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Living Through The COVID-19 Pandemic: 5 Keys To Finding Your Path Forward

The recommendations are simple: Wash your hands, maintain proper social distancing, wear a mask, and don’t attend large gatherings. Why has this been so hard for so many people to do? What is in our future since we are faced with so many unanswered questions? How can we gather the strength to survive the crisis of our lifetime? 

These and so many other questions have been on my mind over the past year. I believe in the power of choice and living in the present. These two points of reference guide my activity each day and I will share the 5 keys with you that could make a significant difference in your life and yield a rich and rewarding path forward when we finally “get to the other side” of this terrible worldwide tragedy.


#1 – Mental Clarity

This key gives us the power to review and “listen” to our thoughts – the place where our reality begins to take shape. I am grateful for my life because I nearly died in 2019 after being hit by a truck (8 fractured ribs) when I was riding my bike. My conditioning and my training as a fitness professional helped me survive the initial incident and also the 2nd emergency (2 months later) that led to the blood clots that nearly killed me. 

2020 represented a “foundational” training year for me and included challenging hill cycling (I didn’t quit) and complementary weight training. As I entered 2020, strengthening my heart, legs and overall strength became my focus. I am close to being back to where I was before the truck hit me and now I enter 2021 with a new plan: To build an “athlete’s” mind set!

KEY: Set your intention and direction establishing your priorities. For me, it became strengthening my heart and legs so I could resume my beloved running program of more than 50 years. This year I will build on what I started last year and find my way from there.

#2 – Faith

Setting your intention helps you in charting your course and finding your path forward (the subject of my 3rd book not yet published). It is in establishing purpose that we “find ourselves”. I am working on becoming the “example of the change I wish to see in the world” since my path is becoming a passionate advocate for the principles of healthy aging as discussed in my first book Healthy Aging & You”: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit

KEY: Focus on your intention and “tune out” the noise of the day. Get close to your passion by focusing your attention on what you WANT in your life and “let the rest go”! Faith in yourself is most important (my conclusion in my yet unpublished 3rd manuscript). It is critical to spend time each day contemplating this thought!

#3 – Commitment

This principle applies to all of life. Those of us who commit to “a greater good” have the best chance for growth, expansion, and eventually success. I am committed to sharing my message with the world so I am joining with my daughter who has an excellent background in PR and media relations to help me connect with journalists and media outlets in print, TV, and radio. We are committed to “making a difference” in the world so my training, writing, and passion will eventually “get me there”. (I am now 74 so I have no time to waste!)

KEY: Become passionate about your life and finding your “true” message. Define it clearly and develop your plan for achieving your own dream. Dreams are what fueled Walt Disney’s success so if it was good enough for Walt, it is definitely good enough for me. How about YOU?

#4 – Training

Training represents my foundation and it encompasses “all of me” – mind, body and spirit. I say spirit in reference to our belief systems and what they represent to us. For me, my belief is in my “greatness” – meaning I have value and will be able to share that value with others. I encourage you to define your training program and work on it each day. Mine includes cardiovascular conditioning, weight training, meditation and prayer work, and daily affirmations I repeat throughout the day reinforcing my commitment to my purpose.

KEY: Discipline and purpose work hand in hand. Living in the present and making your choices in the only moment that matters (the present) is a very important concept. Practice it daily and you will find yourself not getting distracted with the unimportant details in life that can literally “derail” our success.

#5 – Programming

This final key is important because our minds control our lives and destiny. The subconscious mind is where the “tapes” are stored that influence every aspect of our lives – including our attitudes and behavior. Be careful in programming your mind since what you say, feel, express, and do will alter your course if you are not careful. This is where affirmations and visualization – and your imagination – come in. 

Be aware of how you express yourself and gather to you all the goodwill you can because we need each other. One of my favorite teachers shared a belief I now hold as well: “Everything we desire in life comes through relationship.” A corollary belief I hold is “the mind of man is unlimited in its potential and responds to the demands placed upon it.” Place the BEST demands on yourself every day and see what happens!

KEY: Programming your mind is an activity that is priceless. Do it with love and passion and your old negative patterns will no longer restrain you from achieving what you envision for yourself. People will want to be with you because of “who you are”!

Nicholas Prukop is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer & a Health Coach and fitness professional with over 25 years of experience. His passion for health and fitness comes from his boyhood in Hawaii, where he grew up a swimmer on Maui. He found his calling in writing his first book “Healthy Aging & You: Your Journey to Becoming Happy, Healthy & Fit” and since then he has dedicated himself to empowering, inspiring and enabling people of all ages to reach for the best that is within them and become who they are meant to be – happy, healthy and fit – and be a part of a world where each person can contribute their own unique gifts to life.

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