It’s my last weightlifting class tonight before I find a gym or a rec center to keep lifting on my own. Someone asked me the other day why I even got into it, and I garbled out an answer, “There’s a woman on Instagram and she writes a column?”

That doesn’t even do justice to the glory that is Swole Woman, though. I saw her Hairpin columns come through on The Toast back when The Toast was online (and the joy of my life) and I started reading them.

I had fallen off the consistent yoga wagon a few years ago. I tried Fitness Blender videos  for a hot second, based on Sallie Oh’s recommendation. Then when she shifted to lifting, I thought, “Oh no that’s not for me.”

It’s a good thing Swole Woman set me straight. She makes lifting sound like the most obvious thing in the world…

“Aside from the general benefits of working out, I don’t think anyone’s ever been like, “ugh, I’m TOO strong, it’s TOO easy to bend down and pick this 40lb bag of cat litter up, TOO easy to carry all the groceries from the car in one trip, TOO easy to stand up from sitting on the floor. If only I struggled more!”

…while also giving solid advice on finding a trainer, dealing with a new gym, and staying motivated. She knows her shit, too: Every column has links to videos, training programs, forums to learn more about form and routines, and her Instagram shows her doing what she’s talking about. She even posts recipes!

And she’s so fierce. This is empowerment the way of Fury Road, not GOOP. (The opening of this column is one of my favorite things on the internet.)

She’s moved on to writing a monthly column for Self and is in the middle of a book proposal, which I am going to line up to buy.

So thanks, Swole Woman. My journey to swole started with you.