Adverse: adj., unfavorable or antagonistic.  
Adversity: n., adverse fortune or fate, misfortune

There are other words that can be used when speaking of adversity; unfavorably, inopportune, untimely….but really, who makes up these rules, or the words?  It’s all a matter of timing, (untimely!, unfavorably!…), I absolutely agree that adversity is an opportunity for heroism.  Listen, I think that everybody fails, we fail all the time, but we really aren’t a failure until we start blaming someone else.  This we all see frequently.  Boy, have I failed many, many times, but to me, falling down means GET BACK UP!  In my view, there are no options, you just have to get back up, and go forward.  I will compare this to a practice on any team, (and I also know that not everyone has been an athlete, but we all have a “game” in us; piano, chess….), you practice to get better, actually, to be YOUR best!  Why settle for good, when great is still out there?  We all “fail” in practice, and take it personally, so we get back up and try again, and again, again, until we get “it” right.  That’s our nature, so go ahead and fail, but get back up, or as it was put to me playing sports, put on my “game face”.  That can mean a lot of different things, but as I mentioned before, one of the greatest NFL head coaches, coach George Halas of the Chicago Bears, (for you youngsters out there, his coaching days were in the 40’s through the 60’s), said, “No one who ever gave his best regretted it”.  I take that as meaning, if your don’t hit your “goal”, but you did your BEST, you win.  Done deal, YOU WIN, you gave everything you had; so failure, or Adversity, is really the hero.

Sometimes, we attack the messenger, and not the message.  What is the point?  We sometime attach failure as pain, and then we won’t address the “pain”.  I didn’t, after my first surgery.  As a guy, ( ring a few bells out there, guys?!), I kept everything inside, figuring I would work it out.  Then, time goes on, pain gets deeper, and then failure sets in.  It took a lot of work for me to say, “OK, I might need a little help here”, but, as time went by, and I had people supporting me, I found out that it wasn’t as big as I thought; so that’s my point, I don’t think that it’s ever as big as we make it.  We just have to GET BACK UP and keep practicing,  to do our best.  When we address our “failures”, we actually get stronger, and stronger, so that when we come across a rock on Path 1, take Path 2.  There is always is a Plan 2, we just have to stay open enough, to accept Plan 2 as an option.  We still get to the same finish, just in a different point of view; so guess what?  YOU WIN!  In some ways, that just means giving up control, and after one or two of this situation, it’s so much easier to make up  Plan 2, or even Plan 3!

“Let me not die while I’m still alive”

I’m still here, I’m still tickin’!  Not like 10 years ago, but who is???  As long as the sun comes up tomorrow, and me too, (and my dog!), we have to go practice again, we have NO OPTION!  Be your best, and trust me on this, you will feel accomplished, by putting on you “game face”.  Every now and then, when I’m at the hospital talking to patients who have had the same brain tumor that I had, remark that I’m so brave to be there ,speaking of this situation, that I’m a saint,…etc.  I am not a saint.  In the words of Nelson Mandela:
“I am not a saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying”.  Very good analogy, I might fail, but I get up, and keep trying.  No option.  Are you going to hit your goal?  You don’t know until you try; you don’t know if it’s a “practice”, or a “game” day, and you may never know what results come from your actions, but if you do nothing, guess what; there will be no result.  We have to try, No Option.  As I said in this paragraph, I’m still here.  Sometimes that means I was tired, or not in the mood, or (oh my goodness), had a frown on my face.  That’s when you have to do what you are afraid to do, go to practice, and at least show up, you will feel better, and maybe even enlarge your self-confidence.  You will find out, that you just followed your heart; and that, my friends, is what it is all about.  Do what you know is right, (your heart); that will always be the right decision, and that is giving your best, so you won’t regret it.  Give the right choice, (your heart), each morning, and that’s the best choice; again YOU WIN!  Think of yourself in those terms, by giving it all your best on the field, you’ll never regret it, and you’ll always be a winner.

Now, get out on that playing field…..





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