All tagged level up

"Muscles are the best accessory."

When we realize that we’ve put in a ton of work – we’ve done hard shit to get these quads; we’ve done the detective work to find what way of eating works for us and eaten well; we’ve made ourselves a priority in a world that’s telling us to do everything but – we realize that the next challenge at work, the next tense relationship discussion, the next snag in a friendship, the next financial setback, is really NBD. We’ve figured out challenges before, and have the physical mass (because, hello, muscles take up space, and that’s OURS. Own it.) to prove it, so we can do it again. And again. And again. No matter how many times life asks us to, we have tangible evidence that we can get down and dirty – get gritty and get in the mud and fight it out.

Make the choice to do the hard things- that's where the fruit is.

To train for physical strength is to train for mental strength. The iron is a proving ground, and it never lies to us: we can either lift the weight or we can’t. And when we discover that we can – and that we can do more than we imagined we could – we begin to discover that we can do other hard things too.

Every moment of every day presents a choice. We get to see it for what it is whenever we want to, and there’s no judgment: at every challenge, do we embrace our new #WonderWomanLoading mentality and expand, or do we stay small and safe? The time is right for either; we just have to choose. If we choose small one day, that’s okay, because we know that a new choice is right around the corner, and we’ve chosen big – and succeeded! – before, so we can do it again.

We can learn new skills. We can smash PRs. We can get to know who we really are and what we really want. We can deepen our intimacy and trust in relationships. We can pursue our passions. It’s all available to us; the door is wide open. We have to cultivate the courage and create the space to step through it.

Transferable life skills: 4 steps to setting up for the barbell back squat (step 0: ignore the people throwing chalk in the gym like Lebron James).

Ah, the squat.

It’s humbled everyone out there, in one way or another.

We’ve all seen videos of huge dudes with 58 plates loaded on a bent bar amping themselves up, Lebron-ing some chalk around, and looking like their heads are gonna explode somehow go down and come back up with those hundreds of pounds.

An impressive feat, to be sure, but also unlikely to be any of our goals here in real life (cool party trick, though); it’s far more likely to cause a bunch of anxiety surrounding what is, at the bottom of everything, a fundamental movement pattern for life.

We look at the bar, we remember the intimidating videos, we remember that we’re new – that we’re in the conscious incompetence or conscious competence stage of learning – and instantly feel that, because we aren’t yet masters, we’re unworthy. We talk ourselves out of great things every day, team, because of this feeling, and, a lot of times, overcoming this in bigger, more impactful areas of life starts with giving ourselves a smaller victory to build momentum: overcoming this in the gym (or on the yoga mat, or deep in meditation, or if we somehow find ourselves on a treadmill, fill in the blank.).

We’ve cultivated awareness, we’ve gotten our breath under us, we’ve accepted our situation, and here, in the barbell squat, we have our first challenge.

So! I’m gonna walk you through it, from a form perspective, step by step. Because if some meathead dude can do it, so can you (also, hello to any meathead dudes that may be reading this, and sorry you’re on the back burner rn.).

#WonderWomanLoading

I say, “I lift heavy shit” all the time, and it’s true. But I don’t just mean a physical external load. We’ve all overcome quite a few things to get to where we are, and it’s all heavy. Having the mentality that we aren’t teeny tiny mice who are here by chance, but as a consequence of our strength, changes everything. We get to choose to take up the space we’re allotted and then create more. In the gym, in our relationships, in life. #WonderWomanLoading is the motto ‘round these parts.