I’ve never really enjoyed participating in organized sports. I don’t have particularly stellar hand-eye coordination and always had little confidence in my ability to connect ball and bat. Thus over the years the athletic endeavors I did enjoy generally involved my competing against a clock or myself. Not that I was particularly good at that either. Over the years I swam, ice skated and jogged. I participated on a water ballet team. I even practiced ice hockey for a bit.
My love affair with weight lifting began in high school where Mr. Johnson the gym teacher introduced me to resistance training. We had some choices about how to fulfill the required gym classes and I don’t remember if I signed up for it or received it as part of a class. I do remember that Mr. Johnson was an attractive, blue-eyed, relatively young African American man. In any case I liked weight lifting a lot though I didn’t really get back into it until after college. I was a good and diligent high school student and I do remember another teacher ribbing me about weight lifting.
Shortly after college I had a job at a YMCA. That was the first time in my life that I had easy and regular access to a good place to work out. I took full advantage of it, even training to teach an aerobics class-though I was terrible at learning dance steps–especially when they changed every 8 weeks. The Y had air resistance equipment and also a traditional weight room and working out became a regular thing for me. When I later relocated and left that job, I joined a health club briefly and continued to build my collection of equipment for home use including a set of dumbbells of various weights and eventually a weight bench, barbells and even a high/low pulley machine. All of these allow me to work out in my unfinished basement.
I love weight lifting for many reasons–principally for its impact on my physique. If there is any sport for which I might make the argument that I have a gift it is probably this one. This is not to my credit but is rather due to an accident of genetics. If you believe in somatypes, I have a mesomorph’s physique and tend to put on muscle easily. (Regrettably I am not similarly gifted in the self-discipline department.) Weight lifting meets the requirement of something in which I can compete against myself. And for a person who likes keeping track of things on spreadsheets it’s a delight.
With the realization that few people that are actually known to me share my enthusiasm for my fitness pursuits, and not entirely indifferent to the way the eyes of most people I know tend to glaze over when I talk about said pursuits, I am embarking on a way to give voice to this passion whether it’s only for my entertainment or for others’ benefit as well.