Sunday, September 21, 2014

A Few Words on Intensity

"Those eyes! Intense!" - The Lady in Grey
It's hard to believe September is nearly over.  Since I last updated the blog, I've happily settled into working at the Y's and I'm loving it. I've met some awesome people, from co-workers to clients. They each remind me of the power of living in the moment. All of my clients saw victories this week big and small, and there have been some awesome PR parties going on in the gym. (For those that aren't gym/lifting savy, that's usually a bunch of high fives, the occasional happy dance and jump for joy.)

They each leave their mark on me, and inspire me to keep pushing harder. But it was the conversation with a random member that got me really thinking about a key portion of my movements. And that's Intensity.  On a short visit to Tacoma, I got to chatting with someone who was talking about how Tacoma struggles with poverty and how that community tends to churn out a lot of Foster kids who end up using the local community college. Before you think this conversation had any disparaging remarks about poverty, Foster/Adopted kids, allow me to reassure you that it did not. In fact, it was delightfully the opposite. She felt that Foster/Adopted people have a unique and relentless intensity about them that makes success inevitable. It's as if, once they find their calling, failure only comes from giving up. She admired their drive.

She had NO idea she was talking to an adoptee from the state system, who is a licensed foster parent.

While it's never entirely fair to lump all foster kids/adopted people into one category, I appreciated the conversation.

When I think of "intensity" now, I often think of the more Crossfitish definition of it, rather than the single-minded determination that doesn't allow for failure. But in reality, are they really that different?

And I realized that, at least from my perspective, she was right. In their own way, most of my Washington family have recently commented on the same thing. *Before you think I'm tooting my own horn - hang in there and keep reading.*

"You bring the fire -
right from the start." - Trainer Guy

"Giving up isn't in your vocabulary.

It isn't in you." - Sunshine
"Sometimes you're intense?! Hun, you ALWAYS have this air of intensity about you.
Even when you're calm." - My Sailor
Over the last week, I've seen my clients, many new to weight lifting, or looking to reach new heights in fitness, discover their own limits of intensity. 

Discovering what you're capable of is incredibly empowering. Being able to coax and coach those moments for others, whether they are discovering a new skill, or polishing up an old one, is like a flood. It starts as a trickle, then a small stream of excitement, and then a small flood of "I can do this!".  Intensity is not a trait unique to those who found themselves in foster/adopted care.

Relentless intensity is within each of us. We all have a unique form of it, if only we'd tap into it.
It's something that blooms when the cost of true failure (aka 'giving up') seems unfathomably expensive.

Watching my clients discover and tap into their intensity is incredibly rewarding.

I can't wait to see what next week brings.

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