We’ve all heard the saying, ‘What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger’. Many people let the phrase race through their ears and into their grey matter without it registering. People hear it; they understand it, but many neglect to infer the personal significance.
Hardships mold us. They remind us that life’s path is never adorned with clean, glittery hallways, but instead friction filled. Recognizing that resistance is an ever constant, an influencing force that only gets harder and more dogged the more you strive for a win should be accepted as status quo. Factoring this into your process the same way a kick-boxer expects to get kicked, punched and elbowed in the face, will prepare you for awaiting storms. And like that kick-boxer, you should celebrate the moment the bell rings ending a round and you’re still on your two feet. And as you walk back to your corner, prepare yourself for the next round that will only be harder.
Trudging Through Resistence
Ten years ago I signed-up for an event I thought would be the hardest physical event I’d ever attempted: The Superfrog Half Ironman. Hours into the event I remember the feeling of sand chaffing at my ankles as my feet trudged through the heavy beach sand. I had already swam one and a half miles, biked fifty six miles, ran over ten miles, and still had more to go. I remember starring at my wristwatch recording the evolution and seeing the six hour mark fly by. I recall feeling tired, my legs sinking into the ground like cement, and the sun scorching at my skin. My mind wanted to drift to the negative, but I couldn’t let it.
I remembered my quads and calves aching with every step as I simultaneously yelled at myself, “You’ve done more than this! Don’t even think about quitting.” It took me a few minutes to remember, and when I did, it hit me like a Tsunami. I elicited memories of a fifty-four mile hike, over three days, with no sleep and little to eat. I remembered hauling over sixty pounds of gear for the entire evolution, and being soaked in sweat and mud from head to toe. I remember locking my arm up in front of me as I pushed men in front of me to keep their legs moving up Mount Mother Fucker. The mountain was a tall, unforgiving behemoth that earned its name for the pain it dolled out, along with the title you earned at the summit: U.S. Marine.
Recalling the experience up that mountain as my Half Ironman Triathlon continued prompted me to realize I had a lot more juice in the tank. It reminded me that resistance is always in your face trying to strip your desires away. It was up to me to push past my perceived boundaries. I had done so in the past and there was no reason I couldn’t do it again.
Life is always smacking you in the face. You need to recall your life experiences and know you can hit back harder. If you’ve never been hit so hard, realize this this will be strength to draw from in the future. Don’t ever stop trying, because life won’t stop smacking you every time you get up in the morning. Learn to expect it; desire it and confront it. Your actions under duress will mold you, and you’ll forever be able to draw from those experiences to get past the pain of the new.