The other day, after a resistance workout at my gym, a young woman (44, it turns out) asked me about my "crazy muscles" and where I "got them." We made small talk while we towelled our sweat and hydrated, and then I returned home, proud and content, to contemplate my continuing blush of self-congratulatory pleasure. Was I measuring my self-worth by someone else's approval? Was showing the shred so important to me? I considered the concept of "ego" and how I might define a healthy self-image, one that allows steadiness and readiness and balances gracefully between the polar extremes of exaggerated pride and doormat diffidence.