Just a few days after my post about body image stuff, working out, and how sometimes your abdomen hurts because of your core workout while other times it hurts because of something you ate, I got to have a very validating experience at work. I talk mostly about software testing at my job because that’s my primary focus, but I also do a lot of hardware (electrical and mechanical, mostly) testing as well, given that the software I test is usually on hardware of some kind that we also produced. As a result, one of the requirements for my job is to be able to occasionally move one hundred pounds around, multiple times. We use a lot of things that weigh one hundred or more pounds all the time, so somedays I’ve moving a few tons around, one hundred or so pounds at a time. Other days, like today, the stuff weighs a lot more but it needs to be moved less. All of which means I occasionally get a decent workout in while I’m on the clock (which is more potentially troublesome nowadays when I workout before work rather than after it). The end result of all this is that I’m actually a lot stronger than I look.
Because of my weight, most of my coworkers tend to vastly underestimate my strength (a few who have worked with me on the heavy lifting side of our jobs don’t, thankfully, so it’s not a constant thing). Despite being one of the largest people on the team, I rarely get called to assist when its time to move stuff around. I suppose it’s fair, given that I tend to be spotted sitting in my office more often than working around the lab, but I still work primarily on software and I’m frequently sore or tired from my morning workout, so I don’t generally just hang out in the lab for funsies. Today, though, almost everyone was either working from home or taking the day off, so my manager called me out into the lab to help move some stuff around. It was one of those situations where they planned to get around how big and heavy something was by having enough people lifting and moving it.
I was able to move it by myself. It took a decent amount of effort and definitely wasn’t something I wanted to have to move more than from the dolly it was on to its final resting place a couple fet away, but I could manage it on my own. Mostly thanks to my workout routine, but partly because I’m huge and it’s always easier to life something when you’ve got big ol’ arms, a massive frame, and no concern about being overbalanced by whatever you’re lifting. The job they were doing, of moving our fabrication space into what used to be our conference room/lounge and moving the lounge to where the maker space used to be, went a lot faster when they realized I could do as much work as the three of them were doing. It also opened up a lot of options when I could brace or catch things on my own, to make it easier to get them through a doorway (prior to my arrival, there had been talk of removing the door frame, cutting a small gap in the frame, and then plastering over their crimes since it’s a Friday and no one will be in this weekend to notice).
I’m sure they would have been able to manage without me, but it was very validating to be able to show up, provide all the muscle they needed, and help them get everything done in a single afternoon rather than the two whole days they originally planned. I feel like my workout routine is paying off, even if I don’t feel like I’m losing much weight or noticing much change in strength. I will say my joints have never felt better (most of the time), so I’ve got that going for me, too. I just wish I hadn’t worn my white shorts today. They’re covered in grease, grime, dust, and dirt now. Which isn’t a big deal since tomorrow is laundry day, but now I’m gonna be wearing gross, dirty shorts when I go to Costco after work. Anyway, I’m super exhausted now, thanks to what probably amounted to more than a double workout today, so I’m going to return to sitting in a chair while I work and not doing anything mentally, emotionally, or physically strenuous.