October 06, 2009


Those of us who crawl, grumbling, out of bed early in the morning or come home, grumbling, late in the afternoon to do a workout talk a lot about motivation and inspiration. They're happy words, motivation and inspiration, which means I don't use them much. Because I'm sort of grumpy.

I do, however, have an inspiration. It's a real person, and it's a person I've known since before I was born.

Who is this person, you ask? Well, I'll tell you:

It's my Beloved Sister.

Beloved Sister was the first woman I ever knew who lifted weights. Because she's seven (or eight, depending on the calendar) years older than I am, I was still pretty young when she started working out hard. Because of that, I grew up with an alternate idea of what a female human could look like, could accomplish, could *do*. She wasn't skin-and-bones, she wasn't particularly concerned with being a size 2; instead, she wanted to be strong and fit and healthy. That was *huge* for me growing up--to see that strong was good, and that healthy could come in all sizes, not just eenteeninesy.

She's also an inspiration because, frankly, we share the exact same DNA on the Clumsy Chromosome. (You don't know that chromosome? It's the one with the amino acids that go like this: G A C T G OW OW OW OW T C C G.) For all the times I've bonked myself in the head with a weight, fallen off a step, sprained an ankle on the recumbent bike, Beloved Sister has done me one better. Yet she keeps going, amazingly, and now is able to calf-press a grizzly bear. Whether or not she would grab the grizzly bear in the right spot to avoid injury while calf-pressing him is a different matter, though.

She also inspires me by being very, very smart and very, very patient. Patience is a virtue that I was ahint the door when they handed out; she reminds me every few days that things sometimes take *time* (like getting strong or losing ten pounds). She's the master of redirection when things require redirection, and master of the crushing comment when that's warranted. Mostly, I just stand around with my mouth open when people do something unbelieveable: Beloved Sis either shuts them down or hands them a glass of wine.

So Happy Birthday, Beloved Sister. May your calves stay muscular and your wind never grow short. Have a glass of wine.


  1. Awww... that was sweet. She sounds amazing.

    And next time I need to lift a big bear off of something I need to use? I definitely know who to call.

    Happy Birthday, Jo's Sister!!!

  2. May her song always be sung.
    May she stay FOREVER YOUNG.

  3. Happy Birthday to Jo's Sister, and many happy returns of the day!

    With her patience, it sounds like she has learned the secret of tact -- how to tell a man where to go, and make him happy to be on his way. ;)

  4. Ah, the Clumsy Chromosome. I've got that one, too.
    Anyway, Happy Birthday Jo's sister. You are most inspiring.

    NB There was no linky for the rest of the piece. It ends at "I tell you:"
    I read it here in the comments section.
    Or maybe it's just me.

  5. Happy Birthday to your sis Jo! How nice to grow up with such a postive inspiration to follow.

    (And Crabby--I linked back to one of your reviews on my post yesterday. Hope you don't mind me using you as an example. Thanks!)

  6. Sisters are special. Happy birthday to yours!

  7. I believe I have that Clumsy Chromosome!

    Lovely post. :)

  8. Aw, that was so sweet. Happy Birthday Jo's Sister!

  9. we all need that inspiration.. Happy Birthday to your sis!

  10. And here I thought that I was the only one with the Clumsy Chromosome. It shone through particularly well when I fell off the treadmill just trying to walk on it.

    Who knew that treadmills could be so dangerous?

  11. I thought I was your inspiration!!!!

    Guess I've gotta cross that off my resume...

  12. "G A C T G OW OW OW OW T C C G"

    *geeky grin*
    I've got that too. :)

  13. Sweet post - Happy Birthday Jo's sister, and may I say that I laughed at twisting your ankle on the recumbent bike? Sadly, I understand how you can do that!

  14. A fine birthday tribute to your inspirational sister. You made me laugh with the clumsy chromosome.. mostly because I can relate. ;) Happy Birthday to your sis.

  15. What a wonderful post! Sounds like you have a great sister.

  16. Smart AND patient!! Wow- what a combo. Good thing she has that clumsiness thing going for her or people could only take that much goodness for so long. I hope it's a happy day for her. Nice post.

  17. Jo, I like you already. We might be related- those of us with the clumsy gene.

    Anyway, Happy Birthday to Jo's inspriational sister.

  18. What a wonderful tribute & I bet this was her best bday present!

  19. I am going to steal your post. My sister's bday is Oct 16th. Thanks for the inspiration.

  20. Did you know that sisters can help keep you young at heart as you get older? It's true.

    You are truly blessed to have an older sister you love and admire.

    Have a glass of wine. Cheers!

  21. This is a very nice tribute to your sis, Jo!

  22. omg omg omg omg

    I am famous

    omg omg omg [oopsCRASH] omg

    Thanks, Beloved *sniffle* Sis. And everyone. This is the most birthday wishes I've ever gotten in one day, even that one birthday when I accidentally got chili sauce in my eye and everyone felt sorry for me, and that was a lot of wishes.

  23. Lucky you for a) having a sister, and b) such a lovely one!

  24. Happy Birthday Jo's Sister!

    I love her comment. Hehe. The post and comment were both so sweet. :)

  25. How awesome that you both have each other. Totally awesome.
    Happy birthday Jo's Sister :)

  26. I'm late to the party (fell down and couldn't get up...) but wanted to wish Jo's sister a Happy Birthday!!

    This was a great post, and her comment cracked me up!


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