This week I have learned a new meaning of strength. How do we all define what strength means. Is it, how much weight you can put up in the gym? How many watts you can hold on the bike and for how long? What about how high your IQ is? There are so many ways to define strength, but this week I have found the one that is the most important.
Becoming a father was obviously a life changing event. How could it not be? But when things are going well, it's easy. It's easy to run through a finish line with Riley in my arms, or to put him to sleep and have him sleep 12 hours and us be the ones to wake him up. It doesn't take strength to do these things. It takes being a father. It's when things go slightly (or more than slightly) off kilter that strength is needed.
I have learned that having the strength to keep it together and be there for my family far out powers any strength that I have amassed during my years of training. No 20 mile run, 100 mile ride, 95lb dumbbell. Let's just say this week has been worse than the week from hell. When you get information that cuts you like a knife but with the pain of cutting like a spoon you are left with only so many options. No parent wants to hear news about their child, and no parent wants the week that the wife and I have had.
As a result, I continue to reevaluate what strength is and how is it evaluated. I have seen the strength that is needed to be there for not only Riley, but also the wife, the grandparents, the aunts/uncles and pretty much everyone else. Strength is needed to be there both emotionally as well as supportive while not allowing myself to digest, feel, or process things personally. I have to be the one who holds it together so others don't lose their shit. What I've found is that if I can't find the strength to make sure everyone is ok, then everyone won't be ok. This also means that I need to find the strength for myself to be able to hold it together. If I can't muster it up, then there are a lot of people who will have a difficult time.
I wish that no one would ever have to be in a situation to find that inner strength, though I know that is not the case. There are people who have to go through things a lot harder than I have to, which I wish wasn't the case, and these people have to find either more strength than me. It's doesn't make it easy to say that, but it's true.
I considered myself a strong individual before this week, but nothing compares to the strength that I have developed this week. Here's looking at never having to do it again