THE SKINNY ON STRENGTH
I adore my horses. Horses eat hay. Hay is made in bales. Bales weigh about 25 to 30 kilograms.
This is how I found myself lifting 120 bales on to the back of the ute as my husband drove from bale to bale. I stack them three rows high and the top row is above my head height. Though the bales start off quite light, after a few loads in 30 degree heat, it becomes difficult. But not impossible. Never impossible.
At 47, I still relish chances to improve on my physical strength. No longer do I chase the skinny dream. Strength is everything.
Strong body, strong mind. It brings confidence. It keeps female bones strong. It will, I am convinced, carry me into old age.
Some women dream of chasing their perfect job. Some women dream of having the perfect house. I dream of doing the perfect chin up. Hands forward!
I never want to be the woman who can’t carry a few grocery bags in both hands.
I never want to be the one waiting for the blokes to lift a 20kg bag of dog food into the boot of the car.
And looking forward, I never want to be the woman who can’t pick up her little grandchildren.
From my teenage years, my weight had swung back and forth like a pendulum. Like most young women, I alternated between pigging out and dieting. Alcohol was an ever-present factor affecting my weight. It was only in my mid-to-late twenties when I started exercising regularly. Running became a daily meditation, but it was all aimed at weight control.
The birth of my first child changed my perspective. Yoga was a welcome form of stress relief and it opened my eyes as to what was possible with a strong and supple body.
I began practicing regularly and while my natural strength initially carried me through, I quickly saw smaller, older women who had amazing strength.
Plank pose was difficult after childbirth. Could I still do a backbend? Or hold my own weight in a handstand?
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