“Man, you are such a hoss chick!”

author : infosteward
comments : 5

All you have to do is say you’re a triathlete and you intimidate the whole world. No matter how much you bench press or what you lift or how many squats you can do.

“Man, you are such a hoss chick!”
The girl screamed the compliment out at me. It was just at the beginning of my crazy strength and endurance class. I was getting my bar ready for squats. And well, let’s just say I squat more than most skinny men. I always have. I’ve just got quads that can crush cantaloupes. What’s a girl to do? So all the ladies in the strength class, they grab their three-pound dumbbells and five-pound bars and then look at me crazily when I double up my dumbbells and hurl 100 pounds over my head for squats. I’ve always been a big girl, and lifting big weights just came with the territory.

So when she screamed out “hoss chick,” I took it as a compliment. I guess it was a compliment. I wasn’t quite sure. It sounded better than the other things I’ve been called - “She-Ra,” “Xena,” even “Arnold.” Compared with Arnold, “hoss chick,” sounded down right elegant.

Before I started doing triathlons I used to cringe when people put those strength labels on me. Yes, I was bigger than the average bear. Yes, I was stronger. But always, when they called me out for that strength, I detected a little judgment with that so-called admiration. I couldn’t help feeling that they were mocking me, pointing me out because I was different. Freakishly strong, as opposed to admirably strong. I couldn’t help thinking that something was somehow wrong with me to be that big and that strong as a woman.

My strength certainly didn’t help with men. Men can hem and haw about women’s lib and equality, but at the end of the day no man wants to be out-bench-pressed by his woman. No man! Nope, small and petite was the order of the day and I was neither. Ironically, though, a flip through my ex-boyfriend log would show a lot of tall skinny men--go figure! And of course my physical strength was an outward manifestation of my personal strength as a woman. And therein lies the rub. Just like no man wants a woman who can out bench-press him, he certainly doesn’t want one who mentally and personally intimidates him. Right?

So well-meaning friends told me to “soften up,” “smooth out the rough edges”, “be demure”--in other words, be what I am not. And I did. Putting all that strength in the closet. Burying it, putting an awkward, silent majority in its place. It felt wrong and I was spiraling. Until I started to do triathlons.

All you have to do is say you’re a triathlete and you intimidate the whole world. No matter how much you bench press or what you lift or how many squats you can do. Triathlete just implies strength. And say, ”Hey I used to be 260 pounds and now I’m doing tris,” and BOOM, you’ve just jumped up the strength meter. There is no judgment. No freakishness. No mocking. There’s just pure admiration. So strong has turned from ridicule to complimentary. Just like that.

“Man, you are such a hoss chick!” I can still hear her say it. But this time there’s no embarrassment. I don’t cringe. I smile. 

  

 

YOU BET YOUR A$$ I’M A HOSS CHICK! ANYONE ELSE?

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date: May 30, 2005

infosteward

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avatarinfosteward

New biz venture for me check it out: writewaywriting.com
Literature - the big heavies - Wright, Shakespeare, Zora, etc.
Love movies, singing (Karaoke), traveling, swimming, dancing and playing all kinds of card games. Love good food, better wine and even better entertainment.
Help children in poverty. Sponsor a child today.
www.compassion.com

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