I didn’t even know we had five-pound weights!

I admit it. I get a smug little sense of superiority when I see images in the media of women “working out” with minuscule dumbbells. Not at my gym! Girl or not, we heave some tonnage at DCCF. I’m pretty proud of my guns, and get a little giggle when they — I kid you not — strain against my shirt sleeves because clothes designers don’t think a woman my size should have biceps like mine.

But my humbling week continued today when visiting coach Max instructed me, after my weak attempt at reverse barbell curls with the training bar revealed my lack of forearm strength, to go get the five-pound dumbbells. “I don’t even know if we have those!” I said, but sure enough, at the end of the heaps of iron, there they were. Two tiny little things, lying there looking all puny and dainty. I was embarrassed to pluck them off the floor.  But let me tell you what. Reverse grip curls are ridiculously hard. And google will tell you that you can’t do nearly the weight on reverse curls that you can with a regular curl. Seriously. Try one and you’ll see.

As I grimaced through my sets of 10, Max poked my bicep, showing me where this work would enhance it at the peak. I kept my low weights, my fives and 10s as my work continued — flys, hammer curls … I performed them with excruciatingly low weights. But it’s all part of the program that’s going to make me strong(er). So I’ll grin it an bear it.  But I sure hope I graduate soon to some big-girl weights.

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