Gastrocnemius Narcissism

24 October 2006

My body has changed since I became a runner. In my first four months on the road, I shed over ten pounds (dramatic for a lanky guy like me). I’ve since gained the weight back, but my body feels leaner and now features the results of all the hard work: I’ve grown new muscle.

I’ve never really had muscle before. Well, not real muscle anyway. Where once peakish limbs supported my gangly frame, now rock solid calves with visible dual gastrocnemius definition propel my gangly frame forward.

The Muscles of the Calf - Gastrocnemius

Of course, body changes like this can have more than a physical effect. And I must confess, I grew unusually fascinated with my legs. I found myself staring at my calves. Flexing. Staring. Flexing some more. I just never had bona fide triceps surae before, and I was hooked. My sublime experience with calfdom went beyond novel to outright enthrallment. Ok, actually, it devolved into the shamefully hypnotic.

I once asked a friend if it was wrong that I ogle my calves in quasi-awe. He’s a man of faith, so I asked specifically if this oddball preoccupation was a sin.He replied, “Dean… yes. Yes, it is a sin. But if you must sin, please sin better.”

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