“I know I’m strong, but with everything going on right now I just don’t feel strong.”
It was a long phone call that Saturday between myself and a very good instructor friend of mine. We caught up after what seemed like months and months of disconnect after my certification in Vienna, Virginia. I had training questions, programming questions, and just a lot of questions in general that needed answered to help me prepare for my own training goals this year. A lot has changed over the past year in terms of how I view fitness. Sometimes my brain spins around too much with all the lifting tips out there, and when that happens, I seek out the advice of people I know in my niche that can assist me with getting where I need to be. Sure, I’m an instructor. But even us instructor types have our own instructors and coaches. We are forever students, learning each day how to refine our skills.
This phone call I had though….it shifted from a discussion on lifting techniques into a more personal exchange of what it means to be strong. My instructor friend, God Bless her soul, had confessed that her personal life was not in the best state. As for me, well… I came to terms with just how busy I became with running my own fitness business all while dealing with my own set of personal issues. It’s hard out there in the real world. More often than not, we are faced with situations that are difficult to swallow. Life can be tough, unfair, and brutal. That conversation has been on my mind all week, and since this topic of discussion is pressing me so much lately, why not write about it? Why not open up the discussion for all of you reading this article?
When I passed my HKC in 2012 with the rest of the HKC participants in Pittsburgh, Master SFG instructor Brett Jones sat us all down at the end of the day and defined “strength” in comparison to “tough”. “Being strong and being are two different things. Being tough is having to work 80 hours a week to no end just to put food on the table for your family. Tough means sacrifice. Strength is something different. Strength is about exerting your character…your courage to deal with those tough times. If you are patient, diligent, and willing to take the steps you need to take to make some tough sacrifices, then your courageous. You’re strong.”
Life isn’t always easy. As the saying goes, “When it rains, it pours!”. There are moments when life becomes a hurricane of craziness when we have deadlines to make, jobs to attend, businesses to run all while finding the time for manage our families and social life. Sometimes, we can get so overwhelmed with the stressers of life that we feel like the walls are caving in on us. We don’t feel strong. We feel weak. Being strong in life isn’t just about how heavy you lift. It isn’t about how heavy your clean and jerk is and how heavy your dead lift is. Being strong in life is about having the courage, diligence, and the perseverance to walk though moments that test your mental fortitude.
What have you done in your life that made you strong? I’m not talking about your training techniques or your kettlebell practice. What have you done in spite of your fear? What project did you complete? What commitment did you make? What life event enforced a moment of courage and made you step out of your comfort zone to do what seemed impossible?
I want to hear from you. I want to know what made you strong willed and capable to handling those life situations that threatened to tear you down.
We may not always “feel strong”, but we can rest in knowing that we are strong enough to courageously handle anything life throws at us so long as we are patient to ride out the storm.
Master your instincts!