Celebrating Strength In Every Way
I don’t know whether this is just me noticing it more or whether it’s an actual change in the fitness industry (I would say a combination of the two) but there’s a renewed focus on feats of strength in the gym setting. There’s motivational posters everywhere, feel good quotes every day, pictures to inspire and videos to demonstrate and before you say anything yes I know I post them as well!
Now I know I love these posts, I love seeing people lifting heavy stuff and getting stronger. I celebrate and encourage it! But there are other forms of strength when it comes to health and fitness, other things that need to be acknowledged and celebrated. Things that I think sometime we (yes me included) forget. This is just some reminders to all of us to celebrate everyone’s strength, regardless of what they are.
First of all my Mum. Last December she had surgery on her left shoulder. A ligament was torn, the surgeon shaved off part of shoulder bone and then the shoulder froze after surgery. She spent four weeks in a sling not being able to use that arm at all. Once the sling came off, the rehab was supposed to begin but she couldn’t even lift her arm 10cm from her body and physiotherapy hurt her. The surgeon actually gave her a cortisone injection (side note: I’m not a supporter of these injections, but that is part of the story) so she could commence rehab. Finally she was at least able to do physiotherapy in a pool, with her first goal being 10 laps of 25m each. I’ve received random texts as she accomplish those laps, at first it was just 3 laps before her arm hurt, then it was 8, then she made that 10, surpassed it and went to 13. Keep in mind this entire process has taken her from January this year until April to do those laps. I saw her two days ago and she can actually raise her arm parallel to her shoulder. This small feat which many of us would take for granted has taken her six months. The strength she has shown is incredible and I’m so proud of her. She still has a long way to go before she regains full use of her arm, but I have no doubt she will get there. For the record when Mum watched the clips of me doing my deadlifts she laughed and said to me her next goal is to mop the floors at home all in one go with no break. Go Mum!
The brother of a very close friend has been overweight since I’ve known him. Obese in fact. He tipped the scales at 200kg and still didn’t have the need to lose weight. Until he realised he couldn’t walk from his front door to his letterbox without taking a break. This is something that I couldn’t even fathom as something I could not do, as would most other people. These little things that you and I do every day were an immense struggle for him. Well I’m pleased to say that as of the last update from my friend he is down 36kgs! He can walk to his letterbox and further, he is doing walks around his local park instead! At his heaviest he was looking at buying a new car because he couldn’t fit his seat belt around him. Now he’s looking at a new car because the options available to fit his smaller frame have increased! This is an amazing show of his strength-it doesn’t matter that it took him a while to realise that he needed to lose weight, what matters is he’s doing it!
To everyone who may read this, strength is not just the ability to lift really heavy things in the gym. Your strength may be joining a gym and starting your health and fitness journey, it could be the slow process of rehabbing an injury to even just move normally again or just admitting that you may need help.
Whatever it is, celebrate it and celebrate the strength of others around you.