Changing, Again – Always

You know what surprises me about crochet? The way it works muscles I forgot I had.

It’s improved my grip strength enormously (I think it’s better than when I was heavy lifting—I needed help from straps—and I wasn’t good at rock climbing) and that’s the obvious benefit. I’ve never seen my hands like this. The muscles coming up around my thumbs are so cool!

But also, crochet works my deltoids a ton. Probably more than any of the standard compound lifts, too. I had to add accessory lifts to get this feeling in my deltoids as a bodybuilder.

Deltoids are kind of like the muscle caps on the top of your arms, partially controlling the rotation of that complex shoulder joint. Sawing my arms through tight stitches with stiff fabric is *difficult,* and I will do it for *hours* when I’m working on something bulky (a purse, a blanket).

Even though nothing I’m handling is heavy, I’m watching my arm muscles go crazy and laughing in disbelief like “what??”

But it also works my chest muscles! I’ve had zero chest development since I quit bodybuilding in early 2020. For me, nothing works like a good chest press, and I just don’t have the stuff around to do that as easily as weighted squats. (Pick something up, squat. You’re done.) So there is only one place that I can be getting aching pectorals from.

Again, it’s a different kind of development than bodybuilding. It’s less mass, less swelling. I feel like I’m developing *cables* under the skin.

I am crocheting with a hook, creating fabrics in my hands, and somehow this is also making my body crochet muscle in this whole new fascinating functional way. I have never had a functional hobby in my life. It’s weird learning my body is meant to DO THINGS.

Most of my core maintenance is actually using a standing desk and picking things up, which also helps my legs a bit. I’m often hauling 40lbs bags of cat litter around, which is nearly the weight of an unweighted Olympic barbell. I pick up and move a lot of plants and heavy water containers.

Like I’m the chubbiest I’ve ever been, the most body fat no doubt, biggest dress size, but I’m kind of turning into lowkey homesteader farmb0tch strongk? Just DOING THINGS instead of sitting at a computer writing all day? WILD.

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