Smiling In The Face Of Adversity

“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10

I read that scripture this morning, and it gave me a little push. I definitely needed it. While climbing the mountain of success, because it is a climb, there are always going to be different valleys in between the peaks that you ascend. For a lot of people these valleys might be failed businesses, failed relationships, illness, or myriad of other things. In the life of an athlete some of the great valleys to be conquered are losing matches and injury. When you lose a match it definitely is not pleasant, however, you do have the opportunity to get back out on the mat and start working to correct the mistakes that you made while you were wrestling or you might work harder developing your skills in crucial positions. When an injury occurs, depending on the severity of it, you can’t always jump right back on the mat. That is the situation I am in today, and I am not really happy about it.

I hurt my shoulder about a week ago, and at first I thought that I had just strained some muscles and that after giving it a little bit of rest, ice, and massage that I would be back on the mat training for an Olympic title. Unfortunately I haven’t really recovered the way that I had planned. I was supposed to be leaving on a plane tomorrow to travel to New York City for an international wrestling tournament, but that isn’t going to happen. I saw the doctor on Monday, got an MRI on my shoulder yesterday, and today I am waiting for that phone call to find out what exactly the problem is in my shoulder and how I can go about getting it better. It seems like such an interesting trait of people to not truly appreciate what it is that they have until that thing is taken away from you. I think that health is definitely one thing that I take for granted. I might be going through some tough workout and thinking how painful and uncomfortable things are in the moment, but now I am wishing that I could put myself through those mini torture sessions. Now the torture that I am putting myself through is waiting for the phone to ring so that I can talk with the doctor. I hope that she says, “Well you strained some muscles so take it easy for a couple days, and you’ll be good as new.” That might not be a very realistic expectation.

One thing I can expect to do is to work to have the right mindset. Injuries suck, but that is part of sports and also part of life. There have been plenty of times when I have stepped out on an icy road and slipped. I usually am able to catch my balance, but then I think, “What would have happened to me if I was 85 years old? I would probably fall and break a hip and freeze out in a parking lot somewhere.” That would be horrible, but I am sure that it has probably happened to someone. So now I am trying to focus on what is in my control to get healthy again in as little time as possible. I am supposed to fly to Belarus on Monday for a training camp and tournament so I am really going to have to get things together quickly. I need to focus on my rehab. I need to focus on my rest. I need to focus on doing everything I can to be able to keep climbing that mountain. I’ve seen valleys before, and I am sure that I will see them again. However, right now, I just want to get to another peak.

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