Busy studying still so I have a few things you should totally take the time to click and read.
…adults are the same way about their own lives. Exercise and activity is something that we go to the gym to do. It isn’t supposed to be fun – indeed, it has overtones of moral punishment – and it’s certainly not something that is supposed to be part of our daily lives. It happens only in an approved facility. It involves pain, shame, and guilt. The body is a lumpen obstacle to be overcome, not something that brings pleasure and does cool things…
When was the last time your activity was fun? When you forgot about counting minutes and reps and calories? When you stopped feeling obligated and started feeling inspired? When you felt your legs not as aesthetic embarrassments but as engines that powered you across a field with the wind in your face? When you did something and thought about nothing?
Seriously, read the whole thing.
Next a post over at thefword(different from the-F-word) about push ups and whether or not encouraging things like ‘girly style’ push ups is sexist. This bit that the author, Jess, quotes form the original article gets my HELL YEAH! endorsement:
Here’s a newsflash about why women have a hard time with push-ups: We don’t do them. We don’t do other kinds of weight training that would build the necessary strength. You could be relatively fit, but that doesn’t mean you would go out and run a marathon with no training unless you are crazy. You generally have to practice anything to be able to do it. So what if some men start off having an easier time with push-ups? (And, by the way, I know from training experience that plenty of men are not automatic experts.) There’s no reason women can’t knock out a good set, and do them well from the feet in time.
Women don’t do push ups because they think of them as a man exercise. Same goes for weightlifting. We teach women to strive for thin and toned, but not strong and powerful. I mean, be athletic, but not so athletic that you can kick a guy’s rear end at strength endeavors.
I know from personal experience that when I walk into the free weight area of some gyms, it will be almost entirely populated by sweaty guys grunting in front of the mirror, and that when I pick up a barbell for overhead presses, I will get strange looks from some of those guys. Very few will offer to spot my bench press. And a 1996 study published in the Illinois Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance journal also found that women were more likely to underestimate the amount they could bench press than men. We are conditioned to think we can’t possibly lift like men, or crank out a set of 20 nice push-ups, and, if we do, we are too masculine. We’re taught to hide our strength or minimize it or just avoid using it altogether. “Could you give me a hand carrying this box, guy-from-my-office-who-never-works-out?”
I bolded that part about women underestimating their bench press because I thought that was fascinating and yet not surprising.