I remember the first time I was not strong enough..
A kid from school pushed me to the ground and sat on my head.
It felt like forever, as I struggled to breathe.
Finally, from the combination of fighting for my life and screaming, I got out.
I was about six years old.
Then there was the time my Aunt’s car was stuck at the end of her driveway and my cousin and I couldn’t get it out.
A kid I knew from the neighborhood came over and busted my chops saying “come on Jimmy, use those muscles”.. as he grabbed my tiny bicep and laughed.
I was about 12 years old then.
A few years later I was playing in a soccer league and there was this big bully kid who loved to pick on me.
I had no clue why he singled me out.
He loved to use his size and strength to knock me out of the way, all over the field.
Good thing I was much faster than he was and could avoid most of the big hits.
I remember when I first started lifting weights, how weak I felt.
How difficult it was.
The pain. The strain. The struggle.
Those memories of being weak haunted me.
They drove me to get bigger and stronger.
If I needed to push myself through the pain, I would just think of one of those moments and get the extra drive to persist.
Since those early days of struggling with the weights, I have some memories of strength.
I’m not sure the order of some of the moments but the first one that comes to mind is chopping wood at the cabin.
Swinging the axe. Sweat in my eyes. Dirt on my hands. Chunks of wood splitting everywhere.
For hours I chopped wood, knocked over old trees and carried huge piles of logs to be stacked.
Sitting by the bonfire under the stars, exhausted from a hard day of manual labor, I felt a sense of satisfaction and strength.
There was the time I bought one of those do-it-yourself pools that came in a huge box.
I had to get it from the car to the backyard by myself, or call someone over to help.
I’m sure you can see where this is going.
Realizing this box was too bulky to go overhead or be held in my arms, I pushed it like a prowler sled along the driveway and the grass.
It took me all night to put that thing together but it felt damn good to make it happen by myself with my strength and will.
Remember the story from earlier when I couldn’t help my Aunt get her car unstuck?
Here’s a happy ending for you.
When I got a job working on the thruway at the tolls, there were numerous times that vehicles got stuck in the lane or the plaza.
Every single time I would be the first to jump out of the booth, get behind the vehicle, (a few SUV’s) and push until they were safely out of traffic.
Those are just some of my favorite benefits of strength training.
Really, you reap the rewards daily.
Coming back from injuries..
Having the physical capacity to take on any challenge..
The benefits are all yours.
That is what is MOST powerful about strength training.
YOU do the work. YOU get the benefits.
No one can take that away from you.