Is 2010 starting out as bad for you as 2009 ended? It is for me and the very least of the problems that I am facing is still trying to get over the effects of the swine flu. Am I discouraged? No, I’m defiant and I will explain why later.
I got a message on Facebook yesterday from a friend who was discouraged because she wasn’t able to help more people as a Team Beachbody Coach. Shanna is actually doing a great job, but I know from personal experience both as a coach and someone who is suffering from a chronic illness like she is, that we have bad days. Shanna battles Crohn’s disease every day and I guess that I will always have to deal with having had CFIDS. When you have or have had a chronic illness, you know how hard it is to compete in the race of life and do well and that’s why you have to try so much harder.
Shanna will succeed as a Team Beachbody coach simply because she does try harder and because she is such an inspiration to others. I’ve learned over the years to be defiant in the face of struggles because I have had so many challenges that it is now becoming absurd. Let me just give you a few examples and if you are feeling discouraged, maybe you can find some inspiration in learning about my battles.
In May 1985, I was running as fast as national class runners. In a senseless car accident that month, I ruined my health and became pretty hard to live with. I eventually had to quit my job because it was too physically demanding and I eventually changed careers and got into coaching and personal training. I met and married a woman who would become the love of my life but we eventually divorced because I was failing in so many aspects of my life. For health reasons, I left New Jersey and moved to Albuquerque, NM where I have lived ever since because the weather is much better for the chronic sinus infections that I developed after a botched operation in 1987.
I found a good job here and eventually married a fellow runner, but just over a year later, the company that I worked for went out of business. All this time, I was still battling a debilitating illness that kept me from being the runner I once was and the successful person that I should have been.
Starting another business meant converting my Howtobefit.com website to an ecommerce site selling Polar heart rate monitors. That went well and I became one of the top Internet dealers in the country within a couple of years. But then a management decision at Polar to start selling retail meant that my future as an independent dealer started to look really bleak.
Along came the Team Beachbody opportunity 3 years ago and it has been an incredible blessing but the last two years have seen my marriage be battered twice by two near divorces. Even this summer, I was sick for two months with a bacterial infection in my blood from an abscessed root tip that was actually left in my mouth from the car accident over 20 years before. How absurd is that?
And did I finish the year on a high note? No, I got the swine flu just after Thanksgiving and as I mentioned, I am still feeling the after effects.
Do I have a right to be discouraged? Yes. But instead, I am pissed off and defiant. No amount of discouragement and woe is going to make anything better.
If you are discouraged, now is not the time to hang your head down in despair because the only thing that you will see is down. Hold your head high and start seeing over the horizon to what lies ahead. Get mad and get even with life and use your challenges and your failures to make you stronger and smarter.
If you are looking down while you are running the race of life, you are probably going to trip over your own feet or run into more obstacles.
I still keep thinking about the Bible verse, Ephesians 2: 8-10, that Tim Tebow had under his eye during the Sugar Bowl this year. It says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God – not because of the works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
We are all given the gifts that we need to succeed and we need to use them. No challenge that we face is ever greater than our ability to overcome it.