Strength is found in the struggle. It is your ability to overcome hard things that creates the strength we all need as human beings. The problem with strength is this. It is a descriptive word that can be applied to the entire human experience. From physical to mental. Your ability to be strong mentally in situations as well as your ability to display strength physically are both admirable traits and both can be trained. Its also about finding your stress relief activities that will allow you to relax. 

The struggle is the key to it all. Hardships mold us as human beings. It is discomfort that gives us the resistance that forces us to change. It is the crucible in which we can emerge as different, stronger, harder people.

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The Struggle

The struggle is the key to it all. Hardships mold us as human beings. It is discomfort that gives us the resistance that forces us to change. It is the crucible in which we can emerge as different, stronger, harder people.

The issue with struggle is simple, we hate struggle. The human body doesn’t want to do the hard shit. It resists it's with all its might. Your brain or mind is always telling you how you are incapable of doing something because it doesn’t want to be put through hardship. You are going to have to silence those voices if you want to reap the benefits of struggle and hardship.

There is something you have to understand when I speak on struggle and hardship. I am talking about self-imposed hardship, self-imposed struggle. Making yourself workout every day and get in a run or doing stuff in extreme temperatures. Using your ability to apply pressure to yourself in order to get harder, wake up after you recover and push that limit once again.

No Finish Line

There is no finish line and that is scary for a lot of people because there is no top of the mountain, there is no end of the tunnel and there is no destination. It is a constant and consistent climb that you have to be okay with. You have to harden yourself against the idea that you will never become an ultimate form.

Listen its easy to lecture on what you're supposed to do or how you're supposed to act and it's ok to be weak at times. We are all human beings. Let me tell a little story here. I was extremely successful in high school. I was a top-level athlete on the gridiron and on the power lifting platform. Maintaining a 95% average in university-level courses and I had my entire life ahead of me. I knew I had unlimited potential but I had an extremely foggy understanding as to what I was meant to do on this planet.

I found interest in everything, I loved to read and learn about a million different things but had and to this day still, have a really hard time tunneling that focuses on a single direction. It is not because I lack the ability to focus. I because it is because I don’t want to miss out on anything. I feel like I need to be a part of everything that I find at least semi-interested in. This is a massive flaw in my character. I use stress relief activities like meditation to take time to think about what really matters.

Back To The Story

Anyways, back to the story. I was given multiple scholarships to play football in college and get a degree. The problem was not that I didn’t want to play the game the problem was I didn’t want to go to school and get a degree in something I didn’t ultimately want to do the rest of my life. I didn't’ feel like spending 4 years of my life playing a game that I may not have gone pro playing.

That was how I rationalized it. So I bailed on it and decided to start my electrical apprenticeship, Having little experience working with my hands it was a rather peculiar decision of mine to get a job learning a skill that was extremely hands on. I loved the work, the work was hard but rewarding. You were providing a service to people who need it. However, it was not something I loved to do. I was laid off, and I was relieved if I am being totally honest.

I told myself that I didn’t quit, I was just let go. That wasn’t true though. I could have found another apprenticeship if I really wanted to. My girlfriend at the times, dad owned an electrical business and offered me a job more than once.

Lost Soul Found In The Struggle 

I just avoided it as much as possible. A lost soul. I had no idea where I wanted my life to go. It was impossible for me to get my head screwed on straight. I decided to start my own personal training business. I obtained 5 certifications covering a wide range of different fitness abilities. With my sports background and my love of sports performance, I loved this stuff. Struggling to get clients because I am not the typical looking personal trainer.

I am 6’2 330lbs. I look like I know how to get your strong but no idea how to get yours in the best shape of your life. Which is simply not true I understood the science behind what it took but I knew it was hard to get that across to people who don’t care about the science. They want someone who looks like they know what they are talking about. Anyways I dug deep and moved into this new life I wanted for myself.

I also started writing again and creating content I could be happy with. I was lucky enough to find a side hustle writing which gave me a place to be creative as well as gain some money. The problem here is this. Never giving myself shit, I never pushed myself harder than I could handle. I mean I worked, I worked hard compared to other people and I became complacent. Never striving for more for myself. I didn't put myself into that crucible. Stress relief activities help you to step back and see your own blind spots. 

JJ. Burns

About the author

Strength and conditioning coach with a focus on developing young offensive line athletes. Developing all aspects of athletic performance from the physical to the mental. Helping them develop the habits to get them to the next level.

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