Still mind, firm grip, clear intention. All part of the art.
The abs and back lock. I curl the bar with steel plates collared on.
One more. No, I can get two.
I don’t care about callouses. I don’t even care about the difficulty of breathing. I care about the rep. The next rep. Clean. In perfect form, the hardest kind.
In the mirror I look like I might explode. And I might–one day. But it’s all worth it today.
The pain lasts a few seconds after I set the bar down. So much satisfaction and only a blip of pain to get it. Delayed pain will hit late on the next day, usually between my shoulder blades, in my glutes, or the side of my quads. Why don’t my hamstrings hurt much? Maybe I oughtta address that.
I sweat hard when I go heavy. That’s how I reach the thrill. Sweat makes the muscles glisten. I need to shine. It’s part of the art.
Who would have believed I would play with Dumbbells?
It’s nothing like playing with dolls, or coloring in books, or dancing to record albums. That was me then.
Dumbbells, barbells, plates, cables…
This is me now. Power.
Not better, but power in it’s own way.
It’s a rock hard determination kind of power. This is how I’ve come to own myself, how I have chosen to rise above the opinions others had about who I was to become–others who saw me in the past as shy, wearing dresses, with plump legs and squishy cheeks, and never sweating.
She’ll be a smiling church girl when she grows up. She’ll eat cornbread and fried chicken and green beans from a can.
She’ll bake pies and banana breads–splurge on foot longs–sip diet cokes at the bowling alley on Saturday nights and her double helping of fried mushrooms.
Or she might be a hippy with a big booty, no she’ll be fat or what we call a (very) big girl when she grows up.
Because that’s who I used to be.
But now I play with fitness toys and health books and I do push ups and chins and press a stack of weights over my head. I Vitamix green stuff with protein. I live the art of movement.
Still mind, firm grip, clear intention.
It’s all part of the art.