Why I Work Out

I work out to grow

Not to grow any muscles or to let it show

I work out to know

That I can push my body in all its limbs beyond a limit I alone had placed on myself

I work out to change

In a way that I didn’t know possible, that I didn’t know was worrisome. I work out to change a culture in which I’ve grown, where the women break their backs in laborious tasks from a struggle in which they have grown – I know, that time was for more important things when you put your heart and soul into making us feel like we had a home. I work out to change a stereotype where what you get out is not any more masculine than it is feminine. My body is not a man’s body and my strength does not represent his. It’s my own. My own strength from my own body which I’ve pushed zealously through sweat and tears that drip altogether and all the time knowing that I’ve scratched out that boundary line. And that finish line is evasive and I’ll erase them as I see them when I meet my goals, when my body aches and contracts, loses sleep and lacks the energy or the upkeep I know I’ll give it a rest and start tomorrow afresh. And when my mind is at its best, it’s quiet as I deliver each breath through each bone where that diaphragm expands at my chest and I remember my own soul. A girl who was once far too weak to know, the courage it takes to break. And start over

I know.

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Why do you work out?


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