Waking Up Spider-Man

tobey-maguire-cap-1 One question I get from people often is “How do you feel?” Meaning, “Hey, you’re going through a lot of things right now and your body is changing. What’s that like?”

The best analogy I have come up with is that it feels like waking up as Spider-Man. You know, the scene in the movies where Peter Parker, having just been bitten by the radioactive spider, wakes up and realizes he is not only strong, but that he can do things he never dreamed possible.

No, I don’t have magic wall-climbing abilities and I cannot shoot web stuff out of my wrists (I’m also still not crazy about heights), but I do have this sensation every day where I never know what will happen next.

Taking testosterone has caused a lot of things about me to change, but one thing that is the most obvious is that I have put on quite a bit of muscle since I started last August.  In fact, I have gained 23 pounds! I recently had a body scan done at the gym (which is something I never would have been excited about before transition), and I am down to 16.1% body fat, putting me in the 20th percentile for guys my age.


Not only do I feel stronger almost every day, I also am unlocking new abilities weekly. I do CrossFit, which if you don’t know, involves a menu of probably hundreds of different exercises/lifts/movements that you do in your workouts. I have been crossing things off my CrossFit “bucket list” like crazy! Handstand push-ups? Done! Pistol squats? No problemo! I also have seen my 1-rep-max Olympic lifts go through the roof.

An example: In August, I could bench press 135 lbs. It was less than my body weight, but pretty respectable for a female.  In May, I did a 205 lb. bench press twice. Incredible!  My front squat went from 160 lbs. to 235 lbs. My back squat went from 180 lbs. to 255 lbs.

Where I used to feel like I was hitting a plateau in terms of my strength and ability, now I succeed almost every time I go to do something I have never done before. I’m stronger, faster, and leaner. I have more energy and generally feel pretty fantastic. I may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but I am okay with that– every day it’s like I’m waking up Spider-Man.

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