Yom Kippur and inner strength

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, Certified Health Coach

If you don’t take care of your body, where are you going to live?”

This quote has always inspired and intrigued me. The avid exercisers among us no doubt agree that as we train hard, we tend towards a manner of thinking that takes us somewhat outside of our bodies.  After all, as we strive to build muscles, tone physiques and whittle down waistlines, we are focusing on the external, that which we can see. True, we are taking care of our bodies in very important ways. Yet how often do we think about the notion that it is inside this very body, this outer shell, where our living actually takes place?

On Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, we spend the day reflecting on how we have chosen to live our lives over the past year.  A rabbi once shared with our congregation an alternate way of viewing this holiday. She suggested that in addition to thinking of Yom Kippur as a day to ask forgiveness for our sins, we might also regard the word “Atonement” and break it up into its syllables, rendering it a day of “At -One –Ment”, 24 hours where we can be at one with our inner selves and souls.

What a joyous occasion: a chance to not only reflect on how we live, but also to gaze upon the heart of our living space, and the well-being and integrity of its structure! What might we learn by engaging in this thought process?

As we head into the New Year, we have been given an opportunity to use our strength, wisdom and passion to create a healthy body in which to live.  After having been “at one” with your inner self, commit to caring for the rest of your being. The ability to integrate spiritual wellness with physical excellence lies within all of us. It is a God-given talent.  In the words of Leo Buscaglia, “Your talent is God’s gift to you. What you do with it is your gift back to God.” Give generously – become the best possible version of YOU.  The world is waiting.