Tuesday, January 13, 2009

tues and genders

Last night's weight class was already easier than last week. Well it was the same class, and I did the same if not more weight, but it already felt easier. Thank goodness, it was super rough last week, hurting when I walked for 4 days! Got a bit of soreness today which is good because otherwise it was a waste.

I was talking with a girl in the class. The sort of person that makes me not really like meeting new people. She was really nice and friendly, but very competitive and doing that self depricating girl thing. She hadn't worked out in months basically (she was quite slim, pretty, a bit skinny-fat though, no muscle tone) and is "in the worst shape of her life". This summer she ran half marathonS. I mentioned that I ran a couple 10Ks this summer and she went on to say how "they're fun and easy huh? we would do those for our short runs". I guess I might have seemed competitive too, she said she just got a treadmill for Christmas and I said me too.

Then even though I just met her (well I'd seen her before but never talked right) she whispers to me about how this one girl in class is sooo ripped! she must be training for something or like a pro athlete or something. Well ok, yes she had an AMAZING body, basically looked like an olympian, plus really cute and sort of dorky looking, like she lost her balance doing lunges. So I was thinking the same things, but I didn't say anything to anybody about it. Just seems like not something you talk about with strangers, sort of gossipy (even though we didn't say anything mean or bad).

That was all before class. Then as soon as we started (I think) she saw me using 8 lb weights and ran to get a pair (she only had 5's before). Then used the same weights as me the whole time, and when I dropped in the middle of an exercise to the 5's or to nothing, she did it the rep right after me. I can completely understand this because I do it too, but I still like being the one who wins!

Another cool thing, the instructor saw I was using 5's so she borrowed my 3's. Then later on another exercise came to borrow them again and said "Randi you're much stronger than me, you can use the 5's". Sweet. (at least I had that over the other girl! hehe) Even though, truth is, the 5's were killing me and if I still had my 3's I'd have switched!

OH, the thing that she said that instantly put her in a "category" in my mind wasn't even fitness-y, just something I get from "girls" a lot. "oh you just finished your master's? Wow! What in? You're an ENGINEER!?! WOW! Good for YOU! That's really great! Wow!"
She might as well have said "oh gee! I couldn't handle all that math! I'm just a girl! hehehe!"

The thing is, there was a point where I FELT impressive, as a girl engineer (not just that but truth be told I was the top of my class!) then went and got my Master's as well. I sort of felt superior for a while. What humbled me was talking to a grandma (not mine, a friend). I told her I was in engineering, expecting her (an OLD lady) to be very impressed that girls were even allowed in or something. I just had this attitude telling her, basically waiting for her response. She was like "Oh that's nice, my grand-daughter is a professor of nuclear physics at that university" or something. Just, completely like "ok. that's what you do, so?"

So since then I realized that my job and my career path are just what I do. It's not impressive, nor more hoity-toity than say working at a school. People would be impressed with me for all the fancy math I can do or science stuff I know, but I am impressed that people could deal with know-it-all kids. Or a hair dresser, I have no idea how to even use a curling iron. Plus there are a lot more really impressive jobs out there. People just have different skills. Not to say I don't of course feel like I could learn to do anything (I have some arrogance, it's true). But that's what bothers me the most when people make a comment on the math thing. They could SO do the math I do, I wasn't born knowing it (not to mention can't even do simple adding in my head! I need a calculator or a piece of paper or something), I learned how to do it. I didn't just GET it. "Oh I could never do all that math! hehe" Anyone could learn it. It might take more time or you might have no interest in learning it, but don't put that attitude on!

Also, it's only girl's I get the attitude from. There are lots of guys who'll say "yeah, I hated math" or basically the same thing the girls say, but there's something different about how they say it. Like they're admitting to a character flaw or something, not pointing out that I'm the strange one. That's why until recently I always said I hated girls (some of you have changed my mind!)

hm, strange tangent. that's ok, not much else to say.

Hitting the treadmill tonight. 1 hour of exercise, split between weights and running. Hubby had hockey again last night. It's going to be tough to keep up with him exercise-wise! (oh, ps, we count the whole game because he's on the whole time, goalie. I think that an hour of standing in the net is not comparable to an hour on the treadmill, but if anybody else knows a goalie, you just can't say that to him!)


Lainey said...

You...think differently. That makes you interesting. But you kind of sound like you stereotype people a lot.

When I was little, I used to think I wanted to be a geologist (I liked rocks a lot). My Dad's side of the family encouraged me, but my grandma on my Mom's side was like, "A geologist?! No! That's a man's job! You want to be a teacher or a nurse!" Um, no, Grandma, I do not. First of all, I have no interest in those things (or in most "girly" things, really--I'm kind of with you there), and second of all, thanks for telling me what I "want" to do.

And people wonder why my Mom is screwed up. Anyway...

Sagan said...

I love the grandma story. We do all have different skills- and it's fascinating to learn about the amazing things that people can do!

Jen said...

*laughs* I am very proud of you for sticking with the 5's!!! Even though you would have switched, you didn't and you are SO much more kick ass than the other girl for that!!!

I get annoyed because I am a girly girl...I sometimes dish the dirt (though only with my closest friends), I do my hair, I wear pink and I paint my nails everyday...and I read a lot of fashion magazines....and most people think I have very little depth...they tell me I should be a teacher or stick with admin work (NOTHING wrong with either of those jobs)...but honestly, I have more in me than that, so why hold it back?? I got one of the top marks on my english 30 diploma exam (2 questions wrong, WOOT!) and I could write essays in my sleep...I have read the complete works of william shakespeare 3 times and pretty much everything by Faulkner and Dickens (took classes on them both). I sucked at Math 10 but when on to take Calculus for fun in college...not an idiot...just a smartie/closet geek who likes to play dress up.

I admire you for being an engineer! That takes a lot of determination to follow it through and learn something that (you said) you might not naturally be good at!

Jen said...

I am just going to correct one thing that I said there - When I said the comment regarding Teaching or Admin and having more in me...I just mean that I have some talents that I am wasting and that there are people who are good at those things that should be doing them (Teaching - I have SO little patience even though I am good with kids) and Admin - I am learning to dislike it a lot because I just don't like certain aspects of my job.

I didn't want to insult anybody there because it kind of came out wrong...

workhardeatwell said...

First of all, I love that you are calling out someone for being too competitive! Too funny and too cute ;)

Secondly I am super impressed that you are an engineer. I say this as a woman who also works in a male dominated profession (in my firm of 100 lawyers, maybe only 13 are women - the law is ridiculously male-dominated, although most people don't realize this because most law classes are 60% women . . . but when you look at who actually uses the degree to practice law, especially private law, women are few and far between). You entered into a profession where there are not a lot of female role models and the odds are more stacked against a women from succeeding than a man. And not only did you rock your degree and your job, you rocked your Masters too! That requires a lot of intelligence, perseverance and confidence - all traits that women envy in other women, whereas men think those traits are good to have in others.

Sorry for the rambling . . .

eurydice said...

i'm happy you think this way. people really shouldn't be judged on their education or careers. actually i take that back. some people should. there is a difference between being an engineer and a garbage man, even if it's only that you had the sense to do well and pay attention in school to get ahead!