Maybe it’s because of all the bad press that I kept my expectations low. But honestly, I didn’t think Iron Fist was bad. Out of all the Marvel Netflix joints, Danny Rand might’ve had the least impact. Even for those who enjoyed it, I don’t think they’re going to be clamoring for a season two. On to the Defenders!
The series had its weak at moments, sure. Like, why didn’t he use his powers more often? Why did he get beat up by nobodies so often? Also, how do you make the protagonist be the least likeable character on the show?
“Danny Bland” I get, but the hate I don’t.
So then I got to thinking, what if people were upset at the show because it reminded them of their own failures?!
That’s right– I’m going to make the argument that Iron Fist might’ve kept things too real. *SPOILERS AHEAD* Here’s how Iron Fist’s weaknesses are just like your own fitness failings:
3. You think you know your goals, but you have no idea.
One of the overarching themes of the show is expectations vs. reality.
When Danny comes back to NY to see old friends, he expects to be welcomed back with open arms. He’s not.
When he’s finally on board at Rand Enterprises, he expects the company to be doing good. It’s not.
And when it comes to fulfilling the role as the Iron Fist, this probably the biggest internal struggle he’s got going on. Danny is pretty adamant about his identity as the Iron Fist. It’s him, not Davos. No one else could possibly understand because they’re not him. But as things progress– his relationship with Coleen for instance– makes him question how much he needs to follow through.
Stating your goals can keep you accountable (sometimes). Of course, stating your goals and actually doing them are very different things.
Sometimes once we start down a path, we realize it’s way harder than we thought. Sometimes we still try to stick with things even when they’re not really what we want after all.
2. You don’t know how to stay grounded.
Due to that identity crisis, Danny loses balance of his chi and can’t summon the Iron Fist. The quick reaction from everyone being: guess those 15 years of training didn’t mean crap huh.
And yeah, as an audience, you’d like to see the hero get his act together.
But he is juggling a lot. I mean, living in New York of all places. C’mon now. And he got laid for the first time ever! Exciting times, yet distracting times. Time being the key point here– Danny just doesn’t have enough time to find the right balance.
He doesn’t get the luxury of idling by and catching his breath.
How often do we fall into the same type of grind, even without all the pressures of being the Iron Fist? Work hard and hustle are the big catchphrases of the fitness community, but being busy isn’t the same as being effective.
The stress builds up.
1. You don’t make use of your experience and acknowledge how far you’ve come.
Hmmm that final #IronFist showdown was pretty weak…
— Jon Dao (@CommDao) April 7, 2017
In the climax of the show, we get a really, really lukewarm final battle. Danny’s tackled dragons and the Hand… but he’s struggling against a guy swinging a 2×4. This is no different from Backyard Wrestling.
And I understand he doesn’t have full control over his powers, but he seems to neglect all of his training. When he peeps over the bricks and gets shot– that’s something you see from people who never play video games!
But the trap is to think that experience equates power. Experience grants the path towards more power, but doesn’t guarantee it.
In the fitness world, I see this play out in two ways. For one, when people get injured, it’s not always a rookie making a rookie mistake. Sometimes it’s the guy who’s been in the thick of it for a decade, and in his training he just doesn’t know how to hold back. He holds himself to a standard of having to prove himself… just like when he first started.
On a different front, we can be our biggest enemies when it comes to acknowledging our experience. Think about the people you know who do lose weight and do get stronger, yet they feel like they haven’t made any real progress.
They just can’t see it. They’re blind to their own accomplishments, so they belittle themselves.
Just because you can’t see the power Iron Fist, doesn’t mean you can’t use the power of the Iron Fist… Hopefully, I won’t have to do a write-up defending the Defenders!