Yes to TriJake
There is greatness inside of you. When we are children, we are fearless. But as we grow older we often time become preoccupied with focusing on our fears, doubts, and insecurities. We become driven by the material world of money, prestige, and success. I find the more value I place on the material world the less productive I become. I’d like to share a story with you.
“Inside each and every person lives two goddesses, the goddess to of wealth and the goddess of wisdom. Most people think they must conquer the goddess of wealth. If they conquer the goddess of wealth then wisdom will come through that experience. These people have it wrong, we must love and worship the goddess of wisdom. Give to her all of your time, all of your attention, and all of your love. Do this, and the goddess of wealth will become jealous and follow you.”
Ever wonder why charity work and volunteer jobs fill you up with so much joy? Have you ever done either? If not, I suggest you do. When asked what the number one thing to Michael Bloomberg’s success was his reply was “giving back.” Michael Bloomberg is one of the most influential, inspirational, and successful people in the world. “Giving back.” – the secret? I think so.
Four years ago I was loaded with fears, doubts, and insecurities. I was questioning the way I was living my life. I was unhappy and in a very dark space. Some might even call it depression. I kept chasing things that I thought would make me happy. Money, status, prestigious labels, the “right ” neighborhood. Nothing was filling the hole in my soul.
On one particular dark day for me, I was sitting on my living room floor. I had noticed an old pair of sneakers underneath my chair in the living room. They had a serious amount of dust caked over the laces, and I pulled them out. Then I dusted them off, and put them on. I had no plan, I had no goals, I had no aspiration. I simply put them on. I stood up and went to my bedroom, put on a T-shirt, and a pair of basketball shorts. I was about to go on the first run that would change my entire life. I was never a runner, never ran track, never ran cross-country, but I was going for a run that day. I had no idea what I was doing, where I was going, or why I was doing it. It was almost like I was completely out of other ideas. So running was a last ditch effort to feel something.
I made it down to street level, and started with a nice easy trot. My weight had gone up to about 220 pounds and I was in no condition to be taking on anything more then a nice easy trot. I made it down to the end of the street and much like Forest Gump decided to keep going. Once I made it down to the end of the block, I started to pick up the pace a little bit. Then something interesting happened. A smile broke across my face. I don’t know what the hell I was smiling about, but I was smiling, and it was genuine. So I decided to keep going. I ran sometimes really hard, and sometimes really slow. This first run wasn’t pretty in the mechanical sense. But it was shaping what would become my future. On this run there were periods where I would sprint to exhaustion, then rally, and laugh hysterically at my own fatigue. I remember running up Beacon Hill in downtown Boston with tears coming down my face. Partially because I was in pain, but partially because of the relief I felt that I actually felt alive. Running hurts, that’s a fact. If it didn’t hurt, we wouldn’t need trainers, coaches, or motivational speakers. If fitness was easy, everybody would be in shape, we would not need gym memberships, or diet plans. No doubt about it, running hurts. And pain never felt so good to me than it did that day.
Upon returning home I was covered in sweat, I actually had the giggles, and my knees wobbled with fatigue. I walked up five flights of stairs, poured myself a nice glass of water, took a hot shower, and went back to the living room where not an hour or two ago I was debating on whether to go on living or dying. I sat down and wondered if it was this easy. Only one way to find out, I thought to myself. And that was to keep running. Once I settled down I thought I would see how far I ran. So I went to Google maps, and mapped it out. I had run a little over 9 miles that day. My very next thought was “I can run marathons.” I spent the next several months doing just that. From the Fall of 2010 to the winter of 2011 I ran nine marathons. To date I’ve run 16. I was chasing that feeling from the first run on that dark day in my life. But it wasn’t there. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoyed running. In fact I got a bigger kick out of it than anything else in my life. But like anyone that find some sort of solution I wanted more. That’s when these words rang through my head, “if you want to keep it, you got to give it away. ” Just like Michael Bloomberg talked about. “Giving back.”
At the time I was working as a manager in a corporate owned restaurant. The money was good, I did the work well, and I enjoyed it very much. But this idea of giving back kept ringing in my head. And I knew something had to give. It did. While working there, I studied the body, I studied the long run, I studied scientific fitness. I put it altogether to obtain some pretty high fitness training certifications. I quit that job last December, I went to work for a large fitness chain, hoping this would help me carry the message that fitness is more than a hard body. Turns out, not everybody has had the same experience as I had with fitness. Turns out, a lot of people and personal trainers think fitness is just about getting in shape, the material world. I ask you to remember the goddess of wealth and the goddess of wisdom. I took a bigger risk than leaving my cushy corporate gig, and quit the corporate gym to open my own fitness studio. I give all I can to the goddess of wisdom. We do not train people, we train animals. We educate people. I am constantly giving of my time, time is our most valuable possession. I am helping people reconnect with that youthful spark they had as children. I am helping children not take themselves too serious. I have a wide range of people that I work with from the age of 15 to the age of 68. We all work on the same things. Each fitness profile is different, the exercises I have people do depending on their goals is different, but we all work on the same things. Simply put, we are insistent on enjoying life. We don’t take ourselves too serious, and we do the best we can to share our experience with others. I find that right-action leads to right-thinking. I believe that physical fitness is a wonderful vehicle to provide a tangible goal to fill the spirit.
There is greatness in all of us. We just have to know how to tap into it. People that take an hour out of their day to do something good for themselves tend to be more productive in their busy lives. Don’t believe me? That’s okay, I didn’t believe that going on a run four years ago would change my entire life, perspective, and believe system. It just did. Now I carry the responsibility of sharing that experience with you. Say yes to fitness, and you’ll say yes to a bigger world.