Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the Seattle area. It’s been beautiful most days lately but seizing the day I figured I’d go out on a bike ride. Biking is something I really enjoy to decompress and keep healthy. Plus you get to see such beautiful scenery around here.
While I was out riding near Juanita Beach in Kirkland I started thinking about the class 4 climb that was ahead of me. Naturally I started pedaling with more force. Having strong quads I can ride a bike fairly well. Though as I got up the hill I was spent. I had to stop and take a break.
That got me thinking about strength vs power.
Reflecting on this as I rode down the other side I was reminded of olympic lifting. Olympic lifting is a style of weightlifting they do at the Olympics. You can read much more about it here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_weightlifting. The general thing about it though is that there isn’t squat racks, or anything really helping you. It’s just you some weights a barbell and your own strength.
But Olympic lifting isn’t really about strength. Instead it’s about power, or the coalescence of strength and agility. Most of the olympic lifting I’ve done has been about flexibility and deep squats rather than lifting 95ks. Sure you have to be strong to lift weight but many olympic lifters are able to life weights greater than their own body mass over their head.
If you’ve never seen olympic style lifts this is what they look like:
Mental Power: Agility + Strength
These women have physical power and not just physical strength. Don’t get me wrong they definitely have some strength too! But realize that Power is something that isn’t only physical.
Unfortunately the way I tend to approach work is very mechanical and industrial revolution like. I focus on the task at hand and churn out code. While this can be good for shipping things to production and breaking things it also leads to burnout. Being able to work hard and consistently is important to work but so is agility.
Sometimes when we approach work instead of just powering through it take a walk and stretch your mind just like you would stretch your muscles.
Being someone with a go for it attitude I sometimes forget this.