Inside: 144 hours; gym segregation; big boobs; KB breakthrough/breakdown
What? Don’t look at me like that. I need clicks. Would you rather have me do one of those cheesy click bait titles? “Ample bosoms? What happens next will make you cry.”
This blogger was featured in a HuffPo blog because of her witty anti-fitspiration posts. Here’s a guy blogging about the 6 most shockingly irresponsible fitspiration photos.
Heck. Just read those two and skip the rest of this. Come back later. Save the best for last?
I think that a substantial part of our view of the world is shaped by awkward, angst-ful, even painful coming of age experiences. I remember how girls were treated and talked about when I was in middle and high school. I remember my own attitude and locker room talk. I’ve always been a little too empathetic for my own good, though. I can’t treat anyone bad, intentionally or otherwise, without feeling like ass later. I never did this, though.
The woman who writes “Weirdly Shaped” is busty. From the looks of her photos her physique reminds me of a comic book super heroine but not fitness poster lean, which is kind of the point. Being fitness model lean requires a professional level of intensity. Maybe if you’re in your early 20’s it comes naturally with minimal effort while your metabolism churns like a furnace. That’s a small window, though, and after that you don’t get nothin’ for free.
Sure, they look good by certain standards but frankly, I’m more impressed by anyone in their 30’s and up with an athletic physique than I’ll ever be by a thin twenty year old with muscle definition. When you’re older you work for every gain and every visible, defined muscle. I mean, you can’t slack and your dietary habits have to be on point. That’s the real deal.
Still, it must be a burden having other people’s attitudes projected on to your body. In this age of internet rant-communication everyone has a vehicle to say whatever they want in public about your body. And they do.
Fitspiration posts and memes can be obnoxious and they definitely verge on thinspiration sometimes. I noticed that these female fitness models in the photos tend to have slim hips. They’re supposed to be about being healthy and strong but in reality they present a forum for yet another homogenous, predictable, highly sexualized, passive visual message.
Who is making these Fitspiration things?
And what is this thigh gap business all about? It sounds like something someone made up to torture women. I don’t understand how that got to be a thing that people care about or aspire to. I’ve seen some of the most lovely, vivacious women post things about how being curvy is also sexy. It seems like something that doesn’t need to be asserted and yet…
On the other hand, if you are working with some curves, too much of the attention and faux-affirmation you get may come from club and hip hop artists telling you when and how to shake/drop/clap/pop/back-up it.
You could rightfully say that it’s none of my business. On the other hand, it bothers me because of the imagery — the brainwashing info assault that leads to insecurity. So many women walk around feeling inadequate. Little girls wanting to diet, for example. I’ve got female relatives, loved ones and friends that I care about and they sometimes struggle to find themselves in a toxic environment.
What a world. I think our culture is improving, though. At least discussions are taking place.
Oh well. Do you. Do your thing.
During Cristal’s class last Tuesday I had a breakthrough. You know how I talk about how many of the women at the gym seem to cope with pain differently. It’s a very internal thing. Very quiet and focused.
Well, after training and then near the end of the kb class, there was a two minute wall squat. I wasn’t looking forward to it. At all. But something in my brain said, “Eff this. I’m doing it.”
My quads ignited. I reached my breaking point with, like, one minute and ten seconds to go but that something in my mind said, “Hold it.”
The muscle burn went nuclear and then it turned into a numbness. You get to the point where you play mind games with yourself when you’re on the clock. You escape into imagery and meditative focus or you focus on deep, deep breathing. It was a win for Team Gary.
During Justin’s kb class I had a breakdown. We did some new things. It was cool but it was intense. You know how sometimes you’ll get a side-stitch? That cramp in your side? It’s annoying and every time you breathe you feel it poke you in the side and it ruins your flow.
I got some kind of malfunction in my right side that kind of wrapped around the lower part of my right lung. Whenever I breathed in — and there was a lot of breathing going on during the kettlebell class finisher — it hurt like a sonofabitch. Whatever muscle material is around there didn’t want to expand.
It was freaky. Never experienced something like that before. I thought I had blown a gasket or something. Like, am I going to be the first person to collapse a lung lifting kettlebells? It kind of sucked. It passed, though.
During Veronica’s class last night I realized that I definitely have not recovered from last week. It was like a Kings of Leon song up in there. “My back is on fi-yuuuuuuuh!”
My own fault, of course, since I’ve been pretty sedentary since last week and not actively recovering. I have a strategy of dealing with my lower back issues by nuking my back from orbit with the type of high rep, technique driven intensity of kb classes and the balls to the wall grab bag of mental toughness class in addition to semi-private training. The good news is that this current back pain seems to be more about muscle soreness than whatever causes that deep lower pain. Mostly.
I should add that Veronica made me go stretch. She was like, “Stop hurting yourself, fool! Go stretch NOW!!” She didn’t say it like that but that’s what she said.
I’m going to have to stagger it, though, since my body can’t handle it all. Definitely overtraining a little, I think. Stupid aging.
I spent about 144 hours with no human contact. This was during the week of the big snow when lots of things were closed. At the end of that week I got sick. Unfortunate timing. After four days and nights of that I was actually looking forward to Mental Toughness class but was down with the flu or a cold and Nyquil OD.
I’m exaggerating a little bit. I did go to the grocery store once and had fun putting the jeep in 4-wheel drive in the snow. And the guy delivering Chinese food did say, “Sign here, please.”
No work emails, IMs, or meetings. No phone calls or texts. Some Facebook comments and likes.
In case you’re wondering, that’s a long time to be in solitary confinement. At the end of day/night six cabin fever was an understatement. I forgot how to talk.
Thankfully, we turn the clocks ahead one hour this weekend. Daylight Savings Time is on again. Or off. One of those. Another hour of sunlight and lengthening days means more time to go photowalking or find a meetup hike, golden hour photos, wildlife, more activities, maybe some runs after training. Soon the water temperature will rise and it’ll be kayaking season again.
One more thing. Why do gym classes end up being so gender segregated? There are some activities that seem to appeal more to women than men. Yoga tends to be mostly female (at least in the US from what I’ve seen). Any of those synchronized dance and movement classes, too, that you see at big box gyms.
Is it the instructor? Classes instructed and coached by women seem to end up being predominantly and then all female. Classes instructed by men tend to be all dudes.
Is it the energy of the group or the group dynamics? As a career outsider, I know it’s weird to be the only one of your kind in a group. Small groups can be off-putting because they can easily turn into cliques.
The dynamics are definitely self-fulfilling. New people can change the balance and personality physics of a group. That can be awkward and even a little uncomfortable sometimes.
But still. That’s life, right.
I don’t get why more guys at UgA don’t do the kettlebell classes and compete. The guys gravitate toward the Strength and Conditioning class and the women to the kettlebell classes. Those kettlebell classes will kick your ass and wake up muscles you didn’t know you had. Holy crap I am sore.
Come on, guys. Represent.
I’ve been to a few competitions to spectate and I like to look at other gyms’ photos. Kettlebells are a very manly industry, for lack of a better word. It’s a good mix, though, of gender, ages, body types, and everything else. Kind of cool that way.
Alright, I’m over 1,500 words. I told myself I was going to pare these down to 750 or so. I was wrong.
Train on, people. Live long and prosper.