. The lessons you learn can then be applied to your career, your business, and your relationships. Strength sports should play a large role in your life, but it can’t end there.
The sheer amount of figures (gods, giants, creatures) discussed in the Norse myths is staggering, but even if you allow yourself to explore the concepts behind even just a handful of these stories, the fog will clear from your head. Even a hint of this clarity is invaluable to your development. You must do whatever it takes to learn, and the first thing you need to learn about learning is that it doesn’t come without sacrifice.
No figure better exemplified this concept in the Norse myths than Odin, the father of the gods who above all thirsted for wisdom. His thirst was so strong he gouged out his own eye to a being named Mimir just to have one drink from his well of wisdom. This is clearly hyperbolic, but only to show you just how valuable wisdom really is. If Odin would self-mutilate to learn what he learned, then surely you can scale that down and apply it to your own life. Why not sacrifice your video games to read the myths? You have the internet, where the bulk of human knowledge is stored and readily available. You owe it to yourself, your family, friends, and the world.
Written for Norse Fitness by Brendan Beaulieu