Victor

My middle name is Victor.

Daniel Victor Trink.

I kept this fairly quiet when I was a kid because, for some reason, Victor was an uncommon and therefore easily made fun of name in suburban Long Island in the early 1980’s.

But even as a kid, I took the name very seriously. When I first learned to sign my name in script when I was in elementary school I included the “V” right away. I’ve always used it since.

As it often goes when getting assigned a name, the “original” Victor is a relative of mine. The younger brother of my grandmother, Margaret, who incredibly is still with us and living in Long Island.

Victor was killed when he was four years old. A victim of the tyranny and genocide that fell upon over six million Jewish people (along with tens of millions of non-Jews) in Nazi Germany in the middle part of the last century.

I, of course, never revealed any of this to my classmates when they gave me a hard time about the name. It was challenging enough to be one of maybe five Jewish kids in my entire elementary school. No need to put a spotlight on it.

But being bestowed the name has given me a sense of obligation. That since Victor did not get to live out his life, forge his own path and have his own experiences and successes, that I am now responsible to make sure those things happen for the both of us.

It is not a burden. It’s an honor.

This reality has often served me well as it has forced me to be courageous when I felt like a coward and allowed me to take risks while being extremely security driven by nature.

It is the power that comes from doing something not for yourself but for someone else.

Now it would be inappropriate and incorrect to equate these feelings and experiences and history to something as relatively trivial as training. So I’m not going to do that.

However, I do believe when the concept of doing it for others does trickle onto the training floor it can be a remarkably powerful tool.

You will train harder when you suffer, struggle and succeed alongside other people.

That success becomes even greater if those are like-minded people you have a positive relationship and history with.

And that increases even further if their success relies on your effort.

Have we weaponized this truth in our training system? 100%.

We attract people who value fitness and typically have a prior history and experience with it. We train people in small groups where they can’t help but get to know each other. We all watch and participate in everyone’s training sessions. We put the results up on the walls. We organize a lot of our conditioning sessions in teams and score them based on everyone’s results.

Unlike hammering away in a squat rack by yourself at a Globo-Gym, we’ve created a community where we are all in this together.

It’s, quite honestly, our greatest thing.

It pains me that I’ll never get to meet my great-Uncle Victor. At least not in this world.

And it pains me even more when I allow myself to truly think about the fate that was cast upon a four year old boy. If you have kids of your own or, hell, are just a thoughtful person, it’s not a stretch to feel that deep anguish.

But I also find myself thankful. Not only that I was spared such devastation but also that I was given the name to carry and all the feelings that have come along with it.

I hope you are seeing me type this Uncle Victor. I hope I’m making you proud.