• bittersweetcoaching

Lift Away the Hurt

I refer to the gym as the church of iron.

For me, this place does function as a house of worship. It’s a place I can go to when I want solidarity and peace, or when I want answers or guidance. The gym empowers me. It brings out that confident side of me which feels in control of their own life, the master of their own thoughts and not the other way around. When I’m lifting, my mind is sharp and clear, and I always leave the gym with answers to the daily problems that have been on my mind.

I started lifting my freshman year of college after I discovered that the usual mechanisms of coping with negative thoughts just weren’t working for me anymore. They would help somewhat, but there would always be this ember of anger left behind that I could never seem to get rid of. I think the activities I was doing (meditation, journaling, hiking, etc.) were too oriented around accepting the feeling of anger and then letting it fade. What I needed was a release of anger.

And nothing releases anger quite like lifting some heavy weight.

Lifting makes me feel like a beast. Staring at myself in the mirror, my muscles pumped with blood and new veins pressing out against my skin makes me feel confident and strong. It gives me the strength to confront the anger and negative emotions inside of me and assert my dominance as the owner of my life.

I know that seems a little delusional. Thoughts and emotions are a huge powerhouse and absolutely can control us- but somehow, being engaged in activity of physical strength makes them feel so much weaker. Can my thoughts lift as much as I can? No, I didn't think so.

If I have the strength to lift two of me, then I have the strength to carry me and my burdens.

--Jonathan Holden