55 thoughts on “Athena, 3/20/14

  1. Hey now… Powerlifting is NOT a meat-head sport. It takes timing, control, precision, an acute awareness of your body, and tons (literally) of practice. You can’t just walk in and start doing cleans and snatches. And its GREAT to see more young women taking it up! Congrats to Athena for pursuing excellence in mind AND body.

    (I also agree with the Gillian Anderson reference)

  2. Mallet me if you prefer but I’m genuinely curious: have you given her a copy of Virginia Woolf’s “A Room of One’s Own”? I’ve always thought that would be a great present from a father to a daughter. I found it on my own but it’s a great coming-of-age gift.

    I don’t usually comment on your family posts but the book means a lot to me, both then and now, and I like to spread the word.

  3. Is power lifting a common high school sport in your area? It’s just that I’ve never heard of it being a thing at that age group. I grew up in a small Michigan town which didn’t have much of anything, but my daughter’s large school in Maryland doesn’t have this either (they do have bowling).

  4. I was thinking the same thing. Does her school have powerlifting? Who coaches that? How cool is that school? And how lame was my high school? Do they have competitions you can go and watch? And how much more fun is that than watching soccer?

  5. Wow! Its like pictures of my grandkids, I cant believe how much they have grown. OTOH it seem like, given her name, you would have steered her into archery ;)

    Congrats on raising what appears to be a very confident and assured young lady.

  6. I am about to combine the worst features of jock and nerd, so you may want to skip to the next comment. But I gotta be me.

    Reddist, I completely agree with your main point, but the fact that you can’t just walk into the weight room and start doing cleans and snatches has nothing to do with powerlifting (PL). PL traditionally consists of the bench press, the deadlift, and the squat. I glanced at some results from Athena’s team and it looks like they’re not squatting, which is too bad. The clean-and-jerk and the snatch are the two events in Olympic weightlifting. PL is less technically challenging than Olympic lifting, but less does not mean zero, and planning one’s training to peak for meets is still a challenge.

    Anyway, it’s great that Athena’s school has a PL team and that she went out for it.

    I have to say, though, John, looking at her expression in some recent photos, you may need to find a new model soon.

  7. She looks fantastic! Looking at that picture, I’m pretty sure your wife just cloned herself and you weren’t involved in the process of creating Athena. Sorry John :(

  8. Give her a briefcase, and she could take over Capitol Hill in an afternoon. Not that she’s foolish enough to want it.

  9. Tres chic. Why did she choose power lifting? I was really surprised to find that I enjoyed weight training once I started — I honestly expected that I would be doing it because I had to. So I’d be interested to know why Athena chose it.

  10. I love seeing young people who have been raised by people who really respect and enjoy them. She embodies so much poise and confidence in this picture.

  11. My previous comment may have been misapprehended – I certainly didn’t mean to imply that her athletic endeavors were mindless. I should have said that it was good to balance out a *purely cerebral* activity like reading, which Ms Athena clearly enjoys, with something that challenges her in a different way. For that reason, we insisted that our girls spend a season playing a team sport when they were in middle school. It did a lot to help them get a handle on their changing physicality. They had some fun, too. Watching my youngest score a touchdown in flag football (as the only girl on the team) was a lot of fun for me, too.

  12. Not bad for someone who sprang fully-grown from the head of a Canadian book reviewer’s cat!

  13. [Deleted because awwww, the darling widdle man thinks he’s going to upset me with his stupidity — JS]

  14. [Deleted for responding to a deleted post. Don’t feed the trolls, Saffy. Ignore them and I’ll get around to deleting them eventually — JS]

  15. She looks good. I wish I looked half that good in a suit.

    Powerlifting, eh? A woman after my own heart. Congratulations on being awesome by association, Mr. Scalzi, sir.

    (What can I say? My ideal woman is a Klingon, bigger than me, very badass, and can break my arms with ease. Call me crazy, but I like badass women.)

  16. [Deleted. Dudes, I understand it’s difficult to live with the knowledge that you’re childish scum, but still. Keep it to yourselves – JS]

  17. [Deleted for responding to a deleted comment. Lumi, I appreciate the effort, but you have to remember that what trolls want is a response. Don’t indulge them, please – JS]

  18. Your daughter looks to be growig up to be a fine young woman, kudos to her. And, of course, to you and your wife.

  19. Great pic, and as a powerlifting lady I’m happy to see the sport advertised :)

    I agree with the comment that it’s a great balance to cerebral activity. I’m a mathematician, and I find sports in which I have to think about form and be very focused a great contrast and break from mathematics. I love karate, powerlifting, (Olympic) weightlifting, kettlebells, yoga, all of which I discovered after high school. I run when it seems appropriate but it’s too repetitive an activity to really give me the mental break I like. Many people talk about running or cycling as good for mental health, and I like them for the opportunity to be outdoors, but I can keep thinking so they’re not a mental break for me.

    I don’t really care to figure out where you live and look up your daughter’s team results but if the poster above is right she’s gotta start squatting! below parallel! The squat is the queen of lifts! Foundations of proper movement for life!

    Anyhow, I’ll end the evangelism now, but I do feel the need to spread the good news of the squat.

  20. kt, regarding the Squat, could not agree more. Technical, at least to do properly, which the average gym goer is not taught to do by the average gym trainer.

    In addition to the physical and mental benefits you mentioned, the squat is also very good for improving your understanding of what you are capable of. When that little voice in the back of your head is telling you that “if you go down in the hole with this there ain’t no way your coming back up (in which case you are surely going to be horribly injured or dead!),” and you overcome your fear, settle into the hole, maintain your form, just keep pushing and done. Or, maybe you lose it and learn that you can fail without “really bad things” happening.

  21. She’s a tiny Scully!

    I’m pretty sure you had that exact facial expression in the author photo that was on an old edition of Old Man’s War when I read it for the first time.

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