Re-thinking the seder

Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT, Certified Health Coach, is a longtime fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center. She is also a member of the St. Louis Jewish Sports Hall of Fame.

By Cathleen Kronemer, NSCA-CPT

As the season of Pesach approaches and households are busy eliminating all traces of chametz from the shelves and replacing it with matzah, it seems reasonable to be thinking of how we plan to embrace the traditions that await us on Friday at sundown.  Retelling the story of being slaves in Egypt, the Exodus, and finally embracing freedom in the Promised Land, a certain familiarity unfolds in terms of the sequence of events.  This particular dynamic can be observed almost any day of the year, whenever a major change in lifestyle is the ultimate goal.

For our enslaved ancestors, that lifestyle change brought freedom. For many of my clients, their desired changes are not all that different.  When individuals come to the gym, they often feel as though they have become slaves to the undercurrents of their lives: carrying extra weight, stressed between work and active children, perhaps even dealing with an injury that requires rehabilitating. Daily life has become a dynamic with which they are frustrated, and they come seeking a new and healthier perspective.

The world of fitness can become an exodus of sorts for these individuals.  Leaving behind a lifestyle that was hampering their progress, they embark on a new and unfamiliar journey of training, diet and stress-release.  Always keeping an eye on what waits on the other side, their journey — their exodus from an unhealthy state — is truly what will be important.  Just as our ancestors so many years ago endured hardship in crossing the Red Sea and the desert, so too will these motivated individuals encounter rigors and rough spots along their way.  Trust will be a key factor in their continued success.

Long ago, The Promised Land was truly a magnificent gift.  Today, imagine offering yourself the gift of renewed energy, greater strength, and improved well-being.  Freedom can be yours, and it is worth the effort.

“Next year in Jerusalem?”  Let’s begin with this year in the gym!