How to go from Pain to Performance

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How to go from Pain to Performance

Excruciating Pain

The pain I felt in my hip started about 7 seven years ago.  I noticed that I was having a hard time bending over to tie my shoes and if I sat for long periods of time, my hip would get “stuck” and I had to move it in a certain position in order for it to get “unstuck”.  The pain and limited mobility kept getting worse and worse.  I didn’t have a specific injury, but eventually I was diagnosed with femoral acetabular impingement.  As it turns it this is a congenital issue where the head of the femur is oval instead of round and with all of the sports I played throughout my life, it eventually wore away my hip socket.

My limited hip mobility turned into excruciating back pain.  It was like a domino effect.  If you have gone through any type of orthopedic or back pain, I am sure you can relate.  I lived with this excruciating pain for over 3 years.  I really didn’t want to have surgery, but my quality of life was getting so poor I was left with no other option. 

After consulting with 5 different orthopedic surgeons I decided to have a hip resurfacing procedure done.  This is a type of hip replacement for people who are active and younger.  It’s a metal on metal ball and socket that fits into the femur and the hip joint.  

Hip Surgery1.jpg

Painstaking Rehabilitation

The rehab was painstaking.  Being an athlete and one who normally recovers pretty quickly after an injury, I thought I would bounce back pretty fast.   I was completely wrong about that.  I had a physical therapist come to my house for a few weeks and I wasn’t even able to lift my left leg up under my own power.   I started to have doubts if I would ever be able to lift my leg up, let alone walk normally. 

Psychologically, I was pretty low.  I was scared that I would never be the same.    I love to ride bike, lift weights and play golf and I was wondering if I would ever get to do those things again.  I was also in so much pain. 

What I slowly had to do, was focus on taking small baby steps in my recovery process, otherwise I would have been completely overwhelmed.  I started out by setting the goal of trying to lift my leg on my own 1 inch off of the floor.  I knew I had to start somewhere.  It took me about a month to get there, but eventually I was able to accomplish this seemingly small, but huge milestone for me. 

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From Pain to Performance Key #1

Focus on baby steps:  Don’t try to take on too much at once.  Small victories add up over time.  Lifting my leg one inch off the ground led to lifting it two inches off the ground.  It took me a month to get there, but it eventually happened.  Maybe for you it’s going for a 10 minute walk every day.  That 10 minute walk can lead to a 20 minute walk which can lead to a 5 minute jog.  Just focus on baby steps.

My next goal was to ditch my walker and graduate to a cane.  I would go for walks in my neighborhood and would try to go a little further each day.  After about 6 weeks I lost the walker and went to the cane.  I never thought I would be so happy to walk with a cane. 

From Pain to Performance Key #2

Set goals for yourself:  My goal was to transition from my walker to my cane.  I set a deadline of when I was going to ditch the walker and nothing was going to stop me.  Set realistic goals for yourself, but also ones that will challenge you.  Get determined and have lots of patience and perseverance.

After this milestone, I started to regularly go to physical therapy at a sports medicine clinic.   It was one of the hardest and most exhausting thing I have ever done.  I will never forget the athletic trainer I worked with.   He worked me so hard, but I knew it was because he cared about me.  I remember leaving there just completely wiped out and exhausted.  

From Pain to Performance Key #3

Don’t do it alone:  Change is too hard to do by yourself.   Work with a great coach that inspires, motivates and encourages you.  A coach that gets more out of you than you ever thought possible.  My athletic trainer pushed me harder than I ever thought I could be pushed and this is coming from a college athlete.  He had me doing ladder drills that I haven’t done since my college days.  It wasn’t fun at the time, but I wouldn’t be here today in the shape that I am without his care and concern.

Never Give Up

One thing I will say through this process is that I never gave up.  I was determined to get back on my feet and get in better shape than I was before the surgery.  Although, there were many days of doubt, depression and extreme fatigue, I battled through it and came out of it on the other side. 

It took me about a year, to get back to where I was and about another year to get my fitness to a level of where I wanted it to be.  I remember the first time I got on my road bike I was so scared.  I didn’t have the mobility yet to swing my leg over, so I practically had to lay the bike on the ground to get on it.  But I was determined to get out and go for a ride.  I think I made it about 3 miles.  About a year before I could go 50 miles without even thinking about it, but it was a small victory.   

From Pain to Performance Key #4

Do the best you can each and every day:  Some days were better than others.  Some days I wanted to give up.  Some days it hurt more than others, but I gave the best I had each and every day.   Give yourself grace.  It’s about progress not perfection.  There will be set backs.  There will be days you question your why.  But don’t give up.  Stick to it.  Just keep showing up.  That’s what I had to do even through the lows.  Eventually those days became less and less and I finally started seeing results after months of hard work. 

The reason I share this with all of you, is because I know some of you have your own struggles.   Maybe it is with your weight.  Maybe it’s with your health.  Maybe it’s being burned out and exhausted.  We all have our own battles to face.  Trust me I know.  I want to encourage you to never give up. 

If you are struggling with your motivation to change, it is understandable.  If you are racked with self-doubt if you can actually make the changes you want to, we have all been there.  Focus on those small baby steps and most of all, don’t go it alone.

I would be honored to be part of your tribe on your health and fitness journey.  I will be by your side every step of the way to encourage, inspire and motivate you to get healthy, have more energy and vitality.  You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com.  I would love to hear from you and see how we can work together to help you go from pain to performance. 

Troy Ismir, MS

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The Need to Leave the World a Better Place

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The Need to Leave the World a Better Place

We Need to Make a Difference

One of our core needs as human beings is feeling like we make a difference.  We all want to make a contribution and leave the world a better place.   That is one of the reasons I left my job in the pharmaceutical industry.   It was a great job that paid a generous salary, but for me, I didn’t feel like I was making the difference that I was put on this earth to do.   I had this strong feeling that there had to be more. 

I am about four months into leaving my pharmaceutical job and it has been quite a learning experience.   I left Orlando, Florida and everything I knew behind after being there for 20 years.  I left behind my church, my job, my two best friends and my son, who still lives in Tallahassee, Florida. 

My Life has Come Full Circle

After a short stint as a fitness manager at a local health club, I am back to being self-employed and recently signed on as an independent contractor as a personal trainer at a local gym called The Body.   It seems my life has come full circle, as this was my first job right after I completed my Master’s Degree in Exercise and Sports Science back in 1993.   How does 25 years go by so fast?

I don’t know where this path is taking me, but I am excited about the journey.   I am doing my Divine Wellness Academy podcast that makes me feel truly alive.  I am in the process of writing a book with Professor Scott Roberts who I met in Orlando at a Faith and Fitness Conference.  I am starting my first faith and fitness community at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Fort Collins, a place where my Dad preached. 

Starting a Fitness Ministry

God put a calling on my heart to start a fitness ministry.  I am surrendering that plan to Him.  I will follow where he leads me.    We were all created to live powerful lives that are transformed by Christ, but for many of us, there are things that can get in our way.  Most of the time it is the inner critical voice in our own minds. 

When we aren’t living life to the full we get stuck in spiritual mediocrity.  It is easy to lose heart and withdraw and become silent and anesthetize our pain. 

Digging into the Word of God

If you are yelling from the inside that there must be something more to this life, I want to encourage you that there is.  We are meant to feel fully alive.  We are meant to contribute to something bigger than ourselves.  

If you feel like you are mired in spiritual mediocrity, the best thing you can do is to start to dig into the Word of God.  It is a great source of hope and encouragement.   In Matthew 22:29it says, Jesus replied, “You are in error because you do not know the Scripture or the power of God.” 

No matter where you are on your spiritual journey, spending quiet time with God, even if it’s for only for 5-10 minutes every morning, it can transform your life.  You will go from spiritual mediocrity to living a powerful life transformed by Christ. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

I help men get fit from the inside out so they can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in their life. 

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Strength Training For the Mind

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Strength Training For the Mind

The mind is a powerful tool that can work for us or against us.  I think for most of my life it has worked mostly against me.   My thoughts have been more harmful to me than helpful.  More fear based, than love based.  Can you relate with me? 

I made a decision I am not going to live my life that way anymore.  God doesn’t want us to live a life of fear.  God is love and only loving thoughts come from Him.  Every other thought that enters our mind that is not love based is a lie and we have to root out that evil.  How do we go about doing that?  Through continual prayer, surrender and meditation.    It takes time, work and energy to continually fill your mind with loving thoughts towards yourself and others. 

I rarely if ever miss a day of  physical training, but yet I have been pretty haphazard in doing my strength training for my mind.   My history has been to say a prayer in the morning after some quiet time of reading the Bible and some devotions, which is great, don’t get me wrong, but it takes so much more than that. 

I have meditated off and on over the past 10 years, but have never stuck to a consistent routine.  I know when I do meditate regularly it makes a significant difference in my thought life and my connection to God.   I would never dream of not going to the gym, so why do I stop meditating when I know how much of a difference it makes in my life? 

I would say at this point in my life my mental and spiritual training is significantly more important than my physical training, although all three are critical for holistic health. 

If you aren’t doing any form of meditation in your life, you are truly missing out.  Meditation changes the level of our thinking and that is why it changes our lives.  Meditation puts us in touch with the mind of Christ.  When we meditate each morning we are placing our minds and emotions into the hands of God.  It gives us a place of tranquility when we see that the ways of the world are wheels off. 

From Marianne Williamson’s book The Gift of Change she says, “If we meditate sometimes but now always, then it will seem to us that God helps us sometimes but not always.  If we pray and meditate on some days but not all days, then we will feel the peace of God on some days but not all days.  If we go to God only when we’re in trouble, then of course His help seems inconsistent.  Yet the inconsistency lies in us.  The more time we spend with God, the more we develop our spiritual musculature and the stronger we become in dealing with life’s challenges.  I remember the song lyric, “Darlin’, if you want me to be closer to you, get closer to me.”  The same applies to our relationship with God. 

The form of practice doesn’t matter.  I prefer to use Christian meditation.  I interviewed Rhonda Jones, a Christian meditation coach on one of my podcasts, I recommend listening to the podcast or going to her site to get some more ideas on what Christian mediation looks like or to try a guided meditation. 

Meditation will rest the mind the same way that sleep rests the body.  I want to encourage you to start practicing strength training for your mind.   Five to ten minutes every morning turning over your thought life to God can change your internal state and ultimately change you, which can lead to changing the world. 

Meditate, pray continually and surrender your thought life to God.  Your life will be transformed from the inside out. 

I would be honored to be part of your tribe to help you with your strength training for your mind, body and spirit.  Please contact me at troy@troyismir.com for a complimentary consultation. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior Coach

I help men get fit from the inside out so they can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in their life. 

 

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Get Fit From the Inside Out

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Get Fit From the Inside Out

We all have strongholds in our life.  We all have areas in our life where we personally struggle.   For many people it’s there weight and addiction to food.  The hard part about a food addiction stronghold is that it is highly visible.  It’s usually shows up as excess body weight and often times obesity. 

I have my own strongholds in my life, it’s just not as visible.  I have my nutrition and fitness down to a science, but it doesn’t mean that I can’t relate to someone who struggles with their weight.  My stronghold just happens to be in another area. 

So getting fit from the inside out can apply to any stronghold you are currently dealing with in your life whether it be your health, overeating, poor self-esteem, being a workaholic.  You name it; getting fit from the inside out is the only way to overcome these strongholds. 

What exactly does it mean to get fit from the inside out?  The bottom line is that it means to get fit spiritually.  It means to completely surrender your stronghold to God.  

As you begin this journey of getting fit from the inside out, it is imperative that you rely on God’s strength to make the necessary changes in your life.  Change can be hard especially when you try to do it on your own. 

The focus on your journey of getting fit from the inside out has to be on God.  We are all weak in flesh and must draw on God’s strength to makes changes in any area of our life.   So many people struggle with food addictions in today’s society.  Surrender this addiction to God.  Lean on His strength to help you overcome this addiction.

I want to challenge you to think of getting healthy in a new way.  It’s now about how much you weigh, it’s not about your outward appearance, it’s about growing spiritually and in the process you get fit and healthy too. 

We get too caught up in wanting to see pounds drop on the scale and we get frustrated and give up way too soon when we don’t see instant change.  When you focus on getting fit from the inside out it completely changes our perspective. 

It’s about drawing closer to God.  That is the only result that matters.  When you do that everything else will take care of itself. 

Don’t go on this journey alone.  Working with a faith-centered fitness coach can help you along the way through prayer, encouragement and inspiration.  There is a new way; there is a better way.  I would be honored to be part of your tribe to help you get fit from the inside out.  You can reach me at troy@troyismir.com for a complimentary consultation.

I will leave you with this scripture to meditate over.  “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is your true and proper worship.”  Romans 12:1

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

 

 

 

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Go for God (and Break through the Chains)

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Go for God (and Break through the Chains)

I recently started to dig back into reading one of my favorite books from one of my favorite spiritual teachers.  The book is called A Return to Love:  Reflections on the Principles of a Course in Miracles by Marianne Williamson. 

We all have our areas where we struggle in life and we have to break through barriers and self-limiting beliefs.   In her book, Marianne recounted a story about a woman who had lost a huge amount of weight.  When Marianne asked her how she did it, she replied, “I asked God to do it for me.  I just asked that he take the monkey off my back.  I didn’t even care if I was fat.  I told Him that if He wanted me to be fat, to make me comfortable with it.  I just wanted out of this Hell.”

Marianne, who also struggled with her weight earlier in her life, ultimately decided her weight didn’t really matter.  All that mattered was love.   If she could concentrate more on training her mind to live from a place of love, rather than fear, all of her problems would disappear. 

She shared that in Eastern religions that their philosophy is, “Go for God, and all that is not authentically you will drop.”  Once Marianne stopped thinking so much about her weight, she looked in the mirror one day and saw that it was gone.  She realized that her weight had nothing to do with her body, but with her mind. 

Does this story sound familiar to you?  What if you asked God to help you break through your chains?  Do you believe in miracles?  As this woman who lost a great deal of weight did, ask God to do it for you.  He will give you a miracle if you are open to receiving it and are willing to put the work in.

I recently received a miracle in my own life.  One area that I needed a miracle in was to release the need for external validation.  Looking for happiness and validation outside of myself.  I am sure many of you can relate to this as this is one of the most common human struggles. 

I asked God to release me from this need.  To know that my happiness comes from inside and ultimately from God.    The scripture that God put on my heart comes from John 14:27 which states, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you:  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” 

Making a change and breaking a pattern starts with a decision.   A decision that you are ready to break through the chains and go for God.  Once you do that miracles can happen instantly.  It doesn’t mean you stop going for God.  It will take continuous work on your mind and going for God in prayer and guidance.  The key is not to do this alone.  Ask God to do it for you and be willing to do the work. 

Once you break through those chains you will feel freer, lighter, more joyful and have internal peace like you never thought possible. 

If you are ready to reclaim your inner warrior and get fit from the inside out so you can have more vitality, adventure and purpose in your life, contact me at troy@troyismir.com.   I would love to be a part of your tribe to help you live the life you were created to live.

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

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Fall in Love with Feeling Alive

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Fall in Love with Feeling Alive

I just completed a golf certification called Tathata Golf.   Tathata means, “suchness,” a sense of complete understanding and all knowing.   It’s about the mind, body and swing connection.   What I love about this program is that it is so much more than just getting better at golf, it’s about getting better at life. 

The founder, Bryan Hepler, in one of the deeper discussions was talking about falling in love with feeling alive and the energy it brings.   He said it is so much more than being on a diet or what foods you eat.  It’s all about feeling alive and having sustainable energy.

How often do we eat something that makes us feel heavy or we overeat and feel stuffed and lose all of our energy?   Imagine if we ate foods that made us feel alive.  Foods that nourished and alkalized our cells like fruits and vegetables do. 

When I ate a vegan diet for a period of time in my life, I had never felt more alive and energetic.  I am not saying you have to go vegan to get that feeling, but I am saying you have to be aware of how you fuel your body, so you can be ready for whatever life throws at you. 

I am not aware of too many people who don't wish they had more energy in their life.  One simple thing you can start to do is fuel your body with good whole foods such as lean meats, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables.  It really doesn’t have to get more complicated than that.  Pay attention to how you feel after you eat.  Do you feel sluggish or energized?

If you feel sluggish than you really need to take a look at what you are eating.  If you feel more energized after you eat than you are probably on the right track.  Nutrition is one of the single most important things we can do for our health, but it is often times over looked all for the sake of convenience or lack of time. 

I want to challenge you to start to choose foods that make you feel alive and to fall in love with that feeling.  Train your body in a way that it is always ready and you have an abundance of energy.  You will be amazed at how much more fun life is when you have sustainable energy. 

Troy Ismir, MS

Spiritual Warrior

 

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