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.
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s see how we can partner together.
Troy Ismir, MS