Stella and the 50s

Expect the Unexpected

Flashback to one of my first solo ventures "at the rack"— I walk over to find the 8 and 10-pounders I was going to use on my "chest thing that guy showed me" exercise. I walked over to the rack. To my dismay, some inconsiderate thug left a big giant dumbbell right where the 5 and 10-pounders go. "Jerk! Like, how are the people who use 5 pounds supposed to be able to clean up 50-pound dumbbells!" I grasp the dumb thing with both hands and lug it over to its rightful place. I vow then I will never be so rude as to leave my equipment in the wrong place. That thing was heavy.

As I traveled to the right of the rack in my fitness journey, I snuck furtive glances at the place where the rubber coated dumbbells ended and the silver, shiny ones began —the 55s. When I reached the 35 pounds, I began to wonder how close to the silvers I could get on my chest and shoulder presses. Hmmm.

Enter IOL. I will get all the way there if that's what I want to do.

Flash forward to Saturday. Not a particularly good week of workouts. Had my first cold in about a year and just felt kind of off even after lots of sleep and two rest days. Words I read in Brother Iron, Sister Steel echo in my head. "Weakness is something we aim to eliminate." I remember Hugo's "Indecisive" post. I go to the gym even though I don't want to. At least it's chest and tris today.

I warm up with some pushups and do okay on my bench pressing for not having a spotter. I am becoming less of a chicken. I've found my little spot and the place on the bar where I like to grip. Goody. I head over to the incline benches and lower it down into a deeply reclined position. I'm kind of still warm. 35s... doo dee doo. Virtual baby rattles, this is fun! Press on. 40s. Nice solid 12, girl. Remember when you needed a spot with these? Ha! 45s? Of course. Well, dear sister, I'll show you how to spot. Stand here behind me just in case I need help stabilizing them on that first one.

Who's that girl? I watch my form in the mirror but I seem to be watching somebody else's chest, feeling somebody else's muscles push up something too easily. Who needs a spotter?

Today is the day. I'm moving up. Give me those stupid things. Yes, New Gym Couple Staring At Me, I am going to do them so stop looking at me like I can't or I might do an extra one. Yeah, I know they look big but it's because they have all this rubber stuff on them. They aren't really that heavy.

Okay, I do need an experienced spotter. Ask that big guy over there, you see him here all the time. He knows me but wonders what's the most I've done. "45s for 8-10. I'm not trying for anything on these other than just to see if I can." Deep sigh "Okay, this is only 5 more pounds. All I have to do is one good one, no pressure."

ONE! (steady) - TWO! (smooth.."LOOK AT ME, MA!")- THREE ("It's all you, Stella!"). I bring them down slow and controlled—should have done one more but I just wanted to know if I could today. I'll move back down the rack a little and start doing more challenging combos with my incline chest presses instead of straight-setting them. I'll work on my flat bench.

I gently drop not one, but two 50-pound dumbbells down a respectful inch above the padded floor so I don't make too much noise. I might be a thug, but at least I'm considerate.


Need more motivation? Here's Og

And here's Badger

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