October 6, 2014 10:59 am

Strength

strong – strôNG (adjective)
1. having the power to move heavy weights or perform other physically demanding tasks.

I started a bodyweight challenge for the month of October in order to beef myself up a bit. I’m tired of barely being able to support my own bodyweight on the monkey bars when I play with Wesley at the playground – I miss the days when I was a competitive gymnast and was able to do a ton of pull-ups no problem.

I’m happy I’ve chosen to take on this challenge. It’s something I’ve been meaning to do for a while; I know the things my body used to be capable of, and it’s hard when I remember I can’t do those things anymore.

strong – strôNG (adjective)
2. able to withstand great force or pressure.

During my labor with Thora, I felt very strong. Contractions were definitely uncomfortable and painful – I don’t want to minimize the difficulty here – but I knew I could do it. One of the signs of transition (the stage just prior to pushing) is often the woman saying “I can’t do this anymore” or “Just give me the drugs!” and I made it through without saying either of these things! It was so, so hard, but I never felt like I wanted to be drugged. I was tired, and hurting, and I kept saying “I could handle these [contractions] better if I could only get a break between them!” but in hindsight, I was handling them fine.

——

As a woman, we’re conditioned in many tiny ways over the course of our lifetimes to avoid feeling strong.

Weight Training class in high school was open to both genders, but girls rarely took it. You just knew it wasn’t for you.

Girls say things like “I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky.” They aren’t told it’s actually kind of hard to get “bulky” and it’s not going to happen on accident.

Growing up, we’re told that “boys won’t want to date you if you seem like you can beat them up.”

Girls are encouraged to keep quiet and not make a fuss.

Women are told childbirth hurts. What they aren’t often told is that during labor, if they don’t receive drugs, their bodies naturally secrete hormones and chemicals to minimize the pain of labor. Instead, it’s just expected that we won’t be able to handle it and we receive drugs as a matter of routine during childbirth. As a result, many women miss out on the endorphin high of a natural labor.

I’m tired of it.

——

I am PROUD that I was able to make it through twelve hours of labor completely unmedicated – it took a ton of mental strength and I proved to myself that I could do it. I was wired for HOURS after T’s birth because of my endorphins.

I am strong.

I want to have functional muscles, and joining this bodyweight challenge is the first step toward that goal.

And I’m getting stronger.

Forget stardust—you are iron. Your blood is nothing but ferrous liquid. When you bleed, you reek of rust. It is iron that fills your heart and sits in your veins. And what is iron, really, unless it’s forged?

You are iron.

And you are strong.

-n.t.

File Under: ,

Comments are closed here.