Wow, the past few weeks have been quite the whirl wind. I was feeling run down for a good 2 or 3 weeks, but somehow fighting things off. Probably adrenaline. I am pretty wired and can tough things out as needed.
Slowly, slowly my strength and energy levels dropped until I finally hit a wall. I took 2 days off from all my work and didn't train for a good 8 or 9 days. I have NEVER taken this much time off since age 22 right after I graduated college when I took a good 3 or 4 weeks off from strength training.
Well, I was sulking as I was feeling beat up....until Easter Weekend....
I planted a new tree on my front lawn that weekend. My wife went with her Uncle to pick it out and when they brought it back I was still in serious "sick" mode. The tree itself was a good 300 lbs.
Why so heavy? The roots and dirt made that bad boy feel like a HUGE atlas stone. The roots of the tree were wrapped in heavy cloth. I was so weak I needed help to get the tree out of the truck. From there I rolled the tree up my front lawn.
Next it was time to get the axe and cut the existing tree stump out and dig plenty of dirt. I dug slightly over 2 feet with my wife's Uncle.
I was totally wiped out after digging dirt and chopping at those thick roots, then power cleaning the tree stump out of the hole and finally rolling my new tree into it's new home.
It brought me back to my days of spending time with my Grandfather, who lived in Israel. My Grandfather built his home and he planted ALL the trees around his home. He cared for them all, as the sun would set he would begin his care taking and watering of all these trees.
He had grape trees, orange trees, grape fruit trees, pomegrante trees and many other exotic trees.
He worked the night shift at a cement factory and when he came home he worked on expanding his home and building an apartment below so he could rent it out.
He always bragged about about how he would return from work and immediately began working on the house with my Dad and my Uncle. He laughed as my Dad and Uncle were unable to keep up with his work ethic, even AFTER he worked the night shift at the factory.
My Grandfather had an intense dedication to "caring" for family and his home.
You see, he escaped Poland during the times of concentration camps. He lost his entire family to the concentration camps and I was named after one of his brothers.
My Grandmother told me how they walked for over 24 hrs straight as they left Poland to escape the concentration camps and finally caught a train to get to Israel.
The same night, a good 12 hours after planting my tree, after my wife and daughter went to sleep, I walked downstairs and opened the front door.
I stared at the tree and I had tears in my eyes. I was sooooo freakin' proud of this one little tree, yet my Grandfather had countless trees. Trees that gave him food, orange juice, he even made his own wine from the grapes! I felt like I was perhaps one percent the man my Grandfather was.
I had ONE tree and man did I feel such accomplishment. I also felt embaressed that I was ''exhausted" after being ill, yet my Grandfather planted an entire front, side (2 sides) and a backyard filled with fruit trees. He created this exotic yard by working a night shift in a manual labor cement factory and then coming home and working.
My Grandfather built the house and the entire foundation to take care of his family. He was extremely proud of his work. He never owned a car. Instead, he rode his bike everywhere, walked, ran, took the bus, walked and ran more.
He always took my brothers and I to the beach and we walked a LOT to get there. His legs were very muscular and strong. It encouraged us to be physical and to utilize our bodies to travel and get where we wanted to go. At the beach he would rent us these stand up oversized Kayaks where he paddled it as my brother and I sat on the Kayak and stared at the crystal blue water.
What is the moral of the story and my personal writing?
I see how we complain about the little things and make them into BIG things. If you will not admit to it, no worries, I am admitting to it to the world right here, right now because I am guilty.
I am learning to do this less and to realize we are instead being gifted with opportunities, not being stressed with diffucult times.
In essence, they are not "Big" problems, they are not even problems. They are quality opportunities for us to improve our mental and physical being.
I'm encouraging you to try doing something different, something that tests your boundaries.
I've always emphasized "pushing the envelope" to help you find yourself and lose yourself all at the same time.
My Grandfather was extremely tough. His life proved so: He was in the Russian, Polish and Israeli Military. He never owned a car and used his mental and physical strength to care for his family till his very last breath. He did what he loved and he also demonstrated that a man MUST be strong and tough.
This is why I am always talking about how men must represent as REAL Men: Be strong, powerful, muscular and mentally tough.
I'm not sure what YOU must personally do or experience to get that feeling that I experienced regarding the importance of being strong mentally and physically. Not just for the macho sake, but for the sake of being a family man, and simply being a man who represents what the human body should be, which is STRONG.
This does not mean I am implying this is only for men, it's for women as well. The human mind and body is meant for strength. What we do nowadays is nothing compared to what people experienced in the past.
People like my Grandfather have shown me that what I am doing is a walk in the park compared to what they did.
I now have one tree, and many more to come. What must you do to begin the building of your mind and body?
Only YOU can answer that question.
Dedicated to your success,
Zach Even - Esh
Great personal post! I enjoy your blog so much…
We owe a lot to those who went before us.
I never met my grandfather (on my Dad’s side)since he died in a house fire before I was born. However, I have heard many stories about him.
He came legally from Italy around 1909, where he had been a peasant (I mean it, he was a peasant.
He couldn’t speak English at first, but he learned.
He spent his whole life working for the railroad and always walked to work and back.
My Dad told me Grandpa’s hands were powerful (sound familiar?)
Those old-timers sure have my respect. They put it all on the line for their families.
A good example for the rest of us today.
Enjoyed your real (personal) post…having now 73 years in this life, i have experienced much of which you relate!? Sounds like a new beginning for you!? My experience has shown me that there are no mistakes!? Oneness and love on your path.
Janet Dandrow says
What a kick in the ass I needed after the week I had last week with a flu. THANK you for writing this – It was perfect timing for me to get back to my workouts! Thanks, Zach!!!
Thanks for sharing that story… your Grandfather sounds like one heck of a guy, The sort of fellow that certainly is hard to come by these days.
Keep up your good work of turning boys into men Zach!
I truly enjoyed your post. Being a young man with a new baby boy of six weeks and new house, reading about your grandfather taking pride in his work and home makes me feel like a sissy. My grandfather passed four years ago and he was a man’s man too. Reading your blog inspires me to fully represent his name and what it ment to him, for myself and for my son.
Tom Galan says
I am right there with you brother. I just said to my wife last night that I realized I have not had a “bad day” in years. Do I have frustrations, annoyances, some stress, sure. But a bad day? Nope. Everyday I get to go to my beautiful home to my beautiful pregnant wife and my 3 year old angel, cook a big meal, play, take a hot shower and sleep in my bed. And I get to help kids all day reach there full potential. It does not get better than that. My grandfather had an oil trucking company. From 10 years old he used to carry buckets of coal up stairs in Brooklyn, NY. As he got older, he carried oil furnaces by himself. Even when was dying, his hands were thick and solid.