the Strength in Faith

The word FAITH is a tricky one…

It can conjure up many different emotions, passionate debate and preconceived opinions.  When someone says they have a strong faith, many people may assume one means in a traditionally religious way.  Often when someone hears “faith” their mind takes them to a particular sect of religious beliefs.

My family is from the Jewish faith.  We hold strong to the traditions as they relate to bringing our family together and relishing old stories and memories.  We are very reform and my brother, sister, and I were taught, from a young age, to always learn all we could and continue to question, gather information and then translate it onto and into ourselves as it felt right.

I love the traditions we carry and I enjoy creating new family traditions.  In all honesty, I think my personal religion is a melting pot of practices, ethics, morals, and stories.

All in all, I STRONGLY FEEL EVERYTHING BOILS DOWN TO… BE A GOOD PERSON.

Very much like the picture above, I’m realizing, faith (to me) is created and sustained through building blocks.  The blocks consist of loved ones, friends, role models, passionate others, time, personal experiences and so much more.  The more solid the base and foundation the higher and higher one can go and reach.

Lately, I’ve been more outwardly public about praying for others, my family, and self, as well as, shamelessly asking for prayers while going through challenges.  The reaction and response is incredible.  I’m blessed (another tricky word) to feel the warmth of so many as they have shared prayers, positive thoughts, and energy.  These are the building blocks.  I’ve found comfort in scriptures that have been shared with me.  I relate to the words, message, and emotions even if I don’t always connect 100% on the traditional religious background the scripture was written in.  Is it wrong that I can relate to a passage no matter which religion is was scribed for?  Some may think so.  Some may read this and think… I’m in a transition or searching to find G-d.  However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth.  In reality, I have had my eyes opened and have felt an incredible warm embrace of faith… from all religions and non-religious backgrounds.

To me, FAITH has always been a part of TRUE Strength and I think I’m still building the blocks to make up a strong and powerful faith.

I have faith in my family and friends,

faith in prayer,

faith in positive outlook, spirit, and energy,

faith in working hard,

faith in forgiveness,

faith in mistakes,

faith in others,

and am working on faith in myself.

TRUE Strength

Excited to announce…

OK, OK, so nothing as monumental as the announcement that I’ve cured cancer or figured out the secret to time travel.  BUT I am excited to announce (and thank you all) that I’ve officially become a published writer!  

TRUE Strength was published in the September/October issue and will be a regular column in a great, local … and growing… magazine: 11Athletics.  11Athletics is a fitness and health focused magazine featuring and discovering the many amazing Central Ohio based health and wellness experts and activities.

I couldn’t describe their mission and background better… in their own words:

Life is all about energy, movement, desire and your ability to find what moves you. Those of us at 11athletics believe that improving each of these through functional fitness will lead to a GOOD life. 11athletics’ goal is to introduce and educate functional fitness to all populations and to promote athletic fitness for sports and everyday life. Movement is based on a series of different muscles working together to perform a desired goal and we sometimes take our ability to move for granted. It is our belief that improving your own body’s ability to move through functional fitness will improve your energy, your desire and your life for the better.

A Functional Life Equals a Good Life

I am proud to be a part of this initiative and movement towards a more active community, providing access to opportunities for improving health and wellness for ALL (not the already fit!), sharing research in the world of new physical developments, treatments and practices, and showcasing local doctors, trainers, enthusiasts, athletes, fans, professionals… the whole community.

You can pick up your 11Athletics TODAY at your local Kroger and CVS stores OR have it delivered right to your door each issue by subscribing NOW HERE

Many, many thanks are due to all of you who have read and shared TRUE Strength thus far.  I hope you continue to share in TRUE Strength!

Make this day a good one!  You have that power… go do it!

AMRAP Life

AMRAP:

As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible in a given time frame

CrossFit speak for DO NOT STOP… until the clock reads ZERO keep going, cycling through the rounds or, at times, chipping away at the reps.

An AMRAP is deceivingly killer.  AMRAPs are challenging in the TRUE Strength definition – meaning – they are challenging physically and mentally (big time mentally for me!), they test your heart and spirit, and can leave you praying to a higher spirit to help you keep going.  ALL is tested: body, mind, heart, spirit, and faith.

When given a task to complete as fast as possible – you know… I just get through this and that means, one less rep remaining.  In an AMRAP – as soon as you “finish” one round you’re back at the beginning.  I’m sure I don’t need to continue convincing you about the test an AMRAP presents.

For CrossFitters who have participated in The CrossFit Games Open – have you noticed ALL the Open wods are AMRAPs?  A big part of that is because it makes it a little easier to score and rank – and allows for everyone to at least participate in some way.  AND it’s also a testament to how challenging AMRAPs are … remember Open WOD #1??  7 Minute AMRAP of BURPEES??

So… why on the soapbox??  Thursday night I was coaching a new client who is a few days into his first week of CrossFit.  He is a former Marine and a current local police officer.  By his own admission, it has been a long time since he’s worked out and felt healthy.  The workout included a nice quality warm up, stiff leg press strength work, and then a 16 minute AMRAP.

Although only a few days into this member’s journey into CrossFit and wellness he has an undeniable fire and drive that is contagious!  The WOD was a burner – nothing heavy to go slow on, no long run or row segments, just go, go, go.  At the very end of the 16 minutes he lay in the classic post CrossFit WOD stance (flat out on the ground) and pounded his hand into the ground, saying I wanted to finish!

YOU DID FINISH!!!  I know he meant he wanted to finish that round, but the key was that he never let off the drive and passion to get through the 16 minutes – with quality reps and pushing himself each time.  He did finish – because he never gave up.

Warning… the philosophical statement of the post… Think about how many aspects of life can be turned into AMRAPs?  A few days ago I tweeted (@Megan_EI)  … “AMRAP positive thoughts, 3, 2, 1 GO!” the response was so fun… people had fun with the concept and spread it throughout their day.  How often can we incorporate an AMRAP in our day to day life?

AMRAP:

      a smile

      a helpful act

      a good deed

      a laugh

      a healthy choice

So many other ways to incorporate the concept.  Most importantly, AMRAP LIFE itself.  LIVE LIFE.

Remember… AMRAPs test your TRUE Strength: of body, mind, heart, spirit, and faith. 

Embrace that and keep going!

 

 

Dear sir who stole my phone…

I sure hope that my phone keeps you warm at night, well fed, and happy…

Yesterday, I was right in the middle of writing a sentimental (and very touching… aka kick ass!) post about the importance of remembering and teaching the events of September 11th… the reason behind everything that took place and how we all have a responsibility to make sure history does not repeat itself.

It was so touching, if I say so myself… 

So, as I’m writing this beautiful entry, I turn to grab my phone to check something and… what??  Where’s my phone?

Long story short… my phone was stolen, right off my desk, out of my office… in the courthouse.  Take some guts.

I felt violated, I felt stressed, I felt upset with myself for leaving it on my desk in the open.

THEN I realized… 

This is an object, it can happen at anytime to anyone… on a day of service and remembrance I should realize the good people far out way the bad ones out there.

So… in a snarky fake letter to the man who stole my phone…

Dear sir, 

I hope you can sell my phone to keep you warm at night and put food on the table for your family, I hope the pictures of my nieces at the park make you smile as they do for me on a rough day, I hope the video of my husband doing double-unders (well trying… and not very well) make you giggle as it did for me when I needed a lift.  I hope you enjoy the motivational quotes I had saved over the last two years for moments of challenge.  I hope you enjoy the OSU Buckeye alerts I’ve set up, I hope you enjoy knowing that since I had a pass-code on the phone… you can’t access anything and you’ve probably just made about $100.

Ultimately, any problem that can solved by money is not a problem… I will be able to replace my phone… you though sir CANNOT replace your morals.  

AND Karma will come back. 

Sincerely,

TRUE Strength

Peace on OUR backs…

With a killer line up of ALL genres of music including Skrillex, Jay Z, Kanye, Gary Clark Jr., X, Run DMC, and Pearl Jam, the Inaugural Made In America music festival was an amazing experience.  Music lovers of ALL generations, backgrounds, ethnicity, and style took over the city of Philadelphia for a weekend I, for one, will never forget.

To say we had a great time is an understatement.

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We danced and jumped and bounced and looked silly as the oonze oonze oonze and bass drops by Calvin Harris and Skrillex blazed out.  When all of a sudden I was stopped dead in my (sweet) dance (?) moves.  WHY?  Because a few security guards walked passed me in the crowd. 

Something going down??  Someone starting trouble??  Someone out of control??

NOPE!!

The security guards were making their way through the crowd (slowly enough to enjoy the music) making their presence known in a non-intimidating way.  More like the gentle hand of a mother on a child’s back saying… don’t worry – everything’s fine… just remember, I’m here.  Is this ALL that rare?  No probably not, but what hit me and made me stop to take a thoughtful moment was their uniforms.

All of the security guards were strong, big men and women – they would not be someone you’d want mad at you!  They all had walkies and ear pieces and serious looking black pants and boots.  However, their shirts… bright, bright yellow had the festival logo on the front: Made In America and a HUGE PEACE SIGN on their backs!  

May sound simple… but the symbolism of this shirt design is SO POWERFUL!  

This festival had over 100,000 music lovers of ALL types.  The line-up was designed to intentionally mix genres, ages, styles, backgrounds and ethnicity.  In large part, it was a statement that when you break it down, music and a common positive energy brings people together and common cords exist among all genres of music and build the foundation to the variety of music we all love…

JUST AS COMMON CORDS EXIST AMONG ALL OF US… REGARDLESS OF RACE, AGE, INCOME, POLITICAL VIEWS AND SEX.

Intentionally designing the shirts with peace signs on the back remind us, the need and the deliverance of peace is on OUR BACKS.  It is our own responsibility to break down barriers, find more common cords, and create an environment of peace and TRUE Strength.

Break it down, dance, bounce, be silly, listen to a new band, and carry the role of peace on your back!

Perhaps a new tattoo??  … nah, but I will carry the symbol and image in my mind and heart forever!