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The Daily Grind (not the coffee variety)

November 6, 2011

Reading Rabbi Frand Parsha Sheet on Parsha Lech Lecha he says “The Mishna tells us [Avos 5:3] that Avraham Avinu was tested 10 times and that he passed all 10 tests. There are varying opinions as to exactly what the 10 tests were. However virtually all commentaries enumerate the command to leave his land, his birthplace, and his father’s home to go off to the Land he would be shown by G-d (“Lech lecha m’artzecha…”) as one of the ten tests. According to many commentaries, however, this was not the first test. “.
Before this episode Avraham is asked to bow to idols and refuses and is thrown into a Firey Pit. Why is this not included as a test?

Rabbi Frand goes on and says “ The test of “FireyPit” was one of those glamorous defining-moment types of tests. The test of “Lech Lecha” is typical of the “daily grind” type of test. People sometimes have a capacity to rise above what they really are and to achieve spiritual levels above their normal capacities, but that is not who they really are. “

Rabbi Frand brings down in the name of Rav Simcha Zissel, who explains that the Torah only alludes to Firey Pit. Such heroism is great. It is admirable. However, in the eyes of the Torah, the day in, day out, tests, represented by “Lech Lecha,” are what really count. Everyone can rise to the occasion occasionally. However, to do what you are supposed to do every day — day in, and day out — without questioning, this is a real test.

I am training for an IronMan 70.3, that is beyond the normal (most think I am mad). As a Triathlon Trainer, Joe Friel says “Your Daily choices from training to nutrition to sleep and more must align with your goals if you are to succeed at a high level“. Today I had to do a tough “brick” session comprising a beautiful ride on Kew Boulevard (never done it before) + a 75 Minute Run in the heat. Only to arrive home for Loren to drag me off for a brilliant swim. In no ways what I did heroic, but it was what I had to do for Ironman 70.3.

As what I am commonsly described as – AN AGEING ATHLETE (over 35) – I have seen a quote “Training is like turning a styrofoam cup inside out. Go slowly & you’ll do it. Rush & you tear the cup. You are the cup.” –Gordo Byrn. Joe Friel explains that that us ageing athletes need to focus on the following for both our training and recovery:
– Training Intensity;
– Strenghth Training;
– Sleep (which I do not get enough of); and
– Nutrition.

As a normal person the “normal grind – LECH LECHA” type of fitness regime is all that is needed. Keeping fit in moderation and adopting a good diet is all that is required, but the hard part is doing it on a regular basis that is the DAILY GRIND. This lifestyle is what is going to define our Ageing! – Enjoy Training!!

I just saw a brilliant quote from the great Chrissie Wellington – “Real Pain is sitting around all you life wondering what pain tastes like – KaterineBertine” and for some inspiration read Chrissie Blog on winning Kona IronMan 2011. She is a True Champion – http://www.chrissiewellington.org/blog/world-ironman-championships-beyond-my-wildest-dreams/#more-2558

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