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!”

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