I recently read the above sentiment in a blog post by Josh Hillis and was struck but what a neat (and not often explored) concept this is. In our health journeys, it’s so easy to compare ourselves to others and think about the ways that we haven’t yet arrived when it comes to skills, weights, our aesthetics and so on. Yet so many times I’ve told my clients they are successful when they walk in the doors of the gym – that alone is a true victory!
Perhaps this can serve as a reminder to you today that you don’t have to be able to do 10 push ups on the floor to be strong; you embody strength when you do your first push up on an incline or on your knees. You don’t need to be able to push a sled full of 6 plates down the turf; just pushing an empty sled is embodying strength.
Josh Hillis continues in his blog post, saying that,“Most of us approach goals like we’ll only be the kind of person we want to be after we hit the goal. In reality, we get to be the kind of person we want to be every time we take actions in line with that value. Every workout, we’re being strength. Every milestone. Not just the last one.
There is no ending to becoming the kind of person we want to be, our best version of ourselves (for lack of a better way to put it). It’s not a goal, it’s a daily practice.”
Another great thought! So my question to you today is: How are you embodying strength right now? Did you show up for your workout instead of talking yourself out of it? Did you make your lunches for the week instead of getting a sugary coffee daily at 3 pm? Perhaps you skipped a workout in favor of meeting a friend for a walk who needed to talk, or got lots of extra rest in during your workout when you paused to listen to your toddler. Little decisions, big changes – that’s really how this works.
On a physical level, I’m enjoying practicing this personally as I finally purchased some 25# dumbbells for my at-home workouts. I was still getting an okay workout with the weights I had at home, but WOW do my 25’s challenge me in so many ways! I was ready for the upgrade.
And as I train for FemSport doing things I haven’t done since before Abigail was born, I’m daily humbled at the strength I lack as I rebuild. But you know what? I’m embodying strength by simply trying, and that’s an extremely empowering thought for me. And when I compete in June, I’m already excited for how I’ll feel during the events and when the day is done because I know I’m getting out of my comfort zone and showing up – and that’s strength! I want to be someone who shows up and smiles along the way, who values both strength and compassion.
What if you viewed your strength training as becoming the kind of person you want to be, not just as what kind of body you want to build? This requires us to get clear on our values first (strength and compassion, power and grace, intensity and rest). As Josh says in the same article, “values that have that kind of balance between action and humanity work really, really well in pursuit of your fitness goals” (source). After doing so, perhaps those values that go into your training will shift your WHY and motivation behind working out, and further spill over into how you eat and enjoy food, connect and commune with other people in your community.
Strength is a direction, not a destination. What direction are you moving in?
Live well & be well!
*professional photos by Paisley Photography