The last three months have been an interesting test for me. I took upon myself a more healthier lifestyle. I began working out at the men’s gym exercising (including swimming) and lifting weights. I”m also eating a high protein, low fat and sugar diet. A bit unusual of a move for a Reb, don’t you think?
In the old Chassidic times, it was normal to break the body a little in order to get control over it. I believe that in our times, when depression is rampant, people are unhealthy and don’t exercise often, this is exactly the move to make in order to be strong physically and spiritually. In a way, for me, this has been an experiment to see if I could grow more from paying attention to physicality. Something a naturally spiritual natured individual doesn’t enjoy doing so much.
At this point, I can say that my body is more healthier but I can’t really say that the time spent exercising has really developed me into a better, stable person. Then again, it has only been three months and I think it is too soon to pass judgement. I hope and pray that I am on the right direction and that I will inspire others to take care of their body more instead of faltering to its weakness.
Like all things in my life, I try to give 100% wherever possible. It is unique to see my religious friend and I lifting weights so seriously. Payis hanging down, kippahs with lifting belts and gloves, we take no shortcuts. I’m actually a bit obsessed with the bench press, who would have known?
When I push that 10th rep of 60kg, I am thinking about how I want to serve Hashem without weakness. To break the yetzer hara and not let anything get in my way. I am thinking of fear, faith and avodah. Maybe this is a new way of chassidus:)