I’m no Angelina

I’ve been working on my pectorals. Okay, maybe working is not the word for it. But every other day, for the past year, I’ve dropped down to the floor and done push-ups. I’ve worked up to a dozen. Unfortunately, they are only girl push-ups. My goal, one I’ve never been able to achieve, is to someday do boy push-ups. I’m pretty sure that Angelina Jolie could do boy push-ups when she was in training for her kickass Laura Croft movies, so I should be able to do them too, right? She’s a girl, just like me. I don’t have a personal trainer or a home gym, but sheer determination should be enough. And I am nothing, if not determined.

So now, a year later, I continue to drop to the floor every other day, even when I’m traveling. I huff and puff through my girl push-ups. I keep thinking I’ll get around to the boy version some day, that I’ll look as buff as Angelina, but you know what? I’m kidding myself. Every time I try to do a boy push-up, I end up collapsed on the floor, face mashed into the carpet.

My husband says it’s just a matter of genetics. “It’s not from lack of determination,” he says. “It’s your lack of a Y chromosome. Women don’t have upper body strength.” (Yeah, but what about Angelina?)

I’ve finally learned to accept that some achievements are beyond my reach. It’s a sad stage in life when you realize that the list of what you can achieve shrinks with every year you get older. I know I’m never going to be a champion fiddle player or a long-distance swimmer or an Olympic archer. It’s just not physically possible.

At least I can still turn out books. Count me grateful that my profession does not require pectorals.

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