I've discovered that serious strength and conditioning coaches, when you tell them (proudly) that you finished your workout in less time than they thought, take that as a challenge. Then, they give you more. On the other hand, you can't whine either. You have to strike this balance between a grudging respectful struggle and a grunting stoicism. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand.
I have also learned that men are, at times, really frightened of having said the wrong thing to a woman. I find that interesting, I haven't decided what to do about it yet. But I will. I'm not cruel, but I can't ever pass up a chance to have some fun. Just a simple, "now, why would you say that?" causes a sharp intake of breath, furrowed brow, and confusion. It's fun. Try it.
Coach Juaquine, (pronounced "Wah KEEN" for the gringos out there) for instance, was trying every verbal means to correct my form one day until it finally dawned on me what he wanted me to do, and I said, "oh, stick my butt out more. Why didn't you say so?" There was an awkward pause, and then he wandered away.
|Garmin printout of my Santa Fe Mountains half marathon|
I can do a handstand now. I'm working on handstand pushups.
Last weekend, I did a little half marathon in the Santa Fe Mountains. It involved stopping a lot and taking pictures, so it was slow. I was going to make it an even sixteen miles, but the flash of lightening and nearly simultaneous crack of thunder changed my mind. Of course, toward the end, I was mutering about how this was never going to end. Ever.
The lesson I learned from that hike is that I need to learn to take better pictures of myself.
Then I was asked by another coworker why I like lifting weights, and it took me a while to articulate the reasons why. So here is why.
When I was around 30, one day I was out chasing my kids around and I hopped down off a retaining wall.
It wasn't a high wall, maybe about five feet or so, but when I landed, instead of what I recalled from younger days, something else happened. When I was younger, I felt spry. I felt nimble. I hopped and tumbled and did cartwheels and handsprings. but on this day, this particular day, a full forty pounds more than I had been when I graduated from high school (yet twenty less than I do now), when I jumped, I landed like a sack of wet cement. I think the sound I made was:
Around about the same time i got a full length mirror for the first time in several years, and I was surveying myself, naked, turning this way and that, and well....oh, my.
When did my ass fall all the way down there?
Both of these thongs, of course, I accepted with a certain amount of resignation, which is sad, when you think of it...a thirty-year-old woman saying quietly to herself, well, this is what getting older is, I guess.
Jane, aka DreadPirate, has for years been trying to get me to lift weights. She isn't nearly as persuasive as Sweet Baboo, though. He pays for a membership, ushers me into the car when I say, sure, I'll try it, and I chatter and watch out the window like a four-year-old while he carries me to our various adventures, including the weightlifting gym owned by Juaquine. Since I started working out with Coach Juaquine, I've been doing a shit-ton of weighted squats, weighted lunges, and leaping up and down holding weights. For an hour, twice per week, i do cleans, and snatches, and deadlifts. I work the big muscles. Gluteus, hamstrings, and quads.
The result is that I feel stronger. i feel nimble and spry. I can toss around grocery bags. I hop up onto curbs. I feel young. And, my ass is a bit higher than it used to be. For the past couple years I'd really started feeling my age. This seems to have cured that, for now.
The Oatmeal says he runs for food. So do I. But I lift weights for vanity.