We can talk all down about how adversity can wreck our lives. Or how adversity has kept us from doing what it is that we feel called to do. What I think we need to be doing is trying to look at adversity from a different perspective. Adversity is what makes us stronger. I whole-heartedly believe that adversity is required to make us grow. That is to grow mentally or physically.
What is adversity? I looked up the definition and the first work used to define it is “difficulties”. When we think of difficulties we usually think of that as something to avoid, but how often does it help to avoid difficult situations. If we never let kids deal with difficult situations and shelter them from all adversity what will happen when they move out on their own. Some people would say we are seeing the result of that right now in the United State. Without adversity, we never learn resilience. We are born with a set amount of resilience in our heart. We develop it by the difficult situations we encounter.
If you want to improve your physical condition this idea should sound familiar. Can you improve strength by doing bench presses without a bar and weights? No. You need the resistance created by the weight pushing back against you. The weights are the adversity that you have chosen to put in front of you to make you stronger. Exercise is planned adversity. Adversity will make you stronger.
When I started trying to run to lose weight a few years ago I would hit adversity just by getting outside and heading around the block. My legs, my lungs, everything was fighting against me doing this. I was really slow and it involved a lot of walking. Over time I got to where I could head out and do 3 miles without much trouble. The adversity was gone and I wasn’t losing weight. I was still just taking it slow and doing my 3-mile runs.
Certainly running 3 miles was good for me, but the changes to my body didn’t continue. I needed to up the resistance or adversity. I started running for faster times and eventually was convinced to start running for longer distances. Things really started to come together for me because all of a sudden I was motivated by the adversity. I wanted to go faster or farther. I would push myself to do something I hadn’t done before and the weight kept coming off.
Now things are different again. I feel pretty accomplished with finishing a marathon. I am happy with my 1:50 half marathon time. With that satisfaction, my need to push has diminished. I haven’t sought adversity as hard, and because of that, I have gained some weight back. I know the answer to my problem, it’s really quite simple. I need to plan some more adversity in my life and I will get positive results again.
Are you sitting around comfortable or are you planning adversity? Do you want change? Do you want to be stronger, faster, healthier? If so, don’t be satisfied with comfort. Created some adversity in your life and make yourself push through it.