Sometimes I wish love were more like a barbell: something you could wrap your hands around and make it do whatever you want. It could be heavy and slow, or light and fast.
You could hold it to your chest or feel the cold weight bruising your bare shoulders; you could throw your entire body under it, and if you have the strength, it wouldn’t crush you.
If you drop it, you can pick it back up and try again. With steel, you inherently understand that the more you work with it, the higher you can go. Your technique and strength improve with practice.
The barbell cannot be destroyed and is unlikely to be taken away from you while you’re holding it. Nothing anyone says can make it vanish. It’s never hidden or cloaked or suppressed or masked. It cannot die or dwindle or be extinguished.
The barbell is predictable. It does not change. It is always there for the taking. If you get hurt, it’s never the barbell’s fault.
But love is a different beast.
Unless you’re clinically narcissistic, love involves another living, breathing human being. And human beings, as we all know, tend to make messes wherever they go. But that’s what makes love, love.
Its unpredictability thrills you or breaks you. You never know which it will be.
The interplay of mind, body and emotion is far more complicated than the sleek, sturdy silhouettes of iron.
That’s probably what draws me to the iron. Whether it’s the barbells or the kettle bells, the heart races, the blood flows, chemicals are released in the brain that make you feel good, elated even. And isn’t that what love is supposed to do?
The barbell is simpler.
Cold, yes. Unfeeling, yes. But simpler. And sometimes we need a break from the emotion, the drama, the heartache, the uncertainty of love.
Sometimes we just need to lift heavy shit.
For all the differences, however, there is one way in which love IS like a barbell: if you are lucky enough to have it in your hands, you can hold on tightly and do something great with it.