Tag Archives: health

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 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-higgins/lifting-myself_b_3752947.html.

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.

 

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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 http://www.huffingtonpost.com/tristan-higgins/lifting-myself_b_3752947.html to read the rest. Thanks!


Lifting Myself – Excerpt

This is my newest piece submitted to the Huffington Post today. It should be up in a couple of days. In the meantime, I wanted to post an excerpt here…

I have been lifting as part of my fitness routine for over a year, but in the past 6 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, give me motivation. You know, in the same way runners decide to do a half or full marathon. It gives them a goal, something to work towards rather than just running “another 5 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 5 weeks I have been committed to a special training routine and program to help get me ready for a powerlifting meet in September.

Monday's inspirational photo was to inspire me. See the help?

Monday’s inspirational photo was to inspire me. See the help?

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.

It’s butch to stay tuned for the rest. Be Butch.


I really hope the Mayans are wrong.

mayan date

Tonight, or maybe tomorrow night, is supposed to be the end of the world. What time zone does that happen in, by the way? I mean, it would already be the end of the world in Australia, right? The Mayans and the Facebook app Year-in-Review has got me to thinking. What was my year all about? If life as we know it is about to be over, how did I do this past year? Given my breakup, which you all know about (cue the sad face), there is no way that my year is not at least a little melancholy, but that aside. Here is what my year brought me.

  • Reconnecting with old friends: My HS reunion was this year. I helped to plan it in a small way, and I really enjoyed the planning, build up, event, and then aftermath of the event. Several of my closest friends from HS are once again my closest friends in life.
  • Body Changes: This year I have lost weight and fat, and gained a lot of strength, muscle and knowledge. Turns out that I love to lift! I now know about things like Green Vibrance and the difference between whey, soy, and egg white protein. My new body, still much progress to go, allows me more energy, less pain, and more confidence. So that’s cool.
  • Saw the World (or at least some more of it): This year I saw Rome, Pompeii, and Florence, Italy, Cannes and Marseilles, France, Barcelona and Sitges, Spain, and Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. I’m so hooked that I’ve already planned my next international trip, and there will be as many more as I can swing.
  • Stateside Exploration: Charlotte, North Carolina, Santa Fe and Albuquerque New Mexico, Dallas, Texas, San Francisco, San Jose, Santa Barbara, Big Bear, Palm Springs, and Disneyland, California.
  • More musicals and comedians: Saw “The Book of Mormon” (raucously funny), “Wicked” (still my favorite musical), a taping of Chelsea Lately, Florence and the Machine, and Fortune Feimster several times (she is hilarious, go see her!)
  • On the Work front: Spearheaded my company’s participation in the Pride Parade and Festival for the third year in a row, helped to get a great score on the HRC Corporate Equality Index, made it through a round of layoffs (whew) and got all new clients at the end of the year.
  • Friends: I made a ton of new friends this year. I know FB does not equal real friends in and of itself, but still I added so many friends there and can think of handfuls of people that I love to spend time with – IRL. Friends, I appreciate you all so much.
  • Random: Tried red hair (short-lived), took a turn spinning as a DJ at Pride, swam with dolphins, remembered that I love to kayak and mountain bike.
  • Blog: This has been a force in my year. I started the blog just before the end of last year, but this year, wow. I’ve been picked up by the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News, Lesbian.com, reached over 500 followers on FB, and over 150 on Twitter. My blog was even featured on MyLesbianRadio.com. Wow! On WordPress, I have had more than 37,000 views! Tons of folks are following my blog, receiving emails when I post something, and tons of people comment, like the posts, and reach out to me about the blog. I am so thankful!
  • Recognition: For the first time in my life, I was given two different national awards. Both of them center on being an out and proud lesbian. I was overwhelmed, honored, and very proud.

This year was nothing short of life changing. In several distinct ways, 4 to be exact – that I can think of.fb year in review

  • The international travel. It is really amazing to see the bigger picture of what life is about on this planet. To experience buildings that are older than my country. To meet people from other parts of the world who have such different, and wonderful, viewpoints. You cannot travel and not be changed – for the better – by what you see, hear, learn and experience.
  • My yoga retreat & adventure in Cabo San Lucas. Both were really amazing. So much so, that I didn’t talk about either on my blog. I keep my stuff basically to the funny – beer, fashion, quirks about femmes and us butches. I never reveal deep squishy stuff. On the yoga retreat I learned a lot about myself and it helped a great deal to prepare me for the rest of my year. My adventure to Cabo San Lucas was the same for me.
  • Becoming single. It’s been a long time since I was single, and I have been learning at light speed about myself. ‘Nuff said.
  • Strength. I have learned this year, through some solo travel, some difficult experiences, and lots of time in the gym that I can literally do anything. Walk down the street alone in a foreign country? Done. Renegade rows? Done. Pay for stuff in Euros? Of course. Climb the side of a mountain and then rappel 100 feet? You betcha! Come on Life, bring it. I am strong! Can you hear me roaring?

Seriously, thank you for being with me this year. For those of you that were here all year, hooray! For those of you that are new, welcome!

I really hope the Mayans are wrong. I am learning too much. Having way too much fun. I have so much more to do, see, learn, and experience for it to be the end of the world. I need time to get my game on, to try and be suave and charming, and *gulp* date. I’m not done yet! But if the Mayans are right, so be it. It was a great ride, and this year, in particular! If they are wrong, watch out!

It’s butch to think back over your year and take stock. Be butch.


Size Matters

It’s time to discuss something big…me. I’m big. Not giant, but big. I’m going to round up and down slightly (so that people who know me won’t have my exact measurements), but you will get the point.  Let’s say, hypothetically, that I am 5’11 feet tall and 210 pounds.  That will give you a good idea of my size.  [Of course, I am really taller and lighter than that.]

At 5’11, I am way taller than the average woman (5’4″), and a little taller than the average man (5’9 1/2″).  Tall.  I’m not much heavier than the average male with an average weight of 194, but I’ve got 40 pounds on the average woman.  I am not meant to be small.  I wear a size 10-11 men’s shoe for goodness sake.  My finance and I joke that when I hold a regular beer (12 oz.), I look like a giant – as opposed to the 22 oz. craft beers that I am so fond of.

Yes, yes, Butch, but so what?

Well, I have been on a quest for about 4 years now to get smaller, healthier, and more fit.  I have been successful because I have given up on my old way of doing things.  You know, eating whatever I want and only doing activities that I enjoy (sitting on the couch watching football while eating Wings N’ Things).  Perhaps you’ve been there?  Now lots of gym time and no more Wings & Things for me, which makes my fiancé very happy because even the sight of the glowing orange wings gives her a stomach ache.  <Sigh>

So, I am about 60 pounds down from my all-time high (woot woot!).  Then, I was huge.  Now I am big.  Then I was a XXL or XXXL.  Now I am an L in most things.  Then, it was all about special clothing stores. Now, not so much. Point to it and I can shop there. Unless it’s AF.  Nothing fits me there, but then, I’m not sure anything fits anyone there who does not resemble a frantic, desperate (skinny) 14-year old.  But, I digress.

The thing is I like being big.  I like being bigger than my fiancé.  A lot.  I like feeling like the big butch, the protective type.  You know, the one who can scare away anyone who would harm her.  The bigger, tougher one.  Grrrrrr.

So, I have to wonder – am I keeping myself big to be more butch?  I can logically think how dumb that is.  I can logically work out that it’s better for me and my fiancé if I were a touch smaller than I am.  Just a couple of sizes lighter.

Less weight on me = more healthy in every way.  I want to be healthy.  Wouldn’t I still be butch 30 pounds from now, leaner and more muscled?  I mean, Rachel Maddow is butch-ish and she is lean!  I think that I am finally getting this through my skull.  Even if I lose all the rest of the weight that I intellectually know I need (and from the health charts am supposed) to lose, I will still be much bigger than my fiancé.  She is tiny.  So, I can be healthy and still be the big, strong, protective one.

It’s butch to be big and strong…and healthy and fit.  Be butch.


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