This post is a hat tip to Melanie’s post, “Monstrous Calves & Other Things”.
I have monstrous arms.
After doing push ups during PE lessons in school one day. I was amazed to see my arms growing bigger. This event served as a catalyst for me to enter and explore the world of fitness. But having big arms has been both a blessing and a bane for me. A blessing because I look good (not ashamed to admit this) and I have an advantage whenever a task at hand calls for arm power.
A bane, because everytime I meet someone new, they immediately assume that I’m a bodybuilder or I’m a superhero (for real), who can do everything and anything in this world. When I entered the army during my National Service, I was constantly asked to do certain things just because I have “big arms” . Nothing wrong with that, but this perception of me caused me to place huge stress of myself and I would feel lousy every time I failed to do a task.
I was also more conscious about my body because questions like “Why do you only train your arms” were put forward to me, which gave me the mindset that I had to grow “bigger” so that people will stop focusing on my arms. That fitness was all about being big and buff. I will start getting defensive and try to change the topic.
Till I started training in CrossFit.
After training in this sport for close to a month and being humbled in training on more than one occasion, I have come to the realisation that being big doesn’t mean that you are fit. And in CrossFit, ( to borrow a phrase from the Melanie’s post and please pardon my language), “nobody gives a fuck about how you look”. Nobody judges me in training. When I use a lighter weight to get my form right, my coach doesn’t insist that I use a heavier weight because I’m “strong and have big arms”.
Now you know why I love CrossFit?
Because for the first time since I started my fitness journey, I have truly found a place where people around me are more focus on fitness, instead of a normal, regular gym where people are more focused on training a specific body part just to look good (no offense to bodybuilders). My mindset has also changed. I have stopped caring on how “big” or how “buff” I need or want to be. Now when people ask me why are my arms so big and why the rest of my body are not as big, I will smile and tell them it’s a blessing from God and how He used this blessing to bring me to a place where people celebrate strength, and not aesthetics.