Strong versus Skinny

07 Jun

I spent plenty of years trying to be skinny. I was stick thin until about 3rd grade. Then I was one of the fat kids until junior high. Things evened out during 8th-grade, but I spent the rest of high school and college thinking about calories and how fat I would get if I wasn’t careful. I was never one to struggle with an eating disorder, but thinking about my body image was significant. One of my best friends in high school still doesn’t weigh 100 pounds, a second rocked the weight-lifting class and another was the captain of the soccer team. In spite of being concerned about all that stuff, and having the skinny/fit friends I did, I hated exercise. I only tried in PE because I was very motivated by grades. In high school I was frustrated that my school required 3.5 years of PE for graduation, but only 2 years of math. I thought the final semester of my senior year when I wasn’t required to take PE was one of the best blessings.

Today I’m such a different person. People may criticize crossfit for a lot of reasons, but I’ll always be thankful for it. Crossfit changed my life. I know that sounds silly and over dramatic, but it’s true. I don’t want to be skinny anymore. I want to be strong. Sure, it’s cool when I fit into smaller clothes and am a smaller person overall, but I’m much more excited about being able to pick up heavy things.

The other day we were cleaning out our office, and the husband found an old workout lot. I used to dead lift 55#. I remember those days. It was a big thing when I graduated up from the Olympic bar to actually adding the itty bitty 5# weights. I hated doing dead lifts. My grip was so weak that even that 55# would slip to the tips of my fingers. Yesterday, while doing MEBB, I maxed at 145#. That’s not a lot to an avid crossfitter, but to amateur me, who’s only been doing this for a few months, that’s huge. I love dead lifts now. It’s one of my favorite exercises. I feel so strong when I do them, and it feels good. When I started crossfit, I was really hesitant. I committed to do it for 5 months with the husband. I figured it would be like every other exercise routine we’d ever done; I would do it because I want to be healthy and take care of my body, but I would hate it and I wouldn’t see results that motivated me. Yeah, I was wrong. I set a goal of being able to do a pull-up, something I never thought I’d be able to do in life. Well, I reached that goal in less than 5 months. My arms might be bigger than they’ve ever been, but I’ll never ask for skinny arms again. Strong is better than skinny.

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Posted by on June 7, 2010 in crossfit


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