The other day, I was doing front squats with “man” weights.
On the 45-pound bar, I loaded two 10-lb plates on either side. For you CrossFitters out there, you know this ain’t no thang for a lot of girls who lift regularly.
I took a few deep breaths, pressed play on Muse’s “Madness,” and flipped on Beast Mode.
Apparently, 65 pounds is more than guys are used to seeing a girl lift. Or maybe it’s the fact that I was going ass to grass in each squat (below 90 degrees in the knee). Maybe it was because I looked so comfortable with it…
I was getting full on stared at–OGLED–by guys across the gym as they took in this little chick lifting a weight that wasn’t pink and shiny. I ignored them.
Another example to help drive my point home: A couple years ago when I was lifting even heavier, I grabbed a 35-pound kettlebell to do some swings.
“Be careful, there!” a fellow gym-goer said, his eyes x-raying through my already-revealing spandex. “That’s a lot of weight for a girl.”
I chuckled a little, trying to hide the disgust I felt, then looked him dead in the eyes…
“This is my warm-up weight, buddy.”
I’m not writing this to rag on guys (though I sure will rag on that guy, no problem), but rather to bring up the idea that we have these preconceived notions or judgments of people that keeps us from realizing the humanity within them.
These guys who pass judgment on what they think I should be doing, or how I should be doing it have never considered the idea that I know what I’m doing, I can handle it, and I effing enjoy it. It makes me happy.
Their preconceived notions that I am a damsel in distress just waiting in my 6″ stilettos to faint into their muscle-y overworked forearms is keeping them from seeing who I truly am.
Now let’s get down to that…
I don’t pry my identity from how much weight I can lift.
Nor do I tell people up front that I used to weigh almost 30 more pounds than I do now.
Just as I don’t usually meet people and say, “Hi, it’s so nice to meet you. Did you know I almost took my own life 7 years ago?”
I am not my past.
I am not the amount of weight I can lift.
I am not simply a smily person in the gym who has a crass mouth.
I am me. Just as you are you.
What you see–that surface impression–is most likely not the full spectrum of his/her personality and circumstances. How fair is it to chalk it up to what you see and just that?
To be fair, my judgment of these guys is my surface impression of them. I never took the chance to get to know who they are and why they do what they do.
Maybe the oglers were just impressed, and their laughs were those of disbelief. Maybe that guy who made the incredibly sexist comment just doesn’t know how to pick up girls…
When was the last time you looked at someone and judged them right off the bat?
I do it more than I care to admit to, but I’m trying to catch myself so that I can break the habit.
I’ve said some awful things about people behind their backs. Hell, I’ve said some awful things to their faces, too.
What we forget a LOT of the time, is that there is a human being standing in front of us.
That person in the car in front of you, who’s driving more slowly than you care to, has a heart, a family, and a reason to be doing what she is.
That person you’re sh**-talking right now could be dealing with a lot more than he is leading on.
Your action step today is actually a challenge for the whole week…
The Humanity Challenge:
When you look at people this week, try to recognize their humanity.
Make an effort to shove aside your judgment, negativity and urge to be funny at someone else’s expense, and instead try to take them in with the knowledge that there’s so much more there than meets the eye.
How beautiful is that, that the possibilities within that person are endless?
There’s an added bonus to this:
When you view other people with openness and love, you will be viewed that way more often as a result.
What you put out there does come back.
Put all that love you have inside of you out there in the world. We can never have enough of it.
Are you going to take the humanity challenge this week? If so, tell us in the comments with a simple “I’m in.”
If you want to elaborate, of course feel free. If you’re taking the challenge, something tells me you’re going to be doing a lot more “feeling free” soon anyway. ;)
Speaking of recognizing the potential in others, it is an honor to announce that I am going to be a part of the new $100 Change Initiative, hosted by the beautiful Natalie Sisson of Suitcase Entrepreneur.
In her own words, “$100 Change is a program empowering you to start your dream project or business in 100 days for $100.”
Here’s how it works:
- For $1 a day, you get access to knowledge from 100 change makers for 100 days.
- Your contribution will go into a scholarship fund which you can then apply for.
- Scholarships will be available to any and all who want to make their dreams a reality.
You know how I’m all about getting rid of excuses to live your ideal life? This program is right in line with that sentiment.
Natalie’s a good friend of mine and knowing her work ethic and commitment to helping others, I have no doubt this program is going to be massive. The contributor list alone is proof of that. Here’s a small selection of the awesome people you’ll be getting daily knowledge from if you choose to sign up (in no particular order):
Danielle LaPorte, Jenny Blake, Steve Kamb, Tara Gentile, Sean Ogle, Jonathan Mead, Scott Dinsmore, Adam Baker, Derek Halpern, Mars Dorian, Farnoosh Brok, Sandi Amorim, Dave Ursillo, Cigdem Kobu, Jonathan Fields, Pam Slim, Sarah Peck, Joel Runyon, Laura Roeder, Benny Hsu, and oh my gosh so many more…
The links to the $100 Change site are non-affiliate links, meaning I don’t make any money from your clicks or if you sign up. I sincerely believe that this program will be helpful to people who want to achieve their dreams, but may just need a kickstart in getting there.