I am not even the strongest person at my gym.
But I believe that I am strong and that strength has resonated long after I leave the gym doors.
I was strong the first time I got my chin over the pull-up bar unassisted, a feat that took months and one I will never again let challenge me.
I was strong the first time I took my bodyweight and picked it up off the ground and again, a year later, when I could hoist it overhead.
I was strong when I found a way up the rope. And when I pulled up and over the rings for a muscle-up.
This strength comes with doubts and sweat and tears.
It does not come easy.
Neither does life.
This strength comes with always wanting more and forgetting the weights I warm up with used to be my maxes. This strength comes with a constant desire to get better and, often times, inspires those who have just enough courage to walk through the gym doors.
This strength changes you.
It makes you intuitively aware of who you are and what you are made of. It breaks through barriers you never anticipated, it whispers ‘keep going’ when long ago you would have stopped.
It changes you physically, of course, but it’s the mental side of things that you didn’t expect. That’s the strength you didn’t see coming. And it is the most powerful.
This strength keeps you going when life is dark and tough and hopeless. This strength empowers you. The same way you scratched and clawed your way over the pull-up bar, you’ll battle your way through.
This strength whispers, ‘you are enough’ when it comes to your job, relationships, life itself. You have always been enough. More than enough, inside the gym and out. But now, now, you start to believe it.
This cold metal in your hands has changed you. Has molded you. This was never about being the strongest person in the gym, state, country or world.
This was about being strong. I am strong. And so are you.