Loosen Your Grip

Today’s Post is written By Christie Carlson, weight lifter and  freelance writer.

You Might Be A Weight Lifter If... Photo By Christie Carlson, 2016

You Might Be A Weight Lifter If…
Photo By Christie Carlson, 2016

Just as we develop our physical muscles through overcoming opposition – such as lifting weights – we develop our character muscles by overcoming challenges and adversity. —Stephen Covey

My hands are a mess. They’re dry and cracked, callused, and my nails are never the same length. In a few years, fewer than I’d like to admit, they’ll be the first part of me to give my age away. But they’re strong; they allow me to hold on to the things I most enjoy. Friends and family, my favorite tea-cup, even weight plates and barbells.

The only weights I lift are my dogs. —Olivia Newton-John

I’m a competitive weightlifter. I enjoy putting myself to the test, attempting to get more weight over my head than anyone else in the room. The way an athlete grips a barbell is one of the most difficult aspects of lifting. New athletes, in particular, tend to want to keep a death grip on the bar. The best thing an athlete can learn to do is learn to loosen his or her grip on the bar. A skill I’ve come to realize is true not only in weightlifting, but in life.

I get so many big ideas while I’m running and such clarity while I’m lifting weights. And staying fit keeps me happy and positive. — Robin S. Sharma

My personality is such that I have a hard time moving on from failed adventures and attempted triumphs. In my mind, if I haven’t succeeded, it must be because I wasn’t good enough. I haven’t tried hard enough, I am a failure. It’s a destructive view of my own capabilities, or lack thereof, which has held me back in more ways than I’d like to think about. It’s kept me in dead-end jobs, bad relationships, and at times lost in my own gloom. And then one day, I took a deep breath and I let go of one toxic aspect of my life. I quit my job. I finally let go of the idea that I had to stay in a position that made me miserable because I hadn’t made it to the next level, yet. Almost immediately, I felt as though a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Suddenly there were opportunities available for me to grow, both personally and professionally. I had resisted letting go for so long, and finally I had done it, and I have never looked back.

If you do cardio one day and the next day you can do weights, do it that way. If you need to do it at night or in the morning, do it that way. Whatever you need to get it done, just get it done. —LL Cool J

I was asked to write this guest blog months ago, but I didn’t feel that I was ready to contribute to the Ipseity Road community until I had taken this step. Just as simply understanding that loosening my grip on the barbell (as opposed to making a conscious decision to do so) would vastly improve my lifting ability, the understanding that I needed to loosen my grip on that job did not prepare me for the number of doors which would open themselves for me until I finally did it. I couldn’t bring myself to offer advice based on knowledge alone. I felt I needed to speak from a place of experience, instead. I’m so glad I took the time to allow myself to muddle through the emotions involved in this experience before sitting down to write this, as I can now speak directly from my heart when I say loosen your grip. Never let go, but loosen your grip. Allow yourself to take another path, because the obstacles in your way are there for a reason. You’re meant to move on and find a way around it. I’ve learned that releasing the death grip I had on my dream has taught me lessons about myself, and my strength, that I would never have learned otherwise. I invite you… No, I implore you to join me in this incredible journey.

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