Lifting weights offers a profound opportunity to feel powerful in a real and literal way. You get to use your body to move objects that don’t want to be moved. You get to find out how to leverage your limbs against heavy, inert hunks of metal, and create motion. This is a powerful experience for anyone who is feeling stuck. Feeling marginalized. Feeling like their voice and actions are not being heard in the larger conversation.
Over the past 6+ years of working as a personal trainer, the most rewarding moments all distill down to the same essence: Making the impossible, possible. That moment when a client performs a task that they were once unable to perform. Examples vary widely, ranging from the obviously impressive--deadlifting their bodyweight, or doing their first strict pull-up--to the more subtle victories--squatting without knee pain, or touching their toes for the first time in years. For me personally, it was the first time I was able to press a weight overhead without shoulder pain.
Each of these moments is an opportunity to discover an expanded capacity within oneself. To see that with diligent practice, one can perform a task that was once impossible.
How many arenas exist in our daily lives that allow this kind of experience? That allow us to challenge and transform ourselves in this particular way?
Any opportunity that one has to do something that was once impossible, builds our belief that we can change things.
That we are powerful.
That limitations are not immutable.
That resistance is a teacher, not a prison guard.
Today I invite you to seek out such opportunities. Let the resistance — heavy objects, high bars, fear, discomfort, glass ceilings— be your teacher in acquiring the skill of strength.
I invite you to share your victories, set backs, and realizations in the comments. You are not alone. We are all in this together.