This one isn’t about muscles, lifting weights or flipping tyres.

I think I’m probably physically a little bit stronger than the average nearly-40 year old woman.  Actually, maybe a bit more than that but as a Personal Trainer you’d hope that was the case!  I do push-ups on my toes, really quite enjoy burpees, and love the part of the gym where all the buff blokes hang out grunting over the squat rack.  But like I said this one isn’t about being physically strong.

Emotional strength to me is far more valuable and will do far more for me than any muscle ever will.  Being emotionally strong isn’t something I ever thought of being.  It’s not something I set out to become.  If I’m honest it’s not something I ever really thought about until about a year ago.

If you follow me on TBF Facebook then you know that I shared a very personal article that I wrote and had published this week on Tiny Buddha.  In it I talk very openly about the kind of relationship that I was in with my dead husband, and how it has affected me.  A few very precious people continue to help me come to terms with the scars that sometimes don’t seem like they will ever fully heal.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is your only choice.”  – Bob Marley

In recent months and days I’ve pondered what being a strong woman really looks and feels like and for the record, this is what being a strong woman means to me…

  • Being fiercely and unapologetically authentic – being true to me
  • Not being afraid of making hard decisions – not just for me and my little people, but for my tribe
  • Fighting for what I believe in – what is right and just and fair
  • Not always being sorry or the first to apologise – sometimes it’s just not my fault (sorry, not sorry)
  • Owning my mistakes
  • Not apologising for having a voice, and using it
  • Listening to my head and my heart – and knowing how to balance any conflicts
  • Asking for what I want and on my terms – my needs, wants and desires are just as important
  • Relishing in my sexuality and sensuality
  • Wearing what I want and feel good in without fearing what others may think
  • Having confidence in my body – how it looks and what it does for me
  • Not apologising for my emotions – I’m not clingy or dependent on anyone, I am just aware of and recognise that I am an emotional woman with feelings that are valid
  • Knowing and loving who I am – defining strength on my terms, not what society tells me

Facebook Post-7

  • Expect me to challenge you, ask questions and demand answers
  • I give of me and expect you to authentically repay the favour
  • Be fully in or fully out – there’s no messing around in the middle
  • I work hard, am fiercely loyal and devoted so will want you to do the same
  • My standards and expectations are high, and I don’t apologise for that
  • Be decisive, be honest and be true – to yourself, and me

Being strong isn’t about inspiring people.  It’s about learning to live with shit.

“Life shrinks or expands in proportion with one’s courage.” – Anaïs Nin

And for what it’s worth I think what you do with that emotional strength, how you live out your life, and above all your integrity is what will stand the test of time.