To me, strength training is much more than working out. It’s not just a tool to look better, even though I think it’s fine if people train for that reason. It’s not just something to become healthier, even though I do value that effect of strength training. It can give you a lot more than that. (and in some ways, you could substitute many other passions for strength training as well)
Training is where we can focus on a very specific task at hand, finding relief from our daily stress as we lose ourselves in that one moment where we push our limits in order to get better, both mentally and physically.
Training is where every little bit of rage is safely let out, as we tap into the moments where we felt wronged. As we take the hurt that has been clawing at our feet until we can finally use it to our advantage and crush it beneath our heels during whatever heavy, painful or otherwise challenging exercise or drill we perform to reach our goals.
The process of training, especially when you’re immersed in a setting with competitive or ambitious athletes, can reward you with so much more than a healthier or better looking body. Training is where we learn about a lot of things. About turning destructive thoughts and emotions into strength. About finding balance between hard work and proper rest. About self restraint and patience. About camaraderie and rivalry. About setting priorities. About the importance of processes as well as results. About investing energy, time and money into something. About goal setting. About health. About respect. About ethics. About self-doubt and insecurity. About systematically and carefully dealing with setbacks. All things that we should learn about from our parents, peers and teachers since these subjects all have some carryover to our daily lives… Yet that is simply not realistic since we don’t always get into the situations where we learn about those things, nor is everyone around you experienced enough to teach you much about these subjects.
And one more thing, that I always repeat to myself whenever I start doubting myself or my abilities:
“What we face may look insurmountable. But I learned something from all those years of training and competing. I learned something from all those sets and reps when I didn’t think I could lift another ounce of weight. What I learned is that we are always stronger than we know.” – Arnold Schwarzenegger