When I was younger I was even more of an idiot than I currently am, and I decided I wanted to make myself physically strong. It wasn’t a conscious decision, I just seemed to start doing it. For all sorts of reasons… I hated nothing more than my mum telling me to leave something and get my brothers to lift or carry it because they were stronger. Pocketcanadian will testify to my belligerence… and tell me not to do something, (especially if its based on the fact that I’m a girl and therefore not strong enough), and I’ll fucking well make sure I do it. It used to make me so mad, and for a while I’d always shout back that just because I was a girl doesn’t mean I’m weak and incapable (and I certainly wasn’t).
I also, I think, decided that I wanted to be better able to protect myself, and so began the getting stronger. And people wouldn’t look at me now and think I’m strong, but I’m certainly not weak. Nobody else would ever protect me, so I started subconsciously making it easier to protect myself. It felt safer, to feel stronger.
And lastly, being physically strong somehow makes me feel more emotionally strong. And yeah, doing exercise definitely makes me feel better (though it’s normally just about the last thing I want to do). It shuts off all of my “weak” feelings, and keeps me feeling walled up somehow. That sounds completely ridiculous, but there you go….