My nephew has never been especially moved by my various feats of sporting endeavour.
I once picked him up from school brandishing a big silver cup (won at a bodybuilding comp), and he asked why I didn’t bring my dog with me.
There was the – somewhat devastating – time when I was two days out from a bodybuilding comp and went round to his house so my sister could take progress pics. He popped his head round the door as I was doing a front double bicep, looked me up and down and said, “no, Auntie Nic. Your muscles are too loose”. I was 48 hours away from getting on stage in my bikini in front of a load of strangers. I’m surprised I didn’t have two nights full of nightmares about “loose” muscles.
Then there have been all the times (too numerous to detail) where he’s assured me that “I’m stronger than you, anyway, Auntie Nic”.
Even at 10 weeks old, he barely batted a baby eyelash when I did an entire Nephew Workout using him as a weight.
So, it is with pride that I can report that finally, after five years, I have earned some encouragement from him about my physical prowess. Not just some encouragement. Glowing praise. Solid encouragement. Unshakeable faith in my abilities.
It was last night. Just before his bedtime. He suggested we do some “exercise” with his Mum and Dad’s dumbbells. I told him I could pick up the biggest ones. He eyed those 17.5kgs dumbbells, then looked at me doubtfully. “Really, Auntie Nic?” Yes, I told him. In fact, I told him to choose a number between 10-20 and I’d (single arm overhead) press it that many times.
12 reps was the challenge thrown down.
“Ooh, gosh, well I’ll try my very best!” I told him.
I got to 8. I struggled to 10 😉 I made a big deal about rep 11, and then I “just managed” rep 12. “Phew! I did it!” I told him.
“Auntie Nic…” he said. “YOU COULD HAVE DONE 13!”
Nicola Joyce – the Fit Writer – is a freelance copywriter and journalist who writes for the sport and fitness industry. Her main website is here.