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How to fight through adversity (and get better from it)

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I had never been more determined and focused on what I was trying to accomplish. I was in my 5th year at North Central College playing my last year of baseball. I committed to getting good grades and decided not to drink over the course of the entire season (pretty big deal for a college kid).  Less than two months into my commitment, my best friend was murdered.
With the help of my girlfriend at the time (now wife Kate), I was able to bounce back from the worst downward spiral of my life.


Not long after my recovery, we had an opportunity to start our gym. Blinded by ignorance and the excitement of the opportunity, Kate and I dove in headfirst without any experience in business, sales, marketing, and limited experience in the fitness industry itself.


We realized quickly after opening how much of a challenge we were up for and somehow clawed with our fingernails to make it through the first few years in business.


Fast forward a few years in, and we finally feel like we’re figuring out how to properly run a business and have some momentum going. We’ve just had our best month and I find out my dad has stage 4 lung cancer. The next year was extremely difficult, with the last month of my dad’s life being the hardest.


I couldn’t put much time or energy into our gym, and it suffered greatly as a result. After returning from a vacation after my dad died, I felt as mentally ready as I could be to get the gym back on track.


After months of hard work, we had our best month ever once again. This was February of 2020. In March the pandemic hit, and as an in-person, service-based business, you can only imagine how that went for us.


Recovering from the pandemic has been on ongoing team effort and I can now confidently (and cautiously) say we’ve made it through.

There’s a lot more to this story that I’ll share another time, but I’m sharing this information now because I believe that if you can build your mental resiliency in moments of adversity, the hard times in life can ultimately make you stronger.


Let’s use fitness as an example.


You finally get motivated to get started. You get your new workout gear, shoes and sign up for your membership. You’ve made up your mind. “I’m doing this!” you confidently say to yourself.


A few weeks go by and you’re still feeling it. You’re staying consistent, and you’re still motivated. Something has finally clicked for you! What you’re not currently understanding is that you’ve been living in never-never land for the last few weeks, and real life is about to strike at any minute.  


A few weeks in you catch the cold that’s been going around, and it completely throws you off your newly developed routine. “It’s all good.” You think to yourself. “I’ll get back at it next week.”


We then get caught off guard by how extremely difficult it can be to get your routine re-started again, even after weeks or months of being consistent. One little thing inevitably gets in the way, throws you off track, and somehow, it’s now even harder to get started than it was originally.


The timing of events in life is amazing sometimes, isn’t it?


If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the last 10 years, it’s that something is ALWAYS going to happen that will get in the way of whatever it is you’re trying to accomplish.


I recommend you develop the mindset to expect these things to happen so that when it does, you are mentally ready for it.


By being mentally prepared for these situations, you’re no longer reacting to the situation. You’re ready for it. You knew this was going to happen, and you know how hard it will be to get back on track.


You now see these moments as an opportunity to become stronger, and rather becoming a victim of the situation, you step up to the plate and find a way through whatever the obstacle life has thrown at you.


I have many more details to share about the last 10 years of my life, but I wanted to share this with you to let you know that you’re not alone if you’ve been struggling and that life is so much better when you can learn to navigate your way through life’s challenges.


Have a great one!


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