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My praise for my powerhouse mate is in no way inflated and her strength extends to calm deliberation when I point out to her similarly outstanding amazons. On the first week of the new year we headed to Orange Theory Fitness where I leaned into my darling Durga and whispered in her ear, “That woman has nicer arms than you do.” 

Durga looked, nodded, turned to me and said, “Yep.”

Durga, who turns 60 this year, is long, lean, sculpted, beautifully curved and concentrates more on aerobic fitness than strength or power. Pound for pound my wife can out lift me but on the exercise floor I tend to use heavier weights than she, at least for upper body workouts. 

The woman I pointed out was Durga’s complement as opposed to her equivalent. Mid-twenties, perhaps five-feet-three, likely north of 140 pounds, our blonde behemoth was thick where Durga is waspish but her aura exuded power and strength. After class I said to Durga, “That woman would bring Sean to his knees,” remarking on our younger son’s preference for short, strong women as opposed to my predilection for taller beauties. 

“Yeah. Looks to be his type alright,” she replied as we headed for home and a well earned dinner.

Fast forward to January eighth and another OTF class where our blonde bodybuilder is working out a station one step from adjacent to mine. OTF racks dumbbells that max out at 25 lbs and diminutive dynamite has meandered over to where the plus size weights are available and selected 35 lb dumbbells to accommodate her upper body strength. Today’s floor exercises are one minute repetitions of the same five exercises done over and over along with a 60 second maximum effort row thrown in every sixth minute.

I’m  concentrating on form and minding my own business as we finish our row and hustle back to the strength floor. As we’re working out I notice that the young woman starts with heavier weights but as she fatigues and her form begins to fall off she drops down ten pounds. She drops down to the weights a 210 pound man is using, or in other words, when she finds being a total beast a bit much she falls to earth as a boss.

On our next trip back from the rower I mention this to her and she laughs, fist-bumps me and goes back to totally slaying our upper body workout. I did better keeping up with her on the treadmill where my extra 15 centimeters of leg length help me cover more ground with fewer strides. 

It can be absolutely glorious to be humbled if one has the right mindset.