What’s strength good for? 

I lift weights in the gym with some frequency. But I don’t do it for aesthetic reasons. For me, it’s not about looks.

And though I read lots about the advantages of women doing strength training and maintaining muscle mass and bone density as we age, I don’t think much about that either.

I love my strength though.

This past weekend I was camping with bloggers and friends Susan, Cate, and Sarah (also with Susan’s mom, daughter, and dog). Here’s the four bloggers!


As one of the few groups of women out there in the wild, I think we all gloried a bit in our collective strength.

I loved being able to get my canoe on and off the roof of the car. I loved being able to lift the heavy pack which contained tents, food, sleeping bags, clothes, etc.


I loved running up and down the large hill behind our campsite where the privvy was located. We dubbed it “Pee Mountain.”

I loved being able to paddle without getting tired.



Being strong allows you to do super cool things, like canoe camping in Algonquin Park.

But it wasn’t all about movement. Some of the time I hung out in the hammock and read a PhD thesis. Because that’s also what professors do on holiday!


How about you? What do you like about being strong? What’s your favourite thing strength allows you to do?

10 thoughts on “What’s strength good for? 

  1. I love getting stronger and stronger because it allows me to do things on my own and not be so dependent on others all the time. Also, it just gives me an enhanced sense of my embodied presence and going about the world, like feeling more anchored or something.

  2. I love the independence it gives me. I am not having to ask for help all the time. One particular thing is: there’s a shop about 5 minute walk away where I buy my dogs’ food. I buy the massive sacks because cheaper. Every time I pay, the guy (usually) behind the till asks me if I need help taking it out to my car. I love being able to say “nope”, hefting the bag onto my shoulder and walking home with ease 🙂

  3. It allowed me to do a full-weekend kayaking course with some grace. Pulling myself out of the water and back into the boat were relatively easy. As a 52-year old (Happy 52nd birthday Sam!) I was easily 10 years older than the next oldest, but I think upper body strength was more of an issue for some of the younger (and much lighter ) women.

    As a single mom, it also allows me to live quite independently, rarely needing to ask for help with the ‘heavy lifting’.

  4. I have stopped lifting weights in the past year or two and I am just now realizing how much functional strength I have lost in my upper body. As an accountant, runner and cyclist, I don’t normally notice it. Last week my daughter and I were travelling with 2 large suitcases and my bike in a hard shell bike box. I was pretty useless and ended up relying on her (5’0″, 105 lbs, wrestler/cross-fitter) to do most of the heavy lifting/pulling. It was a real eye opener. Age 53 here.

  5. Great read! It seems that so many people, especially young ones, lift weights or workout to chase after a certain appearance or for a specific reason. It’s sad that more people can’t realize the true benefit of strength, which is solely to help you live a more productive, happy and healthy life while doing all of the things you love to do!

  6. Love this… it was so great to share the feats of strength with you. I blogged about it over there (gesturing). Happy birthday!

  7. All the strengths! All of them! I use them to be bold in the world just generally and also to make sure I can still take a full load of laundry up two flights. I just wrote my blog for Friday about this trip and made myself cry. Can’t wait to share it.

  8. It allowed me to carry my older and younger child at the same time when they would be exhausted. 🙂 And a million other things that are equally as important!

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