Rant 64 April 2012: The House That Stumptuous Built

March 31st, 2012  |  Published in 2012 rants, Rants, Stumpblog  |  70 Comments

This post was inspired by a post on AncestralizeMe.


Before I went to PaleoFX as a speaker, I too worried.

Would I pass muster? Would I be lean enough? Smart enough? Would I get to be part of this fun club? What happens if people judge me and — inevitably — find me lacking?*

And then I thought: Judge me, assholes. Judge the hell out of me. Let me know when you’re done. I’m going to go get a coffee.

Because I have other business in this world.

That business, dear reader, is healing your busted shit. That business is flicking a tiny spark on to your psychic sawdust pile. That business is getting you off your ass and out of your head and in to the gym or wherever else you choose to move your body.

That business is not debating how many angels can dance on the head of a pin, and exactly what they should look like in bikinis. That business is not pleasing you or Big Fitness or Daddy. That business is speaking truth.

That business is not clique-building or sooper-sekrit-club-having. In fact, I’m not picky in the least.

So give me your poor, your tired, your weak of spine and crumbling of bone. Give me your mushy of muscle and burbly of digestion and bored of treadmill-hamstering.

Give me your old and young and everything between early bipedalism and death. And while you’re at it give me your non-bipedal: your limps and gimps and wimps and wheeled and caned and casted and bandaged. Untangle your sweaty hospital sheets and IV tubes and tentacles of fear and shame and move whatever isn’t strapped down. A finger, a leg, an eyelid. Whatever you can move, keep moving it. Next week, add some weight to that.

Give me your saggy, your baggy, your faggy, your haggy. Give me your freaks and geeks; steers and queers; sportos, motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, preppies, jocks, stoners, poindexters, punkers, rockers, hicks, drama dorks, superstars, homebodies, farmers, New Wavers and socs.

Give me your bodies wracked with life’s whims; your hormonally challenged; your rattling bottles of pills like morbid maracas; your diseases of disuse. Your old knee injury from when you tried drunken trampolining.

Give me your your shit-talkers and funk-walkers; the voices in your head who sing the Rocky training montage; your sniveling inner toddler who stamps and says “No!”. Leave your inner critic at the door, or do five pushups every time you speak to yourself seriously in her voice.

Give me your clueless big-eyed newbies and grizzled gray-prickly veterans. Give me your squashy and scrawny. Give me your chickenshits; you people hunting for your fighting spirit and tending the tiny flame of Yes we can inside your ribcage.

It doesn’t matter who kicked the sand in your face. Spit it out and let’s get to work.

You can all apply for this job of awesome. No resumé required. The universe will be your hiring committee, and we need a lot of staff.

All are welcome in this house that strength built.

I mean the strength that moves the barbell and the strength that tries to move the bar and the strength that gets you to go near the bar in the first place when you are bowel-loosening scairt and intimidated as shit in that small grimy weight room full of grunting furry manpeople who smell like cheese and wet dog and old sweaty leather.

I mean the strength of putting one foot in front of the other. Or simply standing still when the winds of life are shoving you backwards like a schoolyard bully.

I mean the strength that sometimes looks like madness. The strength that sometimes looks like baby-weakness. The strength that is a tiny nugget of steel inside you. The strength that is compassion big enough to cuddle the world… even if you don’t yet know it is there, and certainly cannot yet turn it on yourself. The strength that 2 million years of evolution have given you, in your standard-issue package of human DNA.

I mean the strength of getting up off the floor and trying again. I mean the strength of having a good cry in the fetal position, drowning yourself in slithery snot and shame, and then uncurling, wiping your nose, and getting on with it.

Here, we do not build altars to shamed starvation; to the stimulant-addled; the sodium-depleted; the surgically caricatured and Photoshop-glazed puff pastries that pass for images of “fitness”.

Here, we do not glorify masochism wrapped in a sticky-sweet package of “inspiration” and “reaching your goals”. Fuck goals. Life laughs at goals. Fuck 8-week programs and accountancy. Fuck “pain is weakness leaving the body”. Deep kindness is braver than bashing and berating.

Here we set aside, for a moment, the demons that drive you to be better, thinner, prettier, perkier, painting and panting by numbers, wrapping yourself in the barbed-wire security blanket of mathematics, jumping through the ever-higher flaming hoops of social approval. Here we graduate from high school.

Here we don’t rebel against anything. Because we know that rebelling against something still makes that other thing the boss of us. We drive away into the sunset, following our own path.

Here, we don’t justify ourselves with “___ is the new sexy”. Your sexy is your own goddamned business. Have two orgasms in whatever way floats your boat, and call me in the morning.

Here, there are no invincible superwomen. We creak. We crunch. We sweat and stink. We have lumps and bumps. We slam our fingers between weight plates by mistake and conk our foreheads when we bend down to unload the barbell. We fart. Sometimes, if we have made babies, we pee ourselves. Just a little bit. We shrug and keep on deadlifting or doing jumping jacks or laughing deep in our jiggling bellies.

We know our insides have their own agendas. We take our bodies by the hand and keep going, till death do us part.

We know that action is the enemy of fear. As is a gut-busting giggle, a real exuberant screw-you HA HA HA.

We do our best to lighten the fuck up. To stay real. After all, if we argue with reality, we will always lose. We might as well fist-bump reality and become buddies.

Some days we have workouts so lousy that we want to leave the gym with a paper bag over our heads. Some days we have workouts when heavenly choirs sing and gently hoist our barbell with shining fingers. Some days we have workouts only in the sense that we put on running shoes. Some days we have workouts after which we double-dog-dare the world to fuck with us.

Wherever you are in your journey of strength, you are welcome here. This place is for you.

*Irony: Nobody judged me. Or at least, if they did, they didn’t say anything. Instead, they were all terrifically nice. Must be all the fresh air and good livin’.


  1. Sabrina says:

    March 31st, 2012at 7:08 am(#)

    YES. I’m moving in.

  2. Diane says:

    March 31st, 2012at 7:11 am(#)

    Thank you so much. Stay determined, my friend.

  3. Tassie says:

    March 31st, 2012at 7:55 am(#)

    This post went 100% beast mode, thank you. I’m making it one of the first things I read in the morning. *highfive*

  4. Laura says:

    March 31st, 2012at 8:07 am(#)


  5. philosophotarian says:

    March 31st, 2012at 8:35 am(#)

    wow. this made my whole day. i want everyone i know to read this.

  6. Michelle says:

    March 31st, 2012at 9:05 am(#)

    Yes! Needed this after a shitty week, and you so delivered. Thank you!

  7. Madam von Sassypants says:

    March 31st, 2012at 9:57 am(#)

    Yes! This. Everything about this. Amen!

  8. Laurie Donaldson says:

    March 31st, 2012at 9:59 am(#)

    This is a beautiful piece of work.

  9. IonaK says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:03 am(#)

    You are Awesome. That’s all.

  10. Maryann says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:08 am(#)

    A new daily affirmation! thanks! and ftw

  11. HA says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:14 am(#)

    Yes, yes, yes.

    This is awesome in so, so many ways.

  12. Greg says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:16 am(#)


  13. Amy says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:33 am(#)

    Love this SOOOO much!

  14. Reagan says:

    March 31st, 2012at 10:55 am(#)

    Amazing. I was having trouble with the original blog post  and all the comments associated, but couldn’t name why.  You-as always-nailed it. Thank you.

  15. LisaF says:

    March 31st, 2012at 11:04 am(#)

    sign me up. this is beautiful!

  16. Renee says:

    March 31st, 2012at 11:10 am(#)

    Discouragement reared it’s ugly head this morning in a big way and reading this post has helped me put things in perspective. Thank you!

  17. jane says:

    March 31st, 2012at 11:16 am(#)

    YES! and *high5*

  18. Zoë says:

    March 31st, 2012at 11:47 am(#)

    Thank you for expressing such a beautiful and necessary idea. I hope I can remember this post next time I’m feeling down!

  19. Laura is Undeterrable says:

    March 31st, 2012at 12:13 pm(#)

    Love. This. A. Freaking. Lot. THANK YOU

  20. Holly says:

    March 31st, 2012at 12:32 pm(#)

    I was there…thought you were awesome. Loved this as well. Thank-you!

  21. Christa says:

    March 31st, 2012at 1:27 pm(#)

    “your rattling bottles of pills like morbid maracas

    Love this!

  22. Jennifer says:

    March 31st, 2012at 2:21 pm(#)

    I kept seeing you, standing like Lady Liberty, with a dumbbell hoisted over your head as I read this. :)

  23. Kiya says:

    March 31st, 2012at 2:28 pm(#)

    YAAAAAASSSSSSSS!!! *movesin*

  24. Mecha says:

    March 31st, 2012at 5:52 pm(#)

    This is my inner voice! She says stuff like this all the time…….sometimes I accidentally say stuff out loud and then have to pretend I didn’t mean it….but I DID MEAN IT!

  25. heather says:

    March 31st, 2012at 7:39 pm(#)

    Effing. Awesome. Dude.

  26. Ruth says:

    March 31st, 2012at 7:47 pm(#)

    Holy fuck me swinging. I thought I loved you before Krista, now I think I want to have your babies. Yesterday was the beginning of what could have been a slump. Now it’s not.

    Thank you. xxx

  27. Ryan Andrews says:

    March 31st, 2012at 8:07 pm(#)

    This rant = good.

  28. Kyle says:

    March 31st, 2012at 8:27 pm(#)

    Sometimes you make we want to yell “I know her! We’re friends! We’ve had lunch together!” It’s like knowing the Oprah of fitness.

  29. Brooke says:

    March 31st, 2012at 9:55 pm(#)

    Encore! Encore! Keep this goodness coming. God knows we need it. Once again you’re hitting the mark. Love it, & need it.

  30. Susan Olding says:

    April 1st, 2012at 4:11 pm(#)


  31. Burt Furt says:

    April 2nd, 2012at 11:56 am(#)

    Did the spirit of George Carlin appear and help you write this? : )

    Seriously though, excellent rant.

  32. Sabrina @ Fit.Laugh.Love says:

    April 3rd, 2012at 8:52 am(#)

    If I was any more in love with the post I would be trying to make sweet love to my CPU right now.

    This is fabulous and I’m sending it to everyone in the history of ever.

  33. Gus says:

    April 3rd, 2012at 9:07 am(#)

    Inspiring responces like this confirm the truth of your words. You’re the best.

  34. Shannon says:

    April 4th, 2012at 4:05 pm(#)

    Great post – thanks – love the motivation and the love and the fight to KEEP MOVING and GET STRONGER! We are all in it together….

  35. Erika says:

    April 4th, 2012at 6:52 pm(#)

    Hard. In. The. MFing. Paint.


  36. Sandy says:

    April 4th, 2012at 7:14 pm(#)

    I love you. Sandy

  37. Raeesa says:

    April 4th, 2012at 7:44 pm(#)

    I found your site today. Mind officially blown. I have been living in calorie counting world with circus music and it’s not fun. I want to get out.

    “the strength that gets you to go near the bar in the first place when you are bowel-loosening scairt and intimidated as shit in that small grimy weight room full of grunting furry manpeople who smell like cheese and wet dog and old sweaty leather” <—Gathering the strength to do this.

    Your newest website stalker,

  38. Erin says:

    April 5th, 2012at 1:22 pm(#)

    “Deep kindness is braver than bashing and berating” is absolutely beautiful. Call it a rant, but I feel that it is a work of inspiration. I’ve just started a dance fitness/fitness blog and would like to share this amazing work, as well as direct people to your site. I know they will be as inspired by you as I am.

    Thank you for your strength and wisdom!

  39. Taryl says:

    April 5th, 2012at 1:59 pm(#)

    Preach it! Awesome reminder for us all, I think.

  40. Kyle says:

    April 5th, 2012at 7:12 pm(#)

    Words cannot express what a fucking legend you are, woman.

  41. Marianna says:

    April 6th, 2012at 10:52 pm(#)

    As always… thank you. At the moment I am feeling battered and bruised – but strong.

    Thanks for the inspiration in fanning the flames of that strength.

    Would type more about your awesomeness but I need to go find something heavy to lift :)

  42. Sarah says:

    April 8th, 2012at 12:04 pm(#)

    Thank you!

  43. Kathy says:

    April 9th, 2012at 9:15 am(#)

    You made me cry. Those hopeful, all-is-not-lost tears. Thank you!

  44. Hadass says:

    April 10th, 2012at 1:50 pm(#)

    Sitting here with tears streaming down my face. Thank you.

  45. Pamann247 says:

    April 11th, 2012at 6:17 am(#)

    Loved it!! ITFA!! :-D

  46. Susan says:

    April 11th, 2012at 10:30 am(#)

    I don’t know who you are or what is going on over there, but – fuck – that post was awesome. I am instantly a fan and will be reading. Fuck. I’m going to say that word intermittently all day now. I mean, fuck.

  47. Mistress Krista says:

    April 11th, 2012at 10:33 am(#)

    @Susan: Fuck yeah!!

  48. Kathy says:

    April 11th, 2012at 11:51 am(#)

    You are a BOSS! Loved everything about your post!

  49. AB says:

    April 11th, 2012at 6:01 pm(#)

    I have followed this site on and off for several years, loved reading your rants, enjoyed the inspiration and your amazing abilities in written expression. . but this one tops them all. So glad I dropped in today. I needed the boost. Thanks!

  50. Dana says:

    April 13th, 2012at 7:47 am(#)

    Thank you! I needed to hear this, feeling like the weak of spine and gimp that I am, not allowed to seek strength the way that I want and still trying to figure out how to be strong without getting under the bar.

  51. Julie from Australia says:

    April 13th, 2012at 11:27 pm(#)

    Oh. My. Fucking. God. I love you now, more than ever.

  52. Lean And Muscular says:

    April 17th, 2012at 9:06 am(#)


  53. Alexis says:

    April 17th, 2012at 12:52 pm(#)

    This totally made me tear up – in a strength-that-looks-like-tearing-up kind of way, of course!

  54. jen says:

    April 18th, 2012at 11:10 am(#)

    Heck to the yes.

    Off to swing a kettlebell (with my left arm, because I fell on my right side mountainbiking last weekend!)


  55. Marcy says:

    April 19th, 2012at 6:58 pm(#)

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your site this week. I have been lifting for the past year, and I have been searching for a resource, a voice to motivate me, a place where others like me share their tips, a place that recognizes that women can and should lift and continually get stronger.

    So, I just wanted to say thank you for welcoming me.

  56. Kenni says:

    April 26th, 2012at 7:10 am(#)

    This is freaking poetry. Thank you. Amazing work.

  57. Christine says:

    May 10th, 2012at 5:09 pm(#)

    Perfectly said, more people need to hear this message!

  58. Terri says:

    May 10th, 2012at 5:49 pm(#)

    thank you for putting a voice to my thoughts exaclty. thank you thank you thank you.

  59. Jessica says:

    May 10th, 2012at 6:10 pm(#)

    Whole9 shared this post and since I read just about everything they post I read this. Amazing, awesome, love it…it also made me think about my own thoughts towards the people that go to my gym, I don’t want to be judgemental but know that I can be. I’m going to apply for the job of awesome and invite them to apply with me!

  60. Rannoch says:

    May 13th, 2012at 1:05 pm(#)

    You are awesome. Had to say it. I love what you do, I love how you say it and I know folks as listening.


  61. Kelly says:

    May 14th, 2012at 6:54 am(#)

    OMG I luv the way you write, so real & to the point (no BS), I’m hooked on your rants & website
    big time, thanks Krista:)

  62. Cassie says:

    May 21st, 2012at 10:45 pm(#)

    Hell….yes….thank you.

  63. Alecto says:

    June 22nd, 2012at 11:20 pm(#)

    Awesome. Just read the original post, and I like this one much better =). Posted up a novel-length response to it. Much irony in saying: “screw you for telling us to look this way, ideals are crap; we need to look >this< way".

    Love this:

    "Some days we have workouts so lousy that we want to leave the gym with a paper bag over our heads. Some days we have workouts when heavenly choirs sing and gently hoist our barbell with shining fingers. Some days we have workouts only in the sense that we put on running shoes. Some days we have workouts after which we double-dog-dare the world to fuck with us."

    Thank God for sites that don't try to cutesify the fuck out of everything.

  64. Karen says:

    June 30th, 2012at 9:27 pm(#)

    Girl power!

  65. Jan says:

    July 10th, 2012at 1:49 pm(#)

    Jayzus, woman. You made me bawl! (which, incidentally, kind of pisses me off, but whatevs ;-). This is where I belong. Thanks for letting me and my baggage along for the ride.

  66. Rebecca says:

    July 10th, 2012at 4:04 pm(#)

    This was *exactly* what I needed to read today.

    Thank you.

  67. Solaire - Praiser of the Sun says:

    July 15th, 2012at 4:59 pm(#)

    That was some amazing writing. And I love that you didn’t bring the whole “I’m a GURL and I’m strong” thing into it. You were just “I’m strong, sometimes I’m not, but when I’m not, I then get the fuck up and get on with it”.

    and THAT is true strength.

  68. Marks Workout says:

    July 30th, 2012at 1:46 am(#)

    wow thats a cool article. This single quote hit the nail on the head for me “We know that action is the enemy of fear”. Makes me want to go back to the gym and do another set of squats!

  69. Hildemar says:

    August 22nd, 2012at 1:13 pm(#)

    Dear Krista, thank you.

    Thank you for succinctly phrasing responses to all the crap that’s shoved at us for years about exercise, fitness, and working out. (The men are getting sold a bill of goods, too, and many of them embrace it. I pity them. They don’t have you to tell them any better.)

    I’ve been lifting for about three months now. I can now deadlift safely, thanks to your video. I weigh a little less, but my jeans are loser and the shoulders of my shirts fit tighter. A paper copy of this rant rests on the desk near my lifting stuff, alongside a boom box and my notebook. Every now and then, I read it again. To remind me that this is my workout, *my* decision, *my* strength, *my* journey, and no one else gets to tell me what my goals should or shouldn’t be (with the possible exception of my doc), or what I can or can’t do. Your rant gives all of us the realization that we are our own bosses and that we are in charge of our own strength. And we shouldn’t let anyone take that away from us, ever.

    Again, *thank you*.

  70. Stephanie says:

    August 28th, 2012at 10:09 pm(#)

    You’re fucking awesome. What a great post. Thanks for the inspiration. And I also loved the “morbid maracas.” That’s funny shit.

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