Someone strong and not so smart

My mother is a huge plant lover. If there is a foot of a floor which nobody uses to walk on, she’s going to put a plant pot on it. Each spring these plants are being taken out so they could enjoy the sun. Some of these pots are heavy which makes my mother say:

“I need someone strong but not so smart.”

That “someone” is either me or my father.

I know that she doesn’t mean anything bad, but I’m also aware of certain prejudices regarding people who are involved in an intellectual labor, and regarding those who are involved in the physical labor, and are professional athletes.

According to the stereotypical belief, football players and models are stupid, while the scientist, IT experts and those who deal with books are fat and ugly.

It’s true that someone who is involved in sports or is a model might neglect their intellectual development, but it’s not the rule.

It’s true that someone who is involved in an intellectual labor might neglect physical appearance and physical health, above all, but it’s not the rule.

Ernest Hemingway practiced boxing and each morning after he finished writing, he would swim two miles to clear his mind and strengthen his body.

Each day, Haruki Murakami runs 10 km, or he swims 1 mile, or both.

Bobby Fisher, although he wasn’t a writer, practiced wrestling and worked out in a gym, and he claimed that he needed a strong body to be able to sit for hours during a chess game; if his body would ache because it was weak, it would have been harder for him to think.

Albert Camus played football. (soccer)

Vladimir Nabokov played tennis and soccer, and he practised boxing.

Samuel Beckett played cricket.

Agatha Christie was a surfer.

Although, I’m far less known and less accomplished than those I mentioned above, I must say that during this year going to the gym has become a routine for me. 

I feel much better now and I don’t feel pain in the lower back although I spend most of my days in a sitting position. 

I also believe that physical activity contributes to my productivity and motivation for the intellectual work.

Therefore, you might simultaneously be strong and smart, no matter what the trends and stereotypes say, and you might gain some self-confidence while seeing yourself in the mirror.