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Top 4 Lessons on How to be Resilient

Lesson 1: You Are in Control- How I Dealt with Divorce During 2013 CF Games

It’s inevitable: everyone falls down from time to time — it’s just that some are better than others at getting back up.

For as long as I can remember, I have always had that resilient mindset to never give up, no matter how big the setback. Maybe its the way I was brought up, or that I’m extremely competitive, or maybe its because I tend to pursue everything in my life with an enormous amount of grit and passion. Regardless, it has always been an important character trait that I’ve highly embraced and valued in everything I do, and I believe that everyone can benefit from strengthening their ability to be resilient. This month I’ll be sharing 4 lessons that I’ve taken away from multiple adversities I’ve faced in my lifetime, in hopes to enhance your ability to keep going when the going gets tough.

What is Resilience and Why Do You Need It?
Being resilient is the ability to get back up when you’ve been knocked down. It’s the mental fortitude to cope with stress and hardships such as:
– job loss
– financial problems
– injury
– illness
– divorce
or on a smaller athletic scale:
– malfunctioning equipment
– poor judging
– last minute changes to an event/competition
– a workout that’s not in your favor

The key component here is that resilient people choose to face these challenges head on and find a solution, rather than falling into despair and letting it get the best of you. Simply put, resilient people know how to adapt and overcome and will often bounce back stronger because of it.

Dealing with Divorce During the Most Important Time of My Life
Being an aspiring professional athlete for the past 10 years, its not surprising that most of my hardships in life involve some connection with my athletic journey- one of the larger ones I’ve faced was going through a divorce during my CF Games debut in 2013. I was part of that very common group of couples where CrossFit (or other fitness endeavor) becomes the source of all relationship problems. Like many, CrossFit changed my life and I became obsessed with it; opening up a gym and training full-time for the Games didn’t help. My marriage was at its worst after I had punched my dream ticket to Carson, CA in May of 2013. Stress was high, the fighting was constant, and yet I still had to balance it all out with running a gym and training for the Games. It was an emotional roller coaster to say the least.

The week before the Games, I had just had enough, I couldn’t deal with it any longer. I was stuck in a position where I had to choose between pursuing my passion with CrossFit, or giving up my on spirit and dreams in order to save the marriage. During one of our most heated fights, I made up my mind, grabbed a few of my things and walked out the front door without the intentions of coming back. I was on a plane to Carson, CA two days later to embark on a dream that I had been working on for so long. It wasn’t exactly the way I anticipated my experience to be but I knew that a trip to the Games may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and it was up to me how I was going to handle this situation. I could have very easily gotten depressed and forfeited my spot, but instead I chose to pick myself up, dust myself off, and make the best of it.

Lesson Learned: Sense of Control
I realized that the experience I was about to have at the Games was completely in my control- I could either handicap myself by dwelling on what had just happened or I could choose to stay in touch with the present and execute each task at hand to the best of my ability. Even during the toughest times of our life, it is important to understand that the choices we make, our attitutde, our ability to cope, and our future is completely within our control. Resilient people see this and use it to their advantage to take the next step forward.

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