Yes, I know that my previous column was related with global concerns in these challenging times, with my philosophical approach. But now, instead, I want to go deeper, and a bit more personal, but adding to my feelings from before – silence, fear, hope and faith.

I have been a Personal Trainer / Coach for over 10 years now, so this is not something that I am new to anymore. My personal training journey first began in my home country Serbia, where I initially acquired knowledge about the basics in my college. Thankfully, I was able to learn on my own as well. I did lots of reading, writing and practical lessons. Over time, I have created my own unique practices, philosophy and approach to the training. To be honest, I am proud that I have done so many good things for others and myself in terms of results, activities, published researches and columns, even TV shows (laughing smiley). The most important thing in my job however, is not me, it’s my clients. They are the real superstars, not me. Without them, I would not exist as a professional. I have always been lucky to have them both back in Serbia and now here in my second home Dubai, in a different continent, country and language but still with the same energy and passion. Again, I am thankful and I always will be.

Now a word for ‘Be Strong Dubai’… they recognized my personality, knowledge, experience and ambition. For more than 3 years now we have been building a future together, sharing knowledge and raising the bar for us and for others. This is why we have amazing team with some strong personalities, sharp minds, critical opinions and, most important, good souls. I am proud of them all. A lot. Our idea is to set the standard for existing and future generations of personal trainers and clients. Our aspiration is to help others and to do it in a unique, personalized way that really makes a difference to people. We are on that way for sure.

In my case, I am still Ivan from Serbia, just an upgraded version of myself with better English, more knowledge, experience and a bit older (now happy smiley, not sad). I still have the same energy, behavior, philosophy and passion. I have amazing clients here as well, but now from all around the world, in one city, Dubai. We are now going together through this storm. Perfect storm, maybe. We will see …

Suddenly, Coronavirus came, knocking on our door. But our doors are locked, literally, right now, whilst I am writing these words. In the beginning was silence and fear of the unknown, with so many questions like how will we live and how will we work now? I cannot go to my trainings, meetings and drive more then 100 km per day. What to do?

After a few days of confusion, I started to feel some kind of comfort. Strange. I have not felt that way for ages. I am now at home, with family, sleeping enough, eating properly, exercising regularly, reading books, watching documentaries, seeing family and friends more often (even though this is through virtual chatting). And I am writing this column. I have enough time for myself now, which was a privilege before. I have feeling that I am gaining some power. I like that, but I am worried how I will continue to work.

That’s where my clients come in. Have I told you that I have some amazing clients (now huge smiley)?

Yes. They gave me trust, more than ever before. We are doing online trainings with everything what we have: bodyweight, weights, chairs, bands, bottles, food packages and families. We just agreed to try and it’s really working. We found solutions together because we need each other, like the desert needs the rain. This physical difference between is making us closer.

If someone told me 6 months ago that I would be doing online trainings, I would neither believe them, nor I would want to do it. I was not aware how much they know about exercises, how much they knowledge and experience they had gained about training over the year and months that they have been with me. That is my small victory and I will not hide it. We are growing together and learning new skills for the present and the future. I believe it will be a bright future.

I am seeing them, but also after a long time, I am seeing myself. I am a Personal Trainer, but better than before.

Be thankful to your clients because they choose you, especially today. That means they believe in you and they need you. Our calling now is to help them, help them to stay active and strong because they are helping you. Without them we are nothing. With them, we can be everything. Together we can be strong.

Be thankful for this moment. Even though it will be challenging. I know, everyone has a different story, but this is mine, written to be remembered and saved to not be forgotten before things become normal again.

The age of Coronavirus is teaching me about slowing down and to look at life from a different perspective. Our old life will come back faster than we expect, but only if we behave responsibly towards us and for others. It’s not easy now, I know, but we should focus on the positive side of all this. If I can adapt myself, you can do it as well. Just accept it and move on. Without turning back.

Again, our old life will come back, the coronavirus will eventually disappear but we cannot be the same anymore. We should be better towards ourselves, our families and friends. We should care more about other people and nature. We should be the change, like Gandhi said.

Stay safe and stay at home.

Be strong Dubai, now and always.