To My Beloved Dumbbells

Dear My Beloved Dumbbells,

It is Monday. Monday is the day I greet you all with gloved hands. Just like every week before this, I will pluck you off the rack and with as much power as I can muster, let you greet the sky in a brief break from your petrified, grounded existence.

Today, I just wanted to briefly thank you.

You’ve challenged me. You’ve taught me that no matter how fit I am, I can always do more. No matter how hard I try, you find a way to prove to me that you can still win. No matter how fatigued my muscles are, you’ll teach me that the burn is evidence that I’ve worked hard. No matter how many times I lift you, you will not lift yourself. You rely on me to create strength.

You’ve shown me that in the end, weight loss is only a small part of my health journey, that my strength matters just as much. You’ve shown me that your weight is just a number, and my perception of your weight changes proportional to how many times I’ve set you free from your home on the rack. When I give you more attention, you seem lighter, and I feel stronger. Daily labor – picking up after myself, carrying around heavy shopping bags – become increasingly insignificant to me.

You’ve taught me that a woman who lifts is no less of a woman than a woman who does not lift. You’ve taught me that a woman who lifts is no more of a man than a woman who does not lift. That women should not be afraid of plucking you from your home and should not be afraid of being strong.

And I admit.

I hesitated to lift because I believed that the only reason I was working out was to lose weight and hit a certain number on the scale, and gaining muscle, which weighs more than fat, was counteracting that goal.

This is a message to women who are afraid of ‘bulking up,’ of looking like a man, of being strong.

Lift, if only to lift yourself.

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