“Muscle mass does not always equal strength. Strength is kindness and sensitivity. Strength is understanding that your power is both physical and emotional. That it comes from the body. And the mind. And the heart.” – Henry Rollins
I have clients that consistently tell me that they’re professional lives are better because of their time spent in the gym. Female clients tell me they feel empowered when they lift heavy weights. Empowered in their lives OUTSIDE the gym. Time with their kids is more valuable, more energetic. What does that mean? It’s powerful to hear that. It’s powerful to witness this kind of transition in people. It’s powerful to be one of these women.
I’ve strength trained on and off throughout my entire life. In the past four years, it’s been much more consistent. Just in the past year, it’s been intentional and with a distinct purpose. My purpose is mine and irrelevant to this article; yet, intent and the “why” behind what I do are my driving forces in my every day actions and my successes.
Lifting weights in the gym is fun. I take that back. It’s not fun. It’s down-right hard. And uncomfortable. And sometimes painful. The look back on a training session is fun. The euphoric feeling of knowing I just busted my ass for a PR is fun. The recollection of pushing a lot of weight around is fun. Fun meaning fulfilling. Fun meaning empowering. Fun meaning strong. That feeling of strong crosses over the physical for me. I feel strong in every way. Strong for overcoming adversity.
But where does this strength go? I’ve never, for once, believed it only goes to the muscles in my body. That’s not to take away from my physical strength. Am I physically strong? Yes, and I’m constantly striving to get stronger. I’ve witnessed, firsthand, that it transfers to different states. Speaking on holistic strength, Gandhi states, “It is my own firm belief that the strength of the soul grows in proportion as you subdue the flesh.”
Through constant strength training, my mental and emotional strengths have exponentially grown, more so than my physical strength. Personally, I am much more concerned with how strong I’m getting outside of the gym, in my mental, emotional and spiritual states. My mental state is much clearer these days. I’ve overcome mental barriers with personal situations far better than I have in the past. I’ve grown in personal development, how I react to/with people, confidently going in the direction of my dreams, and walking happily in my own path. I owe that level of focus and resilience to strength training.
Not giving credit to the work I put into the gym would be untrue and simply disrespectful. Anyone that has strength trained understands the diligence and discipline it takes within the walls of the gym. It is also known that it goes beyond the walls of the gym and beyond the walls of the physical body. It’s proven that strength training is one of the best ways to be physically fit, so why not nourish the soul, the mind, and the heart as well.
About Franki Spell: Franki is a manager and personal trainer at Austin Simply Fit Central. She is a competitive powerlifter and holds 11 state records across 2 federations, along with an American Record in the Bench Press.