Home » Lori Harder: Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths at TEDxUCIrvine (Transcript)

Lori Harder: Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths at TEDxUCIrvine (Transcript)

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Lori Harder at TEDxUCIrvine

Here is the full transcript of fitness model (@LoriHarder) Lori Harder’s TEDx Talk: Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths at TEDxUCIrvine conference. This event took place on May 27, 2017 at Irvine, California.

Listen to the MP3 Audio: Turn Your Struggles Into Strengths by Lori Harder at TEDxUCIrvine


Lori Harder – Entrepreneur, fitness model

Hello! How are you?

I’m so excited to be here tonight. My name is Lori Harder and I am a fitness and lifestyle entrepreneur and an author. And today I’m going to talk to you about resistance training.

But before we do that, I want to take you guys all on a little journey. So can you do me a little favor tonight? Yes? OK, awesome.

All right. I’m going to need all of us in here to stop adulting for one minute. So maybe uncross your legs, and you’re going to turn to your neighbors on both sides right now and make the most ridiculous funny face that you possibly can. Yes, you are.

Okay, ready and go right now. Most ridiculous funny face!

I love it. You’re still doing it. OK, amazing. How’d that feel? Good? Oh my God, that feels good.

OK, so what was your favorite flavor of self-expression? I want to talk to that unapologetic kid — that kid that wasn’t afraid to be themselves, who would bust a move whenever their favorite song came on, who would literally beg anyone around, including strangers for a quarter to play that one last videogame, or that kid who convinced all of their friends that it was a good idea to go garbage bag parachuting off of your front porch. Thank God, my porch was low.

So what was it that you loved to do? Did you love to sing? Did you love to dance? Or did you love to draw? And try to sell your crappy drawings to your neighbors for a dollar? Like my sister and I did.

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And yes, that is my drawing. And yes, I did draw Burger King’s; I don’t know why.

So what happened to that awesome kid? Where did they go? What events caused so much pain and resistance that you actually started to consciously abstain from being yourself?

So the unapologetic kid version of me wanted to be a performer. I would pretty much do anything for the spotlight. And I lived to make people laugh. So you can imagine my excitement, when at 11 years old, I got invited to a pool party with diving boards. This was my opportunity to show off some of my incredible. So I thought acrobatic skills.

So the day of the pool party arrives and I’m climbing the ladder. And as I’m climbing in my brand new swimsuit, the list is going through my head: Am I going to do the splits? Am I going to do a front flip? Or am I going to do good old reliable cannonball? You know, you did it.

So my audience has assembled below. It’s five friends. Included among them is the boy who in my daydreams plays my future husband. So I hear them cheering. This is exciting, right? I hear them cheering. And I tune in closer and I realize that they’re not cheering. They’re yelling, well, well, well, and just as I’m about to jump in, the boy that I have been crushing on so hard yells: “Don’t jump; there won’t be any water left in the pool.”

And so I’m standing on the diving board and I’m devastated. And any thought of doing a trick vanishes, I suddenly feel so foolish for thinking I was any good at doing any tricks, I felt ashamed of my body and I jumped into the water as quickly as I could to hide and to cry. And the second I got under the water I let out the biggest sob and I can still hear it in my ears to this day. And I remember the feeling of the bubbles rushing past my face as I was crying under the water, because these people were supposed to be my friends. And I sunk deeper and deeper and I never wanted to come up again.

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So this was the first moment that I can remember allowing someone else’s opinion of me make me feel ashamed of who I was. And this was the first time that I can remember looking at the other girls’ long thin bodies and comparing them to mine, thinking I must need to look different to fit in.

But right before I came up from the water, I also remember thinking: just wait, I’m going to get so fit that they are never going to make fun of me again.

So this single shift in my perception, that single thought later turned into a formula that I started using in order to reach all of my goals. So I want to introduce this formula to you today. And that formula is resistance plus time under tension equals strength.

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