Whenever one hears the word ‘strength’, we typically think of physical strength . . . squats and bicep curls and the like.
Of course, strength as a concept affects all layers of our being: mental capacity and stability, emotional intelligence and resilience, and spiritual perspective. The real strength comes when all aspects are both independently and synergistically vibrant. I certainly found that to be true and lacking, years ago when I was working in the corporate world.
Back in those days – running a brand strategy business, married and raising 2 kids, managing a home – I had no time or energy for fitness. It pretty much felt like running a marathon every day, just getting everything done. My stoicism kept my nose to the grindstone, and the stress kept getting stuffed down. My ‘tricky’ back, low immune system and GI challenges meant I was almost always working thru illness and discomfort. I thought that’s what I had to do!
Finally one day, I screwed up my courage and took a ‘learn to run’ clinic (as running never worked when I tried on my own). Low and behold, I did learn to run (crazy that we have to be taught how to run). 8 months in, and I signed up to train for a half marathon.
Running, for me, was a physical challenge, yet I saw my progress, and, I felt the mental and emotional benefits too. I think that first year running kept me sane during a very tough transition time with corporate restructuring, downsizing, and betrayal.
I almost considering myself a runner, yet I complained to a friend that my body wasn’t changing, hadn’t really lost weight, etc. He said ‘You have to lift weights’, and while I was leery of that, he showed me how, and I discovered I loved strength training! I began to see real changes in my body composition.
“Hey, I’m a middle-aged woman and I can change my pear-shaped body!”
The next step – to counter all those tight muscles and little joint aches from running and lifting – I sought out Yoga. Well, I soon realized yoga was much more than stretching, and my passion for all of this grew!
All of these things – the good perfect storm when I needed it – grounded me, helped me gain perspective, built my resilience in every layer. And ultimately, led me to do what I’ve been doing for the past 10 years: helping others in the journey to find their own strength, inner and outer, through fitness, yoga, meditation and mindfulness!
Nothing makes my heart sing more than helping others with their strength. Often, we start with the physical because that’s most accessible. When we’re grounded and connected to our body, we connect with the earth, and the earth’s energy is stable, slow-moving, nurturing and empowering. Moving from there, we find stability to be creative, make good decisions, have compassion and speak our truth as we trust our inner wisdom.
When someone shares their experience in finding their strength – be it physical ability, or becoming more grounded and clear-minded to deal with a divorce or loss of a loved one – all of these ‘ahhas’ are a cause for celebration!
Mentally, emotionally, spiritually . . . all stemming from finding and building physical strength.
Please share any thoughts or similar experiences with me, I love this journey we’re on!
ps, we have many fitness, form and training routine videos on our YouTube channel, youtube.com/user/sandyfitjourney. These might help you with your physical fitness, let me know!