29th December 2020 to be exact, the last time I added an entry of my thoughts here.
A few things have changed since we last had a moment to ponder things together, ending my stay in quarantine, the passing of my beloved Oupa (Cancer you suck shit in my opinion) and along with this the beginning of a new chapter both in my working life and personal life.
So buckle in and hold on to your butt cheeks as we delve into a few different ramblings, thoughts and much-needed reflections.
What brought me back to my WordPress sight you ask?
I had a meeting today and in this meeting, a question was posed that has me thinking.. “what does strength mean to you?”
What does STRENGTH mean to me?
My first and obvious (caught like a deer in the headlights situation) response was “I don’t know”.
Having this question play through my reflective mind for the past 7 hours or so, I have an answer for the context in which I was asked (fitness), Strength to me is a solid deadlift.
To me, if I can execute a decent deadlift comfortably (as you possibly can) then I feel confident, I feel shmexy and I feel strong. this is important to me as an individual because if you know me I have never been a particularly confident person or had a healthy relationship with my body image.
The last time I had a feeling of confidence and feeling attractive, was back in 2018 when I was well into my strength training and felt like I could accomplish anything.
I felt confident and I felt Strong. So my answer to the person who posed the question, “what does strength mean to me?”
Here you go:
Strength is confidence in how my body feels and appears, it feels strong and capable, it feels energized and good. This then flows over into my mindset and I feel energised and capable.
This question also had me moving away to other avenues, what is strength in the other aspects of my life?
It still boils down to confidence and a belief that I am capable.
When I last wrote an entry here, I was an entirely different person, I was in a stable career of nearly 10 years, 1 year of management under my belt, and the goal to complete my bachelor of education in early childhood.
I trained 5-6 days a week, sometimes twice a day, I lived with one of my very good friends, had a well-paying job, car, etc
But, I also had no time for life, to enjoy and relax a bit more.
Over the past 3 years, I have left that career, I have moved in with my fiance’, got a dog, work 3 nights and 1-day shift per week and gotten to work with incredibly inspiring people.
There is more value in my day-to-day life, more time and more peace within myself now than there ever was in the last 8 years of my previous career. the burnout was intense and I ended up taking a month off to re-evaluate and get my shit together, seek help and accept guidance (hard for someone who thinks she has all the answers and a constant feeling of failure).
Back in that dark time, I struggled with an intense feeling of failure and weakness. No strength was to be found in my situation. I feel we need to acknowledge and speak out about our darker times, to appreciate how far we have come from our lowest point.
There was a time in that period I would run a bath and just lie there, and bring my head under the water to just have peace, silence, and a minute to be. Or just sit in the shower for an extended period of time. Or even lay on my bed and stare at the wall or ceiling for hours on end. Just blank. No motivation nothing, at another low point I couldn’t bring myself to even leave the apartment to take the rubbish out. Might sound silly to some, but often I find you won’t understand the gravity of situations like this unless you are hugely empathetic or have been through similar challenges/situations.
Strength to me leading up to that period of my life, meant a good salary + management + degree.
It is all bullshit.
I have been on my new career path for the past 3 years (overlapped in the transition between careers) and I can honestly say a big salary, and a degree is not the be-all and end-all.
Now I work hours agreed with individual clients, solid income as a sole trader (and earn more than before) along with being halfway through a certificate in individual support.
Well, look now!
No management and no degree and it is the best feeling, no stress in my life at all. Whereas before I would respond ‘where do I begin to tell you about my stress”.
Strength to me is having the courage to ask for help when you need it.
Strength to me is having great friends who love you and guide you through all of life’s madness.
Strength to me is choosing to do what you LOVE or actively finding out a way to achieve this.
Strength to me is Happiness
Strength to me is Confidence
And last but not least.
Strength to me is a 100kg deadlift! 😛