Recently, my younger brother was doing what he does best — annoying the heck out of me. He first learnt how to do it when he — and I’m not kidding — was around a year old, and he’s never let up. Anyway, I responded in the same way I have for the last 22 years; I hit him. Or threw a cushion at him. Or both. To which he had this to say, while rubbing his arm: “Man, you’ve gotten really strong.”
That was kinda gratifying, since I always prided myself on my arm-wrestling skills and such when I was a kid. But as I grew older, I got less and less strong, since I got lazier and lazier about working out (don’t judge me). So what’s my secret now, you ask? It isn’t one of those fad diets or one of those cool new workout places in the city. Nope. My secret is as old as the ages: motherhood.
I’m serious. Moms with young children may not always look it, but they’re as strong as most dedicated gym bunny. The reason? We’re weightlifting, all day, everyday. We start at a low weight, like any good instructor at the gym would tell you to — two or three or four kgs, whatever your bundle (dumbell?) of joy weighed when she was born. And then we work our way up rapidly over the course of the next year and a half, lifting six, eight, ten kgs effortlessly. We lift them in and out of their cots, off the floor, into the car, out of the shopping cart. We walk them and rock them and swing them to sleep. We carry them up the stairs, down the escalator. We juggle them while simultaneously working our biceps/triceps/whatchamacallits by carrying assorted bags, pots, pans and cookers, laptops, books and files, etc. in the other hand. And we lift almost double the weight when we tussle with them and/or drag them kicking and screaming from the toy shop/friend’s house/other random public location mid-tantrum.
Can even the most devoted gym enthusiast boast of that sort of consistent weight training through the day? I think not. If women bulked up easily, most moms would have bulging biceps to rival any pro-athlete. And while most of us don’t have the time or energy to sculpt those abs, our core is strengthened like you wouldn’t believe.
So the next time you mess with a young mom, think twice. She may look kinda soft and cushion-y but she’s packing some serious muscle underneath 🙂