My year of heavy lifting 

It’s like in the happening you don’t know what’s happening to you. You are going, rolling, floating. And it’s not until after, in the stillness and with the distance, that you can really see what happened. Everything lands and you can see clearly. 

At the end of every year, I make an inventory of my realizations. I am not yet ready to write this, but I will try. 

I’ve been trying to decipher my reactions. Is my reaction indicative of how I feel or how I’ve been taught to feel? I want to distinguish between a habit I’ve formed and an authentic something coming from somewhere. 

All year I’ve been battling how I feel and how people want me to feel. I’ve been pushed around. I have pushed around. 

I started lifting weights late last year and most of the time I think it’s hard but what I’ve realized is to stop thinking and suddenly it’s not hard. 

Things have meaning but you get to choose the flavor. I think. I’ve never liked pain. The fear of pain kept me calm as a child, kept me clean, kept me smart…but I forget that pain is necessary, required. I am trying to work through the pain. To get down and dirty with it. 

Our bodies learn to adapt to whatever we put them through. We are designed to grow out of manageable amounts of pain. Some kinds of damage are productive. Some we can learn from. Some make us stronger.

Hypertrophy is the process of building up muscles by breaking them down, of creating just enough damage to signal that the body needs to generate new fibers, make new connections, expand itself.

Resilience is returning to that precise level of pain again and again. Resilience is bouncing back into shape despite exposure to outside forces. It’s the ability to take damage and strain and use them to grow the body into new and more productive forms. If we follow the maxim that strong bodies are beautiful, than we become more beautiful through the process of pushing ourselves past a place of fear and discomfort into a place where we can delight at our own abilities.

I think this year I learned that I am lacking in my ability. I am vulnerable, but I can build there. 


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