image Arms of Steel….

“Strong is the New Skinny”…

I don’t know who coined this phrase but I heard it recently and I completely agree!

For women today, it’s not about being waif-thin anymore, as was in fashion during the 1990’s…Now, it’s all about strength and power and confidence – both physically and mentally.

Tonight, as I got off the subway in the Bronx, I was able to put to good use the strength that I’ve acquired, both inside and out.  Physically speaking, the pushups and bicep curls that I’ve been toiling over at the gym were worth all the blood, sweat and tears (ok, so no actual blood nor tears were really shed at the gym…just a lot of sweat…).

You see, tonight while I was walking towards the exit of the elevated subway track to get down to the street, I spied a young mother at the top of the stairs (pictured here).  She was gripping the handles of a baby stroller that cradled an adorable, smiling, dimple-cheeked, baby boy.

The only problem about being in the Bronx subway with a baby stroller is that there is no elevator nor escalator to the elevated tracks.

So the mother of this cute toddler stood at the very top of the staircase, as dozens of hurried passengers whizzed by her, mumbling words of disdain as she “held up the line”.

Now, I’m no Super Girl but I immediately jumped into action and asked her if she needed help.  Sometimes, mothers/fathers with strollers pass on having strangers help carry down strollers.  Yet this time, this mother agreed to let me help her take the baby stroller down these precariously-perched stairs.

I felt my adrenaline kick into action.  My arm and leg muscles tightened as I took the bottom two wheels in my hands, clutching them with all my might.  I couldn’t imagine harming her precious cargo!

Down, down, down the stairs we went…one by one…she held the handles, I held the wheels.  I felt my feet heavy on the metal stairs — but I was grounded and determined.

Halfway through our treacherous journey, she said something in Spanish to me.  I kind of freaked out because don’t understand Spanish and so I didn’t know what she wanted to tell me.  Could it be that she felt weak? Or that she wanted me to stop for a moment?  I said to her “No hablo espanol” with a smile and I continued the march to the ground.

As we reached the bottom step, I felt relieved that the baby was still happily cooing in his seat and most of all, I was glad to help safely transport her son on their way home.  The young mother thanked me and I smiled at them both as she walked off into the evening air of this crowded metropolis.

I realized that tomorrow, she’ll have to do the same trip all over again.  I give credit to her, and all parents, for their inner and outer strength.

It felt good to interact with someone during my subway commute home tonight.  NYC is full of people but it’s possible to still feel isolated at times.

And I was especially grateful for the connection that she and I both shared, not only with our strong arms, but also with our hearts.

Buona notte,

Lia

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