Get that PVC Ready...

I've done quite a few solo workouts recently. Putting my money where my mouth is, I made the time and effort to hit the gym regardless of whether or not my partner in crime was able to join me. In doing so, I realized something immense.

My training partner validates me.

Obviously, I'm talking about a sense of validation that exists purely in my head. I already know that I'm neurotic, with a whole host of silly issues (I have a friend who is readying the PVC pipe right now to give me a solid beating). But until this week, I didn't realize how much I rely on my training partner's company to make me feel strong.

Of course, it's possible that it's simply a girl thing. Maybe it's just that I have a hang up spending time in a portion of the gym that is predominantly male? I'm not really sure. But I do know that when I was in the back, doing the main site thruster WOD and the accessory work - I just felt stupid. I felt like people were walking by, wondering why this short little girl was playing with the big boy toys. Or, even worse, assuming that I didn't know what I was doing.

When my partner in crime is with me, that stuff never crosses my mind. In fact, when we're training together - that gym is ours. Seriously. It's amazing and absolutely fabulous. Just thinking about it makes me smile :) Of course, it helps that my training partner resembles Wonder Woman and is the strongest woman you'll ever meet. Nobody is going to mess with us. You touch our bumpers, we're going to know about it (OK, David at the front desk will tell us. We're not omnipotent. Yet.). What it comes down to is that she's an incredibly strong woman, and it is obvious watching her train that she knows what she's doing and she means business. And in reflection, it seems (to me) as though there is a bubble of competence that surrounds her when we're training and widens outward to engulf me in it as well.

It's difficult living in my imaginary world.

So, the question arises: at what point do I realize that I am perfectly competent on my own? That I have a right to lift a big 'ole barbell by my little 'ole lonesome? Will I wake up one day, miraculously cured of this random self doubt? Will it be the day I can perform Fran as rx'd in under 5 minutes? Or maybe the day I can pull a 2x bodyweight deadlift? Maybe just confronting the ridiculousness of the feeling will banish it from my consciousness.

Regardless of our relative strength or visual "buffness", we should never feel out of place with a barbell in our grip. Especially when we're alone. By walking towards that squat stand or piling on those bumpers, we have all done something incredibly strong, powerful and empowering.

Set that hook grip up and drop under that bar. Let's show them all how it's done.


  1. Being self content is something you're going to discover on your own, in your own time. It may come to you tomorrow or twenty years from now. Funny, I wasn't confident until standing alone in the middle of Baghdad after doing plenty to "prove" myself before that but, it was then I knew I could do anything and if I couldn't, that's fine too. The question though, is who you're trying to really impress? You're the only one who can validate you. MWA

  2. I hear you, loud and clear. And it's funny, I don't think that I'm trying to impress anyone other than myself. Strangely enough - I don't have that same sort of hang up when it's a workout that involves a lot of movement - it's only with long, slow, strength work.

    Maybe I'm just lonely :)


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