Inspiring Greatness

I thought this was inspirational. 


Muhammad Ali believing that he’s the greatest boxer.


And the child sitting in front with these huge red boxing gloves on–presumably dreaming about becoming the next Muhammad Ali!


The butterfly sitting on the boxing gloves in front of the child adds an interesting dimension, where the child dreams of developing into the “next great one,” just like a butterfly morphs from a caterpillar into a beautiful flying creatures with colorful and expansive wings. 


This child wants to fly and soar to greatness like Muhammad Ali did. 


We all need an inspiration that has overcome adversity to make it against all odds. 


For me, this inspiration was Rocky who rose from the streets to become a fighter and winner not only in the ring, but in life as a person of integrity and a mensch. 


If we dream it, it can be–with G-d’s blessing and plenty of hard work. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

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It’s Not (Always) Easy

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Sometimes, we see people–especially on social media these days–and they look “all that!”–so happy, so loved, so rich, so with everything–so it seems (superficially). 


But there is definitely another reality out there, and that is that everyone has problems:


– Family

– Health

– Finances

– Work

– School

– Conflict

– Spiritual


Like Helen Keller said: 

“I cried because I had no shoes until I met a man who had no feet.”


I remember as a child, if I felt sad about something, my dad at times would remind me about the children in the hospital, and to think about how we can help others less fortunate–and he was right!


What I see in life is a lot of people trying, but also so many challenges, failures, and suffering along the way…unfortunately, it’s part of the learning and growth equation, and in why we’re here. 


In college, I always remember one (English) professor who taught me from Henry David Thoreau:

“Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.”


Sometimes, in our solitude or when we speak quietly from our heart with our closest loved ones, we feel and express some of those deep feelings of hurt, pain, and suffering from our lives.  


Those experiences, memories, and feelings are not all that there is of us, but it is certainly a part of all of us–although maybe only the brave will admit theirs.


It’s not shameful to feel, to cry, and to be human. 


It’s certainly not what Facebook and Twitter are all about. 


But it’s a genuine and critical part of us which recognizes as my dad also taught me that–life is not easy–and that we have to fight every day to do our best and to help others to do theirs. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

(Not) Too Hard!

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So there is someone that I think the world of. 


They are what we call “good people.”


But like all of us, have challenges and difficulties in life. 


Maybe their load is heavier and more taxing. 


But it is what G-d has given them to bear and to work with. 


In talking with this person, at one point, they said, “It’s too hard!”


And I think we all feel that way sometimes.


Bret Stephens quoted Bernard Lewis in the Wall Street Journal today, that in trying times, some ask, “Who did this to us?” While others ask, “What did we do wrong?”

Maybe the question should be, “What can we do now?”


While some throw in the towel and can’t go on or go on in a bad way, others may get angry and bitter at their lot in life.


But yet like my inspiration, Rocky, some get up and fight for what they want. 


The down is only a temporary down, but not a knockout. 


The pain stings and hurts and leaves us blurry-eyed and dizzy, but our desire to succeed pushes the adrenaline through our coursing veins, and we get up again with even a greater determination. 


“The eye of the tiger, the thrill of the fight, rising up to the challenges of our rivals…”


I take responsibility. I take accountability. I want to overcome. 


I shall prevail in life and even ultimately in death, my life will mean something to somebody. 


The end is the beginning again. 😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Letting It Out

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We hit the boxing gym last night for a little tour. 


Guys and gals working out on the punching bags, mitts, and pads. 


It was great to see the energy–push ups, sits ups, weaving and jabbing, kicks, and more. 


They even had an Israeli self-defense class, taught by what I believe was a non-Israeli–that was a little strange.  


I asked one guy who looked like he’d been around the block there, if he was one of the instructors, and he told me how he’s been boxing for 30 years. 


Curious, I said “What did you do before boxing?” He said, “Fighting! I’ve been fighting my entire life.”


Anyway, whoever is laying around the house in front of the boob tube day and night–you need to get out and try some moving and shaking. 


Great stuff, and right in the mold of my role model, Rocky!  😉


(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

My Alter Fighting Ego

Rocky

“His who life was a million to one shot.”

He fought, he survived, and he triumphed.  

Go Rocky, Rambo, Sylvester Stallone. 

Human rights, social justice, good over evil. 

And never again! 🙂

(Source Photo: here via Facebook)

The Soul Of A Fighter

Soul Matters
This was an awesome piece of art on the street in downtown Washington, D.C. 



The boxer against the bright yellow background and wearing red boxing gloves that say “Soul Matters” is striking.



For many year, I had a wonderful Rocky poster with the words, “His whole life was a million to one shot.”



I emphathize with and respect the person who has to fight (practically) against all odds to overcome challenges and but through the grace of G-d and a strong fighting spirit goes forward for their chance at success.



It almost doesn’t matter whether you (fully) succeed, but rather that you gave it your best shot, fought the good fight, and put your heart and soul into it. 



Always do the right thing and pray for the opportunity to make a difference. 



(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

>Life Building 101

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The Guardian U.K. (2 April, 2011) has this wonderfully inspiring story about a very special body builder.

Dr. Charles Eugster is a dentist and athlete extraordinaire–you see Eugster is 91 years old.

And he says that At 85 I had a crisis. I looked at myself in the mirror, and saw an old man. I was overweight, my posture was terrible and there was skin hanging off me. I looked like a wreck.”

Now, he is doing dips, crunches, chin-ups, and push ups and scoring higher than contestants in ANY other age category.

Eugster says “I’m not chasing youthfulness, I’m chasing health.

Although he was already rowing 6 times a week when he was in his late-80s, he figured he could push himself a little harder and so he joined a body building club–OMG, this guy’s attitude is amazing!

What an inspiration…

His outlook is that “We’re told that old age is a continuous state of decline, and that we should stop working, slow down and prepare to die. I disagree…one day something will happen and that will be it. But until that day comes, I’m going to carry on working my abs!”

While none of us know when our time us up, it seems that we can choose how we approach our personal maturation–we can look at it as reaching a peak and then going over the proverbial cliff of life OR we can fight to continuously transform ourselves–for as long as we can–and to always try and be the best we can be.

Age, sex, race, color, religion, national origin, or disability–none of these should inhibit us from working our hardest and going for the gold of what is meaningful in life to us.

I remember a wise saying I learned from my teachers–the competition is really not with anyone else, it is with yourself.

So to me it’s not really body building we’re talking about, but rather life building–and this is something we can all strive for.