What motivates me.
I am motivated by women and I am motivated by queer people. I am motivated by the struggle I had growing up identifying as both, how sad and stupid and small I felt for many many years, months, weeks and days, until at some point I put a barbell into my hands and I said no. No more. I am confident and I am big and I am smart. I am more than what I have learned that I can be.
I am motivated by the idea that I am a part of a paradigm shift. I am a part of the not-so-radical idea that I am strong in my biologically female vegan body. I do not need a dick and I do not need a steak.
I am motivated by teenagers. By watching them awkwardly navigate their changing bodies and by hearing them apologize for themselves and by watching their tenacity. I build my body up and nourish it properly because-lo and behold- at 31 I am adult enough to realize that teens are always watching. Whether or not I realize it, I am an example. I take the position seriously.
I am motivated by watching my muscles pop. By hard work and early wake ups and calloused hands and then the visual result of such action. Hello traps. Hello visible crease between my hamstrings and my glutes, hello so many back muscles I never fucking knew existed. Nice to meet you.
I am motivated by the low hum of a completely clear brain after a metabolic conditioner. By being out of breath, finished and on my back, staring at the ceiling, with no thoughts at all. It’s quite a contrast to my constantly racing brain and it is serene in a way I haven’t found elsewhere.
I am motivated by the memory of myself at less than 100 pounds, on a frame that needs far more to survive. I am motivated by thoughts of the years I spent with my head in a toilet wondering how I could be doing this. I am motivated by love and compassion for that person. By constant affection and care-taking for that soul that felt so lost, by the promise that those things will never happen again. I made big mistakes and I made them for a long time, but I’ve got myself now.
I think of that person and I tell her I love her.
That I will only grow stronger and smarter and more compassionate with myself.
That above all, I can trust myself to take my own hand.