TEDx Talk: Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths by Lori Harder

Find out how to use your struggles, obstacles and resistance as your personal growth plan to create your strengths.

Learn how building a strong body through working out shares the same principles as building internal strength to reach your ideal mindset and goals.

This personal development Tedx Talk shares one woman’s journey from failure to success.

Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths | Lori Harder | TEDxUCIrvine

Transcripts of the Video:

hello how are you I’m so excited to be
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here tonight my name is Laurie harder
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and I am a fitness and lifestyle
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entrepreneur and an author and today I’m
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going to talk to you about resistance
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training but before we do that I want to
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take you guys all on a little journey so
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can you do me a little favor tonight yes
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okay awesome all right I’m going to need
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all of us in here to stop adulting for
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one minute so maybe uncross your legs
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and you’re going to turn to your
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neighbors on both sides right now and
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make the most ridiculous funny face that
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you possibly can
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yes you are okay ready and go right now
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most ridiculous funny face
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I love it you’re still doing it okay
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okay amazing how’d that feel good oh my
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god that feels good okay so what was
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your favorite flavor of self-expression
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I want to talk to that unapologetic kid
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that kid that wasn’t afraid to be
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themselves who would bust a move
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whenever their favorite song came on who
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would literally beg anyone around
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including strangers for a quarter to
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play that one last videogame or that kid
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who convinced all of their friends that
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it was a good idea to go garbage bag
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parachuting off of your front porch
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thank God my porch was low so what was
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it that you love to do did you love to
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sing did you love to dance or did you
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love to draw and try to sell your crappy
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drawings to your neighbors for a dollar
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like my sister and I did and yes that is
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my drawing and yes I did draw Burger
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King’s I don’t know why so what happened
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to that awesome kid where did they go
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what events caused so much pain and
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resistance that you actually started to
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consciously abstain from being yourself
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so the unapologetic kid version of me
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wanted to be a performer I would pretty
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much do anything for the spotlight and I
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lived to make people laugh so you can
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imagine my excitement when at 11 years
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old I got invited to a pool party with
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diving boards this was my opportunity to
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show off some of my incredible so I
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thought acrobatic skills so the day of
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the pool party arrives and I’m climbing
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the ladder and as I’m climbing in my
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brand new swimsuit the list is going
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through my head am I gonna do the splits
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am I gonna do a front flip or am I gonna
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do good old reliable cannonball you know
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you did it
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so my audience has assembled below its
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five friends included among them is the
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boy who in my daydreams plays my future
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husband
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so I hear them cheering this is exciting
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right I hear them cheering and I tune in
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closer and I realize that they’re not
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cheering they’re yelling well well well
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and just as I’m about to jump in the boy
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that I have been crushing on so hard
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yells don’t jump there won’t be any
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water left in the pool and so I’m
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standing on the diving board and I’m
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devastated and any thought of doing a
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trick vanishes
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I suddenly feel so foolish for thinking
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I was any good at doing any tricks I
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felt ashamed of my body and I jumped
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into the water as quickly as I could to
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hide and to cry and the second I got
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under the water I let out the biggest
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sob and I can still hear it in my ears
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to this day and I I remember the feeling
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of the bubbles rushing past my face as I
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was crying under the water because these
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people were supposed to be my friends
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and I sunk deeper and deeper and I never
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wanted to come up again so this was the
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first moment that I can remember
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allowing someone else’s opinion of me
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make me feel ashamed of who I was and
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this was the first time that I can
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remember looking at the other girls long
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thin bodies and comparing them to mine
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thinking I must need to look different
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to fit in but right before I came up
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from the water I also remember thinking
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just wait I’m gonna get so fit that they
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are never going to make fun of me again
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so the single shift in my perception
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that single thought later turned into a
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formula that I started using
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in order to reach all of my goals so I
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want to introduce this formula to you
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today and that formula is resistance
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plus time under tension equals strength
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so first let me tell you that in the
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fitness world resistance training means
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any force that you use any external
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force or resistance that you use to
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exercise to build muscles or to build
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endurance or to build physical strength
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and time under tension is the amount of
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time that your muscles stay under
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resistance so both of these concepts are
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used in order to gain physical strength
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gain muscles gain endurance but today I
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want to show you how this these concepts
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literally run parallel to getting
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stronger internally so I like to explain
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it using these four points so number one
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the heavier the resistance the stronger
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the muscle you can build so just like in
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life the bigger the challenge the bigger
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the opportunity right number two you
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must keep that muscle under tension
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until failure or close to it so what
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this does is it tears the muscle fibers
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down and it allows them to repair
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themselves and they come back stronger
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after failure so just like in life when
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we decide to come back from failure what
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happens we come back just a little bit
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stronger right just a little bit wiser
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so number three you have to be
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consistent because if you don’t use it
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you lose it we all know that so just
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like in life every single day is
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offering us resistance we probably had
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some this morning right getting here
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maybe in traffic so and what does that
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provide the opportunity to be a little
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more patient to be a little more loving
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right to be a little more brave maybe be
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a little more assertive and meet your
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neighbors tonight so number four as you
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get stronger you must take
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on more challenging forms of resistance
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I know that’s a tough one and just like
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in life if we don’t keep seeking
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uncomfortable situations we’re not going
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to grow because the only place we grow
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is outside of our comfort zone right
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okay so by the time I was 13 I was
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already exercising this without really
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realizing it so I knew I was doing my
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older sister’s workout videos I was
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buying fitness magazines and reading
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them cover to cover and I was cutting
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out all the images of these strong fat
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women and I was pull a stirring them all
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over my closet doors dreaming that I too
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one day could have that strong Fit Body
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and all of the confidence and success
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that must go with it and what was
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happening when I was reading these
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magazines is that it was teaching me
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that even though everything that I had
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heard from my family about us having bad
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genetics and that I would struggle my
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whole life with my weight just like all
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of the other women it was telling me
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differently in these articles it was
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saying that there was in fact a
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different way of being thinking moving
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eating that we were not yet doing and
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this made me start to think that I might
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have a say in this outcome so by 16 I
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sat glued to fitness competitions on
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television and the second I could drive
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I got a gym membership so I could really
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start resistance training with weights
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so what resistance training was teaching
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me or weight training was that time
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patience and consistent increased
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resistance is what I needed to grow
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physically to reach my goals so by my
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mid-20s I had this newfound confidence
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in myself through fitness so I decided
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that I wanted to be on those same covers
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of fitness magazines that inspired me
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that sounds easy enough right
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so I started visualizing myself on these
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covers and
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time I’d workout I picture myself on the
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cover and I’d picture what the article
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would say on the inside it would be
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about a small-town girl who overcame all
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the odds who had no sports or athletic
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background who was a total underdog and
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became a fitness inspiration and then I
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would picture that teased little girl
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just like I was later on buying that
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magazine as her reminder of who she
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really is and what is possible for her
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so I did everything I could to get on
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these covers I started doing Fitness
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competitions you guys they did like for
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a year that’s a lot I didn’t I didn’t
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fitness competitions I did multiple
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photoshoots with photographers who
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worked for the magazine I hired coaches
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also we could come together to go to
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that magazine and tell them why I needed
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to be the next Fitness cover model so I
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watched as my fellow Fitness competitors
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got whisked away
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I watched year after year after year and
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for me it took years to finally get an
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answer that I just wasn’t a fit for them
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hello there’s that resistance I could
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use it so I decided to use it and I said
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okay what can I do I want to become
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undeniable how do I do that okay I’m
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gonna set out on a career that they
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can’t ignore so you guys I got so laser
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focused I mean this was my life so I won
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three Fitness competitions
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thank you and I was brunette but still
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no cover still not a fit so I did what
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any rational person was did would do
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after I got home and I was staring at my
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vision board so I had a pasted a cover
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on my vision board and I don’t know if
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you guys do this but I’d cut a picture
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of my head out and I plastered it on the
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body of this cover has my motivation so
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I’m staring at it
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and I have this realization that I may
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never ever ever get one and so I did
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what anyone would do and I threw myself
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on my bed and I started crying into my
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pillows why for a while like a long time
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really way too long and in the middle of
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my crying fit it hit me so they can be
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therapeutic if you need to do them it
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hit me
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why am I waiting why am i waiting and
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why have I hinged all of my happiness on
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this cover why am I waiting for someone
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to tell me that I am good enough to do
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that thing that I wanted to do to
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inspire women why am i waiting to be
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told that I’m worthy or that I’m ready
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to start
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I thought couldn’t I do those things now
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so I had built a story and it was so
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clear to me
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I built a story that I needed this cover
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for validation I needed it to feel ready
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I needed it to prove a point I needed it
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to feel worthy I needed someone to tell
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me that I was ready to start to begin so
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knowing that I may never get one and if
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that’s what my happiness was waiting on
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I may never be happy I decided to do
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that thing that I thought that cover was
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gonna bring anyway right inspiring women
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so I got certified I started training
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women
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I opened a fitness studio I created a
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beautiful tribe of women
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I started an event where thousands of
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women come every single year to use
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stories just like this one to find their
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strength and use it as their message so
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by giving all of this value I had come
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to realize my own inherent value and I
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came from a place this time of knowing
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that with or without that cover I was
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already doing what I loved
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I was already fulfilled I was already
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happy I was already living in my purpose
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so I decided what the heck I’ll reach
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out again so it was already happy right
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nothing to lose so from this place it
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turns out that all of this resistance
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from these reps of knows turned out to
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be the perfect amount of resistance that
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would build that strong woman who would
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be persistent enough to land not just
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one cover but multiple covers through
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the span of years so with this formula
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resistance plus time under tension I
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felt like I had unlocked the keys to the
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universe because I wasn’t just getting
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through obstacles I was looking at them
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and seeing how I could use them to get
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stronger so here’s a great example I go
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to a spin class like three times a week
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and if you guys have ever seen a
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stationary bike or been to a spin class
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you guys know there’s that little
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resistance knob right on the bike so
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what happens is the more you put on
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there determines the value what you’re
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going to get out of the class so I go to
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this class called soul cycle like three
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times a week and the room is hot and
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it’s dark and the music is loud and it
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is crammed with sweaty people furiously
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riding shoulder to shoulder and my
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friend calls it inspired hell
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so we’re not in this class for 45
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minutes to waste it right we are in
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there to use it to use that time under
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tension we want to take that dial on the
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bike and we want to crank up the change
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we want to pile on the opportunity right
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so in comparison the person riding next
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to me could literally put nothing on the
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wheel and they may never ever get
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anywhere no pun intended
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because there’s nothing on that wheel
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because it’s up to us if we’re going to
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use that time if we’re going to be
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patient if we’re gonna if we’re going to
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put the resistance on the wheel that is
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going to allow us and support us to make
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us stronger so the secret is
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understanding how to use our resistance
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training so avoiding obstacles would be
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exactly like setting that goal to want
16:40
that strong fit bod right we all did it
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January 1 we want that strong fit bod we
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hire that personal trainer you show up
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to the appointment they hand you the
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weights and you get mad at them I don’t
16:49
want to do those weights ah not doing
16:51
those so that same personal trainer
16:54
would never tell you to lay down and
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pile weights all over your body until
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they crushed you right no they would
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take those same crushing weights and
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they would teach you how to use them to
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get to your goals they teach you how to
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use them to your advantage so we set
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these goals we want these beautiful
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lives we want these incredible
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relationships we want these epic amazing
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careers but when the resistance training
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shows up for you so that you can become
17:29
that person who could handle what comes
17:32
with all of these incredible things and
17:34
who could become this person we put the
17:36
weights down too soon we missed the
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message that the pain is trying to tell
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us we numb it out we run away we say
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it’s too much or it’s not fair there
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will always always always be people
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criticizing judging right
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especially right when we set that goal
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like the day after they’re gonna come
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and tell you something there will always
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be people yelling up at you while you’re
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on the diving board that you’re not good
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enough that you’re not worthy or that
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it’s already been done before right
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before you’re about to take that next
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big leap so just remember the next time
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your resistance training shows up it’s
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not happening to you it is happening for
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you thank you guys

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