I thought to myself, last week – “if the unthinkable happens in the American election, I’ll do a video about the gym as sanctuary” – but it was an idle thought, really. I didn’t plan anything. I scripted and prepared to do a video about food.
But then the unthinkable happened, and it has been scarier and more traumatic than my brief idle speculation allowed me to realize it would be.
I’m a Canadian, so there’s a tissue-thin level of distance between me and what’s happening, what’s going to happen. But I’m not so ignorant of history to think it couldn’t happen here, or that the violence targeted against minorities won’t spill over the border some. People I care about are American. One half of the team that makes these videos is American. America still has its hands on the rudder of the Western world. Life just became a lot more difficult and a lot scarier for millions of people.
I wrote this on Wednesday night and we filmed it on Thursday morning. I almost broke a few times when recording it. The years ahead won’t be easy. I will miss the illusory comfort of the last decade or so. It will be exhausting work, trying to hold the line, to hold on to as much progress as we can.
That’s why it’s important to keep a sanctuary of some kind (without retreating into it wholly).
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Lambda Legal: https://www.lambdalegal.org/donate
Planned Parenthood: https://www.plannedparenthoodaction.org/
There are many other deserving places to give money, and many other ways to organize and be strong for each other.
This week’s video might set a record for most needlessly elaborate explanation that only really partially answers the question in the first place.
It all comes from when a friend was having lunch with Chris (my husband and the co-creator of these videos) and she expressed a little confusion as to what my channel was about. It’s something I’ve heard before—to many people, the differences between bodybuilding and powerlifting (and their relationship to weightlifting) aren’t always clear, and the relationship of that whole conceptual cluster to health and fitness is also a point of confusion.
A few people asked about the board game from the Escape from Skinny-Fat Jail episode. We decided to whip together a more legible version—so here it is! (Some of the text has been tweaked and improved.) We also made a pdf if that’s easier for you.
EVERY SQUARE’S A WINNER / IF YOU’RE HAPPY TO BE THERE
I tried for years to change my body, but I had little to show for my efforts. I was stuck in skinny-fat jail. It sucked. Here’s how I finally broke out.
(Psst! Want to see a close-up of the board?)
Sometimes people want to bring you down for no good reason. But you just have to push yourself back up again.
Milling around outside after the Olympia finale, I feel alone in a crowd.
The last of the Vegas Olympia diaries! Turns out watching a big bodybuilding show in person is entirely different from watching it on a bad webstream. But the competitive element remains puzzling.
Bad feelings can come from anywhere. They can come from nowhere! But sometimes they come when that delicate ‘I am making progress’ feeling gets knocked. Trying to turn demotivation into motivation!
Vegas Diary #2: So what do you *do* at a gigantic bodybuilding exposition, exactly?
This September I went to Las Vegas for the 2016 Mr. Olympia exposition and show! Here’s a diary video from the day before it all began. I talk about Vegas itself, my previous experience with a bodybuilding expo, and my apprehensions and expectations about the weekend.