It was as if my body, from the skin in, had been awakened.

Elle on bodybuilding

I ended up being a woman bodybuilder by accident: my husband (a runner) and I walked by a gym in Brooklyn, looked in, were curious, and went in. This was in the 1980s, when women had just begun going to gyms The manager offered me a year membership for $100. How could I resist?

Then, because he was bored at the time of day I went, he trained me. He’d won the Mr. USA contest at some point and he knew what he was doing. You can still find photos of him on the web: Joe Spooner.

The first thing that happened was that I felt parts of my body I’d never experienced before. For instance, the muscles between my ribs got sore. Who knew there were muscles there? It was as if my body, from the skin in, had been awakened.
But the coolest thing was that I woke up to my internal senses. You know, besides the senses that are turned outward, we have sense that are turned in, like balance, sense of time, direction, and temperature. Even the feeling of the difference between simple-pain and injury-pain seems like an internal sense. Do you know the feeling you have when your body is working perfectly, like everything is easy and maybe you’re weightless? You might feel it running or working out, but you might feel it dancing or just walking to the subway. I think that’s an internal sense, too.

The next result, besides fitness, was that I became conscious of another level of body experience and enjoyment. Really, when you think of it, sex is an internal body enjoyment. Appearance may help get you there, but it has nothing to do with what happens next.

Now I do yoga in a class and crossfit with my husband. Both make you feel your whole body, like bodybuilding.

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