This morning J and I went to lift weights. I’m learning that the fine-scale adjustments on the machines– not like seat height, but um, “stroke length” (I don’t really know what to call it, the distance that you push the lever) makes a big difference in how hard I find things. For instance, today the chest press machine was adjusted such that I was starting the push farther away from my chest than usual, and so I did less work (force*distance, right) and the exercise was easier. I should spend some more time learning about all the knobs and adjustments…
Afterward, after I had showered, another locker room lady chit-chatted with me as I brushed my hair. “Wow,” she said. “You’ve come such a long way. I can see how all your hard work is paying off!”
I’ve never really spoken to this woman so I know she wasn’t talking about the mental discipline I’ve gained or the strength I’ve developed– she was talking about the size and shape of my body. I mean, it’s out there, and it has changed. I’m not a big fan of assigning worth to people based on the sizes and shapes of their bodies, and I stood there for a moment thinking about how annoyed I should be.
But, I thought, this has been hard work. I have spent hours running and lifting and yogaing and listening to my body. I’ve made incredible progress in how I feel and the things I can do. I’ve gotten over my fear of gyms and body judgement and learned so much about myself.
So I smiled at her, finally, and said, “Thanks!”