Lifting Myself – Full Piece Up

A couple of days ago, I posted a short excerpt from this piece. It went up at Huffington Post yesterday. You can read part of it below, and the full article at

I have been lifting as part of my fitness routine for over a year, but in the past six months I realized how much I like it and started toying with the idea of doing a competition. A competition would make my training more real and give me motivation — you know, in the same way that training for a half or full marathon motivates runners. It gives them a goal, something to work toward rather than just running “another five miles today.” I cannot imagine anything worse than that, by the way. I am not a runner.

But I think I could be a lifter. At least, I want to try.

So for the past five weeks I have been committed to a special training routine and program to help get me ready for a powerlifting meet in September.

Powerlifting means lifting as much weight as you can. There are three events: chest press, dead lift and the dreaded squat. I am doing powerlifting, not physique (the really, really pretty, lean bodies) or bodybuilding (also pretty but beefy bodies). I joke that powerlifting is the one that allows me to still drink my beloved craft beer. But even that I am doing in restricted moderation since I started training for the competition. See? Focus. A target.

Though I still have a ton to learn about lifting (pun intended), I have learned a few things already:

1. This is a very supportive community. There aren’t that many women who lift, at least not at my gym, and the one other woman who competes has become my hero and a little bit of a mentor (though I am not sure she knows either of those things). All the other lifting coaches in my gym call out to me during my workouts, supporting and offering encouragement. Before and after workouts, they stop me and my trainer to offer a tip here and there. It seems to take a village to lift that bar.

2. This is hard. If you think it looks hard to lift a lot of weight, you are right. All the equipment is hard. It hurts when you bump into it. It especially hurts when you bump into your limitations. I’ve learned that you can press through them — slowly — but knowing when to press through and when to listen to your body and stop? That’s hard too. My trainer, Janet, is amazing at knowing this. And there are strains, and pulls, and aches, and bruises.

3. The next point aside, femmes dig it. I am told that lifting is very sexy. Muscles, sweat and calloused hands, all a plus. I don’t have to agree to appreciate this.

This is where it really gets good! Hop over to to read the rest. Thanks!

4 thoughts on “Lifting Myself – Full Piece Up

  1. first of all, congrats on another publication. your skillzzz are showing!

    oh the side of lifting… OMG OMG OMG I loved the one random day we worked out together and you told me more about yourself than I had ever known. I knew we had a connection! 😉 I read this thinking, I really need to get to the gym, any gym, some gym. its been too long and I really love the lifting too. considering crossfit but eh… so next time you’re in my neighborhood instead of hitting a bar, lets hit a gym!

    What are you doing on the beer front? I cant seem to stay away. but then again it could be these crazy hot Tokyo summers! talk soon!

    again, congrats! xo

  2. “Femmes dig it”
    Please don’t generalise and assume all femmes are into butches. Nothing makes me more annoyed than butch lesbians objectifying/treating more stereotypically ‘feminine’ women as ‘weaker’ in the same way that straight men do.
    I’m a femme. I lift weights, I only wear pants, my hair is shoulder-length, I don’t wear makeup. I identify as ‘femme’. By all means, write about what your butch identity entails for you personally but don’t generalise it to other butches and don’t make generalisations about femmes, either.

    • Em,

      It seems odd to me that this paragraph could engender such an angry reaction from you:

      “3. The next point aside, femmes dig it. I am told that lifting is very sexy. Muscles, sweat and calloused hands, all a plus. I don’t have to agree to appreciate this.”

      I do and will continue to write about the world as I see and experience it. I am a butch who is into femmes. To a one, I have experienced femmes who find lifting hot. There is nothing in my piece that says this is a rule. Nowhere did I say all femmes must be attracted. Nor did I say you can’t wear pants. I never said you must wear makeup. Em, you can identify however you like.

      I never slighted femmes. Nor did I say they were weaker. If you’d read any of my work you’d know I feel exactly the opposite.

      I doesn’t sound like the butch:femme identity is for you. Please don’t hold me accountable for the misogyny you’ve experienced from other butches (and femmes). That’s not me.

      Lots of people read my work who do not identify as butch, femme, or are not into the butch:femme dynamic. If you are not able to allow me to write as I wish – sometimes with generalities, and almost always with humor at stereotypes – then I’m probably not a blogger for you to follow.


      • Agree Butch. Also, I thought identifying as “femme” involved actually dressing and exemplifying “femme” (dresses/skirts, makeup, hair etc etc). Seems the old terms have become a bit hazy for this traditionalist.

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