What Real Strength Looks Like

Traditionally when many of us think of strength, we think of physical strength; like running fast or lifting heavy. Or we think of emotional strength, like the great ability to overcome pain or some kind of trauma. What I want to talk about here is another kind of strength;  the strength of overcoming what doesn’t naturally come easy.

For many of us we excel at what comes naturally. For instance, if you have a good head for money and you are disciplined then you might become an excellent banker. Or if you are born with great looks then you might marry well or have a great career making commercials. Either way the banker might be horrible at relationships, and the model might be horrible with money. Like most humans we play off our strengths. I mean, nobody wants to feel like a loser, so why try doing something that you aren’t good at? The answer is values. When you have certain values you reach outside your comfort zone. There is simply no other way to achieve them.

Several months, ago I met a very idealistic man named Adam (not his real name). Adam made Aliya on his own because he saw it as a value, and Adam decided to join the IDF for the same reason. The only problem is that Adam had spinal surgery a few years back and has titanium rods keeping his spine straight. So therefore initially he was held back from his dream of becoming a special forces hero. Most of us would have given up. By the way, I did, back in ’03 (for completely other reasons, not relevant here). So here is where Adam becomes different from most people.

Adam had laser eye surgery to improve his vision and in doing so raised his profile just a little. Adam went to a body worker, a Rolfer to help straighten his body and improve his flexibility. But wait, there is more, much more. Adam comes to me three times a week at 6:15 am (before his day job) for intense fitness training, where I literally run him into the ground. His response after an hour is “that’s it!” He also goes to Yoga 1-2 times a week (for added core and flexibility training). Lastly, in order to maximize the power of his fuel he only eats healthy (Nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, and healthy grains) oh and of course drinks lots of water.

OK, so I know what you are thinking: “well that’s great for Adam the hero, but what about me?” Well here it is: If you see your health as a value, then you will sacrifice for it the same way you sacrifice for other things; like getting that degree, going after that girl, getting up early to pray, etc. You will not rationalize or excuse what’s holding you back. Sure there are many reasons to be in lousy shape; just look around you, you are not alone. Wouldn’t you rather be above average? Don’t you kind of see yourself that way in other walks of your life? Well, in order to get there you need to move past what comes easy and be bold.

Step one: like I said, value fitness like you value everything else (many things of which are less important than your health)

Step two: Know who you are and be honest. What is really holding you back? Are you an “all or nothing person”? If so, then stop it!

Step three: Set for yourself achievable goals and see it through

Step four: Take responsibility. You are the captain of your own ship, and nobody is gonna do it for you. Like the famous line on Harry Truman’s desk said, “The buck stops here”.

Step five: Create accountability. You have a spouse, a partner, friend, coworker, a computer? Find support and allow that person or persons to help you see your goals through.

Adam did not do this on his own.  He got at least 3-5 people involved, and that is one of the main lessons here and one of the main reasons for his ongoing success (he is now in the Air Force training to be a pilot!). If he can do it on his level, then you can do it on yours. Reach outside your comfort zone, and dare to be better than you were the day before. You will find that it gets easier and easier with each passing day. The time is now. Yalla!

For help getting started or if you want to take your routine to the next level check out my website or call Michael 054-625-0269. There is a program for everybody.

Pre Army conditioning
Weight loss and fitness training
Specialized Fitness for Older Adults
Fitness Therapy

About the Author
Michael Berezin made Aliyah from New York in 2003. He is a Fitness Trainer/ Fitness Therapist based out of the Jerusalem area. He works with everyone from Pre Army age to Older Adults.
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