Kati’s Fit Kit –
Strength’s Greater Purpose
Earlier this week I took a few pages of notes on a couple of nutrition topics that I thought I might write about. But as I sat down to start typing, another topic was on my mind.
At Breakthrough, we focus on strength training for many reasons. Whether you want to lift bigger, lose fat, or move and feel better, strength training is priority number one. In addition to physical strength, our mission is to help people develop strength of mind, body, character and spirit. In the StrongFirst community, we believe that “strength has a greater purpose.” When people discover how truly strong they are, and how much they are capable of, that physical strength starts to carry over into other aspects of life.
When things are going well and life is good, it’s easy to see why building strength is so awesome. You’re able to lift heavier loads, or go for longer distances. You get into a smaller jean size and feel great about how you look. You notice that you can keep up better with the grandkids and you feel fewer aches and pains than you did before. You find you are able to do things you weren’t sure you could do.
But what about when things aren’t going so great? Let’s be real – life can hit really hard sometimes. So where does strength fit in then?
This past year, our Breakthrough family has gone through some challenges, and while it might not feel like it at the time, this is when strength’s greater purpose really shines through. We’ve had members who have lost jobs, or who have moved far away (you’re still part of our Breakthrough family!) We’ve had members who have dealt with accidents, injuries and surgeries. We’ve had members who’ve received shocking medical diagnoses, and members who have had to be caretakers for someone who is ill. We’ve had members who have had to say goodbye to family and loved ones.
Any of these things can be devastating and hard to deal with, but time and time again I’m amazed at the resilience I see in people, and I’ve seen it enough to know that strength plays a role. I’ve seen people come back stronger from injuries, fight through illnesses, and get through tough life situations with their heads held high. I also know that these things don’t happen just from being strong on your own – our strength, capability and positivity is amplified when we are part of a community of other like-minded people. Strength sometimes means accepting help and support from your tribe when you need it.
Most importantly, this strength that has a greater purpose isn’t a selfish strength. It’s a strength that holds the door open for a mom with a stroller, or helps someone struggling in an airport to carry their bags. It’s a strength that rescues a shelter pet. It’s a strength that volunteers time for an important cause – like our Breakthrough crew did for the Walk to End Alzheimer’s last weekend. It’s a strength that recognizes when a friend is going through a tough time and cancels other plans to hang out with that friend. It’s a strength that remembers that everyone it meets might be fighting a tough battle, and chooses to be kinder than it has to.
Today while some of you are reading this, many of our Breakthrough family will be gathering to celebrate the life of a young lady who was strong until the end in her fight with cancer. We will gather to honor her strength and courage, and to lend all the strength we have to her family and friends who need some extra love and support.
This strength is why I train. I’m in no way perfect at remembering it, but in my heart I believe this type of strength can make the world a better place. We love to celebrate physical strength and fitness – crush your PRs in the gym, lean out and look sexy, cheer on your training partners and give high fives until your hands bleed. Then get out there in the world and remember why you are strong – make sure your friends and family know you love them, help the people who aren’t as strong as you, and choose a kind word even if you don’t think someone deserves it. Your strength has a greater purpose!
Strength and love,