I started this article as something to potentially put on my company’s website, but ended up liking it so much I figured I’d just post it here.
I work at a facility whose name ends in “Strength & Conditioning.” For some people that is a huge turn-off since those aren’t words you often hear in reference to non-athletes. First of all, I challenge everyone who participates in an exercise program to start thinking of themselves as athletes. Stop spinning your wheels working out, start TRAINING.
You have the same vessel as all athletes. You have 2 arms, 2 legs, a heart and some other stuff in between. You’re good to go!
Secondly, remember that your body is capable of amazing things. You’ve got all the tools, you might just need someone to help you figure out how to use them. So without further introduction, here is the article:
You belong here. Among the barbells, the heavy weights you’d never dream of lifting, the pieces of equipment you can’t even imagine the function of, the people you’re confident started out knowing all this stuff – you belong here.
Because those other people you see pushing sleds, squatting rather large-looking plates and rolling their muscles on what could only be best described as a medieval torture device are just like you. They came in not knowing what to expect or what exactly they were getting into. They too weren’t sure what a kettlebell was, where exactly their quadriceps were located or that spot reduction was a myth.
Take heart in knowing the girl who just did 2 pull-ups has been working on that for the past 8 months. If you look at her thighs you’ll see the stretch mark scars from 25 pounds ago. That guy squatting some unfathomable weight over there? He came in a year and a half ago with hamstrings so tight he couldn’t reach past his knees. They weren’t in shape when they started. You don’t have to be either. You belong here too.
‘No way’, you think. ‘These people are born athletes. I could never do that.’ After all, you’ve hardly been active your whole life unless you count walking the dog*. Strength and Conditioning is what college and professional football players do; certainly not everyday office workers. ‘What good would moving all that weight around do for me anyway? I’d just get hurt.’
Strength and Conditioning is for you. Have you ever picked something up off the floor and had that fear of hurting your back looming over you? Have you ever felt your shoulder and back aching from carrying your purse for half a mile? Have you faced helping your child move into their first dorm room with a conflicted ambivalence because you’re not sure how much help you’ll be? Strength and Conditioning is for you. You belong here.
Today your hips are so stiff you can’t even pick a weight up properly. In a month you could be deadlifting a kettlebell (those weird iron balls with handles that insist on being labeled in kilograms). In half a year you could be properly squatting 75 pounds for reps.
But who cares about that? Today you can’t play airplane with your toddler because he’s gotten a bit heavier (and squirmier) over the years. But in a month you could be tossing him around in the pool. In half a year you could be bringing up 8 full bags of groceries with no help. Strength and Conditioning is for you. You belong here.
*I do count walking the dog.
So what does “Strength & Conditioning” mean to you? Do you feel like there are just some activities you’ll never be able to do? Let me know in the comments!