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Be Strong, First

fitness Mar 25, 2024

Imagine boarding a train in Zurich, Switzerland, bound for France. You have a medium-sized backpack with you…it probably weighs 28 pounds…not heavy by backpacking standards.

You move to hoist your backpack into the overhead bin, get about 50% of the way there, and it won’t go up any further. Your tour guide (a guy who is about your height) leaps to your rescue. Without a word, he grabs your bag, tosses it in the overhead without a thought, and has a seat.

This happened to me a number of years ago, and the memory of it still smarts. I was grateful and humiliated at the same time.

When the gym doesn't translate into real life. 

How could I not lift my own bag?

I went to the gym all the time. I was 24 years old.  I ran, I took group fitness classes, I…I…I…I wasn’t strong enough to lift my own bag up to put it away.

A hard lesson to learn.

My entire life has been dedicated to being fit, active and healthy. It has not always been about being strong.

Truth be told, it was more about looking great, feeling great and fitting comfortably into my favorite jeans  while having fun and not feeling like I was working very hard.

This seemingly benign incident made me want to be strong!

In that moment, I swore that I would never again be forced to have my bag lifted for me (and I haven’t).

When I returned from my trip, I hired a personal trainer. She was very strong and taught me a lot about strength and how to get strong safely.

The surprising benefit of strength.

As I got physically stronger, I started looking at life differently.

If I was strong enough to do a pull-up, I was strong enough to make other changes in my life.

And I did.

I quit my job, moved across the country, and pursued other dreams. 

Getting strong in my body made me stronger in my mind. When you feel physically weak, it’s easier to let life’s little challenges become major road blocks to your success.

Here’s the insidious part.

You don’t always recognize that you are physically weak…especially as women and especially as women over 40.

You expect to have some limitations, aches, and pains.

You expect to hear yourself saying things like:

  • “I used to….”
  • “In my twenties I did…”
  • "I can't do that, I'm (insert age here)."

This thought process leads you to limit yourself in countless other ways in your life.

Building strength in mid-life is even more important than being strong when you were younger. 

What this means for you. 

How do you get strong without injury? You do it by asking for help.

Find a personal trainer who specializes in building strength (this does not mean building bulk or becoming a body-builder). The women I work with start exactly where they are. There's no minimum strength requirement, and there's no limit to how strong you can become.

Will being strong make you move across the country to fulfill your dreams? That was my dream and may not be yours.

Will being strong drastically affect your life? I know it will.

What are you waiting for? The Women's Wellness Academy specializes in helping women in mid-life be their strongest, healthiest, best.  


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