my worries

that you'll make fun of the big guys. When a guy told me that lifting weights, to him, was like "...mmmmmm. Y'know? Like MMMMMMMMM. It just feels MMMMmmmmmm," two thoughts crossed my mind. The first was what you're thinking right now; the second, that I understand him completely. I'm not yet to the point of explaining this phenomenon at any level of convincing argument, but I will put out there the idea that some of us need to explore our world by moving our bodies. While lifting weights in a gym may at first appear limited in scope, we must start here. We must exert our strength, feel it, then process the rest of life. Some of us spend too much time doing the former and don't get to the latter. But don't make fun. You spend time on other stuff, don't you, whereas our hobby is, at base, healthy.

that Jesus took Manny out of the game. Manny Pacquiao defeated Brandon Rios Saturday night with a sound beating, thank you Jesus, his first win since reconciling with his wife. The philandering Manny had won 54 fights, whereas monogamous, converted Manny found himself facedown on the canvas. All hopes for a Pacquiao-Mayweather matchup had gone out the window a couple of years ago, in my opinion, when Jesus took Manny's speed. Possessing both--boxing skill and faith--are apparently incompatible; the New York Times published an article on this topic just before the recent fight, detailing the ways trainers try to keep the edge in their boxers (no sex for 10-30 days before the fight, depending on the coach). Some day I will write a book on testosterone, fidelity and achievement, and I will mention Norman Mailer and quote War Is A Force That Gives Us Meaning. But for now, I will just say I'm glad Manny's back. I doubt he's ready for Floyd, but finally, again, there's a force in boxing to reckon with and behold.

that I'm losing my own edge. If I learned anything from my very brief foray into bodybuilding, it's this: size takes time. There was a day I did 50 sets of chest and back; had I followed the program religiously, I'd have come back that evening to work calves and abs, probably 30 more. When you've been lifting consistently for a while, it takes major effort to see gains in size or strength; your body and brain have become efficient, and instead of growing bigger, the brain figures out a new neural pathway to lift the heavier weight you picked up. So when I lift heavier and heavier, I'm mostly training my brain, not the muscles. Fifty sets really is necessary to see growth in size for me, but I don't have that kind of time. Plus, protein shakes make me fat. So what now? Maintenance mode 'til the holidays are done, then some deadlift work. I will lift 4 plates (225lbs) in the new year.

that you'll think I'm shallow. Go ahead, trace the arc of these "worries," and you will be forgiven for putting me in a box. Size? Testosterone? Protein shakes? I do think on these topics quite a bit, and I'm paid to do so. But there's another side of me, several of them, that I haven't shown for a while. The writer side is putting a book to bed this week over the holiday break. The mother side of me is having a hard time with some recent problems with Theo's diabetes. So sometimes it's nice just to talk about muscles and Manny. It's just so mmmmmmmmmmm.


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