My continuing education goal this year is to be more involved in a company called Original Strength. The company teaches professionals like me how to help people move better and feel better, how to reboot a system that might have gotten stuck. They do not believe getting older leads to bodies falling apart . Aches and pains may very well crop up (as I know many of you have felt or are feeling first-hand) but that should not be accepted as the norm.
SO I’m reading one of the founders’ books, Pressing Reset, Original Strength Reloaded and this passage came up in the very first chapter. I must have read it 20 times:
“Just to be clear, when we are referring to ‘strength’, we are talking about the ability to live life the way that you want to live it; to be able to move, think, work, play, love and laugh throughout your entire life, regardless of your age.”
As a trainer, I feel all sorts of expectations to be very “fit-looking” and “strong”. A big part of me lives in a culture where strength is the ability to pick heavy things up and put them down; where strength is measured directly by how much you can lift today vs what you could lift yesterday. And those are both totally legitimate definitions. But as a trainer who also considers herself to be very much part of the general population, these definitions sometimes make me feel inadequate. Because there are days when I feel TIRED and can’t bring myself to pick heavy things up and put them down. There are days when deadlifting feels bad because my plantar fasciitis is particularly icky so I can’t lift nearly as much weight as I used to. There are days I choose to prioritize doing work or hanging out with friends over training (OMG, did I just write that out loud!). So where does this leave me with my aforementioned expectations? That I’m not meeting them and that has me feeling pretty bad.
So what if I let go of my very narrow definitions of strength and traded them in for the Original Strength definition? Or what if I came up with my own definition? What does “strength” really mean to me? And how does feel to BE strong? What do I have to do in my life to get there?
This got me thinking: How do my clients define strength? What will it feel and look like to “be stronger”? How can I help them work toward that? Might this change the way I program their sessions? Yeah, possibly! And that's great!
So this begs the question: How do YOU define strength in your physical life? What does being strong mean to you?
Have some thoughts to share? Comment below!
2/17/2017 05:29:56 pm
For me STRENGTH is being flexible, in control, and having the mind-set to do whatever it is I want to do physically. It used to include running and climbing (getting to the top of an Alp or one of the Rockies top 3), now it is walking, hiking, moving furniture and the challenge of that 'new sled'.pjh
For me, strength is what allows me to be more active, by myself and with my family. Strength got me skiing this winter for the first time in over 20 years. Strength gave me the courage to try indoor skydiving with my daughter on her birthday. Strength is what keeps me going in all things. Now, I gotta go hit those weights. 😊
3/23/2018 08:15:28 am
I never once thought about strength before Izzy. I wanted my body to look a certain way and be a certain size. Now when I am closer to those goals I see strength. It sneaks up on me - being able to pull myself out of a pool without using the ladder, not dying on a hike with friends, carrying heavy items without flinching.
3/23/2018 10:25:13 am
Strength is the inner confidence that I’ve prepared my body well enough to take the next fun risk. It’s enjoying my body’s capacity to engage in life fully.
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