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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Compliments of Strong Is The New Skinny - Marsha

I've said it so many times over the past year..."Why can't anything just be easy?!?" Lately, it has felt like I have met resistance of some kind no matter what I do. It's like trying to run with the wind blowing against you. I get mad sometimes. Other times, I feel sorry for myself. It doesn't happen every day, but there have been days where I find myself wishing for a break...hoping things will get easier...praying that some of the resistance will go away.

Anyone that has studied exercise or training has heard the term Resistance Training. Resistance training is a form of strength training. In Resistance Training, effort is performed against an opposing force that is generated by resistance that can include being pushed, squeezed, or bent. According to the American Sports Medicine Institute, the goal of resistance training is to "gradually and progressively overload the musculoskeletal system so it gets stronger". It has been proven that resistance training done regularly will tone and strengthen muscles and also increase bone mass. To get the full benefit from resistance training, full range of motion is very important. It's important because the muscle overload only happens at the specific angles where the muscle is working, so if a person stops short or quits too soon...they will not reach that angle and thus not get the full benefit that they would have had they gone all the way.

I hate when I'm running...especially uphill...and the wind is blowing hard against me. I feel like I am exerting so much energy only to be pushed backward or make very slow progress. But...if I just continue to run and push a little harder...I ALWAYS eventually get to where I was headed. Many times, the next day, I am more sore because my muscles had to work harder against the resistance from the wind to keep propelling me forward. It hurts but I always feel a greater sense of accomplishment, and I do believe that those days make me a better stronger runner. Anyone can run when the weather is right and they feel great and the road is flat, but it takes something more to run uphill with the wind blowing against you.

Resistance Training can apply not just in the gym or on a running trail, but also in our lives in general. Just as the resistance training we do in the gym builds stronger, larger, more toned muscles...the resistance we face in life can build a stronger will and a larger, better developed character. The key is "full range of motion". If you stop halfway in the gym or on a windy path...because it hurts or you so not think you can do it...you will not have the same adaptation and results as you will if you continue to push against that resistance until you have gone all the way and stressed the muscles at the desired angle. Similarly, if we give up in life and stop...because we are tired or sad or frustrated...we will not experience the opportunity for growth that is possible when we come across resistance.

I'm trying to learn to welcome resistance in my everyday life the same way I welcome it in the gym...to look at it as an opportunity for growth...not an obstacle. None of us will escape facing resistance from time to time. What separates us, is how we choose to meet that resistance. Don't give up. Don't let the weight hold you down or the wind push you back. Fight against it. Whether you push back with equal or greater force and grow stronger, or whether you allow it to hold you down is up to YOU.

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