I never thought I’d be strong. Like never had that thought a day in my life. In fact, I’ve always considered myself weak.

I vividly remember playing basketball in middle school and not being able to throw the ball across half-court from behind the in-bounds line. I was a post player and this created a problem for my team. Needless to say, I didn’t play high school ball…

When I was diagnosed with thyroid disease 2.5 years ago (I can’t even believe it’s been that long but I was in the Mayo Clinic fall of 2010 so it has been…), I remember thinking that I was destined to be fat and unattractive for the rest of my life. I’m still not ok posting my weight, much less my highest recorded weight (I stopped stepping on a scale at a certain point too) but I’ve lost close to 75 pounds in the last year and a half. But I never thought I would ever be considered strong. Thyroid disease was going to be my excuse and it was nice to have one.

I worked out with a personal trainer at LifeTime Fitness for a year while my endocrinologist tried to figure everything out. We’re still working on my dosages and I started building muscles with Brandon, just never viewed myself as strong.

When I started CrossFit at CrossFit Matters at the end of April 2013, I knew I still had a lack of arm strength and the little pudge of skin/fat where my arms meet my body reminded me of that little fact every time I put on a tank top. In fact, most people have never seen my shoulders because I just don’t wear tank tops without a cardigan. (Sidebar: I want to change that – most of what has to change is my attitude about it but God’s working on that.) I was also recovering from a shoulder injury so I was timid and concerned about lifting correctly so as not to injure myself again.

Today was a day at the gym that I will never forget. This was a moment for me. A “defining”moment. I am strong (and getting stronger). August 21st. We found our CrossFit Total this morning. You can roll your eyes at me (I can’t see you do it thru the computer screen so it’s ok) but I’m giddy about what my body can do right now and I’m immensely thankful to God for it!

CrossFit Total – sum of one rep max’s for back squat, strict press, and deadlift. I would estimate that in April my CFTotal was 145 (55# back squat, 35# press, 55# deadlift). Today I set three PR’s!!

155# back squat, 85# strict press, and 175# deadlift!!!

This means my new CFTotal is 415! 🙂

My first thought on completing these lifts this morning was how powerful God is. He has the strength and power to help me push my physical boundaries. I have prayed that God would use my thyroid disease and how I look to His glory. I’ve also prayed that He would take this burden away from me. Until this morning, I didn’t realize He was answering my prayers every time He grants me the ability to get out of bed in the morning.

I get to be an example of His strength.

We are all made in His image (Genesis 1:27 – So God created mankind in His image, in the image of God He created them, man and woman He created them), and the definition that’s appearing in my arms and shoulders is physical proof.

I am blessed to have the body that I do.

Lord, please help my heart remember that I am made in your image and that you have me exactly how you want me to be. No mistakes. No excuses. No I-wish-I-was. No changes. Help me to be this positive and focused on you every time I was into the gym, even when I don’t set PR’s, and especially when I’m tired and don’t want to be there. And Thank You. Thank you for being faithful to me when I don’t see it. Thank you for your gift of strength. and Thank you for sending your Son to give up his strength so that I may have it for eternity. Lord, please help others in my life who struggle with bodily strength. Pleae bring them comfort and peace.

“Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” -1 Corinthians 6:19-20


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