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Saturday, June 9, 2012

I Wish I Were...

Remember The Serenity Prayer?... “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to…”  AA or at least Al-Anon adopted this abbreviated (the entire prayer is actually about 14 lines long) version as their creed and I think it’s very powerful. I recently stumbled upon something that struck me as similar but it resonated with me more; probably, because it spoke so wisely of so many human strengths-and I’m all about strength:
I wish I were big enough honestly, to admit all my shortcomings;
brilliant enough to
accept praise without it making me arrogant;
tall enough to tower above deceit;
strong enough to welcome criticism;
compassionate enough to understand human frailties;
wise enough to recognize my mistakes;
humble enough to appreciate greatness;
staunch enough to stand by my friends;
human enough to be thoughtful of my neighbor;
and spiritual enough to be devoted to the love to God.

Would this be considered a poem?  I’m not big on poetry so if it is, then I finally found a poem that I actually like. The author is unknown, which makes it all the more interesting.  Who wrote this, and why was it important enough to have survived, as I have no doubt that it is old.  Most people don’t put that much stock in wisdom anymore.  I picture some gray-bearded old man sitting under a tree or on a rock, deep in thought, writing it with a fountain pen.  Yet for all I know, it was written by a 20 year-old college student on her computer, in the food court between classes.  It doesn’t really matter ultimately.  Wisdom is wisdom. Whatever happened to wisdom?  Today, everyone’s a smarty pants but it seems to me, few have any real wisdom.

As much as my obsession with strength has focused around the physical, it’s been a means to an end. Like anyone else, I have had my share of emotional issues to contend with let alone, overcome and while the physical rewards of strength pale in comparison to the demands of being a parent, recovering from a broken heart, fighting a serious disease, dealing with a disability, or countless examples of emotional challenges that demand so much from us, let’s face it, these challenges are far more important than getting under the bar. Yet I have seen strength training set people free from all kinds of emotional challenging. Digging deep to find that physical strength, can release an inner strength that it is difficult to understand unless you’ve experienced it. 
I’ve read stories of cancer survivors who continued to train while going through chemotherapy-an incredible accomplishment if you know anything about it.  I’ve known an accident victim, paralyzed from the waist down who built a core so strong that doctors are studying him now to try and learn how the brain can still send messages to the muscles that cause them to fire even when little sensation is felt.  And there are other examples.

I don’t in any way mean to imply that hitting the iron will cure any real disease or erase the pain of the loss of a loved one but it will help.  That much I know-from experience. Take it into the gym, the octagon/cage, the track or wherever you do your best work (out) and set yourself free. 

If it can help you when you’re dealing with a serious emotional challenge, just imagine what it can for you when your life is moving along as planned -or even not as you'd planned.

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Fitness expert and integrative performance coach Jini Cicero, CSCS, teaches intermediate exercisers how to blast through plateaus to create incredible transformations. Are you ready to take your fitness to a whole new level?  Find out now!  Take Jini's "Are you Ready?" Quiz at © 2011 Jinifit, Inc.

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