I recently started working out again and I am once again reminded of some of my own issues surrounding fitness. I’ve been debating unpacking them here, but my family can confirm that I am a terrible unpacker. It took me a full month to literally unpack from our recent trip to Utah. But practice makes perfect, right?
My problem with fitness is about lifting weights. It’s not that I can’t lift, it’s not even that I don’t want to do it for its own sake. I know it makes sense for women to lift weights because it increases our bone density. But with all of that, I don’t lift because I don’t want the body that comes along with weight lifting.
Note: Moving forward in this post there are going to be triggers for partner violence. Please be aware and take care of yourself.
Way back, way way way way back in 2008 I was enrolled in a weight lifting class. It filled the physical fitness requirement for my A.A. degree and it was online so I could work out on my own time. It was perfect.
About a month after the class started, I ran into and started “hanging out with” a fellow that I had known several years previously and he gave 15-year-old Rachel the creeps. He was also inexplicably magnetic. So, as a 19-year-old (going on 20) I proceeded with caution. The self-blaming side of me knows that I should have listened to the 15-year-old version of myself and had nothing to do with him. But that kind of thinking will get you nowhere fast.
There I was, in my weight lifting class and doing great. I felt great, I was getting stronger. And there he was, tearing me down and making me feel small. Treating me terribly because, well, look at how strong I was. Of course I could take it. That body could take it.
Thanks to my amazing parents and supportive friends I made my way back out of that “relationship” before too long. One of my friends, whose help was enlisted by my dad because she was an expert in the types of people I suddenly found myself with, said after a few months “I found this organization that is having a conference to empower women. You need to be empowered. Let’s go!” It’s because of that that I had the courage to run for public office.
It’s because of that experience that I write. It’s why I wrote a novella (consequently, you can get it on Amazon if you’re so inclined).
So maybe someday that courage will find its’ way into my fitness routine. But for now, I don’t lift weights.