What “strong” means in Hébert’s book

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“For most people, the physical strength type is that of a colossus, Herculean, wrestler or strongman, or a subject with enormous biceps and thick limbs. However, in real life, what do we observe at times?

One of these men with a reputation for being a solid guy is one day “wasted” by someone of indistinct appearance, sometimes by a “bad kid” or “bad little girl”, when it comes to running at full speed, quickly climb a flight of stairs, climb a tree, overcome an obstacle, swim etc.

There is nothing extraordinary in this. It only proves that the one labeled as “solid guy” only has the appearance of strength or possess only a fraction of the elements making up strength. Quite adept at lifting a heavy weight, thanks to his mass, he also verifies his weakness or nullity for running, jumping, climbing, swimming, etc. and generally his inferior resistance in displacement skills, in relation to those (male and female) able to surpass him.


Of two individuals of like physical value, the one who, to stay in shape or stay conditioned, consumes the smaller quantity of food and drinks and who enjoys simple meals is superior to the other in all difficult circumstances: expeditions, wars, catastrophes, periods of famine, etc.

 Thus, to be a strong woman, as well as to be a strong man, it means nothing to have an imposing stature, or to only be able to lift a heavy weight, or to be a champion or record-holding woman in a single discipline or sport.

 To be strong is, in summary, to be at once: resilient, muscular, energetic, agile, have endurance, lively, frugal and sober; it’s having the ability to walk, run, jump, climb, lift, throw, defend herself and swim.”

Discuss amongst yourselves…

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