Oh, hi there, ‘xcuse me, if I could just get to those weights over there, that’d be great. Doing upside down push-ups on that bench, are we? Impressive! You get in your strength training with the added benefit of manspreading all over the walkways, thus proving your worth to those around you. Personally, I think that just pissing around the perimeter of the weight area would’ve been a bit more subtle, but you do you.
You know what? I’m just gonna try and squeeze past you, as you seem to be oblivious to my polite throat-clearing. Those baggy shorts of yours are threatening to provide me with a glimpse of more of you than I bargained for, so I’m just gonna avert my eyes for the next couple of seconds…almost there…phew, made it!
What’s that? Oh, yeah, just these piddly little 5-pounders for me. 50 pounds for you? Well, color me turned on by your massive quantities of testosterone! Aw, now look at you, you’re adorable! Yes, I see how you puff your chest out and make those loud grunting sounds to show how big and strong you are.
But see, I’ve birthed twins. So…yeah.
Oh, you are quite intimidating, hoisting those big clunky weights over your head before setting them back down again. You did that for what, like, 15 seconds? Kinda reminds me of hoisting my double-stuffed pregnant self in and out of bed every morning, except I did it for nine months.
Sure, my arms are a little on the flabby side. They probably come closer to resembling that marshmallow fluff inside of Easter candy than chiseled marble. But it just so happens that the lingering fat was once used, in part, to help create two entire human beings. Oh, and then to make food for them. Amazing, right? My weightlifting came in the form of holding a crying baby in each arm; of nursing one baby as I rocked the other; of carrying two infant seats to and from the car a gazillion times a day. Now those were some guns.
My stomach has definitely seen better days. I’m rocking that “twin skin” you might’ve heard about. But that saggy skin stretched beyond its capacity for an incredible reason: to make room for two lives to grow and develop. I used to have a front row seat to the best show in town, watching my boy and girl play with each other before they were even born. Yes, they sometimes kept me up at night when they wouldn’t stop kicking each other. And yes, my stomach often looked like it was reenacting a scene from Alien. It was still incredible. Actually, it was unbelievable. I still can’t believe it in fact.
You see, being tough isn’t just how much you bench press; it’s also bellying (no pun intended) up to the hardest physical challenge of your life, even when it’s way more than you bargained for. Strength doesn’t always show in your muscles, but in the bags under your eyes after you stayed up all night with two colicky babies. Dedication is showing up in the weight room day after day, but it’s also dragging yourself to work every morning to provide for your family, even on those days when you feel like you just can’t do it anymore.
So go ahead and have a chuckle at these 5-pounders of mine. Call me a lightweight. Call me sweetie. Hell, you can even call me a soccer mom, ’cause I am one! But don’t call me the weaker sex. ‘Cause even though my strength may look different than yours, it’s still there—it always has been.
Well, gotta go. Have to pick up the baby from the gym day care. Oh yeah, I had twins and then another baby after that—because after undergoing the most demanding, painful, and physically strenuous thing a human being can endure (times two), I saddled back up to that bar and said, “Hit me again, bitch!” Catch ya later!