How to Conquer Adversity by Seán M Kelly

by inspire on May 11, 2011

I was reading a triathlon book recently “Triathlon Training in 4 hours a week” (an appealing title anyway!) by a guy called Eric Harr. I’d certainly recommend it, it’s got some useful tips if you’re into doing a triathlon. One of the tips was about gratitude and appreciation. He uses it as a way to motivate himself to train and I thought it was a great idea.

Imagine, for whatever reason, this was your last day to be able to run, to bike, to swim or to walk – tomorrow our life would change so that it would be no longer possible to train at all! If that was the case how appreciative and grateful would you be to be able to train today? How grateful would you feel? How much would you appreciate the fact that you are able to move physically and experience what it feels like to see the wonderful sights around you, or feel the water streamline against your body as you swim or listen to the birds entertain you with their singng on an early morning run or walk?

The truth which many of us don’t really like to think about is that one day our life will end – there will come a day when we can no longer physically move. There simply is no way of getting away from this fact. Of course we don’t need to focus on this morbidly rather be aware of it and use it to inspire us to “Carpe Diem” (seize the day), follow our heart and dare to dream.

So today is a great day to fully and absolutely appreciate the fact that you are physically, mentally and whatever other way fully alive. In fact why not make it a habit of feeling very grateful every morning when you wake up and can physically move. Remember it is not possible for everyone.

One such person is Mark Pollock. Some of you may have heard of him. He went blind in his early 20′s. I saw him speak a few years after this and he was certainly learning to be positive about the challenges that were facing him. Well last October another massive adversity came his way when he fell 25 feet from a window and is now in a wheel chair. This is what he said about his injuries two weeks after it happened:

“It has been two weeks since my accident. I fractured the back of my head, my chest and torso seemed to be filled with blood and my back is broken in three places, I think, plus some ribs.”

Again Mark is digging really really deep to conquer the incredible physical challenges he now faces. He was interviewed on an Irish TV show last Friday, The Late Late Show with Ryan Tubridy. You can still see Mark’s interview on the Late Late on RTE iplayer. It’s worth a watch and includes a video of him trying to do squats with legs that don’t work – here’s the link and go to minute 28

Link for Mark Pollock Interview - http://www.rte.ie/player/#v=1097811

Here are some of Mark’s achievements, including IM Switzerland:

Coast to Coast NZ
Dead Sea Ultra
Everest Marathon
Gobi March
Ironman Switzerland
Liffey Descent
North Pole Marathon
South Pole Race

You can also read Mark’s inspirational blog at his website www.markpollock.com

Not to be too melodramatic about it but let’s remember the next time we walk, run, swim, cycle or move at all to take a moment to appreciate that fact that we can move.

Carpe Diem!

Seán

PS: “When Your Soul is born, when it awakens anew, you begin to inherit your true life, the one you were meant for” J.O’Donohue (1956-2008)

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PSS: What do you do to conquer adversity in your life? Any comments leave them below, you never know who’ll you’ll inspire!

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