Becoming the Best Version of Ourselves

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.” Martin Luther King Jr.

When I first heard that all of the gyms were ordered closed by the governor of Colorado for at least thirty days because of COVID-19, I have to be honest, my first response was to go into victim mode.

After two years of blood, sweat and tears of building a thriving face to face personal training practice, which I refer to as my fitness ministry, I saw in my mind it all come crashing down. It’s funny how often times when we are faced with adversity our first response is to play the victim.

Fortunately, through the adversity I have experienced over the years such as a challenging marriage, divorce and two major surgeries, I have always come back with determination to become a better version of myself.

Our World has Changed

I don’t know what you are experiencing now, but I know in some way your world has been turned upside down, as all of ours has. Whether it’s the loss of a job, figuring out how to best care for your child when they are not in school, economic hardship, feeling stressed, anxious or depressed or being physically sick. Everyone’s lives has some way been impacted because of this virus. 

Everything I am talking about here is in all due respect to what is going on in our world. The loss of lives, the healthcare workers on the front line, and the economic fallout from this crisis.

After my little pity party, I woke up the next morning with more conviction than I ever had that God has called me to lead a men’s fitness ministry for a reason. Because at a time long this, it is needed more than ever.

The reason I left the pharmaceutical industry was because I wanted to make a bigger difference in the world. I wanted to help more people. I wanted to leave a legacy. In my three years since leaving that industry, it has become crystal clear of what my purpose is.

My Purpose in Life

I am here to help men overcome isolation.

I am here to help men have a daily practice of mind, body and spirit.

I am here to help men find their purpose in life.

Now more than ever I am being asked to step up and get out of my comfort zone so I can make a difference in the world.

I am seeing so many home fitness workouts pop up on social media and on the internet, which is great. We all need to be physically healthy during this time. 

But what these fitness programs aren’t addressing is our spiritual and mental health.

So what if we feel great for an hour while we are working out, but then we feel depressed or spiritually void for the rest of the day.

And believe me I know quite well what that feels like. I used to beat myself up for an hour or two in the gym, feed my addiction and then feel alone, empty and void for the rest of the day until I got my workout fix in again.

Integrating Faith and Fitness

Without the spiritual component along with the fitness component, we are missing the point.

Without seeing ourselves the way God sees us and taking chances in our lives, we are missing the point. 

I am determined to become the best version of myself during this time of adversity. To become stronger physically, mentally and spiritually. To integrate my faith and fitness like I have never done before.

To help as many men as possible to not only get more physically fit, but to help them grow spiritually. 

Because if you are a jerk at 10% body fat, just like you were a jerk at 25% body fat, you are missing the point.

If you have a better physique through all of this but you feel empty inside it doesn’t really matter how good you look.

As I started out this blog post from Martin Luther King Jr., “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”

How are you going to respond in this time of challenge?

I am going to respond by becoming the best version of myself.

I am going to serve my community of spiritual warriors like I have never served before.

I am going to create an environment through Barbells & Brothers where men don’t feel isolated and alone. I am going to help men get in the best shape of their life through my online men’s fitness ministry and nutrition coaching program.

I am going to help men find their purpose and live a life of purpose.

I want to come out the other side of this pandemic a better man physically, mentally and spiritually. I am taking it one day at a time. 

I came up with seven habits that I want to do over the next seven days that will help me a better man. I am calling it my seven days to success plan. 

I am defining success not by what I accomplish, but how I serve my community and how I become stronger in mind, body and spirit.

Here are the seven habits I am planning on implementing over the next seven days. At the end of the seven days I will re-evaluate and see if it is moving me towards being the best version of myself.

7 Days to Success Plan

1. Meditate for 20 minutes first thing in the morning.

2. Write at least 500 words every day.

3. For simplicity and health, eat the same meals every day.

4. Do 45 minutes of some type of cardiovascular exercise every day.

5. Drink 90 ounces of water every day.

6. Do at least one inspiring and encouraging social media post every day.

7. Reach out to at least one person every day by text, phone or e-mail to encourage, motivate and inspire them.

This is about building my character. About helping and serving more people. Part of that means taking care of myself and being as healthy as I can be.

My question to you is, how are you going to become the best version of yourself during this time of uncertainty?

Whatever you do don’t do this alone.

Be in Community

I want to invite your into our community of Barbells & Brothers. We are a brotherhood of men devoted to living a life of purpose for the glory of God and the good of others.

To learn more about Barbells & Brothers you can go here.

Sign up here for a free two week trial here. If you cancel before the two weeks are up, there will be no charge.

As part of your monthly membership you will receive daily devotionals, monthly webinars, an online forum and a workout of the week that can be done in your own home, no equipment needed just your body and a personal internal commitment to show up and work hard.

I am now offering a personalized nutrition coaching program that will help you get in the best shape of your life. It’s normally $178/month but is included in your Barbells & Brothers membership of only $29.95/month. To learn more about my personalized nutrition coaching program you can go here.

Let’s take a time such as this to become the best version of ourselves. That’s what I am planning on doing and want to invite you into this possibility for you too.

Troy Ismir, MS

Fitness Minister and Spiritual Warrior Coach

Founder and Creator of Barbells & Brothers



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