"Information is not knowledge."

As coaches and responsible professionals, we should be learning new things and studying our field constantly. The world, and particularly the internet, is full of information today; some of it is useful and much of it is useless. Either or, this massive amount of information is in front of us, easily accessible wherever you are. Countless people are sharing their material and ideas with different motivations and goals in mind. The world is overflowing with information!

Albert Einstein said: “Information is not knowledge.”  A simple and powerful truth indeed.

If you want to play with words and concepts little further, you could say: “Information is not knowledge and knowledge is not wisdom.”

There is a gap between information and knowledge and before it is matured into wisdom, there most likely needs to be some time, experience and application, before it slowly ferments into wisdom.

Let’s expand. “Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom and wisdom is nothing without love.”

Why love? Because wisdom can create a lot of things, but can we really responsibly utilize our wisdom for the good of our fellow beings without loving them? I don’t mean romantic love here, but the kind of unselfish love Jesus demonstrated to us, as in “loving your neighbor as yourself”. King Solomon is told to have been the wisest man ever and somehow he still managed to make it all about himself by living in pure pleasure.

Can we add anything? “Information is not knowledge, knowledge is not wisdom, wisdom is nothing without love and love is useless without action.” In itself, I think the concept of love encompasses more than just the emotion and the idea of love, but also the action of love, the compassion. However, in today’s feeling-based society we might easily forget that love has arms and legs, if it weren’t reminded of it. Feeling sorry for the hungry and sick does not help them. A physical action is required in order to reach out with love.

I think all of these concepts, and of course the action, are required from a coach. Successful coaching requires a lot of constant studying, a loving servant’s attitude and plenty of action in order to deliver the message and the training that the athlete needs.   

Proverbs 3 promises us true wisdom and guidance as we trust in the Lord, and even refreshment and healing to our physical bodies. Thank you Jesus, I need it.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart
  And do not lean on your own understanding.

In all your ways acknowledge Him,
  And He will make your paths straight.

Do not be wise in your own eyes;
  Fear the L
ORD and turn away from evil.

It will be healing to your body
  And refreshment to your bones.

Be strong and courageous!!


Who do I look up to?

People always look for role models and idols to look up to. We follow athletes, coaches, pastors and even politicians and watch if they live up to the standards that our role model or idol should look and act like. Maybe we paint the picture in our heads of what kind of a people we would like to be and then try to search for someone who could be our role model and lead us ahead. 

And then what happens...?

Well, we find out that the person we looked up to wasn't quite the perfect person we thought they were. Great role models are hard to find and perfect ones pretty much impossible. Those who consistently and faithfully prove to be examples that we want to imitate and follow. In fact, we will never find a human being who would not disappoint us some way at some point or time. Even the great 'human heroes' of the bible, such as Moses or David, seriously fell short in different areas of their lives.

I believe that the whole human kind needs a role model and even more than that, a redeemer and a saviour. We can not be rescued by a another human being because we have too many limitations and short comings ourselves. That is why God sent His Son to come and rescue us and to set us free. We can look up to Him and follow Him with confidence that he will never forsake us. 

Jesus has given His life so we could have true life in walking with Him. Jesus went beyond of what my imaginary role model would do with his life. He voluntarily died so even the people who hated or ignored Him, such as myself, would have an everlasting life and never perish. He gave this all as a free gift that I can choose to either receive or to deny. 

"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me." Revelation 3:20

I look up to Jesus.

Tommi the Trainer

Physical - Mental - Spiritual = 3-Dimensional

Physical training has a science behind it. We know a lot about the body and its systems based on the research and all kind of studies about human physiology, anatomy, biomechanics etc. We have narrowed it down to the cellular level and even smaller if possible. Still new findings are made constantly and our scientific understading of the human body increases continuously.

At the same time, we have also learned a tremendous amount about the human mind and intellect. We already apply it regularly to physical training, especially in the elite level. Most of the sports at the elite level are actually said to be more mental than physical. Thus, our interest towards improving human performance through the mind is growing still.  

A lot of people would stop here. They say: "We have the body and we have the mind and that is all that there is to the human being." But is that true? Isn't there another dimension still above the body and the mind? Or is it because this "spiritual dimension" is so much harder to grasp and understand, that we just leave it alone and don't even go there?

In his letter to Timothy, Apostle Paul writes (1 Tim. 4:8): "For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come."

Paul is saying that the spiritual dimension, that he calls godliness, has benefit not only in this life but also in the life to come. In addition to that, it has value for ALL things, not just some things. So, the so called spiritual training and conditioning could benefit us now and forever and in every single thing that we do or are part of. That is comprehensive I would say, even more so that the physical training that is so dear to me.

We can not explain the spiritual dimension by science, but just because it is often unexplainable and uncontrollable to human mind as well as invisible to the human eye, it doesn't mean that it does not exist.

May the joy of the Lord be your strength!

Tommi the Trainer

Are you a weapon, made in the fire?

Have you had periods of trials in your life? Times when you feel like giving up and maybe actually given up?I have. For the longest time I blamed the devil or myself or someone else for the fiery trials. I thought I was on the wrong path. I didn't think that if I was in the will of God, I would go through such defeats in life.

But maybe it was God himself who allowed these seemingly unfair, continuous and very humbling times in my life? In the midst of the storm nothing makes sense and the confusion often takes over, but it does not mean He is not in control over my life.

The Isaiah 54:16 gives us something to reflect upon. "Behold, I have created a smith who blows the fire of coals and produces a weapon for its purpose."

Sometimes I forget that God himself created "the smith" who brings fire on my life and makes me go through hot circumstances. He uses the one who wants to harm me for good, in order to make me a "weapon for a specific purpose". Sometimes the difficult times are the training that we need in order to arise as men and women, the weapons, that God created us for.

If I let God take full control of my life, even my hardships will result in an overwhelming victory. Good News!

Be strong and courageous!

Tommi the Trainer

Playing the "neutral card" and not taking sides.

"So when the Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather than a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying: 'I am innocent of this man's blood; see to it yourself." Matthew 27:24

When the going got tough, Pilate turned away from what he knew was right and just. He wanted to save himself from humiliation, embarrasment, crowd's anger and maybe even from potential physical danger. He silenced the voice inside of him and decided to play the "neutral card", thinking he was not taking sides. After all, he did was his hands and declared his own innocence, even he knew he was sentencing this man to his death.

How many times have I turned away when I should have acted? How many times have I decided to please people instead of speaking the truth? How many times have I crucified Jesus by washing my hands of the situation that I would't be able "to gain anything from" like Pilate did?

Not playing sides is very tempting. I could just navigate life avoiding any inconvenience or contradiction by turning away every time when doing the right thing would be seemingly too hard. However, that would be like Pilate trying to save his soul clean by splashing some water on his hands. Did he really believe that a would clear his conscience or did he suffer from that awful guilt of knowing he was wrong? 

Despite the fact that I have many times turned away from Him, Jesus has not turned away from me. He has washed and cleansed me anyway despite my many betrayals. That is the kind of love that does not look for it's own gain.

Tommi The Trainer

PS:  "All that is necessary for the forces of evil to win in the world is for enough good men to do nothing." Edmund Burke

Learning lessons from our physical bodies: Humility

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them..." Romans 12:3-6

What if the body parts would decide to compete who is the best and the most important? What if there was a full scale rivalry going on during physical activity?

Would the right leg want to go to a different direction with the left? Would the lungs decide to go on strike when the rest of the body needed a lot of oxygen? 

Pick any team in the sport or in the corporate world or even in a church and you will have trouble finding a team that works in unity and harmony like the human body. There is no rivalry or competition. Even if one part or system is empasized or honored, the rest of the body will still graciously support each other and rejoice for the common success. In truth, there are no solo-missions within the body but everything is for the team, not just on paper but also in reality.

The true functionality within mankind could only be found through unselfishness and humility. Anyone, who sincerely examines their heart knows that this goal is not possible with human strength and effort. Only in Christ, with the transformational power of God, I can get closer to being a true servant, less interested in me and more interested in You.     

Tommi The Trainer

Ankylosing Spondylitis & Amazing grace!

My journey and work of physical training and conditioning could have easily become just an extension of my own "weight lifting" -hobby without the ankylosing spondylitis. AS is an auto-immune condition that affects the spine, joints, eyes and unpredictably pretty much any body part. My condition started as frequent iritis, then became semi-chronic sacro-iliac inflammation, lower back pain and migrating muscle inflammation. It gave me a gift of empathy for others in pain and also a refreshed appreciation of just being able to move.

I learned that walking is not a less of a miracle than squatting a full rack of weights. Through the experience of ankylosing spondylitis my own exercise became a necessity even more than a passion and I gained a new perspective to life in general. I know now that the abundant grace of God will prevail and strengthen me even in the midst of sickness and adversity. But even more than just sustaining me, He is willing to heal, and in my case has already done so.

I look at the pain of a person differently through my own experience. Pain makes you consumed by your own situation, it makes you fearful of the future and it very often steals your joy and peace in the present time as well. At the same time, it helps you develop a new perspective, makes you cry out for God more and certainly shifts your priorities around. A lot of times the end result, learning lesson if you will, depends on our own response and attitude at the time of crisis and struggle.

In my work I aim to prevent pain with correct exercises and sometimes can even ease some discomfort that is already there, but as the Word says, God Almighty is the one who heals:

"Bless the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
   who heals all your diseases..."
Psalm 103:2-3

Tommi The Trainer