What does it mean to be strong?

Websters defines Strength as, “The quality or state of being strong; ability to do or to bear; capacity for exertion or endurance, whether physical, intellectual, or moral; force; vigor; power; as, strength of body or of the arm; strength of mind, of memory, or of judgment.”

When we first begin training it is pretty common for us to have a lot of uncomfortable feelings, feelings of doubt, worry, etc. We may not be as physically capable of displaying strength, flexibility, speed, coordination, etc as we’d like to be or as we think we “should be.” We may worry about looking weak or silly to others, or we may worry that we don’t know enough about what we’re doing.

Here’s the thing; having those uncomfortable feelings doesn’t make us weak and having fear surrounding the gym doesn’t make us not good enough.

If we keep showing up, learning, and putting our head down we will overcome those barriers. However our giving into that worry, fear of failure, or us allowing our concern about other’s opinions can cause us to stumble on our path towards our goals. Allowing those feelings to go unchecked or granting those feelings power over your behavior can prevent you from getting into the gym and doing your best.

In the words of Marcus Aurelius ““Don’t let your imagination be crushed by life as a whole. Don’t try to picture everything bad that could possibly happen. Stick with the situation at hand, and ask, “Why is this so unbearable? Why can’t I endure it?”

It is only by showing up and consistently staring down our fears, struggles, and egos and telling them “you don’t win today” that we progress.

In her book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance, Angela Duckworth tells us, “Grit depends on a different kind of hope. It rests on the expectation that our own efforts can improve our future. I have a feeling tomorrow will be better is different from ‘I resolve to make tomorrow better’. The hope that gritty people have has nothing to do with luck and everything to do with getting up again.”

To me being strong means “getting up again.” It not how much you deadlift, how much/little you weight, or how high you jump – it is making deliberate choice to get back up when things are difficult, painful, embarrassing, or frightening that separates the Strong from the rest of the pack.

What are things that you do to help yourself get back up? How do you make the choice to stay strong when things get hard? Please like, share, and comment below!

Resources:

Duckworth, Angela. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance (p. 169). Scribner. Kindle Edition.

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