First, A Story
Once upon a time, there was a girl. She was a lucky, lucky girl. She was in good health, had a good job, food to eat, and good friends. There was even a beautiful tree right outside the window of her apartment in New York City. She lifted heavy bars and swung around heavy cannonballs at a gym.
And as she got stronger at the gym, she found herself wanting to be stronger in the rest of her life. She knew that lifting heavy bars and swinging around heavy stuff should be making her even stronger both in and outside of the gym. She ate protein and green vegetables. She drank water. Yet, she felt the strength she was able to muster at the gym wasn’t showing itself outside the gym. Physically or mentally. It was perplexing. A conundrum. A mystery, indeed.
One day, after a particularly stressful day at work, she was feeling a bit… grumpy. While she dutifully made her protein shake, she wondered why that damn protein powder never fully dissolves. She hated that clumpy thing that happens, and after all, we have Google and space travel and Amazon Prime — why can’t we find a way to dissolve the damn protein powder?
And that’s when it happened. In the middle of her internal first world rant over (embarrassingly) insignificant problems, she had an epiphany. What if… what if she shook the blender bottle… harder?
In reality, she was maybe using only 1/10th, or even 1/100th of her blender bottle shaking strength capabilities. So what if she just added some power?
This was her moment. She took a deep breath, and shook the blender bottle a little harder. She put just a tad bit of muscle into it. And — as you may have already guessed — the protein powder dissolved.
That can’t be, she thought. Was she not using even the tiniest bit of strength to shake these protein shakes before? She didn’t have to use a lot of strength at all. It was just enough of an amount to indicate minimal effort.
She drank the shake. (It was so much better without the clumps!) Newly energized with this incredible knowledge, she wondered what might happen if she used this strength other places in her life? In working out, in walking her dog. She was going to do it.
She was reminded each day when she made her protein shakes and shook the blender bottle. They really are so much better without those powder clumps.
Armed with a new awareness, she carried on in life with a bit more intention, and a little bit more strength. She found herself walking with a bit more energy, springing up the subway stairs, and, ironically, bench pressing more at the gym (which is what started her strength journey to begin with).
Putting Intention to Power
For the sake of argument, we’ll assume you have enough strength to make a clump-free protein shake. Then the question becomes, if you’re working out to get strong at the gym, lifting heavy shit and swinging around cannonballs, why aren’t you stronger at everything outside the gym?
Maybe – just maybe, it’s about accessing the power.
Looking back at our fairy tale, the girl had the power, but she needed to unlock her intention to tap into her power. The same muscles, the same stamina, the same mobility is required for so many things. So why should the grocery bags seem heavy when you are doing farmer carries at the gym with 20kg kettlebells?
Keep This in Mind
How we do one thing is how we do everything. Practicing putting intention to power will put intention to power outside the gym, and vice versa. We humans tend to follow patterns of behavior, and this is another one of those.
Access Your Power
- Pay attention to the next time you feel annoyed or frustrated about something. Maybe it’s something silly, like getting the protein powder to dissolve. Or maybe it’s something bigger, like feeling overpowered at your job.
- Close your eyes for one second and remember the time you were going to lift something heavy at the gym. How you took a deep breath and fueled your strength with intention. I know this may sound kind of like Pollyanna-cheesy-mind-over-matter annoying BS. But it works. Have you ever been to a wine tasting where they have you smell different spices, and then when you taste the wine, you taste the spices in the wine? Or have you had someone tell you about something that’s common, but you never noticed it before, and now all of a sudden you notice it everywhere? It’s like that.
- Revisit whatever was giving you trouble in #1.
- Repeat as new challenges present themselves.
- Admire your strength. You’re a badass.
Ideally, after practicing this, accessing your strength will become automatic. That’s pretty great.
The Moral of the Story
What else in your life might improve if you put intent to power? Would you run faster? Walk further? Would you be more confident at work? Would your attitude be better? Would your relationships change?
Once you can access that raw power, where can it take you?
Longing for a fitness community that empowers you to shake that protein bottle just a little harder? Perhaps you’d benefit from a Health & Hotness Strategy Session at Mark Fisher Fitness