In the face of adversity – what will you do?

Photo by  Kyle Johnson  on  Unsplash

Photo by Kyle Johnson on Unsplash

Many regular readers know how passionate I am about fitness and how many parallels I draw from it for my career, life and mental health.

It’s one thing I love doing that makes me happy.

I began writing this week's article as I sat in the waiting room of the emergency department of a hospital. I continued writing it as I sat and waited for an ultrasound and am now concluding it as I sit in the waiting room of a surgeon I’m going to meet.

Last week I was injured during training whilst warming up in some gymnastics rings. Something I’ve done many times before but this time I span around a little too quickly.

I tore my right bicep, another small muscle underneath that bicep and my right minor-pectoral muscle as well.

I am now sporting a bruise that starts at the top of my right shoulder and weaves its way down my arm, encircling it all the way down to the top of my forearm.

This article isn’t about my bruise. 

If you speak to anyone that has a sport they love taken away from them, they’ll tell you about the immense sadness they felt at the loss of that one thing that was theirs.

Last week I felt this sadness because I saw before me, an enormous mountain to climb. 

I was standing at the foot of this mountain and I could see where I was the day before. I could see my friends waving down at me, smiling and wishing me well on my ascent. I could see that I had a lot of work to do to get back up. And there I stood, an arm that was turning blue and a long journey ahead of me.

Then I thought of you. 

I thought of all of us and how we face adversity and setbacks everyday in our working lives. 

In the same week I also received a phone call from two prospective clients, both breaking the news to me, that we weren’t selected to work with them — but we ‘were a close second.’

Not a mountain, but a small hill. Another obstacle to overcome.

In our careers — and more so in our lives — sometimes other people will make decisions we don’t agree with, or are out of our control; they will place roadblocks in our path and sometimes, we will fall out of our gymnastics rings because we spun over a little too quickly.

What we do with these obstacles — these mountains we must climb — is the measure of us.

How we handle ourselves in these moments is the sign of our character.

I would much rather be measured on how I chose to overcome adversity than to be celebrated over a win. I would much prefer to hear stories of the mountains you’ve climbed than of the times when you sat atop them.

What do you do when you're faced with difficulty?

What do you do when you're standing, facing an enormous mountain to climb?

How do you handle yourself in times of difficulty? When you're rejected? When you come a close second?

What do you do?

What did I do?

I was back at training this morning moving my body — albeit at a slower and more careful pace than last week.

I started my ascent.