Where Does Your Inner Strength Lie?


These past couple of weekends we (husband and I) had some pretty hard challenging, long, and intense ironman-focused workouts. Before the workouts, typically on Saturday, I just so happened to talk to my mom. I talked to her before she was heading into work. After getting off the phone I often felt so charged with determination, and then I put all that energy into crushing, smashing, and forcing all my energies on getting the most of that time.  As I thought about the correlation between how I felt after I talked to my mom and my focus during the training set the theme of inner strength started to surface. Why was that? Obviously, I love my mom 🙂 but she did not say anything particularly motivating or give me any grand speech, just a check-in and an “I love you mija.”

You see both times I spoke to my mom she was going into work…as a woman in her 50’s…at an automotive factory…on a Saturday… to work another 12 hr shift…after working overtime all week. She was tired. She wanted a break. But she went and did her duty, her job, anyway.  My mom did this her whole life. She worked hard. She did what she needed to do take care of my sisters and I.  She made a way when there was none. She gave. She cared. She hurt. She struggled. She survived. She. Still. Keeps. Going.

You know, I always thought it was my mom that was my strength (and to a certain level she is) but it is what she has taught me about life by what she does with her life that is my strength. It is what she has instilled in me, as a woman, human being, as a person trying to do my best in this world.

As I thought about my life and where my inner strength lies, this came to mind:

I have failed…river-cuts-strength-picture-quote

survived it and came back to achieve something.

I have been judged, criticized, and bullied…

survived it and came back to speak words of love and kindness to others.

I have been poor…

survived it and learned that there are “riches” in my life beyond material possessions.

I have suffered…

survived it and have felt the satisfaction of rest and peace.

I have been called stupid, worthless, and a “lost cause”…

survived it and fought to educate myself, develop self-love, and find my inner wisdom.

I have given and gotten hurt…

survived it and have more to give.

I have lost what I wanted…

survived it and gained what I needed.

I have been down, busted, and disgusted…

survived it and learned the meaning of forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

I have been so lost and confused…

survived it and found my faith and direction.

I could go on all day but I learned that very core of my inner strength is my experience. By virtue of continuing to live each day, I have been taught that I will survive what happens. I can survive -the hurt, pain, and the loss. I have survived no matter what. I have lived through, gotten through, and made it through. Thank God!


To flip the script, this means that there is nothing to fear! Give all you have. Do all you can do. Put it all out there, because no matter what happens you will come out on the other end of this thing stronger, wiser, and still living.

So in the case that you did not know, your strength is you and your life. Your life is your testimony to your strength. It is found in this very moment, because everything prior to this moment…You. Have. Survived. If you are reading this now please take a moment to acknowledge this about yourself kindly, lovingly, and with fierceness that you are one strong a** person and nothing in the past has held you down and nothing to come can hold you back. No matter where you are in your life, be it good, bad, or ugly, it is temporary and you will be stronger for it…Go ahead and own it beautiful people!

As always, thank you for taking your valuable time to share some time with me and my thought. I appreciate you.

Shine on beautiful people!

Dr. G



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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.