How do you respond in the greatest times of stress? What character traits show through strongest when you feel the pressure?
I am deeply thankful for the years of training I have spent running farther than I thought I could or wanted to, doing the last rep that I didn’t know I could do and working out so hard that my heart felt like it may beat out of my chest. There is a mental strength that is gained in building physical strength. One of the most beautiful things about challenging your body, is that you also challenge your mind, your boundaries, those edges that you question. You realize that many things that feel too hard, too grand or undoable are actually not. They are simply waiting for you to work to achieve them.
We all experience challenge in our lives at one point or another and as crazy as it sounds, the time you spend on the gym floor will help you in those moments. It’s like you are building a library of memories of your mental and physical strength, to recall when needed in hard times. And how amazing to think that you have your entire life to build that library of moments in time when you overcame something you didn’t think you could.
The key to building those memories is allowing yourself to step into hard situations. Allowing yourself to try something that may scare you. The amazing thing about stepping into fear rather than pulling away from it, is that the more you do it, the more comfortable you feel in uncomfortable times. It often takes just one first step to lead to many more.
I challenge you this week to try something in your workout routine that feels uncomfortable. Not something that puts you in physical harm, but something that takes you outside the box of comfort inside which you experience fitness. Take a class that you’ve never tried before. Ask a trainer to coach you through proper squat form. Grab the set of dumbbells just 5 lbs heavier, to see if you can do it. There’s a great chance there are some pleasant surprises ahead 🙂