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Weight room is my life school.

How learning to lift teaches me how to live.

I start warming up my body. One movement after the other. Slowly, asking with every move, “How are you today? How are you REALLY?” The body doesn’t lie. It can’t. It won’t. How you feel physically, emotionally, mentally – you take it and live with it. You take it as it is, and decide, what you do with it today, which direction you go.

I never come the same to the weight room.

Every workout is different. Because we are different. Every day. Every moment. Every movement. The body. The mind.

Life school begins.

If I apply all the wisdom, I learn in the weight room daily, I can master anything.

That’s why I come back here. Or wherever my morning training happens.

For some of us training might be about health, about fitness, about weight loss, about looks, about confidence, and it is all that for me too, but more importantly, it’s about my mind, how training changes my mind, how it changes me.

That’s why I come back here every morning.

To start again, to begin anew, to learn what it is like to be me today, to claim my personal power and affirm, “I’m here. I choose to be strong today, and no matter how hard it gets, I’ll make it through. I’ll get better. I’ll learn. I’ll come out on the other side as a better self. Stronger. Fitter. Wiser. And hopefully looking better too.”

I’m going through the moves in my mind before I begin, respecting the way I am today, working with it, doing my best – what’s best for me today, what’s best for ME today, not for someone across the room.

Life school continues.

Weight training connects every fiber of my body to every neuron in my brain – it’s that powerful.

When I lift, I can’t think of anything else. I am here. I am now. It’s my meditation. It’s an empty space for my mind, where only being, living, moving exist.

Try doing the heaviest deadlifts or squats, thinking about a report due – you’ll have trouble remembering your name, leave alone your work situation. Heavy training is the best “take-me-out-of-my-mind” cure. Plus your body gets tighter. It’s a definite win-win and so needed these days mindful practice.

In the weight room I learn how progress really works.

Results and improvement ONLY come from actions. And not just any actions. We got to try things, work hard, and, if a technique is the right one for you, you get the results you are seeking. Or not. And then you have to try something else. And that might also not work. And you keep trying, keep working hard, until you find the right method, the right tool, that allows you to get where you need to go – six pack or a bottom line, a finished project, that works perfectly. It’s all the same. We got to work, we got to give our best, we got to try and fail, try again, until we succeed. There are no shortcuts. Only better techniques.

Work hard. Work smart. Try. Fail. Repeat. Succeed.

Learning never stops. Work never gets easier.

Weight grounds me. Literally. And metaphorically. It gives me humility. It shows me, that before I SEE results, I have to put in a lot of work. When I try to outsmart myself, to get ahead of myself, I’m very fast grounded to a level where I belong. Try to lift too heavy to fast and you end up with injures or/and over-training. You have to go back and work your way up again. This way smarter. Honestly.

Weight training teaches me to pace myself. Unsustainable fast progress is paid for by overexerting myself. It will throw me days, weeks or months back. It will force me to slow down, when I am too impatient to keep my pace, to take the time I need. The body, the training doesn’t lie. It tells you exactly, where you are and how fast you can go. You can be all positive about it, empowered and pumped, but if something bothers you, physically or mentally, you’ll feel it, trying to do another drop set with the weight you used last time – unless your whole being is in it, it won’t happen, no matter how positive and confident you are about it. The body doesn’t lie. The mind can try to trick you, but it can’t trick the REAL you, the one lifting.

I love, that there are mirrors everywhere in the weight room. It forces you to look at yourself, to asses the real progress, to see your technique and blind spots. Your multiplied reflection forces you to look at yourself closely and very often wonder – where am I? Where am I going? What are my choices today? Am I choosing my best? Am I choosing to move forward through all the discomfort, even if it’s painful, even if it burns, even if I’m not feeling like it? Who am I choosing to be today?

Maybe a little deep for a 5AM workout. I don’t know. But I need this every single morning. I need it to feel myself. My body. My mind. My soul. I need it to ask myself again and again, “Who am I? How am I? Where am I going?”

Some days I come to show up. Just to show up. Not to set personal records but to say to myself, to say to the world,

“I’m here.

I’m not giving up.

I’m on my feet and I’m still pushing.

It’ll get better.

I’ll get stronger.

I’ll make it through.”

I’ll make it through, not because today is “THE BEST DAY EVER!”

But because I chose to lift this morning.

Because I chose to embrace life this morning.

No matter how heavy the weight gets.

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People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

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