As most things, do, Steakbellie's comment about being able to hold your own body weight on one of my recent posts reminds me of a story.
A couple of years ago I told The Husband I wanted to start lifting weights. So we went to the gym and began. I loved it. I know if you are a boy, you don't understand how intimidating lifting can be for a girl. But it really can be. Besides the fact that we don't know what we are doing, most of you boys stare at us when we are lifting. Also there is this weird vibe you can get from the other people who are lifting that you aren't good enough to be lifting. I don't know - maybe everyone feels this at the gym at times but it really bugs me. I mean here I am trying to make myself better and if I can only curl 15 pounds then back off. I'm doing my best.
Of course, being the mature person that I am I tried to come up with something I could do that other girls in the gym couldn't do and that I didn't see most of the boys doing. After a few weeks I told The Husband I wanted to do "those dip things" - mostly because the guys I saw doing them were the muscle-shirt/skull-cap wearing guys who drank protein shakes in the middle of their workout and I thought it would be really cool if I could "show them up."
Well, I sure did have to work up to doing those dips. I started by doing them on a bench with my feet on the floor. Eventually progressed to doing them on one bench with my feet up on another bench. Then with a 5 pound weight in my lap. Then 10. Then 20.
One day I went over to the dip bar thingy and put both my hands on either side of me. In one motion, I lifted myself up, bent my knees, crossed my ankles and just like that, did 10 beautiful dips - perfectly executed.
Definitely better than Skull-caps dips.
I continued this for quite a while. I got better. I even wanted to put on the weight belt and hang a big ol' weight off of it but The Husband gently reminded me that it probably looked better doing 20 unweighted dips than 1 weighted dip that landed me first in a heap on the floor then in the hospital.
He's practical that one.
Anyway ... not too long later I announced that I wanted to start doing pull-ups.
The Husband: Pull-ups?
The Husband: Okay.
He then walked me over to the pull up bar. It was just high enough that I could reach it with my fingertips if I stood on my toes. "Give me a boost!" I say. He boosts. Soon I am hanging all of 1/2 inch off the floor. "K," he says "Pull up."
I pulled. A noise came out of me the likes I've never heard. I pulled again. I pulled again. I pulled and pulled. However, I pulled UP not so much.
"Huh" I say and let go of the bar, "I think I need to work up to it."
"Good idea," says The Husband, "I'll lift you up until your chest is even with the bar. You grab the bar and then I'll let go, and you just slowly let yourself down."
"Will that work?" I say
"Sure," he says, then he must have thought a little harder because he turned around and pulled over a bench. "Actually," he says "it might be better if you just step on this, grab the bar, then step off." I chose not to question his reasons for not wanting to hoist me up himself.
So I step on the bench.
I grab the bar.
"Just like this?" I say
"Just like that" he says, "Now just step off the bench and hold yourself as long as you can. When you can't hold yourself any longer, lower yourself to the ground slowly."
"I'm ready!" I say
"Step off," he says.
"Okay!" I say
"Watch the bench" he says
"Here I go!" I say
"Alright" he says
"Count to three!" I say
"One" he says
"Two" we say
I took a deep breath, moved my right foot off the bench, wondered how long I would be able to hang, and the very next instant I was on the floor.
"..ee." He said
I spun around angrily, "Why did you pull me down?!"
and he said
Turns out it was my ass that pulled me down. Although swear it felt like someone was trying to pull my legs off, like a 6th grader was hanging from my waist, like that chick at the beginning of Cliffhanger was dangling over a huge crevasse from my ankle, like 12 monkeys were trying to depants me. That's how it felt.
So to bring the story full circle, good for you Steakbellie, if you can pull your own weight, literally. Short of losing my legs and glutes in a freak heavy machinery accident, I don't think I'll ever be able to.