Strength Through Weakness

When I was a kid – from early teens on – I was strong. Weirdly strong. I didn’t look it because I was a toothpick. “Wiry” is what my dad used to call me. Long, lanky, gangly, and strong equals wiry. I’m not sure why because I really didn’t work at it. It was just my natural body type. I played every sport I could get my hands on and I’m sure that helped but because all that came so naturally to me, I never really had to work for it. It made me lazy. I don’t know if that is common – that naturally ability makes a person lazy – but that’s how it worked for me.

I’ve always enjoyed physical activity. I’ve never really enjoyed working out. Seems a little counter intuitive, but that’s how I am. Working out requires effort. Physical activity requires play. I can play all day long. But working out is hard. Because everything came so easily for me as a younger person (up until my early to mid-40s) I did not know how to workout. To me, this is a major weakness of mine.

I can google workout plans for they type of training that I want to do. I can combine multiple plans to suit what I need. And I can follow those plans. At least when it comes to run/bike/swim. When it comes to strength training and yoga – I cannot! Big time weakness for me since these are two things that are crucial for me as I prepare for my Iron Cowboy. I have found myself just going to the gym and working my way through each of the machines to try and hit all my major muscle groups and then…I’m done. After two months of this approach I have felt like I’m making no headway in the strength that I need for the miles that I’ll be putting on my body.

As I’ve struggled to really figure out what I needed to be doing I did the unthinkable.

I asked for help.

I’ll just let that sink in for a moment because anyone who knows me know that asking for help is…. weakness. Right?

*sigh

I learned that in regards to strength training and yoga I need a teacher. Someone who knows more than I do that I can follow. I received some good recommendations for some on-line programs that I could try and after a couple of weeks in I can already tell a difference. Mentally. Emotionally. Physically. I can tell a difference.

Even though I am still working out on my own, I have a a program that I can follow. I have teachers. I’m learning (a little bit late in life, perhaps) that asking for help is not a weakness. That has been a very difficult mental hurdle to jump over. I won’t tell you that it will now be easy to ask for help because I know myself better than that. But in this one instance, I am overcoming a weakness in order to be stronger.

This has been a journey for me. I’ve learned a lot about myself as I’ve stayed the course. I’ve learned even more about myself as I’ve had to veer from the course and try new paths. Growth is never easy, especially for me. And it is really weird to have something in my little physical world that is not coming naturally for me. But through that weakness of mine, I am growing stronger. I am so grateful for the support system I have (both in person and on line). It would be more difficult to do this on my own.

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