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Further Gym Adventures (Back by Popular Demand)

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Okay, popular demand might just be a note on my wall from the lovely Kim_Possible77 asking how I'm doing since there haven't been any gym adventures! Well, don't you worry. I've had them. I just haven't posted about them for some reason. Buckle up. These are good ones.

My last blog post was about my goals on my big lifts so recently I was at the gym working on my squat. I was at a rack and I loaded the bar up to 135lbs. Did my set. And I noticed there was a man on the rack immediately next to me doing the same weight. He'd do a set then wander off to do something else and then come back and do another set. Meanwhile, I'm adding more weight to the bar. So he comes back as I'm finishing my next set and as I go to load more weight on the bar he goes,

"Boy, you are one strong girl!"

Now, any of you who have read my blog at least once understand that that is a backhanded compliment that I do not like. Yes I am strong. It does not need to be qualified by my sex and gender. But I decided to not be a tool and to accept the compliment in the spirit in which it was given; with a smile and a "Thank you!"

I finish loading the bar and I walk around to get under it and he adds in this terribly awkward gem:

"Most women you see lifting weight like that aren't really women, youknowwhatimean."

So I kind of did one of these, "haahhaaaaa......ahh" Awkward chuckle.

Because no. I have no idea what he means. Does he mean women who are extremely masculine in appearance? Does he mean very feminine-looking men? Either way, oi, inappropriate and insulting. But it is equally possible that he just had no idea what to say and got super awkward and said something dumb. I'm going to give him a pass.

But this turned into super funtimes on Facebook. I posted about it and I immediately had several "bros" respond with stunners like this one:

"... first off how much weight were you actually squattin?"

Oh boy. Here we go.

Me: "Why. Does. It. Matter."

And then, because I am vain: "95lbs x 8. 115lbs x 8. 135lbs x 5. 145lbs x 5. 155lbs x 5"

Him: Just sayin if the guy was squattin the same as you.. as you say above .. perhaps he was not a man at all. I agree with him tho.. when ever i see girls doin "squats" they are just doin either the bar or leg presses with out the little metal bar in the slot of the machine.. ... I'd have to say i may have said the same thing! BUT! For a guy to be doin that weight.. eh.. i feel like i would have been hesitant to accept the compliment just as you were lol. Maybe he was a new gym enthusiast.. Gym ROCKS! But u didnt need to post your whole routine lol JK!!

Do you hear that sound, SparkFriends? That is the sound of my Feminist Ire rising at lightning speed.

Me: "So......because he was squatting the same as me, he's not a man?? Wow. That is simultaneously really insulting and pretty offensive."

Him: How is that insulting!? Thats a really good squat for girl! I didn't mean to offend =/"

Son, you have NO idea what you've gotten yourself into.

Me: "Because my "good squat for a girl" is also proof that, if he was only squatting the same, that he is not actually a man."

Him: "So your offended because of what I said about the guy?" (Please note, I'm copying and pasting what he said. I get super mad about using "your' instead of "you're")

Me: "Yes. Using being a woman as an insult to a man whom you think is weak is offensive. Maybe he is weak. Fine. But calling him a woman because of it is demeaning to ME as a woman, even knowing that I am a strong woman."

BOOM. To his eternal credit, he admitted that he was wrong and apologized. It was very good of him. Because I was in hardcore fight mode.

You guys know me. You know me well. The things that I post in my blog are the deepest innermost parts of myself. I don't share those insecurities or strength with many people. But friends, you KNOW that someone who gender stereotypes in the gym is going to face my wrath. You know this. There is no need to ever tell a woman, "Wow, you are really strong.........for a girl."

That demeans her hard work. Nobody needs to have their strength qualified. Yeah yeah, you're strong or whatever. But no matter what, you won't ever REALLY be strong because you are a woman.

As if a vagina keeps you out of the club. PLEASE.

Strength is subjective. Just because someone on earth a man is deadlifting 600lbs and you're only deadlifting 100lbs does not mean that you are less strong. Maybe your body will never be able to lift that much. Maybe you're on your way to a 200lb lift but you're only halfway there. You are still strong.

Okay, enough heaviness. I have another good gym story but I'm saving that one for the future.
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    How true!!! Most men can not lift like Vasili Alexeyev, so does that mean that most all the male population are weak and not qualified to be a man!? The guy from Facebook is douche. I'm glad you set him straight.
    1907 days ago
    Oohhh I love this!! I saw a poster up at a grocery store about lifting guidelines and got so PISSED... I will make a blog about it next week, because I did snap a pic, but couldn't decide if I wanted to post it or not. Watch for it next week, I near flipped right in the store.

    And I'm not even into power lifting to the same extent as you - the most I've ever squatted unassisted is 140x4 (I think... I can't quite remember), and I was deeply, angrily offended.

    You are just plain strong! Simple as that!! Keep up the amazing work!

    1913 days ago
    You Told Him! That always makes me steaming made too. I hate that guys feel like they have to say something about the workouts we do or the weight we lift. And for the one guy on FB to call out a girl that is squatting just the bar is really him being a ______! Last year when I was going hard at the gym I just started back at weighted squats and was only using the because I was training the right way I'm weak? are SO right in standing up for yourself and for the guy at the gym.

    I'm so happy that the gym stories are back....oh how I love them so! emoticon
    1913 days ago
  • BAKER1009
    LOL!! I have always loved your gym stories too, Jolene! This is definitely not disappointing (the humor in it, I mean).

    1913 days ago
    I love how you're annoyed not just by his thought, but also by his grammar.

    Two funny.

    (Sorry. Too funny.)
    1915 days ago
    That is why I always have my headphones on.... emoticon
    1915 days ago
  • SLEE103
    ha that is AMAZING! thanks for're awesome, good for you
    1915 days ago
  • RSTM99
    Love it! As an engineer and working a higher percentage male field, I get those comments in the random-est places but that was funny. Weirdly I go to a female gym (not by choice, just the most convenient location) so that part of my day is free of that. My favourites have been 'you don't look like an engineer' (why, cuz I'm a female, or b/c I'm not masculine looking?) or those who want me to join women-in-engineering. I'm just an engineer, not a women engineer. I think the more you differentiate, the more you will be different and not equal.

    Same for the gym - lift heavy, be strong!
    1915 days ago
    OMG, first the gym guy's comment is so inappropriate and why did he have to say anything at all? Then to your facebook friend's comment....super annoying! I would have deleted him! haha.
    1915 days ago
    Love it! You educated that bro!

    And for the record, people using 'your' when they mean 'you're' bugs me to no end too. emoticon
    1915 days ago
    Atta girl!

    Ha.. just kidding. You go girl. Drop it like a squat
    1915 days ago
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