Mind, body, spirit = balance

When I started my journey of a better life a spiritual leader told me something I'll never forget: "Mind, body and spirit. Without all three, you will not have balance. Go to classes and take care of your mind. Go to sweats and church to take care of your spirit. Go down to that gym and take care of your body."

I've have done my best to live by that. Today, going to the gym is not something that I feel like is a chore to do, but more as something I love and am passionate about. A friend of mine who hasn't seen me in a while saw one of my weight-lifting photos on Instagram. He asked me how I did it? I told him, "Serenity. When I go to the gym, I make that iron my higher power and give all of those resentments and frustrations of everyday life to the iron. That's how I do it."

It sounded corny at the time, I was trying to be sarcastic, but after I thought about that statement, it made a lot of sense. Working out some days has given me freedom from the woes of my everyday life - a fortress of solitude. I go in, put on the headphones and clear my mind and just focus on what I want to accomplish that day. I wear the headphones because, some people don't like my loud heavy metal playlist, but to me it's just background noise. It's just something loud to block out the world around me and keeps me focused on the task at hand.

I've learned that pushing yourself to get better can be all you need to make it through another day. I'm a lifter, and when I go in and try to lift a house, I can come out of the gym with the confidence that the rest of my day won't be anywhere near what I just forced myself to do. But lifting might not be your thing. You may be a runner or something else, but I'm sure shaving time off of those miles or pushing though for further distance is just as rewarding.

I'm 38 years old, but I'm stronger than I've ever been I'm my life – mentally and physically. By living a better life and taking better care of myself, I feel like I've gained years back of my life. I feel like I have much more to live for, more weight that needs to be lifted, and much more knowledge to be learned.

I'm glad I'm up for the challenge. Until next time Wah-Zha-Zhi's … get up, get on your feet, move ... June is here …


Follow Ross Mashunkashey on Instagram @onemangang34