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What Does It Mean to Be Strong?

"To be strong… What does it mean to be strong?" — This is a quote from the anime "Hajime no Ippo" I'm currently watching. It's the 5th round of the title match in which the protagonist is the challenger, and having taken hard hits, he asks his coach this question.

And it made me think. What exactly does it mean to be strong? Everyone will have different thoughts on this based on their experiences in life, but what does it mean to me? Being able to bench press and squat my own body weight or being able to run a certain number of miles is clearly not what I am thinking about.

Being strong, for me, means being able to endure anything that life throws at you. Being able to manage any challenges, navigate through hardships, and still try to make the best out of your situation. Feeling like you don't belong anywhere and still trying to settle down and create your own home. Working towards dreams even though you haven't been making any progress in a long time.

Being strong means being resilient.

That allows me to get through anything and still not forget that the present moment is what matters. Not the past that you can't change anymore and not the future that you can't control.

I'm not always strong. I have days that I feel like everything and everyone is against me, that I never seem to get the easy path in life, and I am always fighting uphill. These thoughts make me feel weak. But at the end of the day, I always make my way through these phases.

That's what it means to be strong. At least for me.