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Fitness

It’s NOT about the Fitness

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It’s NOT about the Fitness

It’s NOT about the Fitness

I love to work out.  It has been a big part of my life for as long as I can remember.  In elementary school starting around 5th grade I would get up two hours before I needed to be at school so I could run 5 miles before starting my school day.  

I would lace up my Converse shoes with the theme song from Rocky thumping through my brain.  I would get that runners high, even in elementary school.

Fast forward about forty years and I am still as passionate about fitness as I was when I was ten.  The only difference now is that it isn’t about the fitness. 

Now my time in the gym, my time on the bike, my outdoor adventures are all ways to draw closer to God.  To spend time in prayer.  To train my mind and spirit to be more like Christ.   Working out has become so much more than the way I look, which is a side benefit, but not my main priority. 

Pushing myself to my limits connects me to what Jesus has done for me on the cross.  A little suffering is good for my soul.  It makes me feel fully alive.

Now I recognize, not everyone loves to work out like I do.  In fact some people can’t stand it.  A lot of that has to do with our perspective on exercise and why we do it. 

We have made exercise so much about weight loss, burning calories and how we look that it becomes a very superficial experience.  Trust me I get it.  Bodybuilding for me was always about appearance.  I am so glad that I am moving away from the superficial and moving towards my health and physical well-being as being a vital part of my spiritual growth journey.

It’s NOT about the fitness.  It’s about being my best self physically, mentally and spiritually.  It’s about being more like Christ.  It’s about honoring God with every rep I do in the gym.  It’s about connecting with God in prayer and meditation when I am on the bike. 

What about for you?  How can you have a deeper spiritual experience through movement and fitness?  What if exercise wasn’t really about exercise, but about feeling fully alive.  About our lives being completely transformed from the inside out. 

So many people struggle with their health, weight and fitness.  I want to challenge you to think of fitness differently.  It’s really NOT about the fitness at all. 

It’s about honoring God with our body.  It’s about treating our body as the precious vessel that it is.  It’s about pushing our limits and becoming the best version of ourselves. 

My hope and prayer is that we become passionate about fitness, not just so we look a certain way, but because it will give us the abundance of energy that we need to do the work that God is calling us to do.

When we use our exercise time as a form of worship, it puts a whole new perspective on our why behind fitness.  In fact it’s really NOT about the fitness at all.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Why You Should Push Your Physical Limits

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Why You Should Push Your Physical Limits

One of the things I loved the most about playing football was that adrenaline rush of running out onto the field in front of thousands of screaming fans.  It made me feel fully alive.  I was always nervous before a game, but completely pumped.  It’s what I lived for. 

There was always the fear of going into battle knowing that there was going to be pain involved.  In football there is just know way to escape it.   But I loved the game.  I felt like a warrior.  A team of men giving it our best against another team of men each hoping to come out victorious. 

Unfortunately, my football career came to an abrupt end when I took a devastating lateral blow to the knee shredding three out of my four knee ligaments.  Surgery and two years of intense rehab got me back to walking normally, but my football days were over.  

WIRED FOR PHYSICAL ADVENTURE

After my football career was over, I knew I needed another outlet.  Not only for my physical health but also for my mental health.  I am wired, as I believe all men are, to be physically active and adventurous.  We aren’t meant to be sedentary and lay on the couch and watch TV.  I turned to bodybuilding and road cycling to stay fit and challenge myself physical and mentally. 

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Being a bodybuilder taught me self-discipline about eating and training.  I ate the exact thing every day for 12 weeks.  To this day I will never eat another piece of orange roughy.  Road cycling taught me how to suffer well.  I learned how to go into my pain cave and dig down deep when trying to stay with a group of cyclists.  I can’t imagine my life without some type of daily physical challenge. 

GET OUT OF YOUR COMFORT ZONE

I recently signed up for a bike ride in Colorado called the Triple Bypass.  It covers 120 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing over three mountain passes.  The reason I signed up for it was because I started watching ultra-endurance documentaries on Netflix.  I was amazed and inspired by what ultra-endurance athletes put themselves through and how mentally tough they are.  Many of the athletes talked about how they also grew spiritually because of the endurance races. 

I knew I had to sign up for something  that seemed completely out of my comfort zone.  I am a cyclist, but it has been a long time since I have ridden over 100 miles.  Eight years to be exact.  I have had my hip resurfaced since that time, but I knew I had to do it. 

When I first started training about ten weeks ago, I was thinking to myself, what was I thinking, I can’t do this.  I don’t look like a traditional cyclist as I have added muscle mass on my upper body from all of my years of bodybuilding.  I am more bodybuilder than cyclist. 

But I pushed through, and my training has been going great.  My last big training ride last week was 80 miles and 7500 feet of climbing.  I have been getting up early every Saturday morning to spend at least six to seven hours on my bike. 

FEEL FULLY ALIVE

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The Triple Bypass is next week and I am ready.  I know it will be hard.  I know there will be suffering.  But I also know I will feel fully alive.  I know I will be mentally stronger for doing this.  I also know I will grow spiritually because of this experience.  Ultimately, that is what this adventure is all about.  To push my limits physically and mentally so I can grow spiritually. 

I have come to believe as men we need some type of physical adventure or challenges to make us feel alive.  In my line of work as a personal trainer I have seen too many men lose their inner warrior.   This warrior mentality is hard-wired into every man, but it is so easy to get complacent.  To go lay on the couch after a full day’s work and just check out and eat a bag of potato chips or grab a couple of beers. 

I want to empower and inspire every man out there to reclaim your inner warrior.  To start to train physically every day.  To start to make better choices around food.  Imagine how you would feel?  Imagine the self-confidence and the warrior spirit coming back?  That feeling of being strong and powerful.  

What would it look like for you if you chose a physical adventure that would get you out of your comfort zone?  Maybe it’s signing up for a 5k in 3 months.  Maybe it’s to do a 10 mile hike or to do 50 push-ups without stopping. 

But whatever it is, know that it is more than getting physical fit.   I would suggest you ask yourself these four questions:   

1.       How will I become a better human being because of this?

2.       How will I make a difference to my family, friends and community by being more fit?

3.       How will I grow spiritually?

4.       How will I be of better service to God?

Your physical adventure is all about you, but then it’s not all about you.  Of course you will be more physically fit, have more energy and develop more self-confidence.  But how are you going to use that new found energy?  My challenge to you is to become the best version of yourself through your physical training.  Become the man that God created you to be.   

So are you ready for the challenge?  Are you ready to get out of your comfort zone physically, mentally and spiritually?  I would love to hear from you and help you and be a part of your journey.   I specialize in helping men reclaim their inner warrior through my unique combination of nutrition coaching, wellness coaching, life coaching and personal training.

I would invite you to send me an e-mail at troy@troyismir.com and let’s see how we can partner together.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

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