sarah_connor_chinI saw T2: Judgement Day in 1991. I hadn’t seen the original Terminator, but there was plenty of hype about its groundbreaking CG visual effects, so I was pretty sure what to expect when I sat down in the theatre. And while the special effects were indeed spectacular, it’s not the liquid metal shapeshifting that I remember most about that film more than 20 years later. The scene that stuck with me all those years is the one in which we first see Sarah Connor in the mental hospital knocking off chin-ups on the rails of her bed which she’s turned on its end.

Simply put, she was badass.

I, on the other hand, was a fatass.

I was a teenager at the time, and nothing appealed to me more than being skinny and cool. When I saw this scene with Linda Hamilton’s insane upper body, I just wanted to be her. I wanted those muscles, that drive. I even fantasized about being locked up in prison so that I could spend all day every day doing chin ups. I guess as role models go, Sarah Connor wasn’t a bad one, if you forgive the fanaticism. She was a warrior and a survivalist. That was who I wanted to be.

Of course, it’s taken twenty-two years to realize that a body like that isn’t going to drop into my lap, and if I want to be a warrior and a survivalist, it’s not going to happen while sitting in my faux La-Z-Boy, watching tv and eating enough junk at one meal to feed a normal family.

I don’t want to be the fatass anymore. I want to be the badass.

A badass doesn’t bemoan her crappy fat genes while stuffing potato chips down her gullet, and a badass doesn’t wallow in self-pity wishing she were lucky enough to have been born with a better metabolism. There’s no fate but what we make for ourselves, right?

So this is my project. The Sarah Connor Project. Can a fatass like me become a badass like her? We’ll just have to see.