Sep 262013

Hello All.  I really need to get my prewriting done so that I can post at the same time every day.  This has been another day of labs and running.  I haven’t decided if it is a good thing or not that my 3 year old is so good for blood draws.  with the help of some numbing cream she doesn’t flinch or even cry anymore.  She is amazing.  My wife works in an ER and she comes home with stories of football players and “manly men” that cry and blubber over the sight of a needle.  And my 3 year old puts them to shame.  I am so proud.

She is small but a great example to me of Inner Strength.  The part I am focusing on here is just doing what needs to be done, no matter what.  She put up with 9 major surgeries and 2 years worth of 4x per week dialysis (about 4 hours per session) and didn’t complain much.  She puts out her arm for blood draws and puts up with more prodding and poking by doctors than should be legal.  And then she comes home and plays like a normal kid.  I only hope that I can be that strong inside.

I am not actively working on inner strength.  I am working on Functional Strength.  My motto has been “I don’t care how big my arms are, I want to lift and move heavy things like rocks, cars, small buildings, things like that.”  I chose Kettlebells to do much of this with for reasons I am going to get into in another post.

I have been a huge advocate of functional strength for long time.  I figure you should be able to do things with muscle.  You should be able to break rocks with a sledge hammer or carry Costco sized bags of dog food around without a problem.  I started this train of thought almost 15 years ago on a rabbit hunt.

Here is the story.  My sister was engaged to this guy who was a gymnast.  He was fairly good at gymastics and had far out hopes to be an olympian.  He had the visible muscles that women swoon over and considered himself strong.  So, my Dad and I decided to take him on a rabbit hunt in the desert with us.  We went down to central Utah where my Dad grew up and started out walking.  We walked all day, up and down hills, and covered several miles.  Over that time we had to stop several times.  It wasn’t for me or my Dad.  It was for Mr. Gymnast.  He then fell asleep on the drive home and slept the whole way.  We completely wore him out and he was in the best “shape” of any of us!  That was my first wake up call.  You can be strong and functional overall or you can be strong in a specific way that is not good for long durations.

Now, I have always been strong.  My Dad always made me move things and help.  He always had us walking either hiking or hunting.  Even fishing is an active sport for him.  Fly fishing is great because you walk up the stream for 5 miles or so before you stop.  He has never quite given up the “Give Em Hell” attitude that he earned in the SEALs.  But, while I am not him I have been taught to push until you collapse.  Or close to it.  I have always been able to move fridges and couches with not much problem.  I hauled a piano on a dolly out of a guys basement pretty much by myself.  I have always been able to walk most of the day with a pack.  But I know there is more that I want to do.  I am using the kettlebells and punching bags to be fit over my whole body and finally be able to do pullups.  I always thought that my shoulders just would not let me do pullups.  I now know that I just don’t have “those” muscles built up enough to do them.  That will change. And it will change with old school equipment, no aerobics or fu-fu machines.

I know that if I build up my functional strength with kettlebells and the punching bag, (and yard work, there are many trenches to be dug and rocks to be hauled in my yard) that will help my Inner Strength that I am not actively working on.  Every time I complete one of my goals or can lift something heavier or for a longer duration it boosts my ego and self esteem.  Every boost builds up the inner strength by making me think that I can do anything.  At this point even setbacks are positive, my inner strength is building and not letting me quit.  Even needing to go back to some basics is not a setback, just a refinement of technique.  Doing what has to be done without complaining.  Lessons from a 3 year old girl that a 35 year old man is finally beginning to understand.

My goals right now, are to make my body stronger and to make my writing stronger.  Functionally Stronger, able to lift cars and rocks, able to write coherent readable posts and stories.  Internally Stronger, able to push past mental barriers, able to put out content under pressure.

Better, more focused writing and overall strength.  I think those are good goals.

Thanks for indulging me.


  4 Responses to “Functional Strength and Inner Strength”

  1. In the interest of your better writing goal, I hope this critique is ok (and by all means, don’t feel obligated to post it when you find it in the spam!).

    I really liked where you were going with this and what you were doing… but then, it felt a little broken at the end. If for your closing you had somehow tied the functional strength back into the inner strength that would have made it feel complete. Otherwise, I’m wondering why you even mentioned it… do you have it? Do you want it?

    Hope that’s useful!


    • Was in spam but I will approve it anyway! thanks for the critique, I do like opinions. I will go back and read this again for clarity. I have been having computer crashing problems today and posted it quickly without reading it again. Thanks for the heads up. I really need to get my pre writing done so I have better quality posts to send out. Thanks for the constructive criticism.

      OK I have edited the post! It did sound fragmented and like I finished it too quickly.
      Editing is good everyone!
      Thanks again Megan it is good to have you watching my back.

  2. Looks great like this… I offered the critique because it was one of your goals – you can’t grow if nobody ever helps you out. I don’t normally go around correcting people’s work 🙂 (although, I will admit to having books with typos, etc… marked in them).

    .-= Megan´s last blog ..Daring Monday: Fear-Less =-.

    • I really do appreciate it. I have almost given up asking my family for editing advice. They are all “oh yea its great” and don’t give much constructive criticism. I think everyone needs some of that once in a while. it does help.
      Thanks again
      Ps Akismet is supposed to “learn” so I hope that you will be out of the spam queue at some point!

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