Adversity: Excuse or Opportunity
Posted on July 24, 2020 by Mason Miller, One of Thousands of Health and Fitness Coaches on Noomii.
When we face adversity, we can choose to make it an excuse to give up, or we can choose to use it as an opportunity to become something greater.
Everyone has a story. Everyone has something in their lives that they talk about as being difficult, challenging, or hard. There are so many times in our lives when we face adversity, and we all know what adversity feels like. A narrowing of focus, the feeling of walls closing in. It is difficult for all of us, but we also have a choice. We can choose to make it an excuse to give up, or we can choose to use it as an opportunity to become something greater. There comes a time in everyone’s life where we either succumb to the challenges we face or choose to rise above them and mold ourselves into someone capable of persevering past them. I have faced a lot of adversity in my life, and to be honest, I didn’t always see them as an opportunity. But over time, I came to realize that every challenge I faced, every time I failed, got sick, or got injured, these were times when I became a better person and better version of myself.
I’ll tell you the proudest moment of my life wasn’t winning a national championship, getting accepted into Harvard, or winning a world medal. It was placing fourth at the Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament my junior year of high school. During that year, I severely injured my back during practice. I pinched five different vertebrate in my lower back to the point where my hip was rotated fifteen degrees of its axis. I couldn’t feel my legs for two months. After my final match in the qualifying tournament, I sat in the back hallway unable to move or stand up while people walked past me watching me cry in pain. I sat there until the tournament was over, until everyone had left and gone home, thinking about the difficult road ahead, all of the pain I would have to endure. I knew it wasn’t in me to quit, so I continued on into the state tournament. I was ranked first going into the state tournament that year. I lost my first-round match. My coach, in pity, asked if I wanted to injury default out of the tournament. As I sat in that hallway following my championship dream being shattered, I had to decide if I would make this injury an excuse as to why I didn’t win or turn it into an opportunity to prove what I had deep down inside me. I wrestled the rest of the tournament. During every match, my legs gave out at some point, and the coaches came over to put them back into place so I could finish each match. I won five consecutive matches, each by one point either in overtime or double overtime. After every match, I was carried to the back room where my chiropractor would put my legs back into place, tell me how crazy I was, then I’d go wrestle the next one. I didn’t win my last match, but I was still proud of what I had done. I could have easily given up, injury defaulted out of the tournament, and used that as an excuse for the rest of my life as to why I didn’t win a state title that year. Instead, I chose to use that adversity as an opportunity to better myself, and that is something I will be proud of until the day I die. Every challenge we face, we have a choice. We all know which choice is the right choice. The hard way is always the right path.