Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Talk Testosterone!

The Interwebs seem to be in profound disagreement about whether lifting weights increases your levels of the male hormone. But my experiences come down squarely in the "It's gotta be doin' something to my testosterone" camp.

Lifting weights (and I stress, not casually, with light weights and high reps, but going as heavy as you can until muscle failure) might just be turning me into an 18-year-old boy (with the face of a 45-year-old woman).

Aggression is my middle name these days. Today, I finished a particularly heavy set of bent-over rows, dropped the barbell to the ground, and spontaneously started throwing air punches. Until I came to myself and realized that I probably was looking pretty dorky.

For the first time in my life, I understand the concept of road rage. My fuse is about an inch long, causing misunderstandings and recriminations with family members and in email communications. Sometimes I feel like I could chew nails.

The testosterone seems to have given me a kind of aggressive sexuality as well. In some ways this is positive, it's given me permission to pursue, not just be pursued. But it's not so great when I need to use my brain to concentrate on other things. Plus, I bike past construction sites and have a peculiar urge to start sexually harassing the construction workers ("Hey, show me your butt!") Okay, that could also be the product of working for a while at a feminist magazine.

Maybe this is all a supernova of hormones flooding my body before the whole system shorts out. I kind of hope not. I'm not quite ready to give up my boyhood.

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