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Shotgunning Beers, Having Babies, and Lifting Barbells are Basically all the Same

If you want to have me as your personal development coach, check out my program Projekt Possible.  I’m launching another round of it in September and there are only 20 spots!

“You feel very separate from everyone, don’t you?” Lou-anne asked, in that classic cut-right-to-the-core of whatever’s going on with you Lou-anne way.

“Yes,” I said back. This was in front of a group of women ages 26-50ish at a retreat she hosted.

“Why?” Lou probed deeper.

“I don’t really know; I’ve just always felt that way,” was my honest response.

I had always felt different from others. My goals were clearly unique, so how could I relate? The people I went to high school with were either partying, or settling down with good jobs and raising cute families, and here I was with the majority of my life revolving around trying to increase the amount of weight I could lift on a bar in a single repetition.

Just scroll through our social media page: and on theirs you would either see beer bottles or babies, and on mine? Barbells and booty shorts.

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I’ve always been driven. I’ve always been motivated by discovering my own potential.

And I always felt like other people weren’t.

I looked around and saw people who were settling, or doing what society expected of them, or numbing themselves in front of a LCD screen.

Back to Lou’s retreat.

Lou-anne has this thing where she loves reading angel cards. The cards are shuffled, and then when you select one, or three, or whatever Lou tells you to do that day; they’re supposed to deliver a message for you (if you’re like me you’re skeptical, but hey! Lou-anne and I are same-same on almost everything so if she believes in these things I thought I’d give ‘em a chance!).

The card I got that day said a bunch of things, but this lept out at me as an answer to a question I’d always had. I had this innate longing to believe that we were all equal, but when I looked around I felt like some people were settling into the path society encouraged, others were wasting their lives, while still others were busting their butts to follow their dreams, and in my mind it didn’t compute. But my angel card said this: “There is no person who is greater or lesser than you, only those who have learned to express their gifts to a greater or lesser extent.”

AJ Roberts also taught me this perspective shift: that even when we’re working to become great at something, we’re making sacrifices in other areas.  Because I’m so focussed on my training, I’m missing out on the joy that comes from seeing your own child walk his first steps.  Because I’m mastering my nutrition to be a performance athlete, I don’t get to experience the best food and drinks and the euphoria some people get from partying.

Since that day at Lou’s retreat I decided one of the agreements I would make with myself is, “To look for the similarities, rather than the differences with those around me,” and it has absolutely rocked my world.

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Now, when I’m sitting beside a complete stranger I see her as my sister, brother, or mother (a Buddhist monk once told me that they have a teaching where, due to reincarnation, every living thing could be your mother and should be treated as such), and I try to find what we have in common rather than what makes us different.

Even if our passions are unalike, surely there is something that makes their eyes light up the way mine do when I get to share a client success story or talk about something I learned from a guest on our podcast.

Maybe the woman beside me at the baby shower is exhausted from raising her child and I’m run down from training so hard.

I can choose to put a wall up in my head, “I have nothing in common with this woman,” and I can check out from the conversation and text my training partner about lifting and how hard it is to relate to people with kids; I can close myself off.

Or, I can recognize our similarities: we’re both tired, we’re both hard-workers. And I can ask her more about her children and watch her eyes sparkle while helping her remember what she loves about being a mother.  And in turn, I can approach my training that night with renewed vigour because listening to the beyond-beautiful-benefits of her hard work reminds me of the feeling I get when all the hours I’ve spent under the barbell have paid off and I’ve walked over to give my coach a high-five after hitting a new personal record on the platform – moments later climbing my tiny body on top of a podium with proud and adoring eyes cast my way while my national anthem is played over a loud-speaker.

Maybe the guy beside me at the party is absolutely loaded for his usual weekend ritual, but I bet you no one else in the room would be more impressed or act more thrilled if I were to bust out a video of my latest heavy lifts from training, and when he lights up with excitement I will be absolutely beaming.  And you know what?  If I just sit there (really be there) and laugh at his jokes his pride and happiness will probably be as full as mine.

And so, you can continue to see yourself as different like I lived 27 years of my life – putting up walls between me and those around me.

Or, you can look for the similarities and the power of human connection will help you climb to entirely new heights as the only thing that makes birthing that baby even better, or hitting a new personal record even more powerful, is being able to

  1. turn to the super strong aunty when you’re tired and say, “Here, hold my baby,” and then watch with delight as that aunty can play with your child and make her or him laugh in her arms for hours.
  2. knowing that your niece is back home sitting on grandma’s lap watching you lift on the live stream cheering, “Go, aunty, go!”
  3. snap chatting with a guy from high school who asks you to go party on a houseboat with him and you reply, “Is there a barbell on the boat? I’m training for a big international meet a few weeks later,” and he answers, “Nope, but there are some really big guys coming on the trip – you could lift them.” And then you both laugh, you tell him you can’t go, and he sends a captioned selfie, “Okay, you better win then!” with a smile and a sparkle in his eye that matches yours and together communicates mutual respect.

Having babies, lifting barbells, and shotgunning beers are all basically the same.

If you want to have me as your personal development coach, check out my program Projekt Possible.  I’m launching another round of it in September and there are only 20 spots!

If you like my writing, please sign up for my newsletter.  I’ll send you things the general public don’t get to see, including a free five-minute journal called, “The Daily Difference Maker” that I give to clients of my program Projekt Possible to live their days with more intention and elation.

Related Articles:

“You’re Still You When You’re Hangry”

“Girl Talk and Slammin’ Barbells: Yin and Yang”

“Stop Looking for Mr. Right; Start Looking for Mr. Right Now”

 

 

One thought on “Shotgunning Beers, Having Babies, and Lifting Barbells are Basically all the Same

  1. Hey Brittney,
    I was on the hunt for Deadlift materials for my blog today and found this on your website
    I really like your quote: Having babies, lifting barbells, and shotgunning beers are all basically the same. I totally agree with you, all of them are just the difficulties we must face and overwhelm.
    Thank you for this inspiring article!

    Liked by 1 person

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