I have a confession. A lot of my friends don’t even know I lift weights. When I first started lifting I kept it quiet only because anyone I told seemed to think my husband had roped me into it, which was not true at all. After about six months of lifting, when I began to realise the amazing things strength training could do for the body, I began telling more and more of my friends about my ‘secret’ workouts.
I think I only had one female friend that didn’t look at me like I had two heads. The common reaction was a head shake with wide eyes accompanied by a comment like “well, I don’t want to lift weights because I don’t want to get bulky”. Some of my friends were flat out rude and told me I was going to ruin my body aesthetically and get injured in the process.
The comments became even worse when I decided to compete. What started as comments perhaps coming from a place of curiosity soon turned into a free for all, where everyone felt like they had the right to comment on what I should or should not do with my body.
Gradually, I grew tired of defending myself. As much as I consider myself a promoter of weight lifting, I gave up on trying to convince my friends. Of course, if they directly ask me what I do for exercise, I will tell them and try to move on before the interrogation begins, but I generally steer clear of initiating any fitness-related chats.
Since being in London, I have met up with a couple of friends from my hometown whom I haven’t seen for several years. After hanging out several times, I obviously mentioned that I was working as a personal trainer – but didn’t say anything beyond that. My blog is linked to my personal Facebook page so it’s not as if I’m hiding it, but I don’t post my blogs in the newsfeed or anything like that.
One of my friends happened to find my blog after a couple of months of us hanging out, and I guess she was surprised at how serious I am about lifting weights. I’ve been living in jumpers and coats since I got here, so it was only recently that she had a glimpse of my muscles and she was impressed to say the least.
I don’t know why I don’t tell my friends that I lift weights. I guess when your life involves working out, training other people, designing workout programs, writing a fitness blog and then spending hours reading other fitness blogs every single day, you don’t really want to work when you don’t have to.
I’m kind of disappointed in myself, but at the same time I think me citing the benefits of lifting weights to my friends will be a waste of everyone’s time. My friends are, unfortunately, just the type of people who will remain close-minded no matter what I say.
Don’t get me wrong – I actually enjoy meeting people and telling them that I lift weights. I love talking about fitness (obviously, or you wouldn’t be reading this!) and I love answering questions from people who are genuinely interested in resistance training. I love hearing from readers (contact me here) and communicating with other bloggers. Fitness is my passion and I want to educate as many people as I possibly can. It’s just my existing friend circle who tend to not be very polite about expressing their opinions, which is why I steer clear of provoking such conversations.
Do your friends know you lift weights? Do you actively try to bring it up?
PS. Christine recently did a two part series of the basics of weight lifting that I would recommend anyone reading, not just beginners. It covers choosing programs, warm ups (which I’m slacking on!), cardio, form, diet and getting your head in the game, just to name a few. Check it out!