I tend to notice weight capacities. I lived for so many years with a body that exceeded a lot of them, and even though I’m 163 pounds lighter, I still pay attention. When I was on the cruise with my aunt, uncle, and cousins, and the idea of going horseback riding arose, my first question was whether or not there was a weight capacity (for the record, there was a 250 pound capacity, so I was about 15 pounds in the clear, and I ended up having an amazing time – see pictures here). I’d really like to go skydiving at some point in my life, but that has a weight capacity too. Right now, I’m close – some companies will allow me to skydive, but with an added weight surcharge – but I’d rather hold off until I’ve lost more pounds and can go at the same rate as my friends. I often look at posted elevator weight capacities, out of curiosity, and note what percentage of that capacity I take up now, versus what I would have taken up two years ago – and on smaller elevators, it’s a notable difference!
Weight capacities can be cruel things. Ultimately they’re there for a good reason – safety first! – but I sure did feel terrible when I would learn that activities I wanted to participate in were completely and undeniably off-limits to me. My self esteem was already low, but when I had to back out of a group outing because of my weight, it felt like dozens of flashing neon arrows where pointing at me and a carnival barker was gathering crowds to laugh at me.
The most recent time I saw a weight capacity sign was the other day, in my own building. Downstairs, next to the lobby, there’s a little gym. I’ve written about it before (most recently here) – it’s not much, but it’ll do the trick when I can’t make it to the real gym. There’s been a few times in the past when the equipment has broken, requiring servicemen to come out and fix them. After the most recent repair (of the elliptical machine), a new sign got posted:
The 275-pound weight capacity is not an issue for me, and I absolutely love it! It was in 2009, when I first moved into my building and weighed 400 pounds (and it really irked me, because my dues were paying for the maintenance of gym equipment that I wasn’t allowed to use), but not anymore! No longer am I excluded because of my weight.
Keep it up, David!
PS. In case anyone’s counting, this is my 501st post. Did you read my 500th?