Soul on Fire

Comment

Soul on Fire

How different would our life be if we did what made us feel truly alive?  How different would our world be if we were all living out our true purpose?

I would venture to guess most of us aren’t functioning in life with our soul on fire.  We are bored, complacent and I would guess maybe even a little angry.  When we aren’t fulfilled it is easy for anger to set in.  Believe me, I get it, as I have experienced all of those emotions. 

When I share my faith journey I often get the comment of how inspiring it is.  I quit a lucrative industry of pharmaceutical sales to pursue my purpose of starting a fitness ministry in a new city.  My hope is that it inspires you to do what makes you feel fully alive.  To pursue your purpose in life so you can have that feeling of your soul on fire. 

BIG HAIRY AUDACIOUS GOAL

big-hairy-audacious-goals-1-728.jpg

When I work with men in my fitness ministry one of the ways I help them get their passion back is I challenge them to set a BHAG or big hairy audacious goal as coined by Jim Collins.    This BHAG is centered on a physical fitness or physical adventure goal.  I ask them to choose a goal that scares them and excites them at the same time.

It isn’t about accomplishing the physical adventure or goal.  It’s what comes with the accomplishment.  It’s mainly about regaining our self-esteem and confidence. 

As men, we often times get beat up in this world.  We let the world take our power away or more than likely we give our power away.  Along with giving our power away our self-esteem goes out the window.   

STEP UP AS LEADERS

We end up lost,  in isolation and living in quiet desperation.  Our world needs men to step up in a big way.  As a Spiritual Warrior Coach I am asking men to step out of their comfort zone physically so they can be at their best mentally, emotionally and spiritually so we can be the leaders we are called to be. 

My mission is to build a social movement of men, who are reclaiming their inner warrior, through fitness challenges and physical adventure, for the betterment of humanity. 

WIRED FOR ADVENTURE

adventure.jpg

We are wired for physical adventure, not sitting on the couch living our lives out vicariously through other men playing sports.  Not that there is anything wrong with watching sports, but when we deny ourselves our own adventure and feeling of being fully alive is when we run into trouble. 

I want to challenge you to come up with your own BHAG pertaining to physical fitness and adventure.  What would that be for you?  What would challenge you and make you lean into your edge?  My BHAG for the summer was a series of bicycle adventures which culminated in a 120 mile bike ride over three daunting mountain passes.  I was out of my comfort zone, but also living life to the full. 

You will be amazed how working towards a challenging physical goal will impact every area of your life.  Don’t go on this adventure alone.    I help men get into peak physical condition, develop mental toughness and grow spiritually.   If you are struggling with purpose and don’t feel truly alive please contact me at troy@troyismir.com to explore the possibilities of living a life that makes you feel fully alive by living a life of adventure. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Comment

Exhausted

Comment

Exhausted

It’s Monday morning at 5:15am.  After four bouts with the snooze alarm I was finally able to peel myself out of bed.  I am not a typical hit the snooze button kind of a guy, but this morning all I could do was muster up enough strength to roll over and hit the snooze button and hit it again and again and again. 

Can you relate to this?  That feeling of extreme fatigue.  I was talking to one of my clients this week and he said he was feeling  “fatiguey” that particular morning.  I think he should trademark that word as I am hearing more and more people suffering from “fatiguey”.

Troybikepro1.jpg

I thought Monday was a fluke as I survived the day, but I felt even more exhausted on Tuesday and Wednesday.  As a trainer and coach a big part of my job is encouraging and inspiring people to be at their best.  Let me tell you it is next to impossible with the level of exhaustion I was feeling. 

On July 14th I did a 120 mile bike ride with over 10,000 feet of climbing and on August 4th I did an 80 mile bike ride with 6500 feet of climbing.  There were three weeks between the two events, but do you know how many days of rest and recovery I took between those two rides?   ZERO! 

The day after both of those rides I was exhausted.  I was tired and wired.  I was so tired, but I didn’t sleep well.  So as any good American would do I fueled myself with caffeine.  And true to my form I worked out first thing the next morning.  Push-ups, core work, pull-ups.  My story that I tell myself is that I always feel better after a workout.  Which is true when I am in the moment and right after, but this past week my body shut down.  Meaning I had no energy what so ever.

SURVIVAL MODE

I was on pure survival mode.  Just make it through the day.  No zest for life, no passion for my work.  Just make it through the day and crash on the couch the minute I got home.  I have always prided myself with the mantra no days off. 

That mantra has caught up with me this week and I have come to the realization that this mantra has to change to rest and recovery.  At 51 years of age I pride myself that I am still able to train with extreme intensity and love to show the 20 somethings how it’s done in the gym.  It’s time to kick pride out the window and listen to my body. 

What I have been shown this week is if I don’t rest and recover I am no good to anyone.  My clients, my family, my community and most importantly doing God’s work.  I failed myself and everyone else this week by not allowing my body to rest and recover. 

If I don’t rest and recover I am no good to anyone.

In listening to people and my clients one of the most common themes I hear are I am so tired.  Exhausted is a word I here often or the new word fatiguey.  How many of us are walking zombies?   Honestly, I didn’t even feel like a human being this week.  Extreme brain fog, severe allergies and lethargy were prevalent in my life. 

REST AND RECOVERY

What I believe God is showing me is that I need to rest my body.  At least once a week, but probably more like twice a week.  It doesn’t mean being sedentary, but do things that are more restorative such as going for an easy walk or some light yoga. 

What do you need to do to restore and rest?  Maybe it’s learn to say no so you aren’t so overscheduled and can have a relaxing evening at home and get to bed at a decent hour.  Maybe it’s to actually take a day of rest on the Sabbath and have a complete day of restoration.  It might be to build in some light movement instead of heavy intense exercise. 

ENERGY, VITALITY AND OPTIMAL HEALTH

matthew1128.jpg

Whatever it is for you, listen to your body.  Allow your body time to be restored.  Matthew 11:28 says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”  Find rest in God.  Take time to be still for that is the time we can truly draw closer to God. It’s in those moments where we will find rest for our soul. 

Imagine a life of energy, vitality and optimal health.  That is what I am going for.  It will be a shift in perspective for me, but I know that the only way I can do the work that God has called me to do is if I build in rest and restoration into my life.  Please join me in that possibility of slowing down so we can be more effective, energetic and joyful in our day to day life. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Comment

I Doubted I Could Do It

Comment

I Doubted I Could Do It

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post titled, “Why You Should Push Your Physical Limits.”  I shared how I signed up for the Triple Bypass bike ride which covers 120 miles and over 10,000 feet of climbing.  I signed up for it because I didn’t know if I could do it.  Well I did it.  I finished the ride in nine hours and thirteen minutes.  It was the greatest feeling to accomplish something I didn’t know if I could do it or not. 

I want to challenge you to sign up for something you doubt you can do and then train your butt off.  It will be worth every second of the journey whether you “succeed” or not.  The way I see it is the only way you will fail is if you don’t get in the arena.  If you sit on the sidelines watching.  That is a horrible way to live life in my opinion. 

LIFE IS MEANT TO BE AN ADVENTURE

Our life is meant to be an adventure.  That’s why I quit my six figure job, because I was bored out of my mind.  It wasn’t my calling.  What an adventure I have been on ever since.  I never know what day it is because I love every day of my life, not just Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. 

My vision is to make a living writing, speaking, podcasting and coaching.  Am I making a living doing these things yet?  No!  But I will.  If I stay in the game, if I stay in the arena I will.  If I rely on God’s strength and wisdom I have no doubt in my mind I will have a successful fitness ministry. 

My measure of success is going to be determined by the amount of lives I change and nothing else.  God will take care of the rest.  I am not worried about paying my bills or putting food on the table.  God wouldn’t have put this dream in my heart if he wouldn’t help me see it through.

I know it won’t be easy.  Its’ not supposed to be easy.  If it were easy then I wouldn’t have to rely on God to make my mission a success.  Just like on my bike ride I will just turn the pedal crank over one revolution at a time. 

Troybike2.jpg

THE ADRENALINE RUSH

Back to my bike ride.  It was an early morning wake-up call at 3am.  I was excited as soon as I woke up.  A little bit of coffee and breakfast and I was out the door.  Upon first arriving and getting everything ready for my ride, my heart rate was at about 115.  My normal resting heart rate is about 50, so clearly I was pretty amped, nervous and excited.  Another words, I was fully alive.  Nothing better than that pre-bike ride adrenaline rush. 

My ride officially started at 6am on the dot.  I was greeted with 15 miles of steady climbing.  No time to warm up, just into a long steady climb.  It was exciting to be a part of a large group of passionate cyclists.  I am estimating there were about 3,000 of us tackling the Triple Bypass. 

I felt strong up the first climb and then came the descent.  I can’t say I love descending.  I am not fearless by any stretch of the imagination.  When I get up over 40 miles per hour is when the nerves start to kick in.  I also didn’t know the course at all and there were quite of few blind turns.  I managed to descend without any mishaps.  

One of the highlights of the ride was going through some small towns along the way.  There were lots of people cheering us on.  Some even had signs and cowbells they would ring along the way.  It got a small taste of what it feels like to be in the Tour de France.  What a cool feeling. 

JUST KEEP GOING

Now it was time for the 35 mile climb up Loveland pass.  I felt strong until the last four miles ascending up to 12,000 feet.  My lungs were searing and my quads felt like they were going to blow up, but my mantra was just to keep turning the pedal cranks over just like we have to do in life.  Just keep going, just keep showing up.  I was going at a break neck speed of about 5-6 mph.  Just fast enough to keep my bike from tipping over. 

The scenery was amazing.  The beauty of God’s creation was all around me.  I was overwhelmed with the scenery on the whole ride.  There is no better way to see God’s beauty than on a bike.  There definitely was some suffering involved, but when you crest a mountain pass it is breathtaking. 

The hardest part of the ride for me was around mile 80.  I actually ran out of water for about 30 minutes of the ride.  The previous aid station for all of the cyclists ran out of water.  How does that happen?  I knew it would be tight on hydration, but I had to keep going. 

FINISH STRONG

My quads were completely fried, I was a little dehydrated and it was blazing hot at this point.  I had two goals for this ride.  One was to embrace every moment of the ride no matter how tough it was and the second was to finish strong. 

Even though I was pretty whipped at mile 80, I knew I had some more climbing to do, so I decided to embrace suffering.  I decided to go into the pain of my legs and appreciate the fact that my body is capable of biking this far. 

I got a surge of energy around mile 100.  At this point I knew I was going to finish strong.   Twenty more miles to go.   One of the best things about this ride was my daughter being there at the finish line to greet me.  What a great feeling to know my daughter will be sharing this milestone with me. 

Troytriplebypass.jpg

Nine hours and thirteen minutes later I crossed the finish line of the Triple Bypass.  I was exhausted and exhilarated.  I think it really hit home when we drove back to Fort Collins and I realized that the mileage we just covered in my car, I covered on my bike.  Wow!  What once was doubt is now confidence and a great sense of satisfaction. 

So what do you doubt you can do?  A 10k?  Hike a fourteener?  Run a marathon?  Do a triathlon?  Drop 50 pounds?  Run a mile without stopping?  I say do it!  Get in the arena!  Get sweaty, get dirty and maybe even a little bloody.  I guarantee you that you will feel fully alive when you reclaim your inner warrior. 

Don’t go on this journey alone.  I would love to partner with you on your journey of reclaiming your inner warrior through physical fitness and adventure.  Please reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com to start a powerful conversation. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

Comment

Stop Shrinking Back

Comment

Stop Shrinking Back

For as long as I can remember I have always been overly concerned about what people think about me.  A chronic people pleaser.  A Christian nice guy.  I wanted people to like me so I could feel good about myself and get validation through others.  As a result of this I would shrink back and play small.  Not a very powerful way to live. 

I didn’t take criticism well.  I would get defensive.  I would make their stuff my stuff and go into a completely diminished state of being. 

Can you relate?  Playing small and shrinking back is such a common theme in our world.  The settling for mediocrity and the status quo. 

GOD IS ASKING US TO PLAY BIG

As I have been evolving and growing over the last several years I am starting to understand what it takes to play big in this world.  To show up fully giving my gifts to the world.   I realized doing anything less than this is cheating myself, my community and displeasing to God. 

Hebrews1038.jpg

During my quiet time this morning I came across this scripture that I had never seen before and it hit me like a ton of bricks.  In fact, in all honesty, I had tears streaming down my face.  “And, But my righteous one will live by faith.  And I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.” Hebrews 10:38

Wow.  That hit me right between the eyes.  I take no pleasure in the one who shrinks back.  God is asking us to play big.  To step up and make a difference in the world.  To leave a legacy.  To use the gifts and talents he created us for.  Anything less than that is not honoring to ourselves or to God. 

The great thing is that we don’t have to play big under our own strength.  That is what I have done in the past.  To strive, to analyze, to try and figure things out.  That has only left me stressed, tired and the complete feeling of inadequacy. 

I now realize its God working in me and through me.  My only job is to submit to His will.  To “allow” him to work through me.  My job is to trust and obey and then to know I will be eternally rewarded in the end. 

I am done shrinking back.  I am done playing small.  A great quote from Nelson Mandela says, “There is no passion to be found playing small-in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

GET OUT OF MY COMFORT ZONE

How am I going to show up big in the world?  I am committed to growing my fitness ministry and coaching business beyond what I can even imagine.  To build a platform that leaves a legacy and honors God.  I am committed to getting out of my comfort zone on a daily basis and do things that scare me to death.  Where I get butterflies and sweaty palms. 

But the cool thing about this journey is that I can’t fail.  It’s impossible to fail.  I can learn a lot, but I can’t fail.  I don’t need you to like me.  I don’t need you to believe in my message.  It may not be for everyone.  For the first time in my life, I am OK with that.  I am not here to offend anyone, I am here to just simply be me and for the first time in my life, I actually like me.  In fact I love me.  I am finally starting to see myself the way God sees me. 

Troyhiking.jpg

What’s keeping you from playing big?  Why do you keep shrinking back and living a life that doesn’t excite you?  I want to challenge you to get your sense of adventure back.   How about a physical challenge.  Sign up for a 10K, plan to climb a fourteener, learn a new sport.  Reclaim your inner warrior and get that feeling back of feeling fully alive. 

I am working with a just a select few clients as my time is limited who want to reclaim their inner warrior through physical adventure.  I guarantee you will be transformed physically, mentally and spiritually.  You will start to show up big in the world and make an impact you never thought possible. 

Reach out to me at troy@troyismir.com to take that first step of living the life you were created to live.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

 

Comment

Reclaim Your Inner Warrior

Comment

Reclaim Your Inner Warrior

“I thought the race set before me by God was getting physically fit, but it was so much more than that.”   This is what my client Matt Kuti had to say after we have been working together for the last seven months.  Matt came to me desperately wanting a physical transformation, but he has gotten so much more.  His life has been transformed mentally and spiritually. 

60 POUNDS OF DONUTS AND BEER

I remember meeting Matt for the first time as if it were yesterday.   Matt was a former athlete in high school starring in cross country, wresting and baseball.  He particularly excelled in cross country and identified himself as a runner. 

mattkutifishing.jpg

Matt went off to college, got married and had kids early.  Somewhere in there Matt got too busy with school, family and other obligations, deciding he didn’t have time to run any more.  Fitness, sports and exercise no longer were a part of his life.  He was simply too busy. 

Fast forward ten years and Matt is tipping the scales at 185 pounds on his 5’7” frame adding sixty pounds of donuts and beer as Matt puts it.  He didn’t add an ounce of muscle, just pure body fat.  Matt’s typical routine was to wake up five minutes before he had to get to work, make a quick side trip to the grocery store for his daily fix of three to a half a dozen donuts.

Matt was physically exhausted all of the time.  He also suffered from bad reflux popping about as many Tums as donuts he was snarfing down during the day. 

From a spiritual perspective Matt felt like he was doing alright.  At this point he wasn’t integrating faith and fitness.  His spiritual life was separate from his physical life. 

I DON'T BELONG IN A GYM

Matt suffered from poor self-esteem and lacked confidence in himself.  Matt described his 185 pound frame as a potato with four toothpicks in it.  All of his weight was in his gut.  He fell into the category of former athlete and former everything. 

Matt confessed to me the first time we met that he was terrified to go inside a gym.  In fact he admitted that he would tremble when he would go to the gym to workout.  He was so intimidated he made it a point to go late at night so no one would see him.   Matt stated, “I looked at my body and I didn’t feel like I belonged in a gym.” 

When Matt went into the gym he found himself confused and lost.  He would get on the treadmill and realized he couldn’t run any more relative to his cross country days of his youth.  He was intimidated by the weight room and felt like he didn’t belong there either, so Matt became an expert at making up excuses not to go to the gym.  Matt got so worked up because he wanted to change so badly, but he was paralyzed by fear. 

At that point, Matt sought me out as his coach.  He admitted he didn’t know what he was doing.  He was done trying to figure it out on his own.  He was ready to humble himself and ask for help. 

Our first work together was to understand why he was such a self-saboteur.  Why was he forcing himself to quit?   My mantra to my clients is to just keep showing up regardless if you feel like it or not.  Matt would usually last about two months or less on a workout program and then quit.  Matt is now seven months into our working together and has gone from 180 pounds down to 163 pounds. 

WORKING OUT BECAME A FORM OF WORSHIP

But there is so much more than Matt’s physical transformation.  For Matt at first it was very strange to integrate Christ into his workouts.  But as our discussions progressed he started to understand that being physically fit is a form of worship.  That taking care of our vessel is one of the best ways we can honor God.   Eventually for Matt working out became a form of worship. 

Matt has gotten to the point where his main goal in the gym is to have the physicality that would allow God to use him to the best of his abilities.  Matt shared this with me, “I am in awe of everything God has done in creating my human body. I see Him in my workouts.  I am seeing God outside of the church.  I am seeing Him more and more in all these little things he is doing in my life.  God wants me to get back in better physical health and be the best person he created me to be.  Just the energy I have now is huge.” 

RECLAIM YOUR INNER WARRIOR

Part of the work I do with my clients is that I challenge them to choose a goal that gets them out of their comfort zone.  The goal they choose has to scare them and they have to have serious doubts that they can accomplish that goal.  Matt’s dream and big hairy audacious goal was to run the Boulder Boulder 10k race.  Something he has wanted to do since moving to Colorado about ten years ago. 

I encouraged him to make the commitment and sign up. Matt took on the challenge, but not without some serious doubts.  But he decided life is too short not to pursue a dream, a big scary out of his comfort zone goal. 

Mattkutirunning.jpg

He admitted that he slept about five minutes the night before the race.  He was scared, but was determined to run the whole 10k without stopping.  He did just that with his wife and two children waiting for him at the finish line.  When he saw his family he just lost it.  Matt described it as, “The greatest feeling in the world.  I felt like I could do anything.  In six short months I went from couch potato to finisher.” 

Not only has Matt’s life been transformed on this journey but also his family, his community and his church have all been impacted by Matt’s transformation.  Matt now is more physically active with his kids, he has more energy to pour into his mission work and his main goal now is to inspire others to take better care of their physical health so they can be of better service to God. 

For Matt the gym isn’t a scary place any more.  It’s an altar.  It’s where he comes to worship several times a week.  Through this experience Matt has grown stronger spiritually, mentally and physically. 

Matt’s best words of advice for other guys who were once great athletes and have lost their inner warrior is if I can do it anyone can.  Find a great coach that you trust and spill your guts out to him.  Get in prayer and don’t isolate yourself. 

When we reclaim our inner warrior like Matt did through physical fitness and adventure it transforms every area of our life.   It takes courage to do what Matt did.  He reached out and asked for help.  He humbled himself and said I can’t do this on my own. 

I want to encourage you to get out of isolation.  Ask for help.  That is the biggest sign of strength you will ever show.  The integration of physical fitness, mental strength and spiritual growth will transform your life and you will never look back.  The only regret you will have is that you waited so long, but it is never too late to reclaim your inner warrior. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

 

Comment

3 Musts to Make Extreme Self-Care a Priority

Comment

3 Musts to Make Extreme Self-Care a Priority

If we don’t have our health what do we have?  Sadly many of us neglect our physical body.  We take for granted this amazing God given vessel we are given.  We abuse it with poor nutrition, lack of exercise, limited sleep and chronic stress.  We are over-worked, stressed and exhausted and our body takes the brunt of this go, go, go mentality. 

I would like to propose a new possibility for our health and taking care of our body.  One where we treat our body as precious, because it is.  It’s the only one we are going to get in this life time, so treat it with tender loving care. 

What if we made our physical health one of our top priorities in our life?  What if we made it a non-negotiable to take care of our health and fitness by moving more, eating better, sleeping more and managing stress?  How would your life be different?  How would you feel?  Imagine a life full of energy.  Imagine a life where you look, feel and perform better.  It’s right at your fingertips with a few small changes. 

MAKE A COMMITMENT

Everything starts with making a decision.  A decision to get healthy.  Once you decide then it’s just a matter of having an effective strategy in place.  But nothing happens until you decide to act.  Often times the hardest part is just getting started.  It’s taking that first step. 

Fear of failure is the thing that most often holds us back.  But there is no such thing as failure if you have a growth mindset, meaning that you can’t fail, you can only learn.  So be bold and courageous and make that commitment to get healthy. 

MAKE YOUR HEALTH AND FITNESS A TOP PRIORITY

The number one excuse people make for not taking care of themselves is lack of time.  What I have learned is that it’s not a time management issue it’s a priority management issue.  We make time for what’s important and what is more important than our health?

Exercise and eating healthy has been a part of my life as long as I can remember.  I find time to do some level of physical exercise almost daily.  I make an appointment with myself every day to take care of my body.  I know I am a much better person physically, mentally and spiritually because I practice extreme self-care daily.

MAKE IT BIGGER THAN YOURSELF

I know the better I take care of myself, the better I will be able to give to others.  Carving time out for ourselves isn’t selfish at all.  In fact being healthy and full of energy is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and others.  When you make it more than about a number on a scale or the way you look, health and fitness takes on a completely different meaning. 

One of my clients who has struggled with his health and energy for many years has completely transformed his perspective on why he exercises.  He said it has changed his relationship with his family.  They now go do outdoor activities such as hiking, bike riding or kayaking on a regular basis.  Before he didn’t have the energy to do any of those things.  His renewed health and vitality is having an impact on his family.  Focus on the big picture and all of a sudden exercise and eating healthy takes on a whole new meaning.

Make a commitment to yourself that you are going to practice extreme self-care.  Make it a top priority in your life and realize it will have a bigger impact on the people around you then you think.  Take a chance on yourself and move towards getting in the best shape of your life. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

 

Comment