Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Everyone has up's and down's, and I'm no different. I have my good days and my bad days; I may be an Alpha Male Apex Predator but I have the same kinds of problems that everybody else has.

Thankfully, there is someone who can put my stupid problems into perspective for me without even knowing it. Her name is Ms. Ornstein and she is a member at the gym I work out. She is about 87 years old, comes from Hungary, and is one of the most inspiring women I've ever met. She comes to work out 4-5 times per week, and does a handful of our group exercise classes. She always stops to talk to me about food and exercise, and constantly has questions about how to switch up her routine. Oh, did I mention that she is a Holocaust survivor and wrote a book about her experience.

So, when I get down in the dumps because this girl doesn't want me, or my apartment sucks, or I don't make enough money, I can go to the gym and have a quick chat with Ms. Ornstein. She is constantly happy, regardless of the day or time. When appropriate, she relates stories of her past struggles with an ease and a sort of forgiveness that is rare in this world. She never speaks of her struggle with hatred, contempt or anger. It's simply a part of her life that she is able to reach back upon in order to educate a younger generation. A story that I've heard her tell a few times is from her 18th birthday; one of the guards knew it was her birthday, and gave her a half eaten apple as a present. She says it was one of her favorite presents ever.

Ms. Ornstein will often talk about how her time in the camps piqued her interest in fitness. Being strong and physically capable is one of the things that helped her actually make it through the camps. She knows, from experience, how important it is to be physically fit and able to perform hard work. She also will always stop to talk about healthy eating, and what she is cooking for dinner that night. She loves to eat hearty, healthy food and understands the importance of good food from a very different perspective than the rest of us.

Talking to her and knowing her struggles always makes me feel like a huge bitch. How can I complain about girl problems or apartment woes when I still have everything that I have? My family and friends, a roof over my head and food to eat, a job and a future. There is someone I see almost every day who was thrown into a concentration camp and treated as less than human. My problems really aren't that bad, all things considered.

Next time you get down, take some time to think about how bad your problems really are. Some of us have serious problems, that much I understand. But at the end of the day, the things that weigh on your mind most often really aren't that bad.

Think about it. Go lift something heavy.

1 comment:

  1. I had a crappy day yesterday and this totally put it in perspective for me. Thanks Mr. Anderson :)