jan_can_too (jan_can_too) wrote,

Bench pressing weighty ideas

When I last visited my parents, I mentioned something about weight lifting. I am proud of my progress. I may not be fast or thin, but I can lift stuff. This seems to me to be useful in a way that doesn’t require explaining, so I was taken aback when my mom said, “Why do you want to be strong?”

Why wouldn’t I?

But I forget. I am not the woman my mom wishes I were. I move stuff myself rather than waiting for some strong manly type to do it for me. It’s a good thing, because there have been times in my life with a definite lack of strong manly types. Still, a disappointing characteristic in a daughter.

I also think of physical strength as a kind of sympathetic magic. The stronger I am in my body, the more confidence I have in the strength of my soul. Sure, this is superstitious, but that doesn’t mean it’s wrong. Besides, when I feel stressed and angry and powerless, I can take out my aggression on inanimate objects. The victories I have over the barbells become symbolic of my intended victories over less tangible objects.

Weakness is boring. Limitations are annoying. The stronger I am, the more fun I can have.

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