Discovering life beyond the barbell / by Dana McMahan

Strong means never having to say it’s too heavy

While checking out in a grocery store today I overheard the woman in front of us say to the cashier, “can I have another bag? This is too heavy for me to carry.” She needed to split her groceries into two bags, presumably so she could carry them in one at a time when she got home.

My husband looked at me, knowing I’d heard the exchange. I didn’t say anything, I mean, how rude would that be, but as I carried our heavy bag of groceries in, I thought about how one of my wishes before I started working out was to be able to carry the basket around at the farmer’s market. I wrote:

size 4 doesn’t mean anything if you have to pass the farmer’s market basket to your husband when it gets too weighed down with produce.

Well, weigh it down with the heaviest of fall produce and I tote it around with no trouble now (and left size 4 behind a long time ago as well, incidentally).

Before I had goals in mind like a 200lb squat, I just wanted to be self-sufficient. So yeah, even though I want these big numbers on a lift that takes only moments, I want to remember to appreciate the many ways every single day that being strong makes life better outside the gym.  (And I’ll still be proud and excited when I find out just how strong I am in the gym, like with testing max reps on bench at 80 pounds!)

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7 responses

  1. Out of curiosity, when you say “and left size 4 behind a long time ago as well” what do you mean? Has lifting heavy weights caused you to get smaller?

    October 30, 2011 at 9:15 pm

  2. I don’t like asking for help! It’s so nice to feel strong enough to carry your own grocery basket no matter how packed full it is! :-)

    October 31, 2011 at 6:36 pm

    • It makes me kind of wish I’d done a “real world” test of strength before starting. Like, I know I could *barely* bench press the bar and have added 60 pounds to that, but how much could I carry in a basket before, vs now? It would be fun to know :)

      October 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

  3. Ah! Love this post. I also observe things like your grocery store experience and take pride in and thankfulness that I’ve discovered my strength and no longer have to hide behind “being a woman.” I dig heavy things out of our shed on my own that in the past I would’ve just left for my husband to do without a second thought. It is a great feeling to be empowered.

    October 31, 2011 at 7:46 pm

  4. Pingback: Welcome to November | CrossFit NYC

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