Manufacturing guy-at-large.


Added on by Spencer Wright.

From a piece in The New Inquiry on the Women's World Cup, and how absent desire is from most women's public lives:

I never thought to put them together: that having role models who spoke to my extraordinary self-consciousness could have helped me reap the benefits of sports.

First: This piece is not about me, and I don't mean to make it about me. But I liked it, and there's something in it that really resonated.

As a kid I felt similarly self conscious, and had a really hard time expressing myself physically. It wasn't until well into my adult life that I felt comfortable trying at sports, but during high school an alternate physical activity presented itself: construction.

I began working on jobsites as a teenager. My dad was (and still is) a contractor, and he gave me a generous (I mean this sincerely) opportunity: I could start out like anyone else, as a laborer. My first summer in construction was spent largely in a basement crawl space, chipping cinder blocks out with a sledgehammer and then dragging the rubble upstairs, outside, and into a dumpster.

I loved it. It was the first time in my life where I had been assigned what amounted to a feat of strength, and there was no shame in me showing the signs of physical strain.

I think somehow that these experiences are directly related to the discomfort I feel about phrases like "hardware is hard." In my experience, basically everything is hard - if you're doing it right. It's something I've tried to keep in mind, especially as more and more of my identity has been tied to taking on big, challenging, physical projects.