Tag Archives: working out

Why do I lift heavy weights?

I was at the gym again this morning, lifting heavy weights.

Often I will stop mid-workout, turn to the guy next to me (not to be too gendered, but in the room where I lift, with the rack and the benches and the heavier weights, it’s mostly guys around me) and laughingly say, “Why do we do this? I mean, it’s kinda weird. We pick up heavy weights, move them around a few times, and put them down. What do we accomplish?”

The guys in the room generally laugh and say something witty back. And, in retrospect, I guess they’ve been kind because none of them have said to me, “Your weights really aren’t heavy!”

They’re heavy to me.

So, why do I do it? I was thinking this through this morning after my workout. Why do I push my body so hard? Especially as I get a little bit older and a little bit shorter – and any of you who know me know that getting a little bit shorter is probably not the most desirable thing on my agenda – and the heavy weights can’t help but push me in the wrong direction. Why do I do it?

Why have I deadlifted more than my bodyweight? And bench-pressed way more than my body weight? (Got that bragging in well, didn’t I?) Why do I?

Well, first off, it’s fun. I love lifting, and I love lifting more than people think I can. Second, when I started lifting I was in business school, and it was way more fun than studying. Then I developed muscles, because I have the type of body type that does. And that was fun too.

And third, and probably deepest and therefore probably most “important,” it makes me feel powerful. Being physically powerful makes me feel completely powerful.

As someone who was, I guess at least in some ways, somewhat of a victim when I was young – or at least somewhat victimized – lifting heavy weights makes me strong and makes me feel strong. Maybe it’s like when my oldest child, who only saw themselves as a “smart kid,” became a varsity athlete and began to see themselves as an athletic kid.

Maybe it’s changed how I view myself. Or maybe it’s given people a chance to view me more how I view myself (and less how my size might lead someone to view me). Deadlifting 115 lbs. reminds me of how powerful I am. As does bench-pressing 120. (I’ve now successfully bragged and told you roughly how much I weigh. ☺)

I like being strong. I probably was always strong on the inside, and I like being strong on the outside too. I like the way it feels, and I like the way I feel. I like reminding myself – as I’m learning more and more we all have to learn, or relearn – that, as Christopher Robin once said to Pooh, “You’re stronger than you think you are.”

I think that’s why I lift stupid heavy weights.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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If I’m going to take offense, I might as well go all out

Someone I love dearly said this to me. In their defense, they said it as a joke.

It can be a joke, and it can also have a message, at least for me.

I think I like to go all out with nearly everything. Those who know (and hopefully love) me would probably agree. I like to work hard, play hard, love hard, laugh hard, dig deep, give it all my all, have passionate conversations about values and beliefs, and dive into situations. So if I were going to take offense at something, I’d probably do that all out as well.

It also reminds me that taking offense is a choice. I can take it, or I can not. Someone can say the same thing to me on two different days, and my responses can be polar opposites. Sometimes I laugh things off and let things slide, and sometimes I take offense. Sometimes I take a lot of offense.

I coach my clients to be intentional about how they act and react. I coach them to make a decision about what they say and do. I can do the same about taking offense.

I can choose to not take anything, myself included, too seriously today, or I can take offense and go all out. And enjoy it.

I might as well go all out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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The joy of yoga again

I finally got the “all clear” from my physical therapist, and I cautiously headed for a yoga class. It’s been over a month since I’ve practiced; over a month since I did an exercise with my daughter that I knew I shouldn’t do. As I lay over the exercise ball at the beginning of December, throwing my legs up behind me, I kept thinking, “I shouldn’t be doing this.”

I shouldn’t have.

But I did, and I had over a month without practicing and, as I’ve shared, the good news is I never beat myself up over it. It was what it was.

But here I was, on my mat, hoping it would feel okay. I put the “no assist” sign at the top of my mat, so the instructor wouldn’t help me in any poses. I wasn’t sure what I could do or couldn’t do, and I didn’t want an assist to push me too far.

I didn’t want me to push me too far.

I’ve learned over the years that enough is enough. I’ve learned I’m often on overdrive even when I think I’m going slowly. And I’ve learned – contrary to my moment hanging over the exercise ball – to say no, to step away, to go for adequate instead of more.

And I did. I took it easy – well, a little easy – and eased my way through the practice. And as I moved and breathed, I remembered what yoga brings to me. Focus. Calm. Peace. Connection. Wholeness. Ease.

I walked home from the studio, feeling my body stretched and soothed like it hadn’t been in over a month. The next morning I woke, and I could still walk. 🙂

I’m back. And I’m loving the joy of yoga again.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, and please share this post with others if it resonates with you!

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