Picture me. Not huge. You might even call me “slight of build.”
Now picture a guy — let’s call him Jim — who’s probably 6’2″ and around 275 lbs. He’s a big guy (a nice guy, too) and strong. Not particularly toned, but not fat either. Kind of what you would imagine a college or high school football player might look like by the time he’s 37 year’s old.
Now, finally, picture Jim and me being paired together as partners for a Crossfit workout that involves (i) running 400 meters carrying a 45-pound plate, (ii) doing 10 handstand pushups, and (iii) doing 20 pullups, all in that order, as many times as we can in 20 minutes. We have to do the run together but can divvy the rest of the stuff up however we want between us.
Afterwards, this conversation:
Jim: Did you watch The West Wing?
Jim: Okay, well, in one of the last seasons there’s a scene where Allison Janney (who’s like, 6 feet tall) and Kristen Chenoweth (who’s not even 5 feet tall) are walking down the hall together, and Allison Janney looks down at Kristen Chenoweth and says, “I can’t believe we’re the same species.” That’s all I could think about while watching you carry that 45-pound plate right now. I mean your legs are all . . . [he gestures; I assume the word he’s looking for is “twig-like”] and you have this skinny waist. And then there’s me and I’m all, “HOW ARE WE EVEN THE SAME SPECIES?”
To which I had no good answer, because I’ve basically been wondering the same thing since I was twelve. Not that I’ve ever wanted to be one of those huge, muscular men (though I wouldn’t have been opposed to a more naturally athletic build) — mostly I’ve just wondered what it would be like to go through life in such an enormous body. I mean, it’s got to be a different experience from what I have in my skinny body, right? So strange! It had never occurred to me that the big guys might look at me and be equally baffled.
Nor did I expect my morning workout to solve the problem of what to watch now that all my TV shows are on summer hiatus. Double win!