Magnificently Fluffy

The Writer's Almanac announced that today is the birthday of Czeslaw Milosz, my favorite poet, now deceased.

Milosz wrote, "To believe you are magnificent. And gradually to discover that you are not magnificent. Enough labor for one human life."

Yes. As always, I'd like to take this opportunity to apply life lessons to weightlifting. And vice versa.

I hadn't benched over 95 pounds for two and a half months. I'm now eeking out eensy sets at 105--three, four reps. Two women who competed with me in March, who lifted less than me, kept working. They're way past my competition weight, and I'm way under it.

Gradually to discover that you are not magnificent. Milosz should have added a line addressing the consequences of this discovery. Me, I'm fine with it, happy for my friends, always rooting them on. For reasons unbenownst to me (though I could wager a few guesses) I am called "Fluffy" by my trainer, and I've proudly added a prefix to the moniker: Extra-Fluffy.

Part of my acceptance of the loss of strength comes from knowing how it happened. Five weeks of boxing exchanged some of the strength for power, speed and conditioning, and I wouldn't have it any other way. I'm happy playing the sore action figure rather than the always-injured weightlifter.

But then there's this: a competition. In August. On a beach. Who could resist such a magnificent opportunity?

And should I? Extra-Fluffy wants your advice.


  1. It depends on whether you'll get to be in the water, if you have to weightlift on the sand or on a normal surface, and if Simon&Theo get a beach day.

  2. I don't know that I can deal with the stress of another weightlifting competition...

  3. Maybe the benching will take place in the water, Rachel; now THAT would be something.

    As for you, Mr. Greg, what hope is there if the husband doesn't want his wife required to wear a singlet? I'll make you a deal: you buy me the heavy bag and stand from the Craigslist link I just sent you, and I'll give up my benching career for good. Our bottom floor flooded because God wants me to have my own personal boxing gym down there, I'm pretty sure.

  4. Maybe our basement flooded because God wants you to take up swimming...

  5. Maybe your mama should take up swimming.

  6. I'll tell her you said that.

    And anyway, I think it's best she stay away from swimsuits.


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