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Okay, I admit it. I'm a wimp.

For many years I believed I was as strong or stronger than most women, and as strong as a few men. I assumed that if a guy ever attacked me in a dark parking lot, I could easily fight him off. I figured if I got in a bar fight with another woman I would have no trouble taking her out. After all, I lift weights. I can carry our vacuum up and down the stairs. I can lift both my boys at the same time. Plus, I've seen a lot of TV shows where women beat up guys, lift cars off people, and such.

Looking back, there were signs over the past decade that I wasn't as strong as I thought I was. There was that time that I told Reni to stop letting me win when we were wrestling, and he pinned me in like a thousandth of a second. And the time that my 60+ year old mother had to pull out a shrub for me because I was too weak to do it. But I was able to rationalize all those things. Both Reni and my mom must be freaks of nature, I told myself.

But the other day, something happened that made me give up my tough-chick delusions. It happened at the gym. There is a grandma and her grandson that come there every morning. At least I think that's their situation. She has very white hair and looks to be in her 70s, and he is maybe 10 years old, if even that. They walk to the gym at 5:00 every morning. I see them all huddled together in the pitch black dark walking over the overpass as I drive by.

The other day I had just finished working on one of the machines and was feeling pretty awesome because I had moved it up to 40 lbs! I was sitting on a bench next to the machine when the 10 year old boy came over. He is a typical little noodle-armed kid. He went to the machine and moved the pin way, way down. I was thinking, "Oh yeah, right. You'll never lift that." But then...he lifted it. and lifted it. and lifted it. Over the past few years at the gym, I have noticed that many women lift a lot more than I do. But again, I just figured they were either freaks of nature, or were given super-human strength through the act of childbirth. But a scrawny 10 year old boy? I couldn't rationalize that. I AM a wimp! I AM a wimp! I must be a wimp! The realization hit me like a freight train. All my delusions were gone in an instant.

The worst part of this realization is my new found sense of vulnerability. Now I can't walk alone in dark parking lots and/or start bar fights. Without that, I'm not even sure who I am anymore.

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