What I’m Reading Today: Stories of Strength

December is flying by!  There’s always so much going on at this time of year, it’s important to remember to take time for yourself, to focus on the things that are important to you, and to prioritize your commitments so that you don’t find yourself with zero gas in the tank come January.

As such, I’m not even writing a real post this week, just referring to some awesome articles I’ve read over the past week.  The common thread through these posts is that they all refer to strength.  In StrongFirst, you learn that strength is a skill – a skill that anyone can develop, a skill that solves a multitude of problems, a skill that brings with it the responsibility to conduct yourself with kindness and respect.  I love this idea of strength. Sometimes we don’t feel strong in one or more areas of life – emotionally, physically, mentally, spiritually – knowing that, just like any other skill, with practice and mindfulness your strength will improve is a comfort.  For me, a training session that I dominate can help to soothe an overworked mind.  Solving a tough problem can help me feel better if my injury is preventing me from training the way I want to.  Strength carries from one aspect of life to the others, it flows, and all of us have an abundance of it if we just look for it.

Hanoitaxi, for WikiMedia Commons

Hanoitaxi, for WikiMedia Commons

First off, a great post from Dr. Kathy Dooley.  She (like me) is a migraine sufferer, who has found a wonderful way to manage her symptoms – strength.   She says, “We all have this enormous power, waiting for us to break down the door.”  Awesome.  Once you start to feel strong (in any area of your life), you’ll begin to crave it.  You’ll seek it out, and you’ll discover power you never thought possible.

Next, a beautiful piece on mental fortitude in derby from Kamikaze Kitten.  I love her description of the journey of roller derby, especially this part, since it’s how I feel these days –

There are those that find that they’ve been walking for so long that they don’t know how to do anything but walk. Their beards have grown long, they have nothing but the mountain left and they don’t even know if they like walking anymore, it is just who they have become.

Finally, an article by Harold Gibbons about how, in the training community, we often assume that strength is everyone’s ultimate goal, when really, it’s not.  Strength is often a great side effect of training for aesthetics – AND THAT’S OKAY.  Too much time is wasted bickering about body-types, and proper motivations.  Train to feel better about yourself, use that confidence to spread goodness in the world –

“Talk about how empowering it is to work towards your goals, not the physical element.  We can all work towards the body that we want, but it doesn’t have to be done by ridiculing others…It’s the mental element that improves wellbeing.  It’s about being human first, and talking about fitness second. “

I wish you strength, in all forms, this month.   Train so that you feel great about yourself. Take time for yourself.  Be kind to yourself (and everyone else by extension).

Why do you train?  What makes you feel strong?

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