Champions of the Human Spirit

One unanticipated and somewhat paradoxical benefit of the recent COVID-19 quarantine is that it has forced people outside.  Once the initial surge was over and public health officials said it was permissible to get outside and exercise, people emerged in droves to get fresh air, burn calories and avoid cabin fever.  The trails in our local community have been packed with people and it’s great to see.  I went on a 61-minute power walk this morning and came away with several observations about the power of the human spirit that I just have to share.

Trees in a forest surround a running/walking trail, featured on Champions of the Human Spirit ISN blog


As I was walking I came upon a woman who was jogging.  That’s a pretty common experience on a fitness trail, correct?  Well, this wasn’t common.  This lady was likely considered morbidly obese by federal health guidelines and was really struggling to move. The speed of her jog was more like a medium-paced walk and she was breathing heavily through a bright red face and clothes soaked in sweat.   However, for whatever reason, she chose this day to get out and do it.  It could not have been easy and was clearly distressful, but she was getting it done.  On this day, she was a CHAMPION.  She conquered the negative thoughts in her mind and she put herself out there.  At ISN, we are fully committed to empowering people to become the healthiest version of themselves.  We love serving people who fight the daily battles and who strive to win the moment.  The stories of elite athletes overcoming incredible odds to come out on top are countless.  But today, I witnessed what being a champion is all about.  It was this woman finding a way to win the battle in her mind to either jog or quit.  She won and she inspired me greatly.


The global pandemic of 2020 has been remarkable.  It has caused incredible illness and death and has disrupted the world economy in devastating fashion.  Truthfully speaking, during the first quarter of 2020, COVID-19 literally knocked us to the mat and appeared to kick our ass.  However, this virus does not know who it is up against.  As we sit here on June 1, 2020, we have gotten up off the mat, squared our shoulders and we are stepping back into the fight.  We are doing this because it is ingrained in our DNA. Humanity is programmed to fight and survive.  We are a scrappy people, an intelligent people, a creative people and we persevere.  This battle caused some pain, but I see humanity pushing through the pain and winning the fight.  Indeed, we are an amazing species.


It has been easy for all of us during this crisis to fall into catastrophic thinking from time-to-time.  It really has been painful and everyone deserves grace for feeling sad, distraught, and hopeless as this unfolded.  Taking a step back, however, we can see that humanity has been here before.  Through disease, war, famine, oppression, and other forms of darkness, humanity has been challenged and has overcome.  This too shall pass and we will emerge stronger and smarter.

It really was a great walk this morning.  I hope in some miraculous way the woman I mentioned above reads this blog because it was her act of personal achievement this day that caused me to reflect on the human spirit and through this reflection I am inspired by humanity.  Life is beautiful and it is my honor to own a company that strives to empower people to be their best and enjoy this glorious life.


Blog by Integrated Sports Nutrition owner, Mike Strohl