- Steve Maraboli
This is not a sad story.
It’s the story of a learning experience about the strength that comes from letting go of something that no longer serves us.
I went for my first long run outside in months today. It was sunny and warmer, especially for Syracuse, and my feet felt lighter than the last time I'd hit the pavement. I realized that the last time I laced up and started to pound the pavement, I was carrying a lot more emotional weight.
I had just recently ended a three and a half year relationship: kids, ex-wives, and families were intertwined & it was hard to let go...harder than it should have been. If I had listened to my intuition, I would have let go long before I actually did.
Looking back living it was more painful than leaving it. So, I broke up, woke up and gained a little perspective.
"Without struggle there is no strength".
We've been trained to believe that in order to made strides, we need to suffer. I'm thinking that it's time to question that concept. I'm thinking that for the sake of argument, let's talk about the strength it takes to actually let go. Not giving up, not letting go doesn't just apply to relationships with other people. It’s incredibly important to examine this way of thinking in the way we treat ourselves.
I see this issue thorough a different perspective when I watch my students, clients and fellow trainers muscle through a workout. I see emotional struggle and watch it manifest itself into the body's tissues. I see physical transformation, and I also see an internal battle that humans (myself included) have with the inner ego, voice, or whatever you want to call it.
I see form fall apart and, as a trainer, I know that's the barometer indicating that things need to change. I see it, but my students might not yet. They still feel the need to struggle. They believe they still need to lean into the suffering. But do they really need it?
"Strong is the new skinny"
"No pain, no gain."
Who comes up with this stuff? Really?! Let it go. Let it go.
You're no less of a human being if you don't finish the set of push-ups or power cleans. You're no stronger a person if you do.
Sometimes the letting go is the real strength. Sometimes that's where you make your biggest gains in the psychology of fitness or in anything else.
The fact that you can walk away today and have a fresh perspective tomorrow is strength. You learned things. You changed, and it mattered. Your time was not wasted. It meant something. Even if you didn't finish the way you wanted to, it mattered and it was perfect.
You can be mad, you can fight it, but at the end of it all, think about why you stood there in the first place.
Why do you do it? To punish yourself to look a certain way, or to be the fittest of the fit at the neighborhood shin-dig? To win the race? To please your partner?
Who do you do this for?
Do you do it to feel good? To workout with common minded folk? Get a little stress relief? Feel stronger, confident, more like your true self?
Remember that sometimes, it's harder to untie and let go of the vice grip and let it be what it needs to. I want to encourage you to try it. Become stronger that way. Know when to push and when to release.
- True ebb and flow.
- True evolution.
- Real, honest fitness. :)