I am starting to get asked, quite often, if I lift weights. And the answer, in this current season of my life, is that I don’t. Not in the traditional sense at least.
What do I mean by that? Well, I have weights and sometimes I use them. Only I don’t treat them like weights as much as I treat them like objects. Basically, I often treat kettlebells, barbells or dumbells like rocks or pieces of furniture and I move them from one place to another. I carry them. I do a lot of carries because I believe that carrying follows the design of the body more than traditional weight training does. But none the less, I am using weights to carry. So technically, I use weights. But, I’m not typically using them in a sets and reps, exercise fashion.
But that’s me.
At this stage in my journey, or at this point in my search for strength, I have come to the belief that I have found the “secret to strength training.” I’ll let you in on my secret, but just remember it’s my secret stemming from my belief; which gives it power – to me.
Anyway, strength is found in our design. It’s not found in what we do. That’s my secret. What it means is that the body is designed to be strong, is meant to be strong, is capable of being strong and WANTS to be strong. What it also means is that the programs that move the body and the life inside the body are what gives the body strength. Strength then comes from inside of us because it is us – it’s who we are. It is not found outside of us in what we do.
Strength can never be found in weight training. You already know this, only maybe you don’t know it. For example, have you ever had a weight training goal, or a number you wanted to reach? A bench, a squat, a clean, a snatch goal? Did you reach it? Did it solve all your problems? Or, did it leave you with a confused empty feeling of “now what?” In other words, did reaching your strength goal leave you with a knowing that you were indeed strong, or did it leave you with a feeling of emptiness that still motivated you to continue to look for strength in another goal, in another lift, in another modality, in another discipline?
Strength is not found outside of us. It is in us. It is us. No amount of weight training, or any other external searching through endless hobbies will make you strong enough if that is where you are spending your efforts searching.
Again, this is my secret. It’s really your secret too, but it doesn’t have life to it until you search it out.
And look, I’m not saying you don’t need to lift weights or train traditionally. I’m saying that if you’re doing that to become strong, you probably will end up frustrated. I’m also saying however, if you know you are strong and you do those things for pure enjoyment – from what is in you and from who you are – they will only add to your joy and never leave you lacking.
“But Tim, you still don’t train traditionally…” No, at this point I don’t, but only because I am finding joy in moving in all the ways my body was designed to move. I know my design is strength. How I choose to express it, experience it and enjoy it is now up to me. Strength training has become more of an expression from what is in me than a quest for what is lacking. There is a great sense of peace and freedom in that for me. There could be for you too.
Do you need to lift weights? Maybe. Especially if you want to from the standpoint of who you are versus from what you are not. If you lift weights or Crossfit or Jazzercise from the pure joy of expressing your strength, yes do it as often as you want. If you lift or yoga or run from the sense of lack – as in you are missing a part of you – no amount of seeking or searching outside of yourself will satisfy you.
The point is, the secret is, you can’t help but be strong. Strength is found in your design. It is who you are, not what you do. But it’s your secret, meant for you to discover.