What it means to be strong…

I heard a quote that came to mind as I listened to two powerful speakers at recent Problem Gambling Awareness Month events. Their presentations are available for view in this post. The quote I found summed up the courage, vulnerability, and strength they (and other speakers) demonstrated when telling their stories of adversity, overcoming obstacles and thriving. Here it is:

“Strength is not the absence of weakness, but instead, the courage to show vulnerability and speak the truth.” (I don’t know who should be credited for these words, so contact me if you do, so I can properly credit them.)

As athletes, we sometimes hold on to core values, like the value of strength, long after our days of competing are over. And this is okay. But, if we keep a narrow view of strength, we might fall prey to thinking we can “power through” something like a gambling problem, or that struggling with gambling makes us weak. But what if we took our cue from these women and their strength of character? What if we realized that to admit vulnerability and to say “I’m struggling. I need help.” and to spread a message of hope, is where our true strength lies?

There is a precedent for this in our own backgrounds. If we’re falling short in a certain area, cardio vascular endurance, explosive power, a specific movement, we work to identify that, seek the help of a coach or training partner, and build up the area that is lacking. So, athletes, you have all the strength you need. It’s already there. Maybe you just need to look at it a little differently. Take it from another angle. Please take some time to watch one or both of these presentations, and draw strength from their stories. Take care, everyone!

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