During my short-lived powerlifting career, my focus shrank to the pursuit of numbers that told me how strong I was. A scrap of paper on my fridge reminded me daily—as if I needed reminding—that I needed to bench press my bodyweight, and squat and deadlift 200 pounds before the year was over. Were those things good for me? Would they serve any higher purpose? It didn’t matter. I wanted to be strong, and nothing else could get in the way.