The two times you really feel weights the most are the moment you pick them up and the moment you put them down. Even as I wrote that I was thinking, “Well, you’ve never been to a weightlifting class before. You must not know the burn of the weight on your shoulders after doing 24 sets of squats” (I might have made that number up… but it sounds like something my gym instructor would say). Humor aside, even after doing my fair share of barbell training, I still stand with my original statement; the two times you really feel weights the most are the moment you pick them up and the moment you put them down. That burn you feel in between may be agony, but it's the good kind of pain. It motivates you, pushes you on. Makes you aware that the end goal is in sight. You feel it, you hate it, but you also love it. When you start a workout, or any challenge really, it seems impossible. You lean down and test the weight, dip your toe in and think, no way. It's not going to happen. But then you get sucked in. It's too late. You have no choice. Life finds a way to form around this addition. You find your rhythm to the workout music and adjust. You may feel a sting here, or a burn there but for the most part, you get comfortable with the weight.
When the workout is finally over, and you lift the weight off your chest, that's when it really hits you. That's when you realize how much lighter you are, and become aware of just how much you were holding. There comes an instant relief, even a sense of awe on how heavy everything was. It's eye opening, that the weight is the heaviest once it's off our shoulders. At a certain point, we may have just sagged under it without realizing how much it was bringing us down. And after we complete the training, and the workout it done, we can see how easy it is to keep our heads high. How much more endurance we have gained from the struggle. How much stronger we have become not just in spite of the pain, but because of it. We can walk away and really appreciate the challenge. Really enjoy the growth. And for those of you who are truly brave, you may choose to make the bar even heavier next time.