How Have You Changed?

[Reposted with some tiny edits from the Iron & Spice Facebook page]

Resting a sandbag on my head at CrossFit Center City, circa 2009-ish. 

Resting a sandbag on my head at CrossFit Center City, circa 2009-ish. 

How have you changed since you picked up a barbell/kettlebell/dumbbell/strongman implement for the first time? 

I'm thinking aesthetic OR mental OR spiritual OR anything else you think has had an impact on your life. There's absolutely nothing wrong with lifting to change your physique, but I think we sometimes get a little too caught up in the outside (for better or worse) and forget all the other benefits we reap from throwing heavy stuff around, and I personally ALWAYS forget to note this kind of thing in my workout logs.

I'll begin.

1) I have a distinct memory as a young kid of seeing my thighs flatten out when I sat down and hating that (so sad). My legs are still not small, not even a little bit, but they're muscular and strong and I love them now!

2) I'm confident in the weight room at just about any gym I visit. I don't know how to do every movement perfectly (coaching will always be a good thing) but I know my way around and am not intimidated when I'm there.

3) I can do more stuff without worrying about "getting in shape" or "training" first. Like, I can run fun distances (sort of, let's not get carried away) and go on long, steep hikes, and lift the 50 pound bags of potatoes at work without hurting myself. This is going to make me a tough broad when I'm older (and everyone loves a tough old broad).

4) I love going to the gym, even on days when I don't love going to the gym (does that make sense?) Sure, sometimes I'm sleepy or sluggish or I'm just not feeling it, but overall it's not a grind. It's a joy. It's an excuse to accomplish awesome things.

How have you changed since you started lifting?