SIX THINGS WEIGHTLIFTING TEACHES YOU ABOUT LIFE
1. Patience: “Keep your shoulders over the bar longer”, “Don’t pull too early with your arms”,
“Wait for your hips to pop!”, missed attempt after missed attempt; the entire process of
becoming a weightlifter (from someone like my mom to the greatest Olympian) is full of trials
that test your patience. If you do not learn patience, you will not be successful in your lifts. If
you are not able to practice patience in life, not only will you struggle to find success, you will be
one extremely stressed out human being. Waiting in line at the DMV, listening to your best
friend tell the story (for the 44 th time) of how her and her boyfriend broke up and now she’s
wondering if he didn’t actually mean it and she should try to get back together with him, sitting
in traffic on the way to an important meeting- all things that require patience.
2. Pride: You’ve put in the work, you’ve listened to your coaches’ cues, you’ve made adjustments,
and you hit the lift! Whether it is 50 or 500 pounds on the bar, be proud. It’s not every day that
everything is going to feel right and you hit it just perfectly, so when it does happen, be proud.
All that you have done up until this point has paid off. The same goes for life- you get a raise or
a promotion, you see your client making progress, or even just someone tells you they
appreciate the advice you gave them, be proud. Too often in life, we do not take enough pride
in what we do. Make yourself proud.
3. Humility: Even though you may have the most spectacular lifting day (or maybe week) ever, on
the next day (or week) you may feel like you completely forget how to be the slightest bit
athletic. It feels like there is a million pounds on the bar. This happens (see, patience), to the
best in the world too. So even though you should be proud, be humble; there is a fine line.
Don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Gratitude can also fall under the characteristic of humility.
In life, when things are going well, always remember the times when they were not, and be
thankful to those who helped you get through those times. Remember all that got you to the
place you are at and that you can be back there at any moment.
4. Resiliency: Day after day, week after week, coming back again and again to pick up that barbell.
After good lifts and after bad lifts, you keep coming back for more. You learn to not give up.
Merriam-Webster describes resilience as “1. The ability to become strong, healthy, or successful
again after something bad happens; 2. The ability of something to return to its original shape
after it has been pulled, stretched, pressed, bent, etc.” Think of a time in your life when things
may not have been going your way, or when you were extremely stressed out; were you able to
bounce back to the person you normally are? Sometimes our limits are tested, and we are
stretched beyond comfort, it’s the “return to its original shape” that’s important (see:
Chumbawamba’s hit, “Tubthumping”… “I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never
gonna keep me down”)
5. Trust: Trust the process. Trust your strength. Trust in all the work you’ve done until this point.
Trust that the barbell will go where you want it to. Trust even when it feels heavy. Trust you
will get up if you are down. Trust. That is all.
6. Badass-ery: Lifting weights, no matter how heavy or light, is pretty bad ass. Don’t you think so?
People think you’re cool, and if you post videos of you lifting weights online, you might get all
the “likes”. Friends will call you their “strong friend”, your grandparents are going to be worried
you might hurt yourself, and if you’re lucky, the guy who’s working at Wawa will ask how he can
get as strong as you (to which of course you will respond, “lift all the weights”). But seriously,
who cares what other people think… lifting weights will make YOU feel bad ass. YOU will feel
strong, and able, and athletic, and proud. You will have goals for yourself- to get better
technique to help make you fitter and healthy or to snatch 200 pounds, it’s up to you, it’s
personal. Nothing makes you feel better than getting a little bit closer towards achieving a goal.
You will walk a little bit taller (not only because lifting will probably physically make your posture
better), and you will carry this confidence and badass-ery over into your everyday life, making
you one awesome person.
Jillian Seamon, MS, ATC
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