Real Life Lifting

Real Life Lifting

A lot of people are motivated by ripping their six pack to shreds when they lift. I think about something much more elusive.

Two reps to done and my life is flashing before my eyes. Not in a "oh shit I’m-a die" kind of way, but my literal life.

Traffic jams.

Toddler tantrums.

Diaper explosions.

Learning California is imposing yet another tax on small business owners.

Difficult clients – and people in general. (You know who you are - much love!)

I’m thinking of how I’m going to finish this set, and I contemplate if I should just call it quits a few reps early.

Instead, I stiffen.

Breathe in.

Exhale.

Relax.

Push through.

And finish.

There’s more than just a sense of accomplishment and the physical transformation that comes with persevering through the struggle of lifting weights. Long after the workout is done I'm facing these mountains I’ve mentioned, and I have a choice to quit or endure. Weight lifting is more than an exercise for the muscles – it’s a workout for the mind, will and self-discipline.

Days exist when I don’t want to train, but I do anyway because I know it’s good for me, that it will make me feel better and make me stronger inside and out. Life is full of things we don’t want to do. Our character is defined by what we do in those moments.

A funny thing happens when I’m stuck in traffic, faced with a screaming toddler, covered in human excrement, told I owe hundreds more dollars just for being open or debating whether to bite my lip when something bothersome is said. I’m faced with a choice of how to react. And I think about being two sets to done, because all storms pass.

Instead of caving to pressure, I stiffen.

Breathe in.

Exhale.

Relax.

Push through.

And finish.

There are moments when I think I can’t do it, and I remember that I defied gravity with my own body and pushed a weight once too heavy – that often times could cause serious physical harm – away from the ground with sheer will and force from within. And I’m going to let some two foot cutie break me? Or an anxiety attack? Or a bunch of rubberneckers?

A six pack would be nice. If they were handing them out downtown I’d surely get in line. But I’m not going to settle and train for a defined midsection that, let’s face it, rarely comes out because the beaches are way too cold here.

My character and abilities and who I am isn’t defined by how many lumps stick out above my belly button. I’m defined by what I do, how I treat others and the way I react to life’s messy situations (literally and figuratively). And so are you. Does your training prepare you for the realities of life?

I don’t train to look better; I train to be better – physically, mentally and emotionally. It’s time you do, too.



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