8 times I shocked someone by being strong

Alright this isn’t serious but then it kinda is. I’m not someone you look at and think ‘wow I bet you she’s really strong’ quite the opposite really. For a long, long time I sort of lived up to that stereotype too. There’s no getting around the fact that I’m tall and skinny, lanky, wiry or how every you want to say clearly not a lifter. I think it’s because I lift (many, many, many) lower weight reps at work in a day. But that’s not true anymore I’m pretty strong now and you know what I’m pretty dang proud of that. Pound for pound (of which I admittedly don’t have many) I’m one of the strongest people I know.


I really REALLY enjoy it when I shatter someone’s expectations of what my body can do. I should also note that I’m not the least bit insulted or upset when people make a wrong assumption either. I think I’m proud of it because it’s an ability I didn’t always have and it has at times been hard won. So while some of this might be funny (at least hopefully) I hope it inspires you maybe a little too. I decided to post pictures in this one where while I do look like me I am not really looking very strong. If you have a funny story to tell share it in the comments below.

You can put the jack down I’ll just lift it

Lat summer I was working with a client doing some landscaping and we decided to put the excess turf under a sunken wharf ramp and kill two birds with one stone. This required lifting up the ramp and blocking it. The lovely older gentleman insisted on helping me jack it up with a farm jack. After several minuets struggling with the jack I suggested that I just lift it up and he could put the blocks in. He didn’t think I could do it and he was shocked moments later when I did. Felt pretty good too!

I do not accept delivery of this broken sink

One big box store around here is famous for delivering broken crap and usually late. PS that orange truck is going to be a week late this week too. It’s going to take them a week to move a toilet 10 miles to where I can pick it up. Sorry for the tangent there. But years ago they delivered a cracked vanity to the job, last thing off the tuck and then the driver took off. Typical! So I took off down the block running in my steel toes and stopped the truck one street over and told him he needed to come back because I do not accept that marble. And you know what he did!

Yup it is a heavy boat I’ve been carrying

Before I acquiesced and got a work truck of my own we farmed out our trucking to another sweet guy who would do it on the weekends and evenings. One day honey and I were carrying an aluminum boat up and struggling because it was very heavy. Being such a gentleman he insisted on carrying my end the rest of the way. Then he dropped it and had to ask me for help… 

How do you think it got on the truck?

Honey and his boys are most often guilty of this one but I get they are trying to be mannerly. When I pull in with something really heavy on the truck the boys will often rush over to unload it which I always appreciate. I don’t always appreciate my help being dismissed and waved out of the way. This happens a lot with shingles at 74 lbs a bundle. And I’m left asking them how they think it all got on the truck in the first place. Hint: the answer is me!

Don’t worry I’ll put the rod in the truck myself

At work I have to go to some pretty macho manly places. Places that serve the wholesale parts of the construction industry. Do you know how many ladies I’ve run into picking up metal in 5 years? None! Basically 100% of the guys I deal with rock. They offer to load the truck but then are quick to point out that I could probably no it myself no problem. But there’s this one place I go with this one guy who literally treats me like crap and I think it’s based on my gender because he doesn’t do that to the three other guys I’ve gone there with. He just answers questions I ask him to they guy I’m with. 

So one day he throws a whole wharfs worth of bundled threaded rod down on the ground and says “It’s my job to get it to the loading dock and I did. You gotta put it in the truck”. Here’s the thing though I’ve backed the truck up to the dock and he could literally just have put it into the truck like he did for the last guy. Then he throws I knife down so I can do it piece by piece. I shot him a ‘F you’ smile and say “no problem you can keep the knife” and pick up the whole damn bundle and lift it over the tailgate. You could tell he was pissed but also a little shocked.

I think I probably could outrun the cops…

There was a time when the kids were young that whenever they left the house, especially on the weekends, I would tell them to make good choices. Sometimes it turns out they did not. Many years later they were recounting a story where they suddenly had the urge to run when some uninvited guests in blue showed up. The boys were 24 year old roofers at the time so pretty fit. One said he could only run for 5 minutes before he had to find a place to hide, the other figured he had 10 minutes. Having just completed my 24 km long run for the weekend I chimed in with I’ve just run for 2 hours and 58 minuets but if my life was on the line I figure that I could probably go longer. They looked at me like I had grown a second head!

How long can you hold this side plank?

So I’m actually pretty proud of this one because it was an indication of how much I’d changed. I do astanga yoga with some pretty cool rock star older ladies! I think they are all at least 20 years older than me and way, way stronger than I used to be. Some are even stronger than I am now! I was always flexible but never strong. One thing that we regularly do is replace wharfs. They are always at the bottom of a big hill and no one ever wants machinery on their lawn. Which means I get to carry the water logged old one up the hill and the new one down the hill, piece by piece and you know what that made me strong! One day my teacher got us to do side planks and asked us to check in to see how long we felt like we could hold it. I had to say in that moment my answer was indefinitely. Knowing how far I’d come she congratulated me and dedicated a chant to me at the end of the class!

You pull the pins I’ll lift the ramp…

I mentioned that I don’t look very strong right? Another thing we do at work is to install and uninstall floats and ramps every year. It’s nice to have a third person but honey and I can do it on our own. One recently retired customer offered to be our helper and he was instructed to pull the pins out while we lifted the ramp. He however decided that he was much better suited to heavy lifting than me. I’m cool with that it’s your ramp after all and that was the third one today! Anyway as soon as he took the weight of it he gasped and dropped it in the ocean. He didn’t think it was going to be that heavy if I could lift it. So we waited 6 hours until low tide to go get it and lift it a lot further. It’s okay though it’s been a few years now and honey still hasn’t let him forget it.

I’m pretty proud that at almost 40 I can do things that 25 year old me never could! Like so many others embracing fitness started for the way it could make me look. Well that hasn’t changed a whole lot but what I can do has! I’m still almost never the strongest person on site and yeah the guys carry two bags of concrete to my one but this still makes me feel pretty good. I’d love to hear your stories of the times what you did shocked someone, maybe even yourself! Leave it in the comments below!

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