I was sitting in the audience of a national pharmaceutical sales meeting when they were handing out awards for the top sales people in the country. As they announced all of the top award winners for the year, I could feel my level of angst go through the roof. I had this inner turmoil of knowing that pharmaceutical sales wasn’t my gifting. It wasn’t what God put me on this earth for.
I had been in those top sales performers shoes before winning my share of national awards. But at this national meeting, I knew my time in this industry was coming to an end. This was a defining moment for me.
MY SOUL WAS EMPTY
After the awards ceremony was over, I got into my car and started sobbing. Not just crying, but literally sobbing. I cried out to God, well actually screamed out, “I can’t do this anymore.” I don’t care how much money I am making, I have to go live out my purpose. My dream. I literally felt like my soul was empty. I knew I had to make some changes in my life.
I had always had a burning desire to be an entrepreneur. To be my own boss. I have never been a big fan of meetings. Big pharmaceutical meetings were always a challenge for me, being a deep introvert. Don’t get me wrong, the people in the industry were awesome, but let’s just say it was too much of a good thing being around that many people. I wanted to break free and have the freedom to create my own schedule and build my own business. Financial and time freedom has always been a strong desire of mine.
MY DESIRE IS TO BE AN INSPIRED LEADER AND CHANGE THE WORLD
What ultimately led to my deep feeling of smoldering discontent was knowing that I was not living out my purpose. When I saw the people going up on stage winning their awards and feeling on top of the world, all I could think of was I was wasting my life. I wasn’t using my gifts that God gave me to inspire the world. I felt like I was stuck on a hamster wheel, just checking the box day by day. I wanted to get back to feeling fully alive. I wanted to move forward and become the inspired leader that God was calling me to be.
Despite all of the smoldering discontent in my life because my career wasn’t in line with my calling, I felt trapped. I was making six figures, I had a company car, good insurance, a 401k, pension plan and all of the comfort and security anyone could ask for. The only problem was, I was dying inside.
I knew I had to get away and be by myself and do some deep soul searching so I could figure out a plan and strategy. I wrote in my journal, prayed, meditated and read the Bible for three days straight. I wrote down everything that God put on my heart.
LEAP OF FAITH
After those three days of intense introspective work, I knew I had to take the leap of faith and quit the comfort and security of my six figure job to start my own fitness ministry that is aligned with the core of my being. I knew that my life’s work would be all about the integration of faith and fitness. That I was going to change the world by helping people transform every area of their lives. That I would help churches do fitness and gyms do ministry.
With the help of my life and business coach, she pushed me to set a date of when I was going to leave the pharmaceutical industry. Not only that, I always had the dream of living in Colorado. So after picking a date on the calendar, I gave my two weeks’ notice to the pharmaceutical company I was working for and planned to move to Colorado and start my fitness ministry there. That was in May of 2017.
As I share my story it is now August of 2019. I would love to tell you that everything has worked out exactly as I had imagined, but that would be very misleading. There has been many speed bumps along the way.
There has been personal heart break. There has been financial distress. I have seen my bank account be depleted to negative numbers along the way. There have been challenges on how to impact people’s lives and not go broke along the way. There has been learning of how to open my life to others and be more vulnerable. I have been learning my voice and how to share it with the world.
I have not achieved the financial success I had hoped for yet. I do not have the time freedom I had hoped for yet. I have not had the global impact that I had hoped for yet. But I will.
MY LIFE HAS BEEN TRANSFORMED
Here is what I do know. On this journey of stepping into my purpose, my personal growth and character transformation has been exponential. In the last two years since starting my fitness ministry I have felt God’s presence in my life more than ever before. I am becoming more like Christ each and every day. I have failed many times over, but I am learning radical self-love. I am learning to be an inspired leader, just by being.
What has been even better is to see is the lives that have been impacted by my fitness ministry so far. I have seen father’s become more involved in their kids’ lives. I have seen husbands become better husbands. I have seen church leaders become better leaders. I have seen a men’s ministry develop at the gym I train out of. I have seen relationships being built. I have seen people become more fit at the church I lead a faith and fitness class at. I have seen people lose weight, overcome type 2 diabetes, draw closer to God and feel their self-worth again.
I ask myself this question often. What if I didn’t take a chance on myself and step into my life’s purpose? What if I would have continued to play it safe? All of these lives, including my own, wouldn’t have been transformed. What if we all stepped into our purpose and lived life fully alive? How would are lives and the lives of other’s be impacted. Imagine the possibilities.
There is no substitute for life learning than getting into the arena and getting bloodied and sweaty. Taking risks and living a life of adventure.This journey of personal transformation will never end for me, but I know without taking that leap of faith and stepping into living my mission every day, I wouldn’t be the Spiritual Warrior that I am today.I AM a Spiritual Warrior who is called to be an inspired leader.
Troy Ismir, MS
Lift Your Spirit
Founder and Creator of Barbells and Brothers
“I began working with Troy seven months ago with a goal to mix things up, lose some weight and climb better on my bike. His approach has helped me exceed my goals for and achieve better physical, mental and spiritual health. Not only has my body fat dropped by twelve percent, and my weight sixteen pounds, my mental and spiritual discipline has improved.
Thanks Troy, you first care for people where they are and then gently encourage them to improve. It's obvious you do it with a lot of prayer, listening for God to guide you. You are a blessing
Barbells and Brothers Member
““I thought the race set before me by God was getting physically fit, but it was so much more than that.””
Barbells and Brothers Member
“The results of Troy's fitness ministry are that I constantly search for ways to push myself and better myself mentally, physically, and spiritually. He has made me strive to be a more integrated man, someone who shows respect to all people, and he has helped me get out of my comfort zone in many areas, which helps me grow as a person.”
Barbells and Brothers Member