STRONG… tattoo story!!

So I’ve wanted to do this for a while and when hubby was stumped on what to get me for our 14th anniversary I immediately told him … I want a tattoo!   He agreed with one stipulation – it had to happen soon, not become one of those things that gets put by the wayside and never gets done :)

I knew what I wanted to get – the word “Strong” – somewhere I could see it, for ME, not to showcase but to act as a reminder to myself of some very important lessons in my life… I’ll expand more below on what this means to me :)   So I spent some time (hours and hours) looking for just the right font, thinking about where I’d put it, visiting a few tattoo shops who thought such a simple tattoo was beneath their artistic talents and then I called one place where they guy seemed to understand this is about ME, not him, and we drove right over :)

So why a tattoo?  because it is permanent. because it says “I’m all in”.  It’s not something you erase when you aren’t in the mood, it’s not something you forget to wear or something that gets hidden in the back of your drawer or you lose because someone borrowed it or put away because it fell out of fashion or because someone made a comment that made you never want to wear it again.  It’s a committment to whatever that image or word means to you.

So why “Strong“?  Some of you might think this has everything to do with my recent love of weight lifting, and while I admit that being strong in the physical sense is also pretty powerful stuff for the soul, that is not all it means.

Strong… is a reminder of an array of obstacles and tough times I’ve faced in my 38 years and will face in the many years to come (not the least of which is my fitness and well-being, so it is related in a way!).  Some big, some small, some life changing and some just day changing… and how the times where I chose to be Strong (or as I like to say “pulled up my big girl panties”) are the times where I triumphed, learned the most, loved the most, experienced some of life’s greatest treasures, or if we are being honest, merely survived which is sometimes good enough!  It reminds me of the times I chose love over hate, action over indifference, the harder over the easier path.  And that reminder is important to me because sometimes I am weak, sometimes it seems impossible to be Strong, sometimes I am just weary… but it is in me (it’s in ALL of us) to be Strong because I’ve proven it to myself… and so when that weak moment comes I can look down and remember that I have what it takes AND that it is worth the energy it takes to be Strong, the leap of faith in yourself it takes to be Strong… it is worth it!

Strong isn’t just physical – it is emotional, it is spiritual, it is about character and actions and compassion and love.    Strong does not always mean pass/fail – you can certainly be Strong and fail… Strong means you gave it your all, your best, tried your hardest… and sometimes Strong means you were courageous enough to ask for a helping hand ;)   and THAT is a reminder I can live with for the next 60 years ;)


**and dutifully, because this is a fitness blog, I will share with you that my triumph over my weight issues has shown me how Strong I am … but I realize that I’ve been Strong many times, it just gave me the confidence to know that about myself!  It sounds  shallow, but something about putting some weight on your back and lifting it makes a connection in your brain about how many other strengths you have – try it!!!  It can be quite a soul-awakening**

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