Very literally speaking, there’s no downside to being stronger. Not one. Either physically or emotionally stronger is a step in a positive direction.
Every time I meet someone new and we discuss potentially working together, I have them start at the beginning and tell me what exactly they want.
It is impossible, I believe, to separate what you want in the gym from what you want in life. Leaving the gym feeling better than you did when you walked in 61 minutes ago is a victory that sets you up for a more enjoyable day.
Starting your day with exercise that makes you feel strong and accomplished leads to a day executed with a sharp and decisive mind. Working at a goal over days and weeks and months, and finally reaching that goal leads to a feeling of pride that stays with you longer after you leave the weight room.
So, when I sit down with new clients and ask what they want, I am asking more than how much they want to bench press, or what size pants they want to wear.
Sidenote, I do love measurable and numeric goals, and I love physical goals. Life’s short; I want you to love your body and feel confident in your own skin!
But – I want to lead people to discover these intangibles in life, too. Confidence, happiness, strength. (I am aware that there are ways to quantify confidence, happiness, and strength, but there is no commonly used score. “Hey Bob, what’s your Happiness Index at today?”)
What Does It Mean to Be Strong?
Sometime in my undergraduate career, I had an assignment to write a mission statement. I wrote a series of statements, soooo creative.
The first one was something about being “strong for my family,” as we were in a challenging time. It was an unoriginal platitude, one my professor very kindly called me on. She asked, “What does it mean to be strong?” Basically, how would I know I am accomplishing that? What does it mean? Does it mean I don’t cry? Does it mean I don’t show emotion?
Does it mean I don’t stop and ask for help when my power steering goes out on the side of the road to New Orleans? Haha, sorry bout that one, Mom, but what a great story! Spoiler alert, I survived; the power steering belt did not.
How do you be strong in the non-quantitative way? It’s probably different for everyone. For me, I believe the way to be strong is to have goals, work at them, believe in yourself, and stay the course. That is to be strong.
About the author
Kathryn Alexander is a strength coach and personal trainer in Austin, Texas. She loves hiking, college football, and the feel of a perfectly knurled barbell. Read more about Kathryn here.