Sunday, September 14, 2014

Finding Strength

I love it when conversations happen with different people at different times and a theme emerges.  I think these themes become apparent during times when we need them most.  This week the theme of strength has become a popular topic.

The obvious strength conversation has been with my best friend Lydia, who has been working out with me at the gym.  I've been doing the weightlifting program since May... I think. And it has been amazing to find out what I am capable of doing.  Lydia has begun doing the dumb bell classes with me, where she, too, has discovered her own strength.  We have both enjoyed watching our bodies transform and become stronger.  We get so excited when we see muscle developing and we talk about our favorite trainer, Anthony, all of the time.  We love the other trainers, too.  We just seem to spend more time with Anthony, and he always pushes us.  Some mornings, when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the amount of weight or the amount of reps per set, he will tell me "I believe in you, Nadia, even if you don't believe in you."  I like hearing that because it reminds me that a lot of the time we are stronger than we think.  And he is always right about how much weight I can handle during the workout!  I have had to learn to trust my trainers, but they have also had to learn to trust me in knowing how my body feels.

To think that this was me a year ago! (I'm on the far left)

And now I do this! And it completely blows my mind that I do these things!

But I love it because I feel so badass when I lift the heavy weights... especially doing the hip-thrusts.  A few days ago, I hip-thrusted my heaviest weight, which was 295lbs!!!  Craziness I tell you!
It is a great feeling to feel physically strong.

I've been thinking about some of the other exercise adventures I've had and one that I loved the most was yoga.  I miss it, but don't really have the time for it. Two years ago, Lydia and I went to a yoga retreat where we did some really cool partner yoga.
I wonder how much easier would it be for us now that we are stronger???  We might have to try to recreate this photo!

The other strength conversation I found myself having this week with another friend was about emotional strength.  We were talking about how frustrated I am with life... more like how impatient I've been.  I feel like I've had some pretty big challenges or obstacles in life that were not or have not been easy to deal with.  Losing my dad continues to be this surreal experience.  There are good days, but mostly there are *huge sigh* alright days.  I don't quite feel like myself and just feel very blah. And it is frustrating to feel sensitive and vulnerable constantly.  The impatient part of me wants the grieving to be done with already, but I know it isn't that easy.  Most people have told me that I most likely won't feel normal for about a year, and even after that, when I'm feeling good, they said I'll randomly be hit with sadness.  I'm not looking forward to it.  I just want to be happy. It just makes me wonder what exactly do the higher powers to be have in store for me where I need to be emotionally strong?  But in my conversation of emotional strength I did point out that perhaps this whole experience was to teach me how to allow others take care of me and to allow my vulnerability to be seen while holding on to my independence... or it's to re-teach me patience.

Strength is an interesting concept to think about.  Everyone is strong in some way or another.  I've always hated when people tell me that I'll be fine because I'm a strong person.  The worst time was a year ago when a person who knew me from high school told me that it was ridiculous that I was depressed when we received news about my dad's tumors. He told me that I have always been such a strong person that I shouldn't allow this to bother me.  I think that is when I began to realize that true strength isn't necessarily dealing with problems by yourself, but true strength was allowing yourself to open up to being vulnerable.   It takes more strength to reveal the truth than it does to shield yourself.

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