Strength 501

Categories: Blog, PressingRESET, DanJohn, PressRESET, Love Mar 28, 2022

I just got back from a weekend of teaching with Dan John. It was a wonderful experience, whenever I’m around Dan I learn something about life. To me, Dan is not just a strength coach, he’s a life coach. 

Anyway, at the end of the weekend, one of the attendees wanted to know our definition of “Strength.” Naturally, I gave the answer I’ve come to believe over the last few years. This is it: 

Strength is having the ability to live your life the way you want to. It’s being able to play with your grandkids, go for hikes with your friends, play a game of ultimate frisbee, or whatever it is that makes you feel good. It is feeling good in your own skin and being confident that you can engage and be a part of life. It’s knowing “I can.” 

Dan said that he really didn’t have much to add to that but he went on to explain the value of having grip strength, the strength to get up from the ground, and other attributes of strength that lend to the longevity of not just being around but being useful to those you are around as you age. 

But as I stood there watching Dan speak, I could feel my definition of strength broadening. I was seeing strength in action. It hit me, like a kick to the groin. Strength is also being able to get back up when you’ve been knocked down. Like Ted Lasso said, “Life is hard.” Sucky things happen to us, we do things we regret, disasters happen around us, and sometimes it feels like life just wants to kick us in the teeth. It’s in these moments that strength is paramount. It’s in these moments that real strength expresses itself. 

Dan’s talk over the weekend was about having “Bounce,” being resilient. Bounce is getting back up, bounce is not staying down, bounce is more than physical, it’s wholeness. 

And that’s it, strength is not just a physical quality. It’s something much bigger, something much deeper. 


Ok, on my drive home from the workshop, I couldn’t stop thinking about that ladies’ question: What is strength?

I was thinking about my original definition, my now expanded definition, about bounce, about life, and then my definition dropped wide open. 

Strength is Love. 

Love is Bounce. 

Love is getting back up and smiling when you don’t feel like it. Love is being kind to another when it’s hard. Love is pouring yourself out to another, for another, when you’re empty. Love is enduring the day and braving the morrow. Love is listening to a friend, hugging a friend, and being vulnerable to a friend. Love is allowing yourself to get kicked and not attacking or retaliating to the kicker. Love is resilience. Love is bounce. Love is strength. 

And it is Love that makes it so much easier and better to engage in the world so that you can do the things you want to do. It is Love that keeps us going even when we think we have no love at all. 

It is the greatest of all “commandments.” Love your neighbors as yourself —> Love yourself. 

Love yourself. That is strength. 

Love others. That is strength in action. 

I know this sounds absurd. But think about it. Nothing about you is separate from any part of you. How you move affects how you feel and you feel affects how you move. Expression is whole. Strength, joy, happiness, and Love dance together. That’s why it feels good to feel good. 

And that’s also why it feels bad to feel bad. Weakness, sadness, fear also dance together. And nothing can overcome this dark dance except Love. 

Love is the expression that allows us to truly engage in life and live our lives the way we want to. Love is also the strength that allows us to get back up when we don’t think we can. 

Strength is Love. It’s the most resilient thing about us because Love endures all things. 

Comments (4)

  1. Ganesh Om:
    Mar 28, 2022 at 12:53 PM

    Thanks so much for this, Tim! Beautifully said, and I agree with you. Thanks for being an embodiment of both strength and love, my friend.


  2. Parna Mukherjee:
    Mar 28, 2022 at 02:49 PM

    Love it and totally agree; be resilient!


  3. Kameron:
    Apr 06, 2022 at 10:17 AM

    Your movements instruction are spectacular and very much appreciated. Thank you.

    I want to share a move with you.

    You may (probably) know this already; so, you are on the floor, mecca pose, arms outstretched in front of you in the 12 o'clock position. Next, you move both arms/hands from the 12 to the 10 o'clock to get the stretch on your right shoulder/back, hold, then repeat on right side by moving arms to 2 o'clock position. Joyous!


    1. Tim Anderson:
      Apr 07, 2022 at 01:38 PM

      That is quite joyous! Thank you so much!


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