Purva Brown

Vancouver, WA

"I was always the overweight girl, the one that was quiet, shy, easily looked over. In a world where aerobic exercise and being svelte was the goal, I felt out of place. I thought I didn't like sports. But I watched my dad work out. Every evening, after work, he would swing dumbbells around for 15 - 20 minutes. By no means a complete training session AT ALL, but I could tell it made a difference to how he felt. It showed in his face, in his posture.

So in college, when I gave losing weight a serious go, I picked up my first pair of dumbbells. I was immediately in love.

From then on, every time I dove into an exercise routine, it was centered around lifting weights. Unfortunately, I flirted with the lifestyle more than actually sticking with it. Over the years, there have been lots of distractions, excuses, whatever you want to call them: getting married, having three babies, moving across cities and states and countries.

It is only now in my forties that I find I can have the kind of singular focus I need to see results. This time I have taken it seriously, this bodybuilding thing. Nutrition, training, sleeping. Everything is finally in place. I do not think those early years were wasted, though. The body remembers, even when the mind forgets. The endorphin rush, the straighter posture. I know something now of what my dad experienced on those evenings in a small apartment, beaten down after a day of work - the power in a pair of dumbbells.

And my training logs show the complete story of me. It is a story of someone who has gotten progressively stronger and more in love with weights than ever."

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