I was staying at my father in laws house last week, and of course didn't want to skip the gym, so I visited the one in his area. I had been there before with Alicia, she lives across the street with him and has been taking very good care of him since my mother in law passed away in February.
When Alicia and I went, we had only chatted over email and Facebook, it was fun to meet her in person, she was filled with excitement about learning something new. I remember as we pulled up to the gym she looked at me and said "I have a feeling we aren't going to the ladies part of the gym" and I exclaimed that I had never been to a gym that had a separate men's and women's section, so she can rest assured we will NOT be going to the ladies section!
On Friday I walked into the "men's section (and by the way, it is Alicia's regular part of the gym now!) and started lifting, it was back and bicep day for me.
I noticed two men, huge chests, spotting each other as they did set after set of bench press, and with some really good weight on the bar. Both of them had wide, massive, impressive chests.
Then I did what I always do. I looked at their butts.
They had none. Not one between 'em!
I see so many men who spend so much time on developing a massive set of pecs, only to ignore the rest of their bodies, sad.
It's like women who think they can go out and buy silicone breast implants and not worry about their rolls of fat on their stomachs, or their huge saddle bags. They will run around in a tight t-shirt but wouldn't darn don a bikini.
Sorry, it's a package deal and good packages are compact and tight.
I notice a woman on the decline bench, doing ab crunches. She has a cell phone in one hand and transfers it back and forth as she crunches. What on earth is going through her mind?
As I put on my clothes in the locker room that same women looks at me and speaks. She nods her head at me and says:
"How long do you have to work so your arms look like that?"
For the first time in my life I don't hesitate.
"10 years" I said.
I wasn't trying to be mean nor was I trying to discourage her, but I have worked hard, and I continue to work hard. To have someone hold their cell phone while they do "crunches" and then even ask me how long it took me to get where I am was just too much.
It's not just the time, it's the effort, the dedication, the passion, the diet, the self critique, the constant criticism (upon request), it's so much more than a couple crunches on a Friday morning.
It's my life.
The day before we had rested my mother's ashes in the niche. It was a beautiful military memorial in a quiet cemetery. Smooth, cool Italian marble and a rough, strong rock on top. Then a bronze bayonet and helmet embedded in the rock. A fitting place for a strong woman.
There was a saying on one of the niches that has stayed with me.
This helped me through the rest of the day, and I continue to think about it still. We can all use this as we live, as we mourn, as we lift.