Searching for why, but I think it’s playing hide-and-seek with me

“People rarely succeed unless they
have fun in what they are doing.”
– Dale Carnegie


I have pretty much always said that I don’t find weightlifting fun.

I think Nick disagrees with me and believes that I find it fun. I guess I could ask him, but I know he’s busy working right now. Having a philosophical discussion with me is probably not on his agenda for tonight.

Maybe later after we’ve had some wine.

Truthfully, I think it is an issue of semantics, but it’s an important distinction. I would never say weightlifting is fun. I would say it is my passion. I think those are two very different things.

As luck would have it, I am eating a “fun size” Twix right now. Fun size. I’m not sure why the little baby Twix would be FUN size. If you like candy, wouldn’t the biggest Twix on the planet be the most fun? Side note: I like calling everything small “little baby such-and-such.” So, this is a little baby Twix. The 2.5 kg plates at the gym are the little baby reds as opposed to the big reds, which are the 25 kg plates. Don’t think I haven’t gotten weird looks from new lifters when I tell them to put the little baby whites on the bar…

When I think of fun, I think of things that, well, aren’t stressful.

  • Singing is fun.
  • Painting my nails with pink glitter is fun.
  • Little baby Twix are fun.

To me, when something is fun, it means I don’t give a fuck either way. If I suck at singing? Well, I wasn’t banking on a recording contract. If I ruin my manicure? It’s going to chip when I lift anyway. Lose my candy in a fight with a rabid hamster? I’ll just go buy a donut.

But, I give a fuck about weightlifting.

I give a million fucks.

I just don’t know WHY.

I feel like this is something I need to be able to articulate. Or, at least, I need to be making an effort to figure it out. Chip Conrad of Bodytribe Fitness came to Asheville Strength to do a seminar a while back. Chip is big on the WHY of things. I’m afraid I am going to disappoint him with my lack of understand of why.

I loved barbells from day one, but I’ve never been able to put my finger on the why. The first day it was the deadlift. A fucking deadlift. All you do is put your hands on the bar and stand up with the fucking thing. And, I couldn’t figure it out, and it pissed me off. So, I had to come back and figure it out.

When I hear runners talk about running, it’s like I’m overhearing an alien conversation. There are people who LOVE running, who do it every day on purpose, and who miss it when they aren’t doing it. I don’t get it.

I wonder if the runners can tell me why they love running?

One day I became a weightlifter, and I haven’t looked back. I wasn’t good then. I was terrible. It took a long, long time for me to get any better. I’m not great now, but I’m better than I was.

As a coach, it’s important for me to let my lifters know that they are making progress, especially new lifters. Nick is big into this sort of thing – a positive feedback loop. I don’t think I had a positive feedback loop for, oh, over TWO YEARS as a weightlifter. I’m not sure why I didn’t quit.

Something that is fun shouldn’t make you cry all of the time, right?

I don’t cry anymore. I mean, I have had a few days in the last several months when I cried, but it had nothing to do with lifting. It was just bad timing. Lifting doesn’t make me cry, but I still wouldn’t say it’s fun. I have to do it, though. Maybe it’s not a passion, maybe it’s a compulsion. Someone with a better vocabulary can probably tell me.

I started writing this yesterday, and I think I probably dreamt about the WHY of things.

Today, at least, I know why I am a weightlifter. Hell, I even know why it’s fun.

Broward snatch 2It’s loading the bar with 70 kg, pulling it off the floor and feeling it hit your hip exactly right, ripping that fucker into place because you own 70 kg today and can do anything you want with it, and then standing up triumphantly because you know that it will soon be a little baby weight for you.

Fuck that was fun.

Don’t worry, Chip, I’m still working on the why.

Author: Tamara Reynolds

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