Finding your Strength

Strength is something most of us don’t think about for a good portion of the day. We think about it when we lace up for a run, and feel our muscles gear up to take us as far as we want or need to go. We think about it when we head to the gym for a strength or cross-training session.

But what do you do when you can’t physically muscle your way through something? Whether its a tough race, difficult run, or a tough situation with a coworker or a big presentation, sometimes it’s not about whether you have the right skills, capabilities or physical abilities to do it.

My day today was spent talking and thinking about strength way outside the confines of running or the gym. Strength and confidence, in my opinion, are really the same thing. If you’re not confident about what you can do, or what you can accomplish, you’re going to have a really hard time actually doing it.

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And it got me thinking, not surprisingly, about running. The last few weeks have brought some big milestones in my running, and the next few weeks have the potential for more. Yet, I haven’t been stressed out or scared about them at all. This makes almost no sense whatsoever, except, when I think about it in the same context I used with an employee this afternoon:

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At work, I’m at least 5 years younger than anyone else at my level (at least in my office, there are others like me elsewhere in the company, I’m good, but I’m not quite that good), and part of how I’ve gotten there is by taking my confidence level up about 150 notches. Every meeting, every presentation, every conversation is done with a level of confidence usually reserved for Sasha Fierce. Over time, I developed the actual knowledge to go along with the confidence, which means I’m no longer faking it. Winning.

At some point in the last couple of weeks, I decided to start thinking about marathon training in the same way. Is an 18 mile race on Sunday going to be easy? Hell no! But will Karen and I make it through? Hell yes! Because it’s only a few miles further than our 15 mile run 2 weeks ago. Because we can do it. We’ve been hitting our training well. We’re healthy.

And darn it, because we just will; and we have the will to make it happen!

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What’s your confidence motto?
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve taken on?
Do you have a favorite muscle?

7 thoughts on “Finding your Strength

  1. My motto is usually Mind/ matter or “you’re stronger then you seem” courtesy of Christopher Robin
    I don’t have a favorite muscle, but I focus a lot on my abs.

  2. I read two things in the runners world mag today and they really stuck with me
    1: “don’t chase the guy who passes you. You don’t know if he’s having the best day of his life, or whether he’s about to fall to pieces”.
    2: “Expect each race to be the toughest yet. Brace for the worst to run your best”.
    We all have bad days, but it’s how we handle ourselves at our worst that makes us a better runner.

    The biggest challenge I’ve taken on is a tough mudder. I’m doing it again next year, along with a spartan race.
    My fav muscle… not sure, really liking my upper arms/shoulders at the moment.

    • Those are awesome pieces of advice. Karen and definitely felt that yesterday. We were near the back of the start (not corralled) and just kept our own pace going, and by the end, we passed a lot of people who started out too fast. We made a new friend who is running a race we’re running next weekend too.

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