TransActive Fitness: Weighing In In a Trumped Up World

“I can't do weight and pinches today. It has been a hard week. Can we just get to work?” I text.

“Sure” Mike replies, and I can relax.

It is a few weeks post Trump election and I have been working to implement strategies, policies, and organizational support for the larger Transgender community from morning until night. I am the Executive Director of the Trans/Gender DIverse non-profit Trans*Ponder, and it is important to Earthquake proof the house before an Earthquake hits. Heck, even if it never hits, at least we will be well prepared.

Getting on the scale is hard for me. I would like to say that I do not base my feelings about the  hard work I do all week on my body on the numbers of the scale, and I will come out right now and say that I still do. I know what matters is how I feel, how my body is shaping to look, and the ways in which I am improving my overall health. As a being in this society, and especially after spending a lifetime in a female body, the scale is a nasty bully to my sometimes fragile self-esteem. We are definitely in an abusive relationship. Sometimes the scale strokes my ego, soothes me, and even sometimes as soon as the next day pulls the rug out from under me. Just as quickly it apologizes...on and on in a viscous cycle.

Today thankfully  I am greeted by Mike, rather than this fickle friend-foe, and we get working right away.

 We are joking in between sets, and Mike in his Arnold Schwarzenegger voice jokes as if we are in the movie Pumping Iron. “It is all about the pump. Nothing is better than the pump.” As ridiculous as this seems there's a truth to it. My muscles feel tight and swollen, my endorphin level reaches epic heights, and for an hour at least I forget about the battle I am fighting on the front lines outside of these doors. For an hour it gets to be about me. I get to dive deep within to find resources I am not sure that I have, and that Mike pushes me into discovering that I do.

The work we are doing is about sculpting a body that is gender affirming. The results that are taking place are more than that, though. We are strengthening a resolve, pushing through self-imposed limits, and creating a warrior who is ready to take on the world. In these times, there is no other option.