Over the past month, I’ve been exercising - particularly weight training - more consistently than I have in years.
Ever since I was a teenager, I’ve felt a call towards lifting weights. My father bought me a weight bench & barbell set when I was 17. I set it up in the basement and that private gym became a kind of sanctuary for me. Set to the soundtrack of rock music played extremely loud, lifting weights was how I worked out a lot of my teenage angst. I was a happier, better person for it.
But I’ve lost touch with lifting many times, going long stretches - years even - without picking up a single dumbbell.
Getting back into a daily routine of lifting weights has reminded me how profoundly beneficial strength training practice is - not only for the body, but for the mind & the spirit as well.
For me, it boils down to this: there is a great joy & power in learning how to lift what is heavy in our lives.
When I begin my morning with lifting weights, the challenges that lie before me the rest of the day have a way of feeling much smaller.
Doing the dishes - easy. Replying to the full inbox of emails - no longer intimidating. Launching a bold new business idea - no more fear. Having a difficult conversation with a loved one - let’s dive in.
When we accustom ourselves to the lifting of heavy things, that strength has a way of transferring to other aspect of our lives.
It helps us tap into the warrior spirit within - that energy within each of us that is excited by a challenge, that is ready to strive for what we want, that is determined & fierce, that says a big HELL YES to life.
For me, this is one of the great lessons of the archetypal masculine: that we discover ourselves by doing what is difficult, that the path of individuation comes by confronting willingly what is hard & heavy to bear.
In essence, we step into the fullness of our power when we lift what is heavy in our lives.
If this speaks to you, I invite you to follow me on this strength training & exercise journey. I hope it will strengthen your body, mind & spirit as it does mine.
Awaken the warrior spirit.
Confront what challenges you.
Lift what is heavy.
- Matthew Foley