“Before I started training with Nati, I did mostly triathlons, training for Iron Man,” says Shilon. ‘But I felt I needed something more, strengthening my core muscles that would allow me to run faster, and also avoid injuries. I currently do three workouts a week – two functional workouts and another one for the core muscles. “Slowly, with Nati’s help and special accessories and adjustments in the studio itself, we built a training program that brought me to achievements I had never dreamed I could do: hanging on to tension, lifting weights, rope exercises.”
“It is important that trainees feel connected to their coaches, this is especially important in my situation”
These achievements are particularly impressive given the personal need of Shilon, who served as an officer in the Givati Brigade, was wounded during the fighting in the Gaza Strip in 2012 and lost his left hand. “It’s important that trainees feel connected to their coaches – if there is no real connection, it’s hard to dedicate yourself to the process,” he says. ‘This is especially important in my situation, as someone who needs a lot of adjustments. A good coach needs to know where your end is, when it’s time to go through it to reach the next end, and when it’s more appropriate to give up. Nati and his team – Oshri, Bolina – are all amazing, I have a personal connection with each of them. ”
This personal connection is two-way – because the person who initiated the relationship between Ziv and Nati is actually Nati. “We met at the wedding of Bar Sommer and Aviv Cohen, who is a good friend of mine,” Shilon recalled. ‘I came in, and Nati stopped me and said – you have to come train with me. Usually such things do not develop anywhere, but he really insisted, so we set a training and from there it’s all history. ‘
Nati coaches other well-known personalities alongside Shilon – for example Omar Adam, Skazi, Bar Sommer and even the Prime Minister, Naftali Bennett. “We had a segment a few weeks ago,” Shilon laughs, “I forgot the special training prosthesis in the studio. That was just before I flew abroad, and I wanted to train there too, so I called Nati in the middle of training and asked him to come out for a moment to get her in the car. Nati put me on a speaker, and when he left the studio and the prime minister’s security guard asked him where he was going, he replied: ‘Bring his hand.’ It sounded like he was organizing terrorist activity, until they realized it was me and my real hand almost stopped him by the GSS.
“Nati brought me to achievements I never dreamed of”
Today, Nati is not only Shilon’s coach – “he is one of my best friends,” he said. ‘Sport is a very connecting thing – it’s showing yourself in your tough moments, when you’re on the edge and beyond. Nati brought me to achievements I never dreamed of, and it allowed me to gain a lot of confidence in other arenas as well. I am under a lot of pressure in life due to political and business challenges, and that is regardless of the injury and its mental impact. Sport is a big outlet, and it also gives me confidence – because if I managed to get the most out of myself in this arena, I will be able to do it in the other arenas as well. A person who invests in sports and makes it an integral part of his life becomes integrally a person who strives for more. “