These are five things every fit woman wants you to know…
1.) I earned these muscles.
I didn’t buy them, or get them without effort. It wasn’t easy. I put in many hours at the gym and on the road and the trail. Hours that I could have been home, laying on my couch watching movies, or drinking and eating, or just breathing easy instead of breathing hard. But I didn’t do that. I went somewhere a little dirty and a little smelly and I put in the work. Lots and lots of hard work. It hurt in a good way. Some of it was fun, and some was not any kind of fun.
On quite a few days, all I wanted to do was cry and sleep, but I made myself go on those days. I know how important it is to do the work on the days you don’t feel like doing the work. That’s what separates the successful from everybody else. All that effort paid off, and you see the body that resulted. You know what I see? Accomplishment.
2.) I don’t care if you like these muscles. They’re not on your body.
These muscles are mine. Remember, I earned them? It doesn’t matter to me if you like or don’t like these muscles. You’re not wearing them. They’re not part of your arms or your legs or your back or your buttocks or your whatever. They’re part of my body and I like them. Whether you like them is irrelevant to me and to you, when you really stop to think about it. You own your body. I own mine.
3.) You are allowed to keep your opinion to yourself.
You can dislike something about me or my body (or my mind), and we can still be friends. I may not like tattoos on my body, but I don’t have to tell other people they shouldn’t get inked. They like tattoos—good for them! Other people have haircuts and clothing and personalities I may not care for. I keep those thoughts to myself. Everything I think does not have to vomit from my mouth or bleed through my fingers onto the keyboard. This is the same for you. Isn’t that incredibly freeing to know? And time-saving? Thanks for remembering how to zip it.
4.) A woman can have muscles and still be a woman.
Having visible muscles does not obliterate my uterus or my breasts or any other part of my female anatomy. Just as having long hair or having babies or having an incredible need (yes, need) to eat chocolate at certain times does not confirm my status as a woman, neither does having muscles erase my status as a woman. Can we please stop thinking in binary terms? Everything doesn’t have to be this or that. A woman can have muscle (lots of muscle) and still be a woman. And if you don’t agree? Please review #4 again.
5.) I like myself a lot better when I do something than when I do nothing.
Now, I’m not going all Ronda Rousey and complaining about “Do nothing bitches” but I can understand the pride the fabulous Ms. Rousey has in her strength and capability. I get that. Movement makes us feel fabulous. (Well, sometimes only after we’re done. During it, we might not feel so good.)
And that’s part of the fun and benefit of lifting weights and training in other ways: Doing something with your body. We are physical animals, made to be physical—all of us, men and women. It’s only our modern society that has guided us into less active roles, and we’ve seen the negative effects on health that inactivity brings.
So, if you see me in the gym lifting heavy, or you see me on the road riding hard, give me a cheer, not a leer. Yell “Go get ’em!” not “nice ass!” The former makes me feel encouraged, but the latter makes me feel valued for one thing only. And I’m more than that one thing, so much more. I bet you are, too. We’re all in this life together, whether we like it or not, and we’re all going to feel better the more capable we feel. No one likes to feel weak or incapacitated or useless, so let’s not let go there, okay?
Thanks for listening, and I’ll see you at the gym or on the trail, or on the internet after I’m done. I’ll be the one cheering for you, and hoping that you can find your way to cheering for me.
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