Speaking of - a couple posts ago, at least, which you'd know if you're keeping up, reading everything I ever write, forever and always, and why wouldn't you? - my previous fitness ambitions, I ran in to a guy who used to lift at similar times as me. We never spoke much, because headphones, and that's simply not what you do, bro. But enough to recognize one another, even these years later. (He was one of the juicers - and not kale and ginger juice - to whom I referred in that other post, that you've certainly read.)
He was buying red peppers, and I was scoping the carrots. He nodded. I nodded, content to just shuffle on. But, people don't wear headphones at grocery stores, typically, so he engaged.
After what I can only assume were substantial enough formalities for him, he asked "What happened, man? You okay? You got really small."
I laughed. It was a brazen thing to say, first of all. And I couldn't not find his deathly earnest delivery amusing. Clearly, he suspected something - probably something rather grave - was the matter.
I explained that, well, I did in fact have a couple little health bumps a few years ago - though I omitted the finer details. (Necrotic gallbladder. Elevated liver enzymes. A little bout of pancreatitis. I really should've just done the steroids, given how things turned out.) But I certainly could've regained most of what I had without too much trouble, had I not redirected my efforts. But redirect them I did, and at present, I am this thin on purpose.
He looked no less concerned. Perhaps slightly crestfallen. As if I'd left the church. Which I had, in a sense. Willfully giving up the ability to lift heavy things in order to "do cardio"? The fuck?
He said it was cool though. Which is nice, because, you know, I needed permission.
I did find the exchange interesting, however. You see a lot of transformation stories, regarding running. People losing weight, fighting off chronic diseases, and finding something of themselves in the process. These are plentiful, but no less beautiful for the fact.
It occurred to me, though, that I'm rather atypical, in that regard. At last measurement, I'm 145 lbs with 9% bf. At one time, I was 170 pounds, and measured in as low as 7% bf. Now, getting that lean at that weight was, for me, brutal. Whereas this, at present, is a rather "indulgent" weight. I'd probably race faster at 135-140, but I haven't really got the appetite for conscious dieting anymore. Even still, that's a rather large amount of muscle I've pissed away.
But I really couldn't be happier about it, even if it would make for a rather shitty Runner's World cover quote. "Lose muscle now!" doesn't move magazines. But it did - and continues to - move me. So, cool, I guess.