By Jane Battenfield
This weekend I had the opportunity of meeting and competing with some amazing people who also happen to fall into the definition of strong. 260 athletes from across America gathered in Las Vegas for the Strongman Corporation National Championships.
What does it take to get here? Each of these athletes placed top first, second or third (depending on the show) in their division. Some athletes have had invites since last October, some getting an invite a month ago and committing to Nationals this year.
The word strong has different origins depending on the culture. For Italians, the closest word to strong is loud. For the French the word is derived from the word fortress. In English, the word strong comes from the German “strang” which is awfully close to the word strange but also means physically powerful, powerful in effect; forceful, severe, firm, bold, brave; constant, resolute; arduous.
Why the language lesson in an article about strongman and strongwoman competitions? I have heard numerous people complaining about not doing as well as they wanted, not placing where they wanted to place, not feeing “strong enough” to be here.
Strength isn’t just physical. It’s the commitments we make to ourselves to be better than we were yesterday. To get out of bed and train even when we were tired or had friends calling us crazy. Strength is over coming all the obstacles life has thrown at you and yet you preserve, you continue growing, even if that path isn’t always linear.
I would be lying if I said I was happy with how I placed comparatively. But comparison is the thief of joy. I PRd all my lifts, and gave it everything I had, that I can be proud of.
To everyone who competed this past weekend, be proud of what you’ve accomplished, not just physically in what you had to accomplish to get to where you were at. Strength comes in many different forms and your performance at nationals is only a tiny glimpse at how strong you are.
Jane Battenfield is a Middleweight Strongwoman that qualified for nationals by winning California’s Strongest Woman. Follow Jane on Instagram @SeeJaneLift
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